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Gang life: It’s a killer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recenty released statistical information about gang homocides in five cities in the United States. They analyzed data from 2003-2008 when 856 young people died in gang violence. No surprises, but sad just the same.

  • Five cities met the criterion for having a high prevalence of gang homicides: Los Angeles, California; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Long Beach, California; Oakland, California; and Newark, New Jersey.
  • Gang homicide victims were significantly younger than nongang homicide victims in all five cities. Between 27 percent and 42 percent of the gang homicide victims were aged 15–19 years, compared with between 9 percent and 14 percent of the nongang homicide victims in this age group.
  • More than 90 percent of gang homicide incidents involved firearms in each city.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.