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America the Violent

While I was aware that the US is a pretty violent place, it sometimes take the comparative data to really puts things in perspective.  Kieran Healy plotted the death by assault rate (per 100,000) for the OECD countries (not including Estonia and Mexico) and the visual that the graph provides is pretty stunning.  Note:  these deaths do not take into account the specific type of assault, nor the weapon used.

assault-deaths-oecd-ts-all

The good new is the trend line is in the right direction.  The bad news is:  even with a multi-decade improvement we are still truly exceptional in this area (and as much as American like to consider themselves exceptional, this is an area in which I would think we would all prefer to be more like Europe).

Numbers like this really do beg the question:  what is wrong with us?

At the link noted above, you can see the country-specific graphs if one is so inclined.

In a follow-up post he looks at US states and regions:

assault-deaths-us-ts-state-exdc

 

assault-deaths-us-ts-region

And BTW:  before the Northeasterns get too smug, Healy notes that even if that portion of the country were considered by itself, it would still be more violent by this measure than any other OECD country (save Mexico, which again, is not included here, for data reasons, I assume)  He has a graph comparing US regional numbers to the OECD in his post.

I don’t have much to say here, save that I find it all depressing.  Mostly it is food for thought (as while I know we, as a country, often worry about crime, I am not sure we actually think about how violent our society actually is).

I know that by asking the collective question, “what is wrong with us?” I invite the individualize response that “I am not violent, so don’t throw me in the mix.” And that is fair on one level.  Still, as Americans we really could use a bit more societal introspection.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Buzz Buzz says:

    Why do so many people keep pointing out that countries with a large percentage of non-white citizens are statistically more violent than countries that are almost exclusively white?

    Or that regions of the U.S. with larger non-white populations are statistically more violent than the regions of the U.S. with fewer non-whites?

    Numbers like this really do beg the question: what is wrong with us?

    The people making these “stunning” comparisons seem willfully ignorant of the actual underlying numbers. Normalize the data accounting for the different racial and ethnic populations in the countries being compared and you’ll no longer want to hear the answer.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 45

  2. Rob in CT says:

    It can be difficult, I think, to recognize two things: 1) we live in an exceptionally violent (1st world) culture (or, if you want to be really precise, mixture of cultures); and 2) things have been improving for ~40 years.

    It is depressing. But then lots of things about the human condition are. Call me crazy, but I take solace in #2: things are improving. Rather dramatically, it seems.

    I’d like to see more improvement, certainly.

    There have been various theories thrown around to explain the improvement. Tough-on-crime policies, lead abatement, the provocative Freakonomics abortion claim, simple demographics (boomer young men aging)…

    I honestly don’t know what’s causing it. It would be a very sad thing indeed if the answer is “because we lock up such a huge % of our people,” but one has to consider the possibility.

    [side note: one can understand how someone living through the 60s and 70s might have freaked out about violent crime. The trend was horrifying).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t practice violence but I definitely have it in me. We’re raised on violence in this country.

    Happened to be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival a year or so back, watching a comic with my English publicist and his wife. A guy in the audience started getting loud and abusive, so they stopped the show and escorted him out. I later confessed to the publicist that I had been plotting whether to just hit the floor or run for the exit when the shooting started. He of course was shocked that it entered my mind that the guy might have a gun or that he would start shooting.

    Well, I’m an American, so of course I expect violence and of course I expect it to be gun violence. I’ve been held up at gunpoint, my wife was pistol-whipped in a (thankfully) failed rape attempt, my sister-in-law’s best friend’s entire family was shot to death by the son with the father’s gun.

    As for why? Probably race more than anything. We started this country by murdering Indians and enslaving Africans. We wrote the Second Amendment in part so that “militias” of white slave-catchers and vigilantes could control the slave population in the absence of a standing army. We fought a Civil War as a direct consequence of slavery, and then we mythologized the whole reeking, bloody mess with romanticized “lost cause” bullsh!t. The aftermath of the Civil War spread the violence out after the remains of the Indians and we then romanticized that. Displaced former slaves moved to cities where they were kept at a disadvantage, joining recent immigrants – Jews, Irish, Italians, Chinese – who were likewise kept in ghettos, and in too many cases resorted to crime. Thanks to our sick love affair with violence and guns, by the 30’s the criminals were better-armed than the cops.

    Writers (like me) and Hollywood then draw on all that violence and create tropes involving violent vigilante cops and super-violent quasi-heroic criminals and gunfighting cowboys and remorseless killing machines of various types and generate the propaganda and myth-making that work to reassure us that it’s all just fine.

