A Violent State

From Issue 6, Published March 13, 2015

A Violent State: Indiana ranks high for violence nationwide; Paoli statistically still safe

Within the past few weeks, there have been two violent shooting events which have resulted in the deaths of members of the local community. Understandably, this has many people concerned about how safe residents are here in Paoli. There has been a lot of discussion about gun safety and gun laws since these events.
In spite of the recent violence, compared to many other towns and cities in Indiana, statistically Paoli is still a safe place to live.
Paoli is nowhere nearly as crime-filled as bigger cities, according to the 2013 Uniform Crime Report by the FBI. The top three Indiana cities in the report for violent crime incidences were Indianapolis with 10,479, Fort Wayne with 949, and Gary with 883.
Over the past six years, the number of violent crime offenses in the United States has decreased, according to the FBI.
On a nationwide scale, the Hoosier state ranks tenth, with a 69.6 percent gun violence rate.
Louisiana tops the list with a 79.5 percent.
The statistics are according to StateMaster.com, a site which compiles statistics from the US Census Bureau, the FBI and Bureau of Justice.
Laws related to guns vary throughout Indiana. Some cities have voted for gun laws to be strengthened, making it more difficult to own firearms, while others vote for laws to be weakened. Weakened gun laws allow more citizens to own firearms and have them in more places.
Overall, voters in Indiana are in favor of weakening state gun laws. In 2013, a law went into effect allowing firearms at K-12 schools by a person who has been authorized to do so by the school board. Across the nation, where you live dictates how strong the laws are.
In California there is a law which preventing corporations, partnerships and other organizational “persons” from receiving a permit to own an assault weapon.
Compared to Texas, Indiana has stricter laws concerning guns on school property. In Indiana, it is illegal to have a gun on school property unless authorized to do so. In Texas, guns can remain on school property if concealed in a privately owned motor vehicle.
Overall, Paoli is comparatively safe when it comes to gun violence compared to other communities. As a state, Indiana may not be the safest of the states, but we definitely are not the most dangerous.
Story by Brooklyn Pittman & Chase Meehan