GRE Argument Essay 78
The following appeared as an editorial in the local newspaper of Dalton.
“When the neighboring town of Williamsville adopted a curfew four months ago that made it illegal for persons under the age of 18 to loiter or idle in public places after 10 p.m., youth crime in Williamsville dropped by 27 percent during curfew hours. In Williamsville’s town square, the area where its citizens were once most outraged at the high crime rate, not a single crime has been reported since the curfew was introduced. Therefore, to help reduce its own rising crime rate, the town of Dalton should adopt the same kind of curfew. A curfew that keeps young people at home late at night will surely control juvenile delinquency and protect minors from becoming victims of crime.”
The editorial that appeared in the local newspaper of Dalton expresses a concern regarding the rising crime rate in the town and suggests that the town should adopt a curfew to keep the young people away from public places after 10 p.m. He makes this suggestion keeping in mind the neighboring town of Williamsville where this policy of curfew has reduced youth crime in the past four months. The editorial seems to be logical at the first glance. However, a closer analysis of the argument presented in it exposes its flaws and shortcomings. A curfew for the youth may not be a perfect solution since there are many other aspects attached to it.
Firstly, it can be argued that the observation of a drop in the crime rate in the town of Williamsville has been done only in a span of four months. This could be a temporary change till the time the youth find other ways of creating a ruckus. It is possible that within a longer period of the curfew being imposed in the town, there are reports of crime form some corner or the other of the town. While a curfew may be successful in curtailing crime, it may be only a short-term solution. Considering that the curfew has been in effect for the past four months only, its long term effects are not known. Hence, the author of the editorial should not be so confident about imposing a curfew in Dalton to control crime rate.
Secondly, imposing a curfew at night might have reduced the crime rate at that time, but the argument does not give any account of the crimes committed during the day. It is likely that because of the restriction at night, the young begin to show aggression during the day. Therefore, if there is a decrease in the crime rate at night, it is likely that because of the curfew there is an increase in the day crime and the situation remains more or less the same.
Thirdly, a curfew like this which imposes restrictions on the people under the age of 18 is undemocratic. It is against the right of a person to move freely according to his wishes. Imposing a curfew is making arbitrary use of the powers given to the administration. There are many under 18 who prefer to party or get together at night. These people may not be criminals. Because of a few criminals who are active during the night, imposing such a restriction over all people is against the freedom of others and surely not advisable.
Further, a comparison between the towns of Williamsville and Dalton on grounds of crime and solutions to curtail it is not genuine or called for. While the editorial mentions that the citizens of Williamsville were once most outrageous, we cannot say if it is comparable to the rising crime at Dalton. Further, there is no mention of the involvement of the young in the outrageous behaviour in the crime in Dalton. Hence, putting a curfew on the youth of Dalton may not curtail crime rate. Moreover, both the towns could have different types of crimes committed at night. Therefore, the solution should be according to the crime committed. It cannot be said that if a curfew has proved successful in the town of Williamsville it would prove the same in Dalton.
The author of the editorial ignores that imposing a curfew at night over all the people under 18 involves a lot of investment. There would be a requirement of more police officers to be on duty at night than before. Arrangements for patrolling the whole town would have to be made which would involve a high cost. Further, the argument is restricting in nature. Instead of putting restrictions over people, there should be ways of reforming them so that the crime is completely uprooted. Measures should be taken to improve the conduct of the young, centers where juvenile delinquency is dealt with should be established, parents should be made to realize their role and the efforts should be made to give a proper direction to the energy of the youth. The editorial, however, is silent about these suggestions and due to the above given discussion the argument loses its ground.