Low-level gang members barely make pocket change, said Carter Smith, a gang expert and assistant professor in the criminal justice department at Middle Tennessee State University.
Compare the structure of a gang to a fast-food restaurant. The local manager doesn't make much, but the guy who owns three or four McDonald's can do pretty well."The bottom line is it's business," Smith said. "It's just a matter of what risk you're willing to take."
Carter Smith, a parent and gang expert who lives in Franklin and works as a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, said parents who think their kids are immune because they live in an upscale neighborhood or don't fit the typical gang-member profile may be at risk of losing their sons or daughters to gangs."
People in a gang may target them because they have a car, they have money, and they have accesses to places the members of the gang may not have," Smith said.