UNITED STATES—We live in a world where crime surrounds us no matter where we live. Yes, there are indeed regions in the country that are much safer than others, but there are places where crime runs rampant.  The thing about fighting crime is the misconception that the police and legal system can halt crime completely.  While it’s true to a degree, it’s not completely true. Crime can be halted by citizens of the community taking action.

As citizens we have to be more vigilant to prevent crimes from taking place, but also to participate to help the police to solve crimes. What has sparked this debate? I saw a video on television about an attempted abduction that took place in Philadelphia.  What is scary is that the suspect scoped the victim walking down the street, than returned moments later to accost the woman. The video is particularly disturbing because the woman is physically fighting the perpetrator and screaming for help.

As the abductor drags the woman down the street, a man seen walking past the incident in place just continues to walk as if he noticed nothing. Not even attempting to prevent the abduction. Not only is this alarming, but this is pathetic. Why would this guy not help a woman, who was in need of his assistance? I really don’t want to hear the excuse of “They might have a weapon.” We cannot allow ourselves to live in fear, but more importantly send a message to criminals that you can commit a crime, and nothing is going to happen to them. It’s sad to say the least. If that was that guys family member I’m certain he would have taken action. I wonder what his reaction is now, now that he has been caught on camera not doing anything while a crime was in progress.

This whole notion of not getting involved or being a perpetrator of the bystander effect is haunting our nation.  We cannot stand by and not do anything when bad things are taking place.  We constantly sit back and wait for someone else to do something, instead of taking action ourselves when we have the ability to do so. Vigilance is the key to halting unnecessary crime, keeping a watchful eye to our surroundings and willing to react with instinct and not waiting for someone else to do it for us; that’s a big problem with Americans, we wait for someone to do something thinking they will, the entire time, they might be thinking the same thing of you.

React, be proactive, and don’t just sit idle. When the message is sent to criminals that such behavior will not be tolerated they are more inclined to put the brakes on such action knowing not only are there consequences for doing bad, but the fact that people are watching their every move.  The key to stopping crime is reporting it before it can even take place. Make noise, contact the police, and get other people’s attention. The more that people see others stepping up to the plate, the likely others will join them; it’s like being apart of the cool club.

This is not to say that we will one day live in a crime free country, God I so desperately wish this is true. This is my hope that more Americans will realize that they have the power to fight back, take that power that we’ve allowed so many criminals to take from us and reclaim it. This is our country and damned if we’re going to let anyone take from us or harm the innocent. Not on my watch!