Rebuttal Argument- muggastackz

Cleary, crime in the United States will always continue to be around. It’s sad at the fact that people in society know that crime isn’t going to change because it happens more often than it should. Justifying the fact that crime rates are decreasing and crime is increasing but there are ideas that could potentially help change how crime is reported. More people in urban neighborhoods aren’t reporting a crime because they would be called a “snitch”. If people in the community are trying to help the situation, it will only continue to grow and get worst than what it is now.

Although crime will continue to happen, African-Americas make up a large population of people that are incarcerated for certain crimes. Automatically, they are targets in America and more so bound to do criminal activity. Growing up they were most likely introduced to gangs and weapons which allowed them to choose the lifestyle that was brought upon today. They are more likely to commit murders or homicides than white people do. Blacks are confronted more by the police because they are a threat to the community. A certain neighborhood can justify if a person will be either in jail or dead. Cities with high-crime control will have the most crime rates and crime because it is a natural effect on blacks in today’s society.

More people in society think that a violent city will have more violent and property crimes. Researchers found that “higher poverty levels are associated with higher crime levels.” When thinking about poverty, instantly it is found upon that there are more killings and robberies that are taking place at each second. It was found that this was only true for property crimes and not violent crimes. Now logically thinking,  it would make sense that violent crime is happening because certain gangs have feuds between them, or even accidentally killings are always happening in neighborhoods in poverty.  In an article, it states, “ Social disorganization theory argues that certain neighborhood characteristics—a low-income, transient population composed of people from different ethnic groups—”would lead to higher levels of crime, as this would weaken the structural bonds within a community” (Jacobs). Neighborhoods are big reasons on why certain crimes happen frequently than they should in areas. Many feel that crime will be reduced if criminals are starting to get convicted for their crimes and if the neighborhoods are starting to become more positive and have a better outlook on the community as a whole. If more neighborhoods have programs or events that can bring a community together than diminish them and allow them to create more violence. A positive neighborhood could reduce crime and property crime will start to decrease instead of increasing constantly.

Along with the fact that urban communities are diminishing people, the police force is also adding to crime rates in America. Cops are killing African-Americans due to police brutality in the world. These are obviously reported crimes because either victims or witnesses see this cruel activity and take it to social media or at least tell someone about what they saw. Now that police brutality is becoming popular in the past couple of years, police try to stay away from black neighborhoods to try to reduce conflict. Blacks tend to stay away from the police now because they see what happens to other people who are just like them. Since cops stay away from black neighborhoods, this means that crime is increasing.

They are staying away which means people in urban communities think that they can get away with anything because no one is reprimanding them. When people see police brutality happening in social media, this just encourages them to do criminal activity. Michael Barone, a writer for National Review states “Black Americans were the primary victims of the huge crime increase starting in the late 1960s, and they will be the primary victims again if the Ferguson effect continues to result in more homicides”(Barone).  Police officers break down people in the community which allows them to feel less than what they are. Resulting in the fact that police brutality is affected mental health, this also attracts people to do criminal behavior because they aren’t in the right state of mind. Police brutality is creating crime to increase. People in society demand more police to come in and help, but what is that going to do? Many theories have been tried to help bring police and people together. They have even tried to bring back certain models to maybe help reduce crime as a whole. This effect only created more people to go against this and it failed. We think that police are supposed to help when in today’s world they are defeating the purpose. If police brutality wasn’t as bad as it is, there wouldn’t be skyrocketing crimes happening.

There is clearly no way to get around the fact that crime is going to completely go to go away. Whether it may be a small or severe crime, it still classifies as a crime in the United States. People do senseless crimes that result with them getting arrested and added to the statistics. Crime will take its toll, however, a person will approach the idea. the number of crimes happening can definitely be cut down a lot. More reported crimes can help reduce the number of crime rates and also the amount of crime in America.

Rebuttal- Chemia

 

Restrictive Abortion Laws, More of a Hindrance Than a Help

 

Restrictive abortion laws, a solution that fails to exterminate its principal target and causes the appearance of monstrous phenomena in society. Due to its controversial nature, abortion has divided society in terms of differences of opinion. Many people who are against abortion have pointed out that abortion violates the right to life and that such practice should be strictly prohibited under all circumstances in order to protect the life of the unborn child. Different from common belief, the legalization of abortion does not increase abortion rates. Instead, it prevents women from accessing to clandestine procedures that expose them to death. Even when restrictive abortion laws exist, innumerable unsafe abortions are performed regardless of their legal and hygienic settings. Such laws fail to protect human life and causes a tacit form of discrimination in which women who live in poor communities are more likely to die as a result of unsafe abortion.

