Gang Violence, Personal Reflection Essay

Published: 2022-04-08
Gang Violence, Personal Reflection Essay
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Violence Gun violence
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1188 words
10 min read

Gang violence is an issue which has been in existence for a long while, and people have been trying to find out ways in which they make sure that people are peaceful in the society. The gangs have missions to accomplish, and in that case, they use force since the government and the relevant authorities are never ready to allow them in that matter. The gangs have leaders who issue commands that are supposed to follow to the latter. Those who do not follow them are punished harshly so long as they are members of the group. The members are therefore obliged to do everything that comes from above as that is what they are recruited to do. I have had some experiences when it comes to gang violence, and the visions that I had are still clear in my mind.

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First of all, focusing on the reading on "Homies and Hermanson: God and Gangs in Central America" by Robert Brenneman, most of the people who take part in gang violence usually are idle and jobless. While growing up, I lived in a neighbourhood where the youth lost their lives daily because they were participating in activities that were not allowed by the law. Some of them were drug dealers while others took part in a robbery with violence. All that they wanted was to get what they wanted to satisfy their needs forcefully. The gang came to our homestead, and they asked for money and all the electronic devices, and they were ready to kill of us if we refused to give out whatever they wanted. Before uttering a single word, they shot one of my siblings on the head, and he lost his life instantly. The gang did that as a way of proving the fact that they were violent and they meant what they said. We did not have any option but to give them all that they wanted. That operation rendered us homeless because they even went to the extent of burning down the house as they were running away from the police who had already received news on what was taking place.

Brenneman (2012) states that the gang leaders normally influence the young people who have not made it in life and also live in economically deprived environments to join them. The young people are normally lured with many promises and agreements that are oriented towards changing their lives for the better. The young men who join the groups end up not getting anything that they were promised as they are forced to engage in murder activities to be able to get something for themselves. Joblessness is an issue that contributes to gang violence as the people usually want to be at par with the rich without working hard for the things that they steal. This can be understood from strain theory of crime. This theory is on the notion that people commit a crime when they find themselves straining to get social amenities and resources which are not readily available. In that case, they opt to take part in crime as that is the only they will able to evade the barrier that prevents them from being wealthy as they desire.

My best friend (Jef) was one of the members of the gangs that were harassing people in the society, and he was doing this out of shame. This was complete proof of what Brenneman stated as he was explaining the reason why people join the gangs. Jef did not complete his journey of education, and he was ashamed of the way people despised him saying that he was a disgrace to the society. Jef was always on the front line when it came to gang operations as he wanted to oppress those who were talking ill of him. Also, Jef wanted to prove the fact that he was the best in the society regardless of the fact that he was not well educated. At the same time, he took his time to assess himself and left the gang out of shame as the society was not backing up his activities. From this action, I came to learn that gang violence is all about the mind and things that it wants. That revelation has changed me because I have been in the same situation as Jef (passively) but the kind of experiences that I learned through his life made me stay clean as I already saw the repercussions of those who were found guilty of gang violence.

Brenneman (2012) still outlines some of the people who took part in the crime in central part of America and had a significant influence on the youth and adolescents of his time. "JJ" is mentioned as a commonly known "ranflero" gang leader who ordered his people to execute war and attacks on some innocent communities. JJ's story began while he was still a small child who grew up in a low-income family that was full of abuse and he ended up taking part in gang-related activities while still at the age of nine. JJ's story was full of hardships and final redemption where he transformed and decided to take part in evangelical Christianity. This can be understood from the theory of crime that is based on learning. JJ was in a family that was full of violence, and he, therefore, learned how to take part in gang-related activities, and it became a part of him till the time when he decided to leave and take a new life track.

The fact that I lived in a society that had people taking part in gang violence made me find a way of enduring all the hardships that came in that line. I had friends who always lured me into joining their gang by giving me large amounts of money and property, but luckily enough I did not give in to them. I still stuck to my principles since I already had an experience of one of my siblings being killed innocently. This was something that I would not want to do to anyone else. I have realized that the best thing is to follow JJ's footsteps into taking part in evangelical Christianity as that will reduce the rate of being idle and taking part in illegal activities and always colliding with the relevant authorities.

In conclusion, gang violence is just something that people engage in due to psychological problems. There are those who join the gangs because they have been living stressful lives and would want to make themselves clean and free again. There are those who join them to revenge on those who did them wrong while others still engage in gang violence because they have a feeling that they will be able to experience a change in life after getting money and property forcefully. It is commonly known that no gang has a positive intention and therefore there is a need to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of joining them. In most cases, people lose their lives in such operations, and that means it is good to stay clean and follow the provisions of the law.

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