Gangs Spark Notes

This essay has a total of 1461 words and 6 pages.


Gangs are a violent reality that people have to deal with in today's cities. What has made
these groups come about? Why do kids feel that being in a gang is both an acceptable and
major way to live? The long range answer to these questions can only be seen upon, but in
short, the answers are much easier to find. On the surface, gangs are a direct result of
human beings' personal wants and peer pressure. To determine how to successfully end gang
violence we must find the way that these morals are given to the individual unfortunately,
these can only be guessed. However, by looking at the way humans are influenced in
society, I believe there is good evidence to point the blame at several institutions.
These include the forces of the media, the government, theater, drugs and our economic

On the surface, gangs are caused by peer pressure and greed. Many teens in gangs will
pressure peers into becoming part of a gang by making it all sound exciting. Money is also
a crucial factor. A kid (a 6-10 year old, who is not yet a member) is shown that he or she
could make $200 to $400 for small part time gang jobs. Although these are important
factors they are not strong enough to make kids do things that are strongly against their

One of the ways that kid's morals are bent so that gang violence becomes more acceptable
is the influence of television and movies. The average child spends more time at a TV than
she/he spends in a classroom. Since nobody can completely turn off their minds, kids must
be learning something while watching the TV. Very few hours of television watched by
children are educational, so other ideas are being absorbed during this period of time.
Many shows on television today are extremely violent and are often shown this from a
gang's viewpoint. A normal adult can see that this is showing how foul gangs really live.
On the other hand, to a child this gives an image of a violent gang existence as
acceptable. 'The Ends Justifies the Means' mentality is also taught through many shows
where the "goody guy" captures the "bad guy" through violence and is then being commended.
A young child sees this as perfectly acceptable because he knows that the "bad guy" was
wrong but has no idea of what acceptable capture techniques are.

Gore in television also takes a big part in influencing young minds. Children see gory
scenes and are fascinated by these things that they have not seen before. Older viewers
see gore and are not concerned with the blood but rather with the pain the victim must
feel. A younger mind doesn't make this connection. Thus a gore fascination is formed, and
has been seen in several of my peers. Unfortunately kids that are raised with this sort of
television end up growing up with a stronger tendency to become a violent gang member or
'violent-acceptant' person.

So, as you can see if TV leads a child to believe that violence is normal this will create
itself in the actions of the child quite, often in a gang situation. This is especially
the case when parents don't spend a lot of time with their kids at the TV explaining what
is right and what is wrong. Quite often newer books and some types of music will enforce
this type of thought and ideas.

Once this mentality is taken in by youngsters they become more and more likely to being
easily pushed into a gang situation by any problem at home or elsewhere. For instance, in
poor families with many children or upper-middle class families where parents are always
working, the children will often feel deprived of love. Parents can often feel that
putting food on the table is enough love. Children of these families may often go to the
gang firstly out of boredom and to belong somewhere. As time goes on, a form of love or
kinship develops between the gang members and the child. It is then that the bond between
the kid and the gang is completed because the gang has effectively taken the place of the

The new anti social structure of cities also affects the ease in which a boy/girl can join a gang.
"The formation of gangs in cities, and most recently in suburbs, is facilitated by the
same lack of community among parents. The parents do not know what their children are
doing for two reasons: First, much of the parents' lives are outside the local community,
Continues for 3 more pages >>