Gangs, I don’t know if many people join as adults, but so many young people find something appealing in the culture and protection of being part of a gang. This isn’t just about urban centers, you’ll find a gang in rural areas and small towns.
What gangs offer – the good stuff?
For kids with things missing in their family life, a gang can fill that need for connecting with people you trust. Being bullied? A gang can offer protection.
What gangs cost – the bad stuff
The violence. Gangs are not social clubs. They are together for the purpose of crime. They are held together with fear. And to get out – if you can – you have to commit more violence or receive it. When I researched gangs for both Hubris and Greed, I couldn’t help but wonder how someone gets so low in life that they think joining a gang is a better choice.
What can we do about gangs?
I don’t have an answer to that question, because I don’t think we can ever get rid of them. There’s something that draws the human psyche to family and power. Joining a gang gives a child family and the potential for power. The less power a child has, the more tempting a gang can be.
Where gangs thrive, they create a cycle. They become the biggest ’employer’ in town. In some neighborhoods, the effort to stay out of the gang is so huge, that the safest way is just to join.
So how do we minimize the impact? How do we take the power away from the gang leaders? Is there a way to make this, if not better, less bad?
Yes, provide a sense of family and protection for children outside the world of gangs.
Look for resources like this one online and take action.