Essay by Natedog1College, Undergraduate September 1994

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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

prestigious way to live? The long range answer to these

questions can only be speculated upon, but in the short term

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 effectively end gang violence we

must find the way that these morals are given to the individual.

Unfortunately, these can only be hypothesized. 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, theatre, drugs and our economic system.

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 glamorous. Money is also

an crucial factor. A kid (a 6-10 year old, who is not yet a

member) is shown that s/he 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 morals.

One of the ways that kids 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...