Gang problem

Dear Editor:Eric Pierce writes that Fr. Greg Boyle was preaching a message of cohesiveness between communities and that all the young men in gangs are pushed into them and that "no hopeful kid joins a gang." ("Fr. Greg Boyle Preaches Hope, Love at Luncheon," 4/14/11) We are expected to believe that these young men are forced to embrace the gang lifestyle, complete with tattoos and wearing of the gang clothes and including themselves in illegal enterprises such as drug distribution and even murder. Yet again we are asked to believe that it is society which has pushed them into this life. If that is the case then why do so many others refute this life, while others embrace it? I guess I am supposed to understand that they are just a product of their environment but if they had jobs they would move from those neighborhoods which has forced them into the gang life, remove their tattoos, refuse to wear the clothes and pride themselves in their past gang affiliation. If that is the case then why do we have a gang problem in Downey? Where is the hopelessness here? I am not saying that Fr. Boyle's project is not commendable and that he fully believes and is committed to it; it is the gang members' commitment that I question. I am just not convinced that giving money would be the answer to the gang problem. Why are we expected to pay for their bad life choices? I still believe that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. So let us see their commitment before we are asked for ours. -- Ed Romero, Downey

********** Published: May 5, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 3