The world comprises of two kinds of people – people who live in America and people who wish they lived in America. ‘The country of dreams,’ bears an allure over everyone – from holiday-goers to those looking to accomplish their dreams; like the illegally immigrated Mexicans. However, this romanticization conceals a few hard to swallow facts. Crime rates in the United States of America are just as high – if not more – as the rest of the world. Citizens there are still confronted with the same crimes that people in other countries are. To elucidate, here’s a list of the most common crimes in America –
10. Motor vehicle theft
In the land of limos and Audis, people get their vehicles stolen on a frequent basis. Regardless of how safe you think your beloved vehicle is, the possibility of it getting stolen always remains wide open. In a single year alone, over two hundred thousand cases of motor vehicle theft are reported. A substantial number of these thefts also go unreported. All this just goes to show that owning a vehicle in the US can often cost more than just the marked price. But when it gets stolen, the solution is simple for the Americans – just buy another.
9. Domestic violence
This involves not just assault by either of the spouses on the other, but also infliction of violence on other family members like kids. Ironically, records of domestic violence are one of the worst in the nation that is reputed for valuing and upholding human rights. Though such incidents are often just consequences of frustration and anger in American citizens, it’s a shame that it is the family that has to bear the brunt of this rage. Domestic violence not only hurts people physically, it can also leave a permanent mental impression on the victims. Young children being assaulted leads to cases of depression, which creates further predicaments such as alcoholism and drug addictions.
8. Underage drinking
Alcohol flows in USA like water flows in the Nile. Everyone in the US loves drinking. People drink at parties, at celebrations, at dinners, at pubs, at discos, at funerals; point being, at every conceivable place and occasion. Drinking regulations are so lax in the country that alcohol is often served to underage customers without any hindrance. Though the law says that underage drinking is a crime, the activity has become so ubiquitous that it has now become an accepted part of the American culture. Minors are caught every once a while, they are eventually released and the first stop they make is at the bar again.
7. Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault is defined as an attack with the intent to cause grave injury to another and can often involve a weapon. These are crimes based on the bulwark of revenge, hatred and animosity and are directed towards the weak, who are unable to defend themselves. In a sorry state of affairs, aggravated assaults account for about seven percent of the total crimes in America. These can range from acts of physical aggression out of racism, sexual assaults and even violence arising out of mob action. Though the country’s police tries hard to put a clamp on such vile acts, such violence is inevitable till people change themselves.
If there’s anything worse than just assaulting a human being, it is assaulting and raping the person. One of the most abominable crimes on this list, rape is unforgiveable and cannot warrant any justification. There are around one hundred thousand people who are raped every year in the US and ninety nine percent of these victims are women. Only twenty five percent of these rapists are arrested. This crime is even more ubiquitous than smoking in the country. The trouble is that the present laws in America are far less than enough to be a disincentive for rapists. If the situation has to be improved, these laws and the police forces have to be strengthened.
5. Fraud and Racketeering
These come in more shapes and forms than a Boggart, ranging from the likes of banking and ATM frauds and education frauds to internet frauds, business scams and investment scams. A plethora of these affect lives of citizens by falsely involving them into schemes and never giving them anything in return. On a macro-scale, the name of Bernie Madoff comes to mind to illustrate the extent to which these frauds can go. The man concocted the biggest scam ever in the history of time by conning sixty-five billion dollars from innocent investors. Anything for money; as they say.
Sex sells and it sells well. Americans are more than willing to pay for casual intercourse with women who will oblige them in return for payment. Prostitution is prevalent in different forms; either as brothels, street prostitution or the deceptively named ‘escort services.’ However, with the exception of Nevada, which permits legal prostitution in some forms, prostitution is considered against the law in all the other states of the United States of America. Prostitutes are a temptation for married people too. This trouble is worse in cases of underage prostitution; where minors are often forced into the business. But the question of whom to criminalize – the prostitutes, the customers, or both – still remains an unanswered conundrum.
Call it what you like, what this means is to dishonestly take away from someone something that isn’t rightfully yours. From petty incidents such as shoplifting to large-scale bank heists, the figures of thefts occurring in America are so staggering that it is virtually impossible to keep a tab on them. And due to the aforesaid reason neither can the law enforcement agencies do anything about it. This situation has budded in the country because of the unfortunate socio-economic circumstances that people find themselves in. Unemployment is rampant, people are out of jobs, earning money for three square meals a day is an arduous task, and it is due to these conditions that people resort to stealing. The situation is exacerbated owing to the glorification of theft and burglary through pop culture – such as movies and television shows – which bear a great influence on naïve viewers. It’s deplorable that the circumstances have been so dire that Americans are now accepting theft as a part of everyday life.
Manufacture, trade, trafficking, consumption; every aspect of drugs in declared illegal by the law of America. The country has an official policy of ‘war of drugs’ – that is how bad the condition has become. There is a separate section of the police department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, which functions solely for preventing drug misuse. There are a plethora of drugs that are haunting the country today – heroin, cocaine, LSD, steroids, methamphetamine and so on – the list is never-ending. Despite its best efforts, the authorities have been thoroughly inept at solving this problem. A libertarian minority also believes that the fight against drugs itself is worthless because people should be allowed to choose what is right for them and what is not. At the end of the day, the fight rages on – with a conclusion far from sight.
Taking away someone else’s life without a justification; the worst and the most common of the lot. Murder is based on a simple philosophy – of placing your own life over that of another. Americans do it all the time, without a reason, without considerations for morality and without understanding the repercussions of the act on the remaining members of the family. And these just aren’t random incidents such as school shootings, acts of self-defence or racially motivated killings. The problem goes a lot deeper because it is an ideology that the US Government itself seems to embrace. The Government justifies killing innocents while ‘battling terrorism,’ it validates murdering civilians of other nations in during the occupation of Iran and Afghanistan and it seems to advertise it when murder furthers its own selfish motives. It can safely be said that this problem isn’t localized only to the American citizens; it pervades the Government too. And nothing that be more pitiably than that.