Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Primary Source My brother's friends were over one day and I thought I would ask his friend Kai about why teenagers join gangs, because he was in a gang himself, from what my brother had told me. So here is how the interview went, the questions and answers.

What kind of person do you consider a gang member? Anyone who hangs around the same type of people who starts flashing gang's signs. Such as throwing up hand signs and wearing a color on their head. What comes to your mind when I say the word gang? Fights because there are not all the same gangs, there are rivals.

Do you know anyone else in a gang? Of course, everyone I know except John ( my brother) and some of his friends.

What kinds of gangs have you heard of? TLR ( Tiny Little Rascals), TRG ( Tiny Rascal Gangsters), VFB ( Vicious Franklin Boys), MOD (Masters Of Disasters), VPG ( Viet Pride Gangsters), DPH( Del Paso Heights) and a whole lot of others.

What are the steps of becoming a gang member? First you have to prove you loyalty, doing something they tell you to and then you get jumped in.

Why do you think people join gangs? Because they want to fit in and be protected.

Why are they attracted to gangs? Because they see a lot of people join it and feels as if it's like a family.

When would a teenager realize that it's not worth it? When someone dies or when someone they love get hurt.

Have this happen to you? Yeah, my brother got shot.

Why haven't you left, aren't you afraid you'll be next? I feel if I was going to leave, other gangs that I have done stuff to would do something to me and I have no protection.

How can they get out? They can't. To do so they will lose their life.