Some people believe that restrictive abortion laws are the most effective solution to evade abortion practices and to protect the right to life. For others, restrictive abortion laws are ineffective political and social regulations that fail to protect human life and are  unable of preventing women from accessing abortion regardless of their legal status. In the article “Why is abortion immoral,” Don Marquis, a professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas, states that abortion is a pure representation of murder in which the person who takes away the life of the unborn child is brutalized. For him and many others, the legalization of abortion causes an immoral situation in which human life is devaluated. If the main objective of establishing restrictive abortion laws is to protect human life, it is necessary to take into account not only the life of the unborn child, but also the life of the mother. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), restrictive abortion laws lead women to access clandestine abortion. Around 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, resulting in approximately 80,000 maternal deaths. Restrictive abortions laws fail to represent ethics and morality because of their abstract nature of putting in danger women’s lives.  The fact that the maternal mortality resulting from unsafe abortion is somehow an implicit consequence of restrictive abortion laws mean that these laws kills millions of women every year. This phenomenon must stop being invisible to society and must be taken into account when adopting restrictive abortion laws.  It is a matter of comprehending that establishing restrictive abortion laws increases the exposure of women to death during clandestine procedures.

It is undeniable that the ideal situation would be that abortion was part of fantasy. However, these situations occur in real life even if restrictive abortion laws exist. According to Susana Lerner and Agnès Guillaume, approximately 19 million unsafe abortions were carried out outside the legal system in the 2000’s. Among these clandestine procedures, it is estimated that about 4 million induced abortions were performed in Latin American countries, regions that present the highest abortion rates and where restrictive abortion laws are more severe. Restrictive abortions laws do not ensure the disappearance of abortion practices in society. It is estimated that abortion rates in Chile, Argentina, and Peru, countries where abortion is severely penalized, indicate that about 50 abortions are carried out for every one thousand pregnant women. At the same time, the abortion rates corresponding to countries with more liberal abortion laws, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland, show that for every one thousand women in pregnancy, about 10, or less, abortions are performed. The problem is whether the solution proposed, the establishment of restrictive abortion laws, successfully prevents abortions from happening or not. If the criminalization of abortion is  useless as a preventive mechanism and it is also the cause of additional deaths, restrictive abortion laws are not worth. To picture how ineffective restrictive abortion laws are, it is necessary to get rid of the misconception that liberalizing abortion laws instantly results in increasements in abortion rates.

Criminalization of abortion generates outrageous situations where women risk their lives accessing clandestine procedures and even performing self-induced abortion. Because there are no indications that abortion rates decreases with the establishment of restrictive abortion laws,  it is more likely that unsafe abortion rates will increase exposing women to death, especially those who belong to the lower social classes. Making abortion illegal creates an implicit situation of social injustice where women who belong to the highest social classes are more likely to access safe abortions because they can afford these procedures regardless of their legal status. A study conducted in the poorest rural areas of Nigeria, Asia, and Latin America indicates that about 73% of women who are part of the most marginalized communities practice self-induced abortions or obtain abortions from non-professional medical personnel. In their state of desperation to end unwanted pregnancies, many women belonging to poor communities are even willing to poison themselves. Lisa Haddad and Nawal Nour state, “Unsafe abortion methods include drinking toxic fluids such as turpentine, bleach, or drinkable beverages mixed with livestock manure.” Being this the case, in its attempt to protect and highlight the value of human life, restrictive abortion laws in fact are putting life itself at risk and creating a space of economic exclusion in which the lives of low-income women seem to be less valuable than the lives of those who belong to high socio-economic classes.

References

Don Marquis (1989).”Why abortion is immoral,” The Journal of Philosophy. pp. 183-202. Retrieved from http://faculty.polytechnic.org/gfeldmeth/45.marquis.pdf

Haddad LB, Nour NM. Unsafe abortion: unnecessary maternal mortality. Rev Obstetric Gynecol. 2009;2(2):122

Lerner, S., & Guillaume, A. (n.d.). Las adversas consecuencias de la legislación restrictiva sobre el aborto: Argumentos y evidencias empíricas en la literatura latinoamericana.

World Health Organization (WHO), (1998), Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality, Ginebra, WHO.

Warriner IK and Shah IH, eds., Preventing Unsafe Abortion and its Consequences: Priorities for Research and Action, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006.