    Finally, we inoculate ourselves against unpleasant introspection by endlessly parroting the Greatest Country on Earth slogan and shout down anyone who dares to question the mythology. We’re number one!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 5

  4. Rob in CT says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Say it, Buzz Buzz. You know you want to. Say it. It’ll feel good. Do it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Buzz Buzz:
    Compare the data across 200 plus years of American history, pal, and you won’t like the answer.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  6. @Buzz Buzz: I was wondering how long it would take before someone made a comment along these lines. I honestly figured it would take more than one.

    I guess Superdestroyer is napping at the moment.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 2

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    By the way, in this paragraph:

    Well, I’m an American, so of course I expect violence and of course I expect it to be gun violence. I’ve been held up at gunpoint, my wife was pistol-whipped in a (thankfully) failed rape attempt, my sister-in-law’s best friend’s entire family was shot to death by the son with the father’s gun.

    All but the pistol-whipping were carried out by white people. The common thread? That would be guns. GUNS not skin color.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

  8. PJ says:

    Kieran Healy plotted the death by assault rate (per 100,000) for the OECD countries (not including Estonia and Mexico) and the visual that the graph provides is pretty stunning.

    I would really like to know why Healy excluded Estonia and Mexico.
    Because those are the two OECD countries with a higher intentional homicide rate than the US.
    The US had a rate of 4.8/100,000 in 2010, Estonia had 7.5/100,000 in 2011 (6.3/100,000 in 2010), and Mexico had 18/100,000 in 2010.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  9. @PJ: You would have to ask him. My guess, as I allude to above, was data availability. Having recently done some of my own research in the OECD databases, I recall having some limitations with Mexico. (I wasn’t looking dealing with Estonia, so can’t say).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Well, Steven, go ahead and normalize the data as I suggested, then re-plot the charts if you want to know the answer to your question.

    If it makes you feel better, you can call even call me a racist for daring to look at the actual statistical data.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  11. Buzz Buzz says:

    @PJ:

    I would really like to know why Healy excluded Estonia and Mexico.

    Likely for the same reason he excluded Washington D.C.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  12. mattb says:

    Personally, I’d also be interest in seeing the data normalized for socio-economic levels, which as I remember have some significant bearings on crime within the US at the very least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  13. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Unlike Buzz Buzz I think the common denominator between most of the states in the top half and most of the states in the bottom have is not race or ethnicity, but latitude.

    It’s far too cold for up to half the year to be out shooting people with guns in states that are further north.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. FWIW, speaking of Sicily:

    Post-war official statistics show Corleone to have had the world’s highest murder rate with 153 violent deaths out of 18,000 population between 1944 and ’48. Mafia killers brought to trial were usually acquitted for lack of evidence as fear of reprisals and omertà (code of silence) prevented witness cooperation

    I guess in a global sense the bad news is that we Americans are laggards, but it’s been worse, and the trend is for better:

    the most peaceful time in history

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. @Buzz Buzz: That the US is more racially diverse than most OECD countries is not under dispute, although I would note that Japan is not “white” and yet has far less violence. Further, there are other OECD countries that have non-white population, including Germany (where there is a sizeable Turkish population).

    Beyond that, you are making a rather serious correlation/causation error in your thinking.

    Not to mention, as someone noted above, the white population has hardly been a pacifying influence on the continent if we start from the beginning and move forward.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  16. @Gromitt Gunn:

    Cold might trigger more cooperation than heat, as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  17. C. Clavin says:

    Buzz Buzz does not disappoint.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  18. MBunge says:

    One of the things that complicates this issue is how American liberalism thought, spoke and acted in response to that huge spike on the left side of the first graph. It’s really not too much an exaggeration to say that the civil libertarian wing of the left all but declared themselves to be on the side of the criminal against the rest of society, with much of the rest fairly sympathetic to that position.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  19. Tsar Nicholas says:

    That lead chart is a doozy, isn’t it? Man, the 1970’s were a disaster.

    Of course there are a lot of factors at work here. Ultimately, though, poverty is the key driver of violent crime. It’s neither surprising nor a coincidence that the South has the highest rate of assault deaths. That region also has the highest poverty rate. 1+1 = 2. Along those lines a ghastly irony is that a primary driver of poverty in the U.S. was and still remains LBJ’s “war on poverty,” and its ripple effects. Policies have consequences. Vicious cycles of government dependence ultimately lead to societal breakdowns. Sad but true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

  20. Gustopher says:

    Do you have similar charts for non-fatal assaults?

