Essay on Gangs in America

Submitted By melaniexxc
Words: 1040
Pages: 5

Melanie Cohen
English 121

Gang activity seems as a means of survival for those involved. Violence has been threatening the progression of our society due to the fear that has been put in everyone’s eyes. More and more people are becoming accustomed to gang life everyday. Some have no choice as they think its their only means of survival. Gangs are becoming more and more of a problem every day in America. More teens are being pressured into joining gangs than ever before. Now gangs are getting new members from school at such a young age, even students from elementary schools. Gangs are becoming a big problem not only to the people they kill, but to families and friends. They hurt their own families as well as others. Innocent people become victims to gang violence, just so that the members can get a laugh. They do not care what they are doing to the persons family. Gangs are terrible because not only because they kill people, but they destroy homes, intimidate teens into joining their gangs, innocent people become victims, and even the gangs members are in danger because they get killed if they try to get out because they know too much information on what the gang has done. People join gangs because they feel that it gives them some sort of identity. Being part of a gang causes the member to achieve a certain status that is not available outside of the gang. Another reason why people join gangs is because they live in a gang area and can be targeted by other gangs. They feel that if they join a gang they will have some type of support if they are attacked by a rival gang. Some people are forced to join gangs by being intimidated because the members feel it will help their criminal activity. Others join just so they can intimidate others not involved in a gang.
Violence in the streets has risen more and more. Gang violence is increasing as more teenagers adapt to the surroundings around them. People can easily avoid gangs and get gang members help by going against it and not “banging” as a gang member would refer to it is as. Many parents want their children to engage themselves in sports or other hobbies, which they can learn to socialize and develop a talent. But what if this socialization involved violence and the talent was learning the streets? A child involved in a gang can deeply distress the family and impair the child’s life. So, what would cause a child to want to engage in a gang? The environment and temperament of the child greatly contribute to the desire of participating in a gang. The child’s environment, including the family context, the neighborhood, the school of the child, and the temperament of the child play the most important role in the path to involvement in a juvenile gang.
A child’s environment is inescapable, therefore the child is unable to escape the characteristics that come with living in a particular environment. The family context of the child is crucial to development because this is where the child learns, amongst other things, socialization and morale. If this structure is damaged, the child’s perception of what is appropriate in terms of morals and socializing skills will become damaged as well. Parent psychopathology plays a key role in this because if the child’s parents are mentally ill, it is likely that their values will be skewed, therefore distorting the child’s morals. Substance abuse of the parents will also increase the child’s chances of being in a gang because most likely the parents will not be able to properly support the child, emotionally and financially, and the child becomes forced learn how to take care of his/herself. Marital distress will also precipitate the child’s need to be in a gang because the child needs to feel a sense of belonging, something many troubled children believe a gang will provide. If the family is impoverished, this only adds to the likelihood of the child joining a gang. Poverty disrupts