I have a student from the Hyde Park slum of Boston. He said he was the only young man not in a gang. Each day his grandmother prayed for him when we went out the door, and he prayed thanksgiving when he got home safely. He now has a scholarship to study a world away in lovely Danville. He should be able to graduate and do good things in the world.
His part of town is not the worst section of Boston. Another student of mine had a cousin shot to death in Dorchester. It was the third cousin she had lost that way in a year. When I asked her if she knew why it happened, she sighed and said "Just ... stupidness." The dead man may have said something at some earlier time about a girl. A group of guys walked up as the young man was talking to his pregnant girlfriend and her mother. They beat him up, then shot him. Even with all that information, this murder may remain unsolved, like the others in her family. She said the police and the press are likely to report this as a gang killing, but gangs, she said, are old news in her neighborhood. There used to be gangs, as there still are in Hyde Park. They provided a measure of protection for those in them and order in the neighborhood.
Dorchester has fallen below even the level of gangs. Now there is no order -- all the young men can be assumed to be armed ("have hammers"), and are likely to "roll up" on anyone for any reason or no reason. Dorchester wishes it still had gangs. Now it is just anarchy.