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Gang Violence Essay

1200 words - 5 pages

Gang violence only takes place in big, urbanized, poverty stricken, low class neighborhoods and does not have any effect on middle or upper class areas; or does it? The Mall of America shooting exemplifies how gang violence can erupt anywhere and that no part of society is immune to this problem. As the mall employee in the article states, 搚ou just can抰 be safe anywhere. Every time you turn around someone is being shot, or beat up, or killed.� Why are events such as the mall shooting so common? Why do these tragedies even take place? What is the motivation for people to engage in such immoral and delinquent behavior? Do people who commit crimes such as murder fit an exact stereotype? All of ...view middle of the document...

He is quoted as saying, 搃t used to be that violence was confined to big cities and bad neighborhoods. Now, every time you walk outside your door you think 慳m I going to survive the day.� Such a statement will inevitably instill fear among society members. The mall, which is generally considered a peaceful and safe place for people to go, may become a place that is considered dangerous. Second, there must be an increased level of hostility towards the category of people involved. Gang members are usually considered detriments to society and are generally the objects of hostility among people of the world. Let抯 face it; gang members are people we 搇ove to hate.� Third, there must be a certain level of agreement, a consensus, that there is a real, definite problem In this article, the problem of gang violence is seen as a substantial issue that must be addressed and there is a collective hostility aimed at people involved in gangs. As detective Martin states, gang violence has begun to take over the city, leaving no place violence-free. Fourth, moral panics are associated with some level of disproportionality. The amount of concern related to this incident maybe much greater than the problem really is. In this case, gang related murders at the mall may not take place on a frequent basis, but the media will no doubt blow this incident out of proportion. And Finally, moral panics are volatile, that is they develop suddenly and almost as sudden they disappear, although they may last for long periods of time. Only time will tell how long this panic among the residents of Bloomington, Minnesota will exist. When examining the question of why depressing events such as murder ever even take place, one must look at the people involved and how they came to become criminal. Sutherland抯 theory of differential association may help provide an explanation to the above question. Sutherland states that criminal behavior is not inherited rather it is learned through social interactions. Is it merely a coincidence that mentioned suspects in the article are best friends and both repeatedly engage in criminal behavior. The offenders in this article are described as being best friends who have a long, repeated history of law violation, beginning at age 11. In applying differential association theories to this article, it is not a coincidence that both suspects engage in the same deviant activities. Judging by their association with an intimate peer group such as a gang, they...

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