Summary of the Missing Piece to the Gang-Violence Debate

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Summary of "The Missing Piece to the Gang-Violence Debate" In the essay "The Missing Piece to the Gang-Violence Debate" (Ottawa Citizen, 2005), Dan Gardner argues that governments continuously fail to grasp the final piece to what is at the stem of most gang related violence. Gardner examines the factors of gang violence, which range from "fatherless families... and a soft-touch criminal justice system"(234) to "racism, poverty... and too many guns"(234). These factors are only those that have been acknowledged and addressed by governments. Gardner uses a direct example to emphasize what he believes to be the "missing piece" in the debate, this example is from Mexico. Mexico has become one of the world's largest stages for gang related violent outbursts in the recent years. Gardner relates this directly to the high presence of the drug cartels and the huge drug trade originating from Mexico. He claims that government is wrong because the only solution any political group has drawn has been to increase law enforcement. Gardner argues that to eliminate the drug trade we cannot simply boost law enforcement, but we must look at it from a non-political standpoint, he suggests an economic perspective. From an economic perspective there appears to be no guaranteed way to dismantle the drug trade, it is a market within itself and therefore runs on boom and bust cycles. Gardner examines the works of Jeffrey Miron and concludes that unless politicians acknowledge the "[link] between violence and prohibition" (235) that eventually Canadians will have to deal with the exposed violence that Mexicans know all too well by now. Throughout the essay, Gardner writes of potential solutions of how to find the key to controlling gang-violence. Each solution he provides he also provides evidence to dispute the effectiveness of that idea. Gardner develops his ideas in a cause and

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