Well, I live in Canada but this affects us too one way or another. Several years ago, there were some arrests here in Toronto of Mara Salvatrucha members.
I respect their struggle (the gangs that is.) I respect them because I know that is not a life anyone really wants. Through messed-up circumstances (broken families or simply dysfunctional ones) one may end-up in a gang. Once in - you're in it most of the time for the rest of your life.
It is a screwed-up opinion in my opinion to give-up on life like that. Gangs never get anywhere really. If they understood that, all would dissolve immediately.
The system in which we live wants gangs though. The private prisons and jails are posted on Wall St. - the more inmates a prison has, the higher the share will be worth. Plus, jail-bird are used like slaves too - they work for next to nothing, making people profit. Owning a jail/prison is a big business; nobody really cares to get these guys straightened-out. How many people can say that they have tried walking-up and talking to a gang member in their lives?
(Amigo, welcome to Hubpages.)