+ ++ Social media makes it too easy for Latino gang members to talk guns and violence | Latina Lista
Palabra Final

Social media makes it too easy for Latino gang members to talk guns and violence

Social media makes it too easy for Latino gang members to talk guns and violence

LatinaLista -- If the amount of violence was gauged by news headlines, then the prevalent assumption would be that violent crime is on the rise.

It's not.

At least, not according to the 2012 US Census Statistical Abstract.

The total amount of violent acts in the US is at its lowest level -- 429,000 in 2009, (the most recent year for information) as opposed to 2008 when 458,000 violent crimes were reported.

Yet, the average person who listens to the daily news wouldn't know that. Just like anyone who happened to be surfing Facebook or MySpace and came across pictures of Latino young people posing with guns would automatically assume they're looking at profile pics of gang members or drug dealers.

Unfortunately, they could be right.

An article in the Washington Post tells of how law enforcement uses social media sites to track down gang members and drug dealers. Evidently, it's pretty easy.

In almost all the social media sites, these young people are either posting something about weapons or pictures of themselves with weapons.

The officers frequently come upon postings by members that threaten violence or refer to firearms, according to the lieutenant. "I got Dat 3 5 7, so don't try your luck," one teen wrote in a posting describing a .357-caliber handgun in his possession, according to Pavlik.

The article talks of pictures posted by these teens on their social media pages. One was of a boy sitting at a dinner table with a woman believed to be his abuela -- he was holding a shiny black gun. Officers determined it was plastic.

The comfort level that some Latino teens have with guns is not just disturbing but frightening. It's frightening because guns, to these teens, aren't just a fashion accessory to pose with -- they're a status symbol to prove how tough they are.

And that's bad news in light of the national gang threat assessment for 2011 which says that gang membership has increased 40 percent in just two years. Of course, that's not only Latino gangs but it doesn't quite matter when the weapon of choice of any gang member is anything with a trigger and a barrel.

Though officially the violent crime rate is reported to be on the decline, there are enough stories every day of young people getting shot by someone of their own age that it makes one wonder if there is a disconnect between Washington and urban pockets across the country.

Yet, what's more important, is that the disconnect between some parents and their children can no longer go on.

No longer can parents accept their children's explanations for why they're "out in the streets" at all hours of the day instead of at home sleeping or studying.

No longer can parents sit idly by as their kids tat up their bodies.

No longer can parents ignore their gut instinct telling them they're kids' new friends aren't good for them to be around.

No longer can parents say nothing as they see their kids become more fascinated with guns and violence.

And no longer should parents ignore their kids' social media pages.

(Editor's note: Latina Lista has accepted participation in the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters' mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the US media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.)

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Palabra Final

More in Palabra Final


DHS Secretary speaks out about deportation raids as children and parents are rounded up

Latina ListaJanuary 4, 2016

Video: How one teacher keeps dreams afloat for the children of migrant farmworkers

Latina ListaDecember 16, 2015

Video: What would the U.S. look like under a Trump directive of mass deportation? Beyond scary!

Latina ListaDecember 11, 2015

Commentary: Latino Access to Meaningful Political Representation at Stake in “One Person, One Vote” U.S. Supreme Court Case

Latina ListaDecember 8, 2015

Commentary: Turning our backs on migrant children isn’t solving the immigration issue

Latina ListaNovember 16, 2015

Bienvenidos to our world, Mainstream Media

Latina ListaOctober 29, 2015
2_296_d6621b19-72a4-419e-9ea7-c40d27751c26 (1)

The Deportation Of Innocence: A Look At America’s Broken Immigration System

Latina ListaOctober 21, 2015
Extended Family Group In Park

New analysis of generational differences hints to a different future for Latinos

Latina ListaOctober 5, 2015

Video: An American House where the homeless and undocumented find safe refuge

Latina ListaSeptember 17, 2015