Grrr, I hate how people whine about violence in America today...

Discussion in 'Contemporary Terrorism' started by Paul Victorey, Sep 21, 2001.

  1. Paul Victorey

    Paul Victorey

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    It just bugs me that everyone always complains how much violence there is in america today.

    This just SCREAMS ignorance of the facts.

    Violence in society always comes and goes in cycles, and actually, we've seen a steady DECLINE in per capita violence since its most recent peak in about 1993.

    We've been on an 8 year steady DECLINE of violent crime, and people still think we're going to hell in a handbasket. In fact, we're at approximately a 30-year low!

    AND, this is a 30-year low is considering # of cases of violent crime; but the population has increased over that time and so, per capita, we're in even more of a low because not only are the number of crimes at a 30-year minimum, the population is at a 30-year maximum.

    Looking at statistics gathered here:

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/4meastab.htm

    we see that serious violent crime has been almost cut in half between 1993 and 2000, which is almost 50% in only 7 years! Considering per capita violence, we'd see more than a 50% reduction, in fact.

    And, I'd wager that most of the people who are so up in arms about society today have never personally witnessed anything more violent than a football game (well, maybe a hockey game).

    I think the real problem is that the media has become so sensationalized, that they have to hype up every event, and they always have to try to portray the country as seeped with crime, even though for many people, this is one of the safest, if not THE safest, time in their lives.

    And people get SO worked up over highly tragic, yet unlikely, scenarios. Take the fear of school shootings -- compared to the odds that your child was to be killed in a school shooting, the odds are something like 4 times greater that they'd be killed by being crushed under a vending machine, 40 times greater that they'd be killed in their own home by a family member, and hundreds of times greater that they'd be killed in a car accident.

    Now, of course, the 3 or so school shootings we had were very tragic, but it's hardly a likely or common occurance, and certainly nothing to worry about. Many schools have taken what precautions they can, so really, if you want your child to be safest, make them wear seat belts (and wear them properly) all the time. Death by car accident is the leading cause of death for people 6-27, so if you want to worry about your child's safety, here's the place to start.
     
  2. figarowa

    figarowa

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    as a criminal justice major, i agree with paul here as the media loves to hype violence. Crime over all is following a decreasing trend yet the population percentage of people in the correctional stage of the law is increasing. One thing to clear the air up of how crime statistics are gathered and used. The most important is the Uniform Crime Report which is put out every year by the FBI. The FBI tallies a yearly report on Index 1 crimes which include murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, arson, and vehicular theft. These are crimes that have been reported, lesser misdemeanors are not reported. Additionally if an offender has multiple charges, only the most serious will be counted. Many lesser crimes go unreported. Only 20% of these reported crimes are cleared/solved each year. Another survey is the National Crime Victimization Survey, conducted by the Bureau of the Census, which is a survey of apporximately 94,000 people per year. They also include type 1 crimes, however there are discrepencies between the UCR and the NCVS as many crimes go unreported to the police, therefore causing a higher amount of response to the Victim Survey. One final note is that a higher crime rate isn't a bad thing. It can mean that more people are reporting crime that otherwise would go unreported, newer technology available to the police enables them to catch more criminals, and that the efficiency as a whole is increasing in law enforcement..
     
  3. HAL9000

    HAL9000

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    It's difficult for people not to believe there is more crime. Turn on the news, I can almost guarantee you hear of a murder or at least a violent crime. Does this mean it's on the increase, no, it just means that with more and more media attention, there is a perceived increase.
     
  4. Paul Victorey

    Paul Victorey

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    ... and this post is entirely in the wrong forum, I meant this for General. Moving it over there now.

    And figarowa, you mention that the number of people in the correctional system is increasing -- this could mean any of a number of things. It could mean that a lot of old offenses are finally being solved, or it could mean that there is more petty crime, or that many people are still in prison as a result of crimes from the last peak years of 1992-1994.

    I wonder, if there are statistics for average number of arrests per year on violent crime charges, or number of "solved" violent crimes per year?
     
  5. Xayd

    Xayd

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    Or simply the population as a whole is increasing, therefore the number of criminals will undoubtedly increase as well?

    Xayd
     

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