In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity. -Hunter S. Thompson
For the most part, America is a pretty safe place to live. Of all U.S Citizens, around 4.5% of us commit crimes every year, or at least, are caught for crimes committed. This equates to about 14 million people who are charged or convicted every year for breaking the law. Now that number may seem like a lot, but not all of those crimes are violent, nor do they put people in danger.
So as far as safety is concerned, we can all take a deep breath and sleep well knowing that most of us will not have to encounter a criminal robbing you or invading your home. The chances are simply too slim.
Granted there are going to be certain areas in the U.S where the likelihood of becoming involved in some form of crime is higher. But there is really very little to worry over. However, when you look at the statistics for crimes committed in the U.S, certain things become apparent. Before we dive into this, take a look at the statistics yourself and try to notice what stands out to you.
Total Number Of Crimes In U.S Based On FBI Statistics www.fbi.gov
Total Crimes: 14,005,615 (Total U.S Population = 315,145,630, which equates to about 4.5% of the populace being charged of some form of crime.)
Embezzlement: 21,402 = .15%
Arson: 14,125 = .10%
Murder: 12,955 = .09%
Gambling: 9,811 = .07%
Buying/Selling Stolen Property: 111,319 = .79%
Runaways: 109,255 = .78%
Motor Vehicle Theft: 98,035 = .70%
Forgery and Counterfeiting: 90,127 = .64%
Sex Offenses: 79,914 = .54%
Prostitution: 75,005 = .54%
Vagrancy: 33,852 = .24%
Forcible Rape: 22,584 = .16%
Aggravated Assault: 429,969 = 3.10%
Burglary: 308,479 = 2.20%
Vandalism: 285,012 = 2.03%
Fraud: 234,199 = 1.70%
Weapon Possession: 179,661 = 1.30%
Loitering: 133,063 = .92%
Robbery: 129,403 = .92%
Crimes Against Family/Children: 118,419 = .85%
Drug Abuse: 1,702,537 = 12.16%
DUI: 1,483,396 = 10.60%
Other Assaults: 1,298,342 = 9.30%
Larceny: 1,266,706 = 9.04%
Disorderly Conduct: 685,985 = 4.91%
Liquor Laws: 625,939 = 4.47%
Drunkenness: 611,069 = 4.40%
All Other Crimes: 3,835,083 = 27.38%
Loitering: The first point that is worth mentioning here, and an odd one as well, is that 133,000 people are arrested and charged for loitering every year in the U.S. Really? That’s just an odd fact worth knowing. So don’t stand in the same spot for too long… Jonny Law may come around.
Drugs: The crime that lead to the most convictions was due to drug abuse, 1.7 million people totaling 12.16% of all total crimes. That’s a lot of people being arrested, that’s a lot of people being put behind bars, and that’s a ton of tax payers dollars going to finding and arresting these people. 1.7 million people… that is an astounding number and is almost .33% of the total population. Not to mention, that’s just who is getting caught. It’s hard to imagine how it is justifiable to spend that much money and resources hunting down people trying to catch a buzz. Rather, perhaps, if it is such a concern, why not spend that money on drug education and rehabilitation?
DUI: If you want to talk about drug abuse, and lets remember that alcohol is a drug, how about the 1.5 million people that are convicted of DUI charges. That number for driving while drunk is nearly the same for ALL TOTAL convictions for EVERY other drug form. If that fact didn’t sink in, reread it because it’s pretty important. I’m not saying people shouldn’t drink; they certainly shouldn’t drink and drive. But the whole war on drugs never targeted the most deadly drug of them all. The one leading to the most vehicular deaths, the one that leads to the most violent crimes, it was never brought up. Which should make you wonder, why can some people get the kicks they want while others are demonized. In the end, it’s supposed to be to each their own so long as no harm comes to anyone due to their use. 1.5 million DUI charges… I don’t even care to mention how many people have died due to DUIs.
Assaults/Murder: Another big number that stands out is Assaults, with 1.3 million people being charged and convicted. This violent tendency is oddly underrated considering that there is so much more talk about murder in the news, which has only 13 thousand people being convicted. Think of that, 1.3 million people doing violent things, compared to 13 thousand who took it as far as murder. So why then do we hear so much about gun control? Shouldn’t we rather, and this is similar to Drugs, educate and aid people who are violent or show tendencies of that? It’s known that a knife, or bludgeon, or gun does not get up and kill people itself and they all need a wielder. So how will gun control do anything for those that are violent but don’t use guns? Why is is such a hot topic considering the numbers are so low? Henry David Thoreau said it best when he aptly stated, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” For those that don’t get it, weapons and the means to do harm are the branches, while violent and disturbed people are the root. If you don’t strike the root, the problem will never die, and thus the branches will always grow back, even if they are different.
Disorderly Conduct: Finally, it’s good to know people still get rowdy in the U.S, with around 700,000 people being charged and convicted of disorderly conduct. This can mean a wide array of things, but still… people getting crazy out there. It’s probably all those stoners smoking their dope, that’s if they can peel themselves off their couch to compete with all the drunkards. But I’m joking around. America was built on being rowdy and unruly; perhaps it’s the only thing keeping this once great nation afloat.
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The author of this article was Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @FacePalmlaw. Crime doesn’t pay, which is why if you’ve been involved in one yourself, you should contact a Colorado Personal Injury Attorney.