Graffiti: Art or vandalism
Graffiti is a growing problem in the United States, costing over 12 billion dollars a year in clean-up. Some people argue the fact that graffiti is art not vandalism and should be left alone while others completely disagree and feel there should be harsher punishment for the crime. Police have been trying a lot of different things to cut down the amount of graffiti such as banning spray paint or making it illegal for any person under the age of 18 to purchase it. Some cities have actually opened free walls, making it a place for “writers” (graffiti artists) to release their artistic creativity in an area created for that purpose, making it a place where writers can go without the concern of getting in trouble for vandalism.
Graffiti is defined as words or drawings scratched or scribbled on a wall. The word comes from the Greek word Graphein (to write) and the word graffiti itself is plural of the word “graffito” graffiti is associated with urban art and has greater attention to detail. The term graffiti has existed since ancient times, some of the earliest forms of graffiti dating back to 30,000 BCE in the form of prehistoric cave paintings and pictographs using tools such as animal bones and pigments. These illustrations were often placed in ceremonial and sacred locations inside of caves. The images drawn on the walls showed scenes of animal wildlife and hunting expeditions in most circumstances. Usage of the word has evolved to include any graphics applied to surfaces in a manner that constitutes vandalism.
Graffiti is not an isolated problem. It is often related to other crime and disorder problems including littering, public urination and loitering. The laws put out to minimize the graffiti such as banning the purchase of spray paint to persons under 18 has resulted in more shoplifting of the materials needed for graffiti, such as paint and markers. Gangs and gang violence, as gang graffiti conveys threats and identifies...