Do you think that gangs only affect each other or do they affect the community too?
Based on interviews and research, It is clear that gangs cause a great deal of harm to the community either emotionally or physically.
To begin, it has been proven that gangs cause a plethora of emotional harm to the community. This is true because when innocent people experience gang violence whether they see it happen to someone else or they happen to be in the crossfire it creates emotional harm. In an interview with an Oakland resident he explained how he felt after witnessing a gang shooting, “ I first heard gunshots when I was inside then my dad told me to call him to come inside. But when I looked outside he was on the ground, bleeding, screaming for help. I was mad that there was nothing I could do. I was scarred.” This proves that gangs cause emotional harm to the community because they didn’t expect for this to happen to them because they weren’t involved in any gangs themselves. This also proves that gangs affect the innocent people in the community that don’t do anything to get affected by them. These kinds of experiences may be the ones that cause for people to get PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which is a disorder where you can’t recover or forget about experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. These kinds of experiences are the ones which may change the rest of their lives. To add on, In an interview with a different Oakland resident she said, “ When I heard the gunshots, I saw my life flash between my eyes. I thought I was going to die that day. It hasn’t been the same since.” This once again proves that the community has to sometimes pay for what gangs do. In this case it almost cost her her life. This may also lead to PTSD which explained earlier or any other mental illness like OCD ( Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ) or Anorexia. In conclusion, it is very clear that gangs or gang violence cause a great deal of harm to the community.
Secondly, it has been proven that gangs cause a load of physical harm to the community. This is true because when gang violence doesn’t only hurt the people in gangs but it may hurt any bystanders who are close enough to the act to understand what’s going. For example, in a interview with a Oakland resident they said,“ I never thought going to a party could be this dangerous. I also never thought that going to that party was going to end like this, with me being in a wheelchair, paralyzed for the rest of my life.” This quote proves my point because he had gone to that to have fun, spend time with family, enjoy his life. But he never knew that he would get shot. He wasn’t involved in any gangs, he didn’t have anything to do with the shooting. He was still shot and now he’s paralyzed and it will have an effect on his life that he won’t be able to change. To add on, In the article 16 Arrested In Oakland Gang Violence Crackdown by CBS they said,“ Police said one well-known victim of the gang violence was 3-year-old Carlos Nava, who was killed in the 6400 block of International Boulevard at about 1:10 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2011, in a shooting that prosecutors said was carried out by two 69th Village members who were targeting two 65th Village members.” This shows how the community is affected by the acts of gang violence. A innocent 3 year old boy who got shot by a gang member trying to shoot another gang member. This is how the community is getting affected by gangs a innocent 3 year old boy died due to gang violence. In conclusion, it is very clear that gangs can cause physical harm to the community.