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Gang Violence 9
Gang members have said the “mere interaction of members, listening to one another’s problems and sharing the other trials and tribulations today’s teens are faced with are the drawing card for them to become” a gang member (Nawojczyk, 2009). There is also respect “which is sought for not only the individual, but also for one’s set or gang, family, territory, and various other things, real or perceived in the mind” of the individual (Nawojczyk, 2009). “Gang involved youth usually place a very high value on personal respect” (Tag, 2010). Society must come together to battle the effects of gangs and to discourage gang involvement. As gangs expand, they bring their form of violence into the communities. Bully, intimidation and harassment are faced by community individuals, as well as prospective gang members. As W.E.B. Dubois stated in his book The Souls of Black Folk “the chief problem in any community cursed with crime is not the punishment of the criminals, but the preventing of the young from being trained to crime” (Dubois, 2007). The community and neighborhoods need to provide outlets for young children and teenagers, schools and teachers need to take an active role in providing guidance and acceptance, and more of an emphasis should be placed on family. Without structure and guidance, gangs will continue to infiltrate the community and the schools (Dubois, 2007). Without police effort, gangs will continue to pull in teenagers to engage in illegal activity. Without society as a whole to step in, street gangs will continue to target those individuals who are struggling with poverty, peer pressure, boredom, and despair and lacking a sense of belonging.Gang Violence 10
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