 

 

 

Rebuttal- Alpacaqueen

A New Light On GMOs

I have yet to wrap my head around why such an immense amount of people still remain so opposed to food bioengineering. We live in a world where feats in science and technology are being made, and accepted, in a variety of fields on a daily basis, so why does it have to stop at food? Humans allow the phone in their pocket to emit electromagnetic radiation against their body everyday, yet when they see their tomatoes are labeled GMO, all bets are off the table. Most of this disapproval is simply from ignorance. I’m sure when the microwave first came out, many people refused to get within 500 feet of them, let alone allow one to heat foods in their own home. Modified foods and their sources may sound unfamiliar and scary, but I assure you the intentions behind their creators are benevolent. The most common issues leaving people reluctant against biotech foods is that they are worse for your health and the environment than their organic counterparts. Luckily, neither of these misconceptions are true.

As stated earlier, a majority of non-GMO bais simply comes from people’s lack of understanding on the subject. A recent set of polls conducted from May 10th to June 6th, 2018 from the Pew Research Center showed a good example of this. In the poll, it showed that 51% of Americans admitted that most or some of the food they eat contain GMOs, while the remaining half of subjects claimed that “not too much” or “none at all” of the food they eat contain GMOs. Among these results, the poll revealed that 65% of those that said they eat a good amount of GMOs have read a lot about genetically modified foods, while a whopping 75% of people who claimed they eat little to no GMOs admit they have read nothing about these foods. You would think these results would be the other way around if modified organisms were as terrible as some perceive them to be. Instead, the poll revealed that most of the people who are consuming GMOs have gathered a lot of information on them, while 75% of the people who stay away from these foods admitted to reading absolutely nothing about them. In another poll conducted by the New York Times, they asked people on Facebook about their opinion on gm foods, their results as follows:

Would you buy food with genetically modified ingredients if you knew they were in there?

Yes: 48

No: 429

Maybe: 19

Need More Information: 24

This survey revealed that 82.5% of people would not purchase foods if they knew they contained gm ingredients. Considering approximately three-fourths of foods in supermarkets are GMO, you may have a hard time getting around them, and have probably already purchased countless gm products without knowing so. Do not fear, however, this doesn’t mean you’ve killed the planet or will turn ill overnight.

Clearly, a large majority of people who reject biotech foods are so against them because they believe they pose a health risk to themselves or the animals consuming them. This is simply not the case. Thousands of studies have been done researching the long term effects of eating GMO versus organic foods, and many, if not all, of the results conclude that the subjects’ health were unaffected in either circumstance. As for animals, the same rings true. Researchers at the University of California looked at the health of over 100 billion animals after switching their diet from non-GMO to GMO and found no difference in their health. Many people believe that since non-organic foods are sprayed with pesticides, we’ll contract disease if we consume them. Also untrue. Believe it or not, organic foods also contain pesticides, and their consumption has no effect on human health. If anything, genetically modified foods are actually better for your health than organic. Many crops are being engineered to provide health benefits such as increased nutrient levels or aid in disease resistance. In one article by The Food Dialogues, they elaborate on this stating, “Today we have GMO soybean seeds that produce healthier soybean oils, eliminating trans fats and containing increased levels of Omega 3. Tomorrow we hope to have bananas in Uganda  that have up to six times as much Vitamin A.” Some scientists are even working to develop foods infused with antioxidants that could prevent cancer. If anything, we should be greeting biotech foods with open arms, not turning against them.

As for the environment, don’t place the devil horns on gm crops for this issue either. Contrary to popular belief, genetically modified foods are working to help the environment, not hurt it. GMOs require a much smaller amount of land to farm than organic, produce a greater yield on top of it and requiring much less water consumption. In one article by “GMOanswers” the piece explained, “Between 1996 and 2015, crop biotechnology was responsible for an additional 180.3 million tons of soybeans, 357.7 million tons of corn, 25.2 million tons of cotton lint and 10.6 million tons of canola, without having to bring more land into production. To produce the same amount of crops without GM technology, farmers would have needed to cultivate 48 million additional acres of land.” Many crops are even engineered to become drought resistance, not only saving water, but helping foods grow in countries where lack of rainfall posed as a critical issue.

 Now I know what you’re thinking, with the production of all that food must come thousands of pesticides killing the planet. You’d be mistaken. A great deal of gm crops are being engineered to already contain resistance to insects and diseases without the need of pesticide spray. Quinn Fucile in her article, “Is Genetically Modified Food Safe?” explains this in her statement, “One example is plants engineered to produce BT endotoxin, which is only harmful to insects and will only kill pests that try to feed on the crops. This protects other insects in the environment that may be useful, because farmers no longer have to spray and pesticide, it’s built into the plants.” Not only does this reduce harmful pesticide use that could otherwise damage surrounding land and rivers, but it also allows animal and insect biodiversity to remain abundant. The NonGMO Project even confirms, “More than 80% of all genetically modified crops grown worldwide have been engineered for herbicide tolerance.”

