Essay on Youth Gangs

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Youth gangs in North American society are nothing new. When we turn on the news we often hear stories of misguided youth contributing to yet another gang related crime. Even though it is known that youth crimes are overrepresented in the media today, the subject of youth gang activity is quite a predicament to our society. Over the last few years, there has been a moral panic created by constant exposure to the media which portrays a great amount of youth crimes and violence. In Canada there are large urban cities with high proportions of young people, many of which live in poverty, that now have the issue of dealing with youth gangs and youth crimes. Toronto, British Columbia, and Ottawa are examples of Canadian cities that have…show more content…
Although most of these gangs are a product of a specific neighbourhood, in recent years a number of predatory gangs have gone national, establishing "Franchises" far from their bases. Examples are the Bloods and the Crips, which both originated in Los Angeles, California, but can now claim members in many U.S. metropolises. In Canada, the problem of youth gangs is now closer to home. Compared to ten years ago, the problem is severely worse because of the increasingly frequent use of guns and other sophisticated weapons. Youth in the past commonly settled disputes that escalated to violence the old fashioned way - with fists, but now things are done differently. "Anybody who thinks the kind of violent incidents that kids face today is the same as 20, 10, or even five years ago is so out of touch…You rarely see one-on-one fights…It's gangs, it's weapons, and it's definitely more sophisticated in a brutal way." Nowadays with guns more in the picture, every gang member is a potential threat regardless of their size or strength because guns are the ultimate equalizer. A small 14 year old youth can now potentially use a gun to settle a dispute with a bigger and stronger 18 year old. This constant use of guns to settle disputes is causing deep fear amongst high school students in areas plagued by gang violence. In some areas in Toronto, the fear is so deep that students who witness gang crimes do not report

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