How are gangs, crime and street life interconnected and why should you be concerned about those things? After all, at first glance, they seem a world away from you and your busy family life in the suburbs.
Gangs are not a world away
Gangs are not a world away from you, but instead, they are moving to your neighbourhood. As you read these words, gangs are already in your kid’s school. What is the root cause of gangs and how will they find their members?
- Abuse in the home
- Single parent families
- Your child’s choice of friends at school
While I address many of those issues in my book, Breaking the Code, over the next few postings I will talk with you about some areas not included in that book. Also, I will go into greater detail about some areas that are included.
Insight is gained by learning
I encourage your interaction with my posting. Also, you should be aware that you will gain the most insight from these next postings if you have read my book.
It will give you the flavor and basic understanding needed to fully digest the gravity of the problem in today’s society. And it will teach you what you can do to protect your children when you are unable to physically stand beside them. There is a ruthless world out there.
Gangs are looking for a specific type of kid
The gangs are coming to a school near you and they are looking for kids to prey upon. The simple matter is that gang recruitment is not done on the street. Gangs do not look among existing criminals who already have drug habits or to those who are on the street because they have chosen a shiftless lifestyle.
Those types do not offer potential as a viable gang member. That’s because those types come pre-packaged with a lack of dependability due to their drug habits and laziness. Additionally, those types also come with a mindset that is not given to taking instruction. Finally, those types have an inherent independence that makes them less than malleable in their way of thinking.
Who makes the ideal candidate for gang recruitment?
The ideal candidate is:
- 14 to 18 years old
- Male (Females who get involved in the gang lifestyle generally do so through their boyfriends)
- Without a job
- Not involved any extracurricular activities or sports in school
- Not employed at least 20 hours a week
- A teenager who is bored and has time on his hands
- Gets mediocre to poor grades
- Living in a home with a single parent who does not spend a considerable amount of time with him
- Living in a home with domestic abuse of any nature or used to live in a home with such abuse
- Dissatisfied with his life
- Not actively engaged in conversations within the home about his plans for the future
If your son and/or the environment you provide falls into at least three of these categories, he is ripe for recruitment. That’s because each of these categories present the gangs with a tool into your child’s mind. The gang will talk to him about:
- Being a part of a brotherhood and about belonging
- Making lots of dollars and driving fast cars
- Having pretty women at his beck and call
- Wild parties and a carefree life
- Having power
- Dressing nicely
- How happy he will be
The gangs will pitch him about all the wonderful parts of gang life. However, they will never talk to him about the downside. They will leave out the dangers of getting stabbed or shot. Also, they will omit the fact that he will almost certainly end up in jail. Finally, they won’t talk about how gang life is forever, but forever will probably come before he is thirty.
How will your son meet members of these gangs?
He will meet them through other kids at school that are just cruising through life. These are kids with no dreams. They are kids with no plans to get anywhere and in no hurry to get to the nowhere to which they are headed. They might be the guys who are smoking weed or who are part of the current “cool set”.
Fear-mongering or warning?
Am I fear-mongering or warning you? What is the difference between the two? The difference is only in your ability to open your mind. Can you honestly look at your home and the environment that you provide? Can you honestly evaluate your son’s life for any of the warning signs that make him vulnerable?
If you can’t do that then I will pray for your son because without your help and involvement the only thing that can save him is prayer. If instead, you hear the “warning” you need to dig down into your heart and soul and make the required inspection into your life and your son’s life. I will also pray for you as you and your family wend your way through this very rewarding process.
In my next post I will have more on gangs, crime and street life. In the meantime, I encourage you to post your opinions on this discussion.