I have been watching a television show series lately called Dexter. It is about a guy who works for the Miami police as a blood splatter analysis. One of the crimes the police is trying to solve relates to gang violence and killings that have been occurring. All of the gang members have tattoos on their necks that say 39th Street Kings.
This got me thinking about gang tattoos, who gets them, and what they mean. According to gangink.com, gang members get tattoos to show their dedication to the gang, to show their beliefs about the gang, and in many cases the number of crimes or murders the have committed for their gang. Apparently gangs were amongst the first groups to start getting tattoos, but it wasn't to identify themselves as a unit. They would actually be forced by society to get the tattoos or markings to signify that they were a criminal But over time, gangs started to embrace these "criminal" tattoos, and add onto them to make them their own.
Gang tattoos can be honorable, but in some cases very dangerous. Gang tattoos in prison can signify a person's importance to the gang. But if someone has an unauthorized gang tattoo, members have been known to literally remove the tattoo from that individual by cutting it out of their skin. This can be dangerous for youngsters who see rappers with what they think are cool tattoos, then decide to go get the tattoo. When really, they do not know the meaning or the consequences of getting the tattoo in the first place.
Before deciding to get a tattoo, you must first understand the meaning of what you are getting. This is true for anyone getting a tattoo. Since tattoos are permanent, it is important to know exactely what they mean, so you know what kind of message you are giving off to other people.