Criminology Essays - Gangs, Guns and the Community

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Gangs, Guns and the Community

The families and communities are devastated by the massive involvement of guns and gangs that bring death to our communities. The damage that guns and gangs do to our community is very painful and devastating to our everyday life. Our families suffer a great deal everyday they lose a family member, whether it is their son, or daughter, niece, nephew, or grandchild. We have to figure out as a community what we need to do to help keep our children and family members out of danger of gangs and guns.

We need to figure out as a community what it is we need to do to help see this doesn’t happen and help prevent any more deaths due to gunfire by gangs and guns. They must be stopped and not allowed to continue to keep recruiting our children from a young age to be involved with their gangs. There are several State and Federal programs that we can get grants from to help with the financial support of recruiting individuals who are more qualified to help us as a community, whom deal with gangs with guns on a regular basis. Gang and Organized crime is in all communities. There are no communities untouched by gangs.

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There has been 26% of law enforcement surveyed and they indicated that gangs are associated with organized crime. So often when gangs are caught they will cooperate with law enforcement because it increases the chances of them getting out of some of the trouble they are in and serving less time in jail for their charges. Law enforcement also indicates the positive association with different types of regions associated with gangs in our communities.

Most of the unexpected results of gangs come from a different type of association such as drugs. There are two main drug cartels in organized crime. One of the main organized crime gang is the Russians and the second is the Asians. (2005 National Gang Threat Assessment). The Attorney General’s office has made it a top priority to help fight violent crime, including gun crime and gang violence. They realize this is no one answer to fighting gangs and guns. They have also explained that they cannot and will not arrest their way out of the problem. The local law enforcement departments are looking for a way to work with community groups on gang prevention and other related strategies. Some departments have launched the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative. So they could put together some strategies to combat gang violence. (Attorney General Mike Mukasey 2008).

The Criminal Race Theory (CRT) was brought to our attention back in the early 1980’s. This was brought about because people were tired of everyone blaming gang and gun violence on the black community. It has brought a lot of unclear incite to the subject and left crime and criminal justice unexplored. (Humanity & Society May- August 2007). Criminal race theory shows how racism is not about picking on people of different color but routine, and with no exceptions.

People need to view the history of critical race theory to make things easier on our community. This will help people better understand the issues that seems ripe for critical analysis. The criminal race theory also urges critical scholars to devote more attention to crime and not race and to propose a research agenda for the future. The community as a whole needs to realize it’s not about race when it comes to gangs and guns. There are all types of people involved with gangs and criminal violence.

How we need to enhance the efforts to stop gang violence among our youth. There have been several citizens involved or caught up in gang violence by accident. Gang and violence does damage to our community especially when our youth are killed in front of their own house and their parents and other children have to witness it. We as a community need to realize there are no one solution to this problem to fix any gang or violence problems we have today in our society.

There have been many departments that have launched the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative within the last two years. There have been ten locations around the county that have received grants of millions to put in place more strategies to help combat gang violence. There have been several programs in effect to try to help stop gang violence besides just arresting youth for this problem.

Several cities across the United States have noticed an alarming amount of numbers of increase in gang and guns. There is also some evidence of gang related homicides over the decades that are on the rise also. There are also more than 30,000 different gangs and some 800,000 members. As gang violence has increased the State lawmakers have made stiffer penalties for those adults who recruit minors. Washington’s Anti-Gang act has made penalties for those adults who recruit minors into their gang of crimes. (State legislate June 2008).

Since about 2005 youth and gangs are on the rise, to now in 2008 it’s three times higher than before. I want my readers to know that their children ages 10 thru 17 years of age are not playing at the play ground, but they are out their involved with gangs and guns. We as a community needs to come together and help support our youth to keep them out of gangs and away from violence. We need to think about what it is we need to do to get our children’s attention back interested it other things besides gangs and guns.

There are several teens that can explain to us why gangs is on the rise and what you can do to stay safe from gangs and violence. Sharlisa is a senior at St. Mel High School and has never been involved with gangs. She sees gangs in her neighborhood as everyday life. Her boyfriend was walking over to her house to see her and a gang member approached him and said give me your money. He said I don’t have any money and the gang member shot him anyway. So this was a big shock to Sharlisa and the community that you can be at your own house or in front of your own home and still not be safe from harm of gang and guns.