Hopefully I’ve been able to open the public eye, or at least one eye, to the countless benefits that genetically enhanced and biotech foods can bring to the table, and eliminated any prior misconceptions behind them. With all of these advantages that accompany these “new foods,” whether it concerns us or our environment, there is no reason they should be left in the dark any longer.

 

References:

Bittman, M. (2011, February 24). GMO Poll Results (and More). Retrieved October 31, 2018, from https://bittman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/gmo-poll-results-and-more/

Funk, C., & Kennedy, B. (2016, December 01). Public opinion about genetically modified foods and trust in scientists. Retrieved October 31, 2018, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/12/01/public-opinion-about-genetically-modified-foods-and-trust-in-scientists-connected-with-these-foods/

ModernAg. (2018, October 18). Searching for the Same Solution. Retrieved from https://modernag.org/innovation/gmo-solutions-benefit-environment/

Denialism, D. (2017, February 19). Five Ways GMOs Benefit The Environment – Debunking Denialism – Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@debunkingdenialism/five-ways-gmos-benefit-the-environment-c48eee7e2765

Manager, C. (2017, May 15). GMOs & The Environment. Retrieved from https://gmoanswers.com/gmos-environment

Haspel, T. (2014, October 27). The GMO debate: 5 things to stop arguing. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/the-gmo-debate-5-things-to-stop-arguing/2014/10/27/e82bbc10-5a3e-11e4-b812-38518ae74c67_story.html?utm_term=.0685b16218f7

GMO Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2018, from https://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/

Fucile, Q. (2015, April 02). Is Genetically Modified Food Safe? Retrieved from http://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/5299/20150402/is-genetically-modified-food-safe.htm

What Are the benefits of GMOs, Both Today and in the Future? (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2018, from http://www.fooddialogues.com/article/benefits-gmos-today-future/

 

 

Rebuttal — Wisemann101

Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) as part of euthanasia is one of the oldest points of contention in medical ethics. The original Hippocratic Oath forbids it, and many religions and societal traditions have rejected it since antiquity. In physician-assisted suicide, a suffering or terminally ill patient is aided by a certified health practitioner to get access to a lethal dose that the patient then administers on themselves. If the patient is incapable of doing so, they can request the physician to administer the lethal substance to end the patient’s life. The practice of physician-assisted suicide continues to raise debate as only five American states, a handful of European Countries and Colombia permit some form of doctor-assisted suicide. Even though many governments and organizations do not formally accept physician-assisted suicide as a standard medical practice due to ethical concerns, they should adopt it because it is a show of respect to individual civil liberties as provided by the right of every individual to choose what is best for them without government or societal interference.

Although physician-assisted suicide can be regarded as a sound practice, there are valid arguments against its application. First, the constitution recognizes the right to life, and when life and death are compared, life will take precedence (Sommerville, 2014). Allowing physician-assisted dying is a contradiction of the first liberty. It is also possible that legislating doctor-assisted suicide will be the first step on a slippery slope that will involve threats to the vulnerable as premature death is enacted as a cheap alternative for palliative care. This is true when one considers that a dose of euthanasia costs an upward of $50 and kidney failure treatment may cost an upward of $89,000 per year in the US (Steck, Egger, Maessen, Reisch, & Zwahlen, 2013). Unproductive and poor citizens will be targeted and this, again, goes against the right of every American to access quality healthcare. For some people, the contention is absolute and moral. Life is sacred and the suffering that comes with it till one dies confers its dignity and consequently, deliberately ending a human life is wrong (Sommerville, 2014). Finally, how long will it take before physician-assisted suicide becomes involuntary? When relatives approach a 92-year old man on life support and request them to sign the physician-assisted suicide forms, is that not indirectly violating their rights as they have no choice?

