The Cause and Effect of Joining a Gang with reference to Mara Salvatrucha 13

1200 WordsApr 23, 20195 Pages
The Cause and Effect of Joining a Gang with reference to Mara Salvatrucha 13 According to the Cambridge Dictionary (n.d.), a gang is defined as, “a group of criminals that work together.” Gangs are a powerful force that is a constant threat against society. As of 2011, the National Gang Center (n.d.) estimates there to be 782,500 gang members in the United States alone. Mara Salvatrucha 13, also known as MS-13, is one of the biggest and most threatening gangs. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) (n.d.) believes Mara Salvatrucha 13 to have an estimated 10,000 members in the United States and several thousand other members in Central America. Joining a gang is justified by the need for protection, money, and promoting a…show more content…
A gang takes care of its members and ensures they have the opportunity to live comfortably. Regarding protection and money, joining a gang such as Mara Salvatrucha 13 is the ideal choice of “occupation” for an immigrant. The final categorical reason to join a gang is to promote one’s self image. Self image deals less with the concept of surviving and more directly with personal choice. Joining a gang is not necessarily the most logical decision or worth the consequences, but it appears cool, tough, and obligatory to certain individuals, especially to residents in the cities. Tattoos, graffiti, specific clothing articles, and hand signs are some of the most common ways gangs identify themselves. According to HIDTA (n.d.) Mara Salvatrucha 13 members commonly have MS-13 or MSXII tattooed somewhere on their bodies. Bigger tattoos generally represent greater gang involvement (n.d.). Graffiti of similar symbols to the gang’s tattoos are used to mark their territory. With regards to attire, a blue or black bandana around the wrist, head, or neck is often associated with Mara Salvatrucha 13 members (n.d.). Members like wearing blue sports jerseys of a player with the number thirteen, three, or twenty-three (n.d.). Air Jordan hats are worn because the logo resembles their hand sign, “devil horns,” which is a modification of the “rock on” sign (n.d.). The thumb holds

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