Now we have Richareef who is a senior at Sheepshead Bay High School, who became involved with gang life for three years. He was in a gang called Squad Deep which was a small little gang in his school. By the end of his freshmen year he was known as a “good fighter” so there for he was recruited by the top gang called Decept. Richareef states he joined the gang for protection. He was really scared, because he felt like if he couldn’t beat the person he was fighting he was afraid he would end up joining them. While being involved with this gang he fought more than 20 fights and was involved with several incidents of theft. He wanted out and didn’t want to be a part of the gang any more but if he didn’t do what they wanted they would hurt him or maybe even kill him. He was always scared and had butterflies in his stomach everyday he had to perform these terrible acts of criminal activities.

The third individual involved in a gang is Geraldo a student who now resides in San Francisco, and is a student of San Francisco State University. He came to the United States to live with some relatives when he was 14. He had two jobs because he had to take care of himself and save money to send to his parents back home.Geraldo joined a gang called the Surenos 13. Most of the members were Mexican immigrants. He joined the gang as a way to determine his identity, he had lots of his closest friends and some relatives who were involved with gangs. (Junior Scholastic Nov26, 2007). He thought it was a part of a way to fit in while he lived here in the United States. Geraldo’s gangs mostly fought against rival gang called Nortenos who members were Mexican-American. Geraldo tells of one fight that he was in that left him hurt pretty badly. He recalls that he was assaulted with an aluminum baseball bat which left him unconscious for about five minutes. Also that same person that hit him with a bat also hit him with a piece of metal, all because they didn’t get along. (Junior Scholastic Nov 26, 2007).

Although the number of gangs is on the rise, it is hard to put an exact number on how many gangs there are because they are very secretive, but recently there have been speculation of around 760,000. Gangs only were more popular in the bigger cities not now that the law enforcement is cracking down they are spreading to the suburbs. It’s also not so uncommon any more to see females getting involved with gangs, you are seeing more and more. The gangs are starting to recruit kids as young as elementary school to join their gangs. Some of these children are only between eight and nine years of age. Some children are even born into gangs, if their parents are or were in a gang.

Robert J. De Sena is the founder and president of Council for Unity, which dedicates time to help kids escape from gang life. We need more community support to help programs like the Council for Unity to help our young children from becoming involved with gangs and violence. If the community would get more involved and come together to help support more programs like these instead of not getting involved then our communities wouldn’t let these gangs rule them. We as parents need to be more aware of what our children are doing and we need to get a grip on them so they don’t join gangs. If parents were more involved in their lives they wouldn’t turn to gangs and violence for attention to be noticed. Today most parents just let their children do whatever it is they want and don’t bother to check up or check to see if indeed what they said they were doing they are there.

There are several words that parents can listen for to know if their children are involved with gangs or not.One of them is assimilation which is the process of adjusting to or bring acceptance into a different culture.Another is recruiting which this is to seek out and bring in new members to their gang, often by promising something that they might want. We as parents can help with today’s society problems with gangs and guns so those children won’t be dying by numbers. We all want to live in a safe and better community so pleaseeveryone do their part and help in this process to stop gang violence in our neighborhoods. If we see wrongful doing by colors flying or different individuals acting out report them to your nearest local authority. No call is ever a stupid call only the ones that you don’t make to help out individuals to help save maybe your own life.You don’t have to get involved by giving your name; some States have a crime hotline that is totally anonymous so you’re not involved.

Source citation:

Attorney General Mike Mukasey, (2008, March 26). Attorney General Mike Mukasey Delivers remarks announcing enhanced efforts to combat gang violence, Retrieved August 24, 2008, from

Bjerregaard, Beth. (2008, August). Gun Ownership and Gang Membership: Profiles in Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology; Profiles in Master File Premier Fall95, Vol. 86 Issue 1, p37-58, 22p, 5 charts

Bureau of Justice Assistance (2005) National Gang Threat Assessment, Retrieved August 24, 2008, from

< threat assessment.pdf>

Delgado, Richard. (2007, May-August). Humanity & Society; Profiles in SocIndex Full Text, Vol. 31 Issues 2/3, p133-145, 13p

Education (5/30/2008) Schools to fight in war against gang culture, Issues315, p1-1, Op, Retrieved August 24, 2008 from

Hammond, Sarah. (2008, June). State Legislature; Profiles in Master File Premier Vol.34 Issue 6, p20-21,2p

Pappa, Lauren Todd. (2007 November) Gangs- United States; Profiles in Master File Premier Vol.110 Issue 8, p6-8, 3p