Gangs and Gangs Violence
By Aleena Khan

June 20th, 2009.
Whenever I think of New York City, before the hustle and bustle of the city, the Statue of Liberty, and the fashion magazines come to mind, all I see in my head are people getting mugged and assaulted in narrow alleys, gangs strutting around and creating havoc. New York City is notorious for its gangs and gang violence, but countries like Pakistan are not further behind in this regard. Some believe MQM to be the most famous gang of Pakistan. They say it started off as a political party and ended up killing lots of innocent people through ethnic violence. There are also other gangs like the KSF and PSF who have their own underground gang mafia system.
It has been observed that the most common cases of gang violence are seen through youth gangs. There are many reasons why gangs, especially those formed of young people are created. Youth in search of a sense of belonging and commitment, in need of recognition and power, turn to gangs or create their own. They want people to realize that they are powerful and also want to experience the feeling of self-worth. It is sad that the youth of today are unable to turn to their families or friends to help them face their problems and end up ruining their lives by joining gangs. When teenagers do so, they tend to distance themselves from their family, drop out of school and start focusing on vices such as drugs, sex and violence. Craving attention, needing protection, people join gangs without realising the amount of damage joining a gang can do for them.
Joining a gang forces you into doing things you might not necessary believe in, but in order to remain a part of the gang, you must go against your personal choice. Not following the rules or doing the activities your gang is well known for is possibly the worst thing you could do. If you do so, you should be prepared to be hunt down and killed by your fellow gang members. And if you do choose to comply with everything you are told to do, you end up doing illegal activities and activities that are morally wrong as well.
Gangs have been around for thousands of years. The Free Masons seem to be the longest running gang in the world. Dating back to 1200 A.D. the Free Masons have controlled the religious and political sects of England, France, Italy, and the U.S. In the past, we have seen four types of gangs. Most of the gangs today seem to be based on the same type of ideology as those four. The first one is that of secret societies and gangs of oppressed groups like the Triads, Camorra and the Italian Mafia. The second, gangs of the Wild West and the tradition of highwaymen. The third is that of racist gangs, Ku Klux Klan being one of the most famous. The last one being the voting gangs that started off in New York City. Today, there is not much difference between the illicit and illegal activities of the gangs of the past as compared to the ones of today.
Not only does the concept of gangs still remain today, but its popularity has increased and the rate of people joining them is on the rise. Racism, poverty, lack of a support system, and of course the influence of media are causes for the increase in the number of gangs all over the world.
Gang members do not just harm themselves by ruining their personal lives, but also harm those around them through gang violence. Gang members will stop at nothing to sell their drugs for a profit, even if it means that they have to hurt or kill someone. Even their parties usually end in fights due to either disputes or because they are merely drunk. If you ‘mess’ with the gang, they will do absolutely anything to get revenge. It sad that gang violence is on the rise and that 39% of teens know someone who has been shot before, while 37% of teens know someone they can get guns from.
The fact of the matter remains that gang violence is something that is affecting the whole society in a negative manner. The only way it can be stopped is if gangs are cracked down upon. In Pakistan, Karachi was infamous for ethnic and sectarian killings. It is now slowly becoming infamous for gang violence too as they have brought a new dimension to the city’s crime profile. Before the situation in Pakistan starts getting out of hand, some action must be taken as soon as possible. We do not want it becoming the next US or Mexico.

Sources:
http://gangresearch.net/Archives/UIC/Courses/history/beforethrash.html
http://www.violencepreventioninstitute.org/gangs.html


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