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updated: 5/17/2017 8:14 PM

Collapse of the family is key to gang crime

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Having studied criminology for four years in college and having worked with young kids that committed murder and sold drugs, I was anxious to read your front-page article on the tragedy of young gun violence. I was hoping that finally, the real cause of this horrible violence would be highlighted for the people so we can collectively work together to improve things.

Sadly, it was not and the focus instead was on the fact that violent gangs welcome anybody vs. society which has rational standards of civilized behavior expectations.

Forty-five years ago in my criminology courses, the single biggest cause of crime with young people was being raised without a father. Statistically, 70 percent of kids raised without a father lived a life of poverty or a life of crime. In 1960, only 6 percent of America's kids were raised without a father. Today, 41 percent of all kids and 73 percent of black kids are raised without a father; almost a 700 percent increase.

Violent gangs are simply the substitute "father figure" for kids raised without a father and instead of teaching them civilized and responsible behavior as a good father would, gang leaders teach them how to commit murder and sell drugs. Knowing those facts, why is anybody surprised about the dramatic increase in violent kids and gun violence?

I can tell you that nothing is more tragic than looking into the eyes of a 13-year-old kid convicted of murder who has no compassion for his victim because he was never exposed to human compassion in his family. Until we have the courage to honestly deal with the collapse of the family in America, that tragic violence and the drug epidemic will continue.

Randy Rossi


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