Moms against gang violence have work cut out
Gang violence is all around us. Nearly every day we are reminded how a life in gangs can turn tragic. In Tulare County, children as young as 12 have died because of gang violence. Many more are in jail because of their gang ties.
A group of mothers in Porterville is hoping to make a difference.
Mothers United Against Gang Violence is a grass roots effort to curb the cycle of young people getting in gangs, getting in trouble and then passing that lifestyle on to others. They have a huge task ahead of them, but we certainly hope the small group of mothers is successful.
Gangs have become a plague on both large and small communities in the county and efforts such as the Mothers United Against Gang Violence can only help. Porterville has a long history of gangs — Porros, but it has only been in the past 30 years that many of the local gangs have become affiliated with statewide gangs and those gangs have become much more violent.
Gangs are far more than a police problem. They are a problem of society and it will take grass roots efforts like Moms Against Gang Violence to turn the tide. When children as young as 11 are getting involved in gangs, it is parenting that is needed, not jail time. These children do not realize the path they are heading down until it is too late and too often, the parents don’t know what to do to keep their children from taking up with the gang.
Often, all those children need is a little more love and attention at home. Problems at home, especially broken families, are the main cause for children to get involved with gangs. But, we are beginning to see second generation gang members and that is especially disturbing.
Any success the moms have will help. If they keep just a handful of young people from beginning a life of gangs and crime, then they will have been successful.
We applaud their efforts and hopefully the community will lend a hand whenever it is needed.