GAng FInal - Mitch Hopfinger English 1000 Draft 1 Paper 3...

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Mitch Hopfinger English 1000 Draft 1 Paper 3 Teenage Gangsters: An American Epidemic If you grew up in Chicago’s south side, chances were that your familiy was financially troubled and was struggling in multiple ways. But this epidemic extends far beyond the streets of Chicago, because in various cities across the United States, thousands of teenagers experience this same struggle. Most kids want to help their family in any way possible, and a lot of times law-abiding methods are thrown out the window. One of the most common methods of self-described “help” is by selling drugs, which can be easy to get into and incredibly hard to escape. Furthermore, one of the biggest gateways to drug trafficking and selling is through participation in street gangs. Most gangs have some serious involvement in the drug business and, by joining, teenagers could rationalize their short-minded decisions as simply a means for helping out their family. Regardless of motives, by joining a gang teenagers are inevitably more susceptible to having serial issues with drugs and violence throughout their lives. One of the most important things to attempt to understand is the motivation a teenager has to become a member of a gang. Generally, teenagers join gangs for two main reasons. As aforementioned, one of the reasons revolves around the idea that they can help their family escape financial turmoil by making more money on the side. Secondly, there is the idea that there is an outlet to escape their biological family and use the gang as a “make-shift” family. I believe this is incredibly ironic, considering the same issues that drive kids away from their family are the ones in which they are entering through gang involvement. It is a vicious and cruel cycle, that plagues hundreds of thousands of families across America. When a teenager joins to try and help their family
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it can be extremely difficult. Additionally, most gangs generally view other member as a part of their family and nothing else, so if they are trying to support their family and the gang members, the result is that they often become torn between the two. By leaving their biological family, all they really receive is a false sense of security and safety within the membership structure of the gang. Joe Killian of Greensboro, NC, conducted an interview in which he asked many teenage gang members, “why they joined?”, and a common response was a cinematic reference from
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GAng FInal - Mitch Hopfinger English 1000 Draft 1 Paper 3...

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