Crime is not a problem lethal violence in America is


Crime is not aproblem lethal violence in America is

Crime is not a problem lethal violence Is

Zimring and Hawkins are the authors of the book Crime is not theProblem, Lethal Violence Is. These two researchers assert thatcrime in the United States is approximately at the same level asother developed nations. This is also the case with the number ofcriminals as well as the rate of victimization compared to countriessuch as New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. As such, the two authorsexplore the rationale behind the pervasive fear of crime in theUnited States of America compared to other countries. It is in theexploration of this phenomenon that the two authors hold that lethalviolence is the biggest problem in America and not crime. While bothcriminal homicides and property crimes cause panic among people, itis evident that the former is more widespread in the Americancontext. This should not be case because while the rate of crime inAmerica has been on a decreasing trend, more and more people fearbecoming victims. For instance, Zimring and Hawkins say that thecountry has between four to Fourteen times more criminal homicideswhen compared to other developed countries (Sommer, 2016).Ordinarily, high rates of criminal homicides are a manifestation ofan increase in the number of crimes and criminals. However, this isnot the case with America.

To prove that there is no correlation between the number ofcriminals and the killings witnessed in America, the two researcherscompared the crime and the murder rates in London and New York citiesin 1992. The researchers found that London had approximately 20,000more robberies and burglaries compared to New York City (Sommer,2016).However, with even such a high crime rate, only seven people werekilled in London compared to 378 individuals murdered in New York.The large discrepancy between these two cities proves that violenceis ingrained in the American culture hence it is a bigger problemcompared to crime. Even if the country still experiences a high rateof property crimes, Zimring and Hawkins contend that the trendresonates with the current urban life globally. Additionally, most ofthe murders committed in America do not originate from criminalactivities instead, a large portion of the homicides culminates fromarguments. For instance, the Zimring and Hawkins report that 32% ofAmerican homicides in 1992 resulted from arguments while only 16%originated from felonies (Sommer, 2016).In America, statistics show that the theft and burglary rates are atthe same level as other Western developed countries. The fact thatthe United States of America witnesses fewer property crimes showthat the motives behind most cases of delinquency is not money.Instead, it is a desire to inflict pain on another person.

One of the reasons that Zimring and Hawkins provide as accounting forthe high level of lethal violence in America compared to otherdeveloped countries is the proliferation of civilian-owned guns.According to Zimring and Hawkins, guns accounted for 70% of allAmerican homicides while they contributed only 4% of all crimes(Sommer, 2016).One of the remedies that the two authors suggest to tackle the lethalviolence in America is increasing the punishment for violence-relatedcrimes. Burglaries and robberies are treated with the same level ofseriousness in America. However, these two are different becausedeaths resulting from robberies are 50 times higher compared to thosethat occur in the process of the commission of a burglary (Sommer,2016). The move to draw a demarcation between crime and violencewould help to address the major problem facing the American society.For instance, the issue of lethal violence can be reduced totolerable levels by increasing the punishment for armed robbery.Additionally, Zimring and Hawkins suggest that environment deterrentsbe used to reduce the rate of robberies which contribute most of thecriminal homicides in America. An example of these environmentaldeterrents to violent assaults is the use of cashless buses.

In conclusion, Zimring and Hawkins assert that the problem of lethalviolence in America is pervasive making it a bigger challengecompared to the general issue of crime. By comparing the Americancrime rates to other nations, the two researchers found that a personis less likely to be victimized in the United States of America ascompared to other developed countries. Even with a lower rate ofcrimes, the country experiences a very high rate of homicides. Alarge part of these homicides have their origin in arguments andinvolve the use of guns. As such, it is evident that monetary gain isnot the leading motivator to the commission of crimes, but a desireto harm another person based on perceived ideological differences.Zimring and Hawkins assert that there is a need to differentiate between violent and non-violent crimes to address the menace of theuse of lethal violence in America. As a result of the high number ofdeaths arising from violent crimes, increasing the punishment for theperpetrators of violence will lead to a decrease in the number ofhomicides. Lastly, the two authors recommend that the issue ofcivilian-owned guns be addressed to mitigate the contribution theyhave on the rate of homicides.


Sommer, J. (2016). “Crime is not the Problem, Lethal Violence is,say UC Berkeley Researchers.” Accessed from