With its pleasure and challenges it brought growth, development, urbanization and advancement in the economic sector every day. Communities and movements have evolved to sustain their livelihood and life, but all is never well. With it, the population, human greed, social problems as well as stresses, as well as psychological questions have increased life, demand for basic and essential needs. Therefore, people have to adjust to a large field of people who struggle to survive. The wealthy and the have-nots, elite and non-elites, the happy and the burdened, all need to coexist but how? It is indeed a fight that only considers the best and strong. It has grown into a survival for the fittest. Thus people end up having oversights and means strategically to help them (Lloyd).
Small and big groups have come up to cushion many of these effects. The youths, who are the most vulnerable, have ended up joining such groups. On the contrary, things still seem not to get better with these clustering as the means they try using also seem not to work, so this brings about the rivalry and increased inhumane activities as murder, robbery, fights and penalties. These groupings make the involved also seem secure as the spirit of togetherness seems to be appealing to many. All in all, the effects of life and the evolution of survival antics have resulted to the existence of gangs, outlawed groupings that engage in illegal activities such as robbery with violence, drug abuse, trafficking as well as killings for survival.
Different gangs engage in diverse activities as they use their malicious means to make things flow. Drug cartels are mostly involved in drug trafficking as well as making. These kinds of gangs are known to be widespread as the kind of illegal trade they are into is global in nature. Hard drugs that are expensive and very harmful make way both locally as well as overseas and across borders. These gangs have root in almost all sectors, from government offices, border points, security and police departments, streets, shops and even churches. They involve power and great wealth thus every one of such a gang will fight to the teeth to protect such, a very volatile avenue for violence. Examples of such are the Medellin cartel (Clifford, Bell and Wyllie).
To protect local interests, most young people from local gangs end up as street gangs. Such gangs are known to have jurisdiction in neighborhoods.They control and undertake in illegal activities in that area, and they will go out of their way to always protect their interest in theses place. Try invading then a problem ensues.
Poaching gangs and cartels are those gangs that trade in animal treasures that are forbidden. They kill wild animals for their horns, ivory, skin and teeth. These are then smuggled to the rich clients as game trophies for pride and prestige. Some consider such rare items as icons and medicine. These gangs are a threat to wildlife (Kahler, Roloff and Gore).
The roads are not safe too. Carjacking gangs are everywhere. Such gangs steal vehicles as their source of income. They use weapons, either crude or advanced to get it done thereby putting road users at great risk while driving. Are we safe? For the pedestrians, there exist the kidnappers who will go to any levels to ensure they get ransoms for the victims.
Not forgetting, there are the robbery gangs. These are the majority gang in nature. They engage in all sorts of stealing/mugging crimes. They range from robbing institutions like banks, shops all the way to pickpocketing. Some use sophisticated weapons as guns while some use knives.
Other gangs are Terror related; they engage in terrorism-related activities as being contracted for bombings and street shootings. They are often known as terror cells. Human trafficking gangs also exist. They participate in human trade. At the recipient side of gang’s activities, we have the drug users, car dealers, human trafficking cells that buy and sell trafficked children as well as buyers of the gang related things: they form their own gangs too.
With the existence of such gangs, safety and security are threatened. Everyone has to safeguard their source of livelihood, peace and resources. The governments seek to reduce gang related activities by all means. Gangs, on the other hand, are becoming more unconventional and tactical as they are now arming and finding more advanced ways of achieving what they want. The results of this are violence.
Violence, which is the act of intentionally using power aggression or position in one or many ways against self or others (groups or individuals) with a resulting effect of hostility, injury, death, torture, frustration and destruction, is one of the major results of having gangs. There exist a variety of gang-related violence’s: gang to gang, gang to law enforce, gang to the individual, individual to the gang, in gang violence and law enforcer to gang violence.
Gang to gang violence pertains to gangs engaging in fights amongst themselves. These leads to hostility towards rival gang members such as hostile raping, kidnapping, torture and killing. Such are executed in horrendous natures with a bid to scare other gangs. People are beheaded, amputated, scorched and burnt, property destroyed just to build fear. These acts are due to territorial evasion by other gangs, gang’s disagreements and feuds as well as deals gone sour.
Events as gang-related shootings become common whenever gangs engage. Drive-by shootings are high, stray shootings and killings also affect innocent civilians not involved in such gangs. With the gangs fighting, Law enforcers are forced to engage them so as to safeguard sanity and protect humanity, but this brings about gang raids that lead to arrest and killing of gang members as well as the murder of police officers by the gangs. Such acts spread all the way to the officer’s families as most gangs seek to eradicate the officer’s lineage. Is this humanity? This ties up as a gang-to-law enforcer violence and vice versa. In the line of duty, officers will seek to do right, but this affects gang business. In such many are devastated. Gangs, on the other hand, will keep grudges against enforcers thus leading enforcers to a life of fear, deaths and torment (Kouf).
People are left to survive by a leap of faith and holding life in their hands. Kidnappers and Human trafficking rings are smuggling kids to underground rings where they are forced to engage in unconsented sex, abuse, slavery and prostitution. This is not human but death to humanity amongst us. Ransom demands are also too high, and this leaves families in dire torment.
Not only humans but wildlife violence is a significant cause extinction of rare animal species like the white rhino of Africa and elephants. Thanks to poachers who kill and maim these animals with a bid to get game trophies.
Is there a solution to all this? Government and institutions have emerged with ways of trying to reduce and curb gang related activities and violence. Gang Units have to be established within most police units to concentrate and fight gangs over-cropping. These are tactical units that use advanced skills and training so as to suppress gang activities and help restore peace, security and safety. Such units are like Anti-Narcotics, Community mobilization, Gang Prevention, Prosecution and Probation units and Gang education units.
Social and economic education programs have been established to help keep individuals off gangs. In the USA, Los Angeles, County schools have started pilot programs as the Gang Risk Intervention Programme (GRIP) which helps rehabilitate youths who have a gang-related past.
Through education systems, implementation of better curriculum that helps decrease truancy, improve grades and increasing graduation rates plus building self-esteem assist in decreasing risk of gang involvement. Communities are also assisting by helping law enforcers getting rid of drugs and gangs within their neighborhoods. This is a door to door activity that goes a long way in eradicating gangs.
Gang Intervention programs are key in solving gang-related issues and challenges (Boyle). Clearly brings out that most 14 to 25-year-olds are pushed into gang activities due to various reasons as bad role models who are gang members, bad parenting, drugs, forceful initiation and failure of schools to curb cropping gangs in school. He brings out strategies of preventing such. Social awareness and programs to help youths leave these gangs prove to work. Movies are mostly used to depict such lives.
From the onset, gangs are very dangerous and prove to be a very expensive scourge to eradicate. Steps to eradicate gangs need to be implemented with great speed, or else gangs will grow bigger every day. Implemented solutions should also be sustained to have the positive impacts to take the course.
Boyle, Greg. Tattoos on the heart. New York, NY: Free Press, 2010.
Clifford, E, J Bell and J. H Wyllie. “Surgical aspects of drug smuggling.” BMJ 296.6631 (1988): 1258-1258.
Kahler, Jessica S., Gary J. Roloff and Meredith L. Gore. “Poaching Risks in Community-Based Natural Resource Management.” Conservation Biology 27.1 (2012): 177-186.
Kouf, Jim. Gang related (1997). Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2003.
Lloyd, J. D. Gangs Wars. 1st. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press, 2002.