Most Tracy citizens want and encourage their children and friends to be members of a gang. A gang? Now wait a minute before you draw the wrong conclusion.
Let me ask an important question: What kind of gang?
• A gang at school — one of the sports teams.
• A gang of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.
• A gang of youth groups at any of the churches.
• A gang at the Boys and Girls Clubs for sports, arts, crafts.
• A gang that is a choir at school or church.
• A gang at the library, participating in a book club or helping with homework.
• A gang that works with service and fraternal organizations to help the needy and less-fortunate in our community.
The list of gangs can be endless, and there’s something for everyone.
Why a gang? Youths want to be accepted and loved in a brotherly way and experience companionship. Feeling inside a group is addictive, and they want to act however the gang directs.
There are ample opportunities available to youths in all of these groups, and others as well.
The one gang that is not wanted or accepted in any way is the gang whose purpose is to steal, rob, beat, shoot and kill. The future of a young person in this type of gang is a dead-end: jail or death. In recent weeks, these outcomes have become tragically clear in our town.
The choice is up to the youth of Tracy. They need to think long and hard about what kind of gang they want to join — and what kind of life they want to lead.