    In Buzz Buzz terms, do we have more violence because of all our scary brown people, or are our scary brown people just better at it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  21. jukeboxgrad says:

    the US is a pretty violent place

    An important, relevant fact: we spend as much on military as the rest of the world combined.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  22. This is what’s “wrong” with us:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/Median_age.png

    Most violent crime is commited by people under the age of 39, and we have a much higher percentage of people in that category than most OECD countries, as do Mexico and Estonia, the other two OECD countries with higher rates of violent crime than us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. @PJ: Actually, the reason for excluding those states is quite straightfoward: the chart goes back to the 1960s. Mexico has only been in the OECD since 1994 and Estonia since 2010. As such, the data are not available.

    There are some other OECD states not in the data as well, such as Israel, Chile, and the Czech Republic (and for the same reason).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  24. This is what’s “wrong” with us:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/Median_age.png

    Most violent crime is commited by people under the age of 39, and we have a much higher percentage of people in that category than most OECD countries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. @Gustopher:

    If you follow that link above, Prof. Pinker will tell you that Europeans, white-Europeans, had a murder rate of 100 per 100,000 in medieval times. Those same Europeans, or at least modern Europeans with the same genes (and if anything more dark imports) have shifted to 1 or 2 per 100,000.

    Obviously it is not race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  26. And of course those Sicilians, nice European Sicilians, had a murder rate of 850 per 100,000

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  27. @john personna:

    I don’t think it’s race so much as social homgenization. A society with a social monoculture is going to have much less social tension than a diverse one, and I think the “race” thing is just being used as a proxy for that. However, a society with a social monoculture is also going to be much less dynamic and less successful in other areas, so I think the economic vibrancy the US derives from it’s diversity is worth the disorder it brings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. Buzz Buzz says:

    @john personna:

    Not so obvious.

    Bureau of Justice Statistics

    Most murders were intraracial. From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

    As I said originally, normalize the data accounting for the different racial and ethnic populations in the countries being compared and you’ll no longer want to hear the answer.

    Or maybe the Bureau of Justice Statistics is just racist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @john personna: It might be that Europe has had enough wars that they’re tired of killing, at this point.

    (That’s in fact why I think the Religious Wars stopped in Europe. Anyone who wanted to kill someone else over a matter of religion was finally dead.)

    It won’t be until we create our own little Somalia, Part II in the US and get all those who believe that pointing a gun at someone else and shooting is a way to be interactive in society to REALLY put their beliefs into action that we have a chance. After they all kill each other, that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  30. @Tsar Nicholas:

    Of course there are a lot of factors at work here.

    Note the crime spike coincides very closely with the baby boom being in it’s prime crime-committing years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. @Stormy Dragon:

    I don’t think it’s race so much as social homgenization. A society with a social monoculture is going to have much less social tension than a diverse one

    And yet there are significant linguistic and cultural differences in Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland. In many ways the US is more mono-cultural than those societies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  32. JKB says:

    @grumpy realist: who believe that pointing a gun at someone else and shooting is a way to be interactive in society to REALLY put their beliefs into action that we have a chance.

    Chicago is doing their best, give them time. Problem is, they deny law abiding citizens the right to bear arms and the criminals have poor gun control. they shoot and wound dozens every weekend but they are crap at killing each other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  33. @Steven L. Taylor:

    And yet there are significant linguistic and cultural differences in Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland.

    Yes, but they’re geographically segregated within the country. e.g. 85% of French Candians live in one province, and they are 75% of the population of that province.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  34. @Buzz Buzz:

    The beauty of Pinker’s data is that it looks across vast spans of times and cultures. The trend is our friend in this case. As civilizations grow, and law and punishment become more assured, individual violence declines.

    When you point to spot data, about some dysfunction and culture of violence today, you can’t see that big span and the big changes. You can’t see what got Europe down from 100 to 1 or 2.

    I mean, if we did the same thing you are doing, with the Sicily data, we’d just declare that Sicilians are doomed to be the most violent people on earth, and nothing can change it.

    … thus ends my patience for racist freaks

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  35. PJ says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Actually, the reason for excluding those states is quite straightfoward: the chart goes back to the 1960s. Mexico has only been in the OECD since 1994 and Estonia since 2010. As such, the data are not available.

    Ah, that explains it, thanks.

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Most violent crime is commited by people under the age of 39, and we have a much higher percentage of people in that category than most OECD countries, as do Mexico and Estonia, the other two OECD countries with higher rates of violent crime than us.

    That may explain some of it, but far from all of it.

    Mexico has a rather violent drug war.
    Russians in Estonia are three times more liable to be guilty of or become victims of homicide than Estonians.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. @Stormy Dragon: But they are still plural societies, moreso than the US, and less violent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  37. Buzz Buzz says:

    @john personna:

    The original post asked:

    Numbers like this really do beg the question: what is wrong with us?

    I immediately pointed out:

    Normalize the data