The views that physician-assisted dying is immoral and strips human dignity deserves some seriousness but, isn’t autonomy and liberty critical sources of human dignity as well? The right to choose certainly adds value to human life and people should not take a myopic view of ethics without analyzing the laws that make these ethics possible. In the society we live in where the state and religion are separated, it is queer to support the sanctity of life abstractly by exposing particular individuals to unbearable pain, suffering and indignity that comes from some terminal conditions (Denton, Levett, Bradley, & Thoma, 2016). Furthermore, evidence from countries and states where physician-assisted suicide has been enacted shows that the slippery slope contention with regard to widespread physician-assisted suicide is a myth. In the Netherlands for example, Gopal (2015) says that the process of doctor-assisted dying is bureaucratic and highly complex meaning that most applicants are rejected until it is established beyond reasonable doubt that the request is voluntary and will do more good than good. The Netherlands treats physician-assisted suicide as a criminal act if not carried out in the presence of an ethics expert, a legal expert, and the doctor. This implies that strict controls are needed, not blatant rejection, to ensure that this right is protected and not abused.

The argument that life should take precedence over death does not hold water when analyzed from an individual’s rights perspective. Just as people have the right to live with dignity, they also have a right to die with dignity. Medical practice is supposed to alleviate pain and unnecessary suffering in patients (Hoxhaj, 2014). Take the example of a single mother of teenage children having stage four cancer. Undergoing chemotherapy means that her hair falls off even as she consistently vomits while enduring the extreme pain that her children are supposed to watch as they take care of her. Presently, the medical technology we have cannot do any better than chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat cancer (which generally cannot restore health in stage four cancer) and in the case of this mother, the continuing suffering only robs her of her dignity and those of her children. With physician-assisted suicide, such patients and their families get a right to a dignified end.

Anti-physician assisted suicide proponents argue that death is a natural process that should not be interfered with (Sommerville, 2014). However, doctors have and continue to implicitly exercise the right of dying on the patient’ behalf. Physician-assisted suicide fixes this by recognizing the individual civil liberty of the patient to choose and administer PAS. Doctors normally exercise this right by giving pain-relief in lethal doses or withdrawing treatment. As Steck, Egger, Maessen, Reisch, & Zwahlen (2013) notes, this is usually after talking to relatives, and even though doctors are normally investigated for overstepping this mark, they are rarely charged. Numerous people welcome this fudge given that it lays limits to PAS albeit with no need to articulate the contentious moral choices involved. This is unethical and unworkable given that the explicit choice to die that should be in the hands of a patient is left in the doctor’s hands. It is hypocritical and goes against the individual civil liberties as society pretends to shun PAS while tacitly and subtly allowing it without safeguards. Physician-assisted dying in its openness will fix this practice of deaths through nods and winks that contravenes individual rights.

The fear that physician-assisted suicide will be foisted on vulnerable individuals, bullied by rogue doctors, cash-strapped states, panicking relatives, and parsimonious insurers is unfounded. The Oregon experience, where a law allowing PAS has existed since 1997, points to the enhanced recognition of civil liberties (Gopal, 2015). Individuals who choose doctor-assisted dying are in fact insured, well-educated and getting the best palliative care. These individuals are motivated by the desire to maintain their own dignity, pleasure in life, autonomy, and the pain that comes with some conditions. These are factors that embody the civil liberties promise of most governments around the world.

In conclusion, physician-assisted dying is the ultimate protection of individual civil liberties in the ongoing euthanasia debate. Just as people have the right to life, they have a right to autonomy, happiness, and pleasure in life; elements that are guaranteed through the right to choose a dignified death that alleviates unnecessary suffering. Anti-PAS proponents suggest that it will open the doors to a slippery slope of forced death on vulnerable patients, but evidence from Netherlands and Oregon show that this is a myth if strict controls are in place. After all, the right to die for patients has for long been practiced by physicians and relatives on behalf of patients through the withdrawal of medication or prescription of pain medication. Physician-assisted suicide is fixing this subtle illegal practice by placing the right to die in the patient’s hands hence protecting civil liberties.

 

 

 

References

Denton, A., Levett, C., Bradley, S., & Thoma, L. (2016). Death and dignity: Why voluntary euthanasia is a question of choice. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal24(6), 18-23.

Gopal, A. A. (2015). Physician-Assisted Suicide: Considering the Evidence, Existential Distress, and an Emerging Role for Psychiatry. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law43(2), 183-190. Retrieved from http://jaapl.org/content/43/2/183

Hoxhaj, O. (2014). Euthanasia – The Choice between the Right to Life and Human Dignity. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies3(6), 279-284. doi:10.5901/ajis.2014.v3n6p279

Sommerville, M. A. (2014). Death talk: The case against euthanasia and physician-assisted Suicide (2nd Ed.). Sydney, Australia: McGill-Queen’s Press-MQUP.

