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Gangs: Until There's An Answer

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254 words
Social Issues

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Gang related incidents have been a chronic problem throughout the
United States for several years now. Los Angeles, perhaps the area most
troubled by gang violence in the country, is once again in the news. On
September 17, 1995, 3-year-old Stephanie Kuhen was with her younger brother,
2-year-old Joseph Kuhen when the driver of the car taking them home made a
wrong turn early Sunday morning. Gang members surrounded the vehicle,
blocked the driver's escape and opened fire. Stephanie Kuhen was killed
and Joseph was shot through the ankle. Currently, there are four members
of the gang known as the "Mexican mafia" in custody. Los Angeles Police
Chief Willie Williams called the gang "vicious," saying they have
"terrorized" the neighborhood for years1. On September 27, 1995, the Los
Angeles Times printed one response to the shooting written by two
emergency physicians, H. Range Hutson MD, and Deirdre Anglin MD, who were
deeply saddened by the shooting.
The strongest argument presented in the letter written by Hutson
and Anglin was that unless the root causes of gang formation are
effectively addressed, and gang access to illegally obtained firearms is
nullified, gang violence will continue. The claim was presented in such a
fashion that, while based on widely accepted ideas, an appeal to the
emotions through sympathy for the injured children was also applied. To
justify their claim, statistics such as 28 children under the age of 10
were murdered between 1987 ...

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