English 6 H Period 1
16 April 2013
“They Poison our streets with drugs, violence, and all manner of crime.” (FBI 1) There are currently about 1.4 million criminals today that are gang members in the U.S. Whether it’s a motorcycle gang, prison gang, or a street gang; they are all organized to create violence by assisting in illegal acts such as taking control in neighborhoods, amplifying their illegal money-making activities, which include robbery, drug and gun trafficking, fraud, extortion, and prostitution rings. (FBI 1-6) Gangs are dangerous organizations that try to take over territories and cause severe injuries to other people. Over the years there seems to be more and more gang members, we as humans have to find a way to prevent such horrific tragedies and make this world a better place to live in. The Origin of Gangs
The origin of gang affiliation seems to be unclear but researchers claim that the origins of gangs first began in Europe and may have appeared in the United States as early as the late 1700’s. In the early 1800’s gangs started to spread worldwide; most gang members were Irish, Jewish and Italian and usually lived in large cities. In the 1940’s and 1950’s young African Americans and white’s began to from these groups called “clubs” which mostly consisted with family members and existed to protect each other from violence. (Galenet 14-16) In the 1970’s the core of the U.S economy started to change and decided that manufacturing wasn’t really needed. (Galenet 24) This caused many low-skilled workers to lose their jobs and it left them hopeless. Many of these low-skilled workers turned into criminals. When crack cocaine was discovered, gangs began to sell and become essentially engaged with this harmful drug and led to dangerous battles due to control of the drug trade. (Galenet 29) What are gang members?
Gang members, also known as gangsters are usually young men but can include woman as well. Male gang members tend to see their fellow female gang members as their possession; some of them do get treated with “respect” in their gangs. Gangs are usually male based organizations that can include woman, woman can have their own independent gang as well; it’s not as common as all male gangs. (Galenet 68-70) They are typically “jumped in” to gangs, if not; prove their loyalty by committing some sort of violent activity. Being jumped in is where you must get brutally beaten by some gang members for a couple minutes, and you have no choice but stand there defenselessly. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” (Mark Twain 4) Gang members can be distinguished by the clothing they wear; they all have their own dress codes and colors. Most wear baggy shorts and pants with an oversized shirt; this helps them hide their weapons. Some even wear or carry bandanas of their gang color. Gangs have tattoos and hand gestures representing what gang they are from. Gangs don’t have a certain amount of members; it can range from six to multistate organizations that can have thousands and thousands of members. (Virgina Rules 70-75) Type of Gangs
There are 3 major street gangs; Ethnic gangs, turf gangs and prison gangs. Ethnic gangs are racist gangs that will only recruit people of the same ethnic. Turf gangs are gangs that include all races that live within the same neighborhood that they claim their territory, also known as their “turf”. Prison gangs are just street gangs, but behind walls. Some gangs even start out in prison and will only include members who have been to prison at least once in their life. (Grabianowski 2006) One gang expert wrote, "Putting young gang members in prison is like sending them to criminal college". (unknown 1) Why teens join gangs
“Young people frequently see gangs as an attractive choice or a solution to their problems.” (Phelan 1) All adolescents are trying to find out who they are and where their place is...
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