Steck, N., Egger, M., Maessen, M., Reisch, T., & Zwahlen, M. (2013). Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Selected European Countries and US States. Medical Care51(10), 938-944. doi:10.1097/mlr.0b013e3182a0f427

Rebuttal– NamasteBean

My Worthy Opponent Is Wrong

       Social media is now the main source for everything a millennial desires: communication, quick answers and fashion trends. Most young adults cannot go very long without checking their phones and its has become more and more evident that an addiction issue is at hand. Blogger Janet Anthony’s article titled “8 Proven Ways How To Use Social Media for Motivation” has not only proven her to be my rightful opponent, but the article itself is flawed and potentially gives dangerous advice.

       Let’s begin by anyalyzing Anthony’s claim that the distraction of social media is great for motivation and re-charging the brain. Anthony asks her readers to stop comparing their body to machines and to actually make time to relax on their phone because “distractions are good for motivations.” Not only does Anthony ignore the fact that most people are already using their phones in excess and no persusassion is necesary, but the idea that procraastion leads to success is most unagreeable. The source provided to back this claim actually disproves it altogether, as well.  A warning on what not to do while re-charging the brain in this article states “stay away from your screen.”

       The social interactions one has can directly affect one’s mental health. Another reason for using social media for motivation, as quoted by Anthony is “they can support you when times are dark;” unsure of who “they” exactly are, we can assume she is referring to the people one surrounds themself with. Although this is not relevant to the main argument, this evidence could be trying to prove that social media relationships are now more essential than human to human interaction, which is extremely questionable. Also, having followers does not qualify as having “people around.” We are social beings and we need real, social interaction to survive in our environment.

       Now, let’s make it known that social media can be motivating to a certain extent; however her claims lackn proper research on the matter.  Inspirational pages and online support can surely improve one’s motivation to a certain degree; however most motivational pages are based on false realities and there is such a lack of truth on social media, so much  that you never know if the advice given on these pages is sincere/adequate; a person could post a 30 second clip of a work out regime for their followers to reach their work out goal, while behind the scenes they may have an eating disorder or experiment with plastic surgery to modify their looks. This can lead people striving to reach unrealistic goals, resulting in depression. 

Sources

Anthony, Janet. “8 Proven Ways How To Use Social Media for Motivation.” The Next Scoop, The Next Scoop, 2018, thenextscoop.com/social-media-for-motivation/.

Patel, Neil. “When, How, and How Often to Take a Break.” Inc., 11 Dec. 2014, http://www.inc.com/neil-patel/when-how-and-how-often-to-take-a-break.html.

Umberson, Debra, and Jennifer Karas Montez. “Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, vol. 51, no. 1_suppl, 2010, doi:10.1177/0022146510383501.

Causal — Kevinbacon

Gun Laws: A Hit or Miss on Mortality and Crime Rates

As humans we are always looking for the fastest and easiest solutions to our problems, when its possible to do so. This human characteristic pertains to the case of gun control. Anti-gun activists believe that with more gun laws and stricter policies, crime rates, murders, and homicides, where a gun was the weapon, will decrease. However these individuals have failed to see that there is no correlation between gun laws and crime. Gun policies such as not being able to own a rifle or handgun, and restrictions on the amount of weapons one can own do not stop crime. They fail to improve society and by no means put an end to violent crimes, murders, and homicides.

Gun laws do not affect affect mortality and crime rates. Not every single crime that happens in the world is recorded. It is near impossible to do so, and this means many crimes go unreported. Imagine the sheer amount of murders, and homicides that occur out of the public’s knowledge. There is a a chance the murder weapon was a gun, and there is also a chance that it was not a gun. How do we know that a stricter gun law has decreased the mortality rate of some nation? Even if the numbers look like they are in favor of the gun law, not all the data is there. There is a chance that countless crimes went unrecorded.

In the article Police Tactic: Keeping Crime Reports Off the Books, not recording crimes is actually a strategy used to keep the recorded crime rates down. This makes the data look better than it actually is. In addition, other reason for police not reporting every crime can be, “to avoid the dull task of preparing reports; others may fear discipline for errors in paperwork. Sometimes officers run out of time because they are directed to another job” (Baker, Goldstein, 2011). This article was published by the New York Times and applies to the N.Y.P.D. The amount of unreported crimes has seen a decrease, and has dropped from 4.4 percent in 2000 to about 1.5 percent in 2011 (Baker, Goldstein, 2011). Even though this rate is dropping it still is present in today’s world. This also is just crime that is reported to police. There is almost definitely more crime that occurs “underground” that law enforcement is not even aware of. So how can we account for all the murders and homicides caused by guns? The simple answer is we can’t.

