Is It Worth Their Life?

Danielle Vanvoorst, Staff Writer

Over the years, deaths in the police force have increased, but the main question in this alarming story is “why”?

Though it may be surprising, crime rates have actually gone down since the 1900’s, and the difference is our ability to report recent crime activity. Unfortunately, it’s only in certain areas that crime has decreased. In our own very St. Louis, Missouri, crime activity spiked in 2015, and in 2016, shootings in St. Louis rose dramatically.

The fact is our police force is going neck and neck against the crime our own civilians are committing, and those standing back are doing nothing. People are speaking out against the very people that protect them. We have already had 32 shootings this year, in St.louis, and a total of 188 in 2015. It’s an outrage, to say the least. In 2016, St. Louis was named the murder capital of the U.S. We’ve already have had 8 homicides!

Police try their best to prevent such tragedies, and yet here we are, having the audacity to stand by and say we have nothing to do with this. We have this false sense of security that nothing can hurt us, like some impenetrable force field, protecting ourselves from any unexpected mishap.

In reality, it is our society, our people, us, who make and break this city. People write off crime as a crazy man’s game, but who made them crazy? There had to be some sort of normality, some sort of snapping point, some sort of warning. And we did nothing.

“I think people  commit crimes because some people have an impulsive need for adrenaline.” Said Alyssa Weller of GCHS.

Not far from us in Belleville, Illinois crime rate of 366; meaning, there were 366 crime incidents on average per year, Bad, right? Well, unfortunately, theirs is three times lower than East St. Louis, who has a crime rate of 1,121. That’s insane. But let’s not end there. Our own hometown, Granite City, has a crime rate of 339. “I think it’s terrifying, especially because it’s so close. There is no real efficient way to prevent them but if I had to chose it would probably be to have at least a better background check on the people who buy guns.” Said Isabella Webb of GCHS said.

“People should make gun background checks more strict, and make more police checkpoints around the area, in my opinion, that’s one way to prevent a shooting. Along with making sure to make people more aware of their surroundings and gun laws.” Said Eden Kunst of GCHS.

Having said that, is it worth anyone’s life? Do we just carelessly turn a blind eye to this? Our own forces are working hard to prevent monstrosities like this, yet here they are. People aren’t just tools to be used, whether for money, power, or even protection. We mock the very men who defend us, we do crime against those who protect us, and we curse those who punish us.

People have tried to prevent shootings by watching the behavior of others, listening and observing, but the success rate is low.  An article, by Nina Agrawal, shows the warning signs of a person planning a shooting, but for students, kids. The majority of our shootings are committed by grown men blinded by misguided ambition or hatred. The easiest way to prevent shootings is the extinction of guns, but that would leave the good people defenseless, so in the end, our end result is simple. Either people change, or our rights do.