Implementing stricter policies wouldn’t affect those who carry out unknown crimes. If the police do not know about the crime committed, why would it matter if the suspect followed the gun laws in use. Disregard to these gun laws comes in it’s strongest form when we look at another underground aspect. This is the underground gun market. Just like bootlegging alcohol during prohibition, the underground gun market was established under the circumstances that made it harder to legally own a weapon. Gun laws do not pertain to these markets, and the weapons distributed in them are unregistered. Across America the vast majority of criminals do not purchase their weapons through a legal process (Cook, Ludwig, Venkatesh, Braga, 2005).

Since gun laws are aimed at making society safer by decreasing the availability of guns, they could almost be considered useless when the criminals committing crimes are buying guns illegally. If more guns resulted in more crime then the United States would have the highest suicide rate and a higher homicide rate (Jacobs, 2002). However this correlation does not exist. Millions of households around the U.S own firearms, this is more than most countries in the world. However, our crime rates are not as high as some of these other nations. This trend shows there is no need for strict gun laws, where they would have no effect on a country where most of the population is responsible with their firearms. There is no relation between gun laws and crime rates, because the crime rates are not dependent on the amount of weapons in circulation, instead they rely on the mental states of who obtains them.

If there had to be any correlation between gun control and violent crimes, interestingly enough, it would be that less gun control causes an increase in crime rate. This notion is pretty counter-intuitive but it is clearly seen in some European nations. Many countries in Europe have very strict gun policies, however the crime rates do not match up as one would think they should. The Harvard study Gun Control is Counterproductive shines light on the fact that countries with strict gun laws witness higher murder rates than those who’s laws are less strict. This study focused on nine European nations with the lowest gun ownership rates (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000). These nations had a combined murder rate that was about 3 times greater than nine other nations with the greatest ownership rate of firearms (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000) (Harvard Study: Gun Control is Counterproductive, 2018). Now murders and crimes committed throughout the world are not only carried out with the use of firearms. People are killed by knives, and countless other weapons. Crime rates can also be a bit shaky and inaccurate due to countless factors. This study should not prove that gun ownership decreases crime or on other end, increases it. However it should highlight the fact that gun control is ineffective at preventing murder. It is counterproductive and does not benefit society (Harvard Study: Gun Control is Counter Productive).

More gun laws and stricter policies would not help the world’s problem with murder and crime. This is not a viable solution. Instead these ideas would just create more anger and irritability from the side that is pro-gun. This is just fuel for the fire of the debate between pro-gun and anti-gun activists. As unfair as it is, only one side can win this argument. One side will be right, and seeing that gun laws are counterproductive and also upset millions of gun owners, there shouldn’t be more of these laws enacted. Taking a step back from these laws, means that the anti-gun activist side ultimately loses in the game of gun control.

References

Cook, P. J., Ludwig, J., Venkatesh, S. A., & Braga, A. A. (2005, November 07). Underground Gun Markets. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://www.nber.org/papers/w11737

GOLDSTEIN, A. B. (2011, December 30). N.Y.P.D. Leaves Offenses Unrecorded to Keep Crime Rates Down. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/nyregion/nypd-leaves-offenses-unrecorded-to-keep-crime-rates-down.html

Jacobs, J. B. (2002). Can Gun Control Work? Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dpzN711aYlQC&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=why gun control doesn’t work&ots=atIgrSsxHS&sig=aaEDwMulkkBHYhINAg6IBlNV6v8#v=onepage&q=why gun control doesn’t work&f=false

Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive. (2018). Retrieved November 4, 2018, from https://www.theacru.org/2007/05/08/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counterproductive/

 

 

 

Causal Argument- KinGGkunta

Crime rates may not necessarily reflect the number of crimes that lingers in our communities. Especially in Glassboro New Jersey. First, let’s dive into North Okanagan towns from the year 2007. From “Lowest crime rate recorded in North Okanagan towns.” Spallumcheen and Coldstream had a record low crime statistics ever recorded. It may be due to the rural development of these neighborhoods, but one thing is for sure these towns lack certain urban aspects such as a “downtown,” and has few institutions that serve alcohol. Also, it may appear that rates for break-ins, damaged properties even though are criminal offenses, are not included in the crime stats of these towns. It makes a big difference. These break-ins can drive up crime rates, and in turn, create an illusion that the town is not safe. Glassboro, a town with a crime index of 16(Neighbor), accumulates most of its crime statistic through breakings, property damage, and theft. The ratio of violent crime to break-ins in Glassboro is about 2.12-30.00, that’s a huge jump. That means for every violent crime about 14.15 burglary or theft occurred in the city of Glassboro. From “Burglars, robbers drive crime rate up,” by Nicholas Jones, indicates that burglary has drastically driven New Zealand’s crime rate up with a 4.8 percent rise. But the good news is, the police has made it their goal to tackle burglary cases to reduce it. Besides the fact New Zealand has a high ridden crime rate mostly due to burglary, we can assume New Zealand is just like Glassboro; labeled by high crime rates which are solely the works of burglaries, and, or, break-ins.

An interview between myself and a source who will not be mentioned for privacy reasons; is a student resident at Glassboro, and like most college kids, he lives for the spotlight, parties, and the thrill of being in college. He parties most weekends, and certain weekdays. His go-to phrase to justify his action is, “I’m living my best life bro.” We can safely assume at these venues there are alcohols, and drugs present in these locations. And from “Lowest crime rate recorded in North Okanagan towns” we see the connection alcohol has with crime in a neighborhood. It’s like most crimes are committed whenever a college party is thrown. Let’s look at the number of shut down parties that happen in Glassboro, specifically areas close to Rowan University. With about 8-10 months, Rowan’s campus police shut down nearly 850 cases of unauthorized parties (2018). That is a lot of parties being shut down within 8-10 months a year, especially when all these cases occur specifically in areas within the university, and that doesn’t include the numerous parties that proceed without police interruption or whatsoever. But we can assure ourselves that after the closing of the party no one goes home directly. After a few stops, and mischiefs that these college kids embark on, Glassboro attains itself an epidemic of rampant break-ins, misdemeanors stemming from trespassing to jaywalking, public nudity, and so on. With that, you can trust that these offenses are being recorded, and it adds up to Glassboro’s high crime rate.

Not to sound like a broken record, we are taking a step back to dissect how crime rates come about. From “Production of Crime Rates” by Donald J. Black, we understand that official crime reporting has several factors to it. Meaning when one calls the cops and reports a situation, a police officer has to record and assess the situation. Then concludes is an investigation has to be made into the matter. As for reporting a crime to the police, that becomes “raw data for official crime rates- ‘crimes known to the police.’” (Production). The reason for the complication in computing crime rates is, sometimes some calls are false, there could be a misunderstanding and so on. Sometimes the investigation does not turn out how it was supposed to, and forth. Another look from “Crime Control Measures, Individual Liberties, and Crime Rates” by Jay Albanese. Surprisingly the author of this piece extrapolated his info from 40 different countries and came up with some interesting conclusion, but what stands out the most is that from his tremendous research and work, He found out that Theft, burglary, break-ins were number 1 problem in these countries, followed by assault and homicide.

Despite burglary being a nuisance in Glassboro, and all other places, it is the one thing among many factors that drive Glassboro’s crime rate up. Burglary by college kids, more specifically Rowan Students, or burglary by any Glassboro resident who does not necessarily attend Rowan University. Either way, burglary is still burglary regardless of who performed such act. Going back into the demographics of Glassboro, we find out that areas close to Rowan University- including Rowan University have high cases of burglary and other crimes. It may sound like these areas are crime infested neighborhood, but you know the crime that mostly occurs in these areas do not include any major felony such are murder or of sorts, rather break-ins, theft, trespassing, and so on. The point is not to mitigate the severity of those crimes, but on a scale, if we were to compare crimes such as trespassing to murder or assault, we would conclude that trespassing is not that bad, break-ins are not that bad, unless if it leads to other crimes of malicious intent then we will have to retract our statement. That is what Glassboro faces, a label not well suited for this town, but its crime rate speaks numbers. So it inherits the poor image of a bad neighborhood when in reality, it is petty crimes that chime in unto the rising crime statistic of Glassboro.

 

Reference

Albanes, J. (November, 2016). Crime Control Measures, Individual Liberties, and Crime Rates An Assessment of 40 Countries. Accessed 23 October 2018

Black, J. D. (August 1970). Production of Crimes Rates. American Sociological Review, Vol. 35, No. 4 pp. 733-748

Jones, N. (October 2016). Burglars, robbers drive crime rate up. The New Zealand Herald; Auckland, New Zealand, A.26. Accessed 23 October 2018

Lowest Crime rate recorded in North Okanagan towns. Kelowna Capital News; Kelowna, B.C. [Kelowna, B.C]. D5. Accessed 17 October 2018

Neighborhood Scout, https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nj/glassboro/crime . Accessed 23 October 2018

2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Rowan University, https://sites.rowan.edu/publicsafety/_docs/annual_security_report.pdf . Accessed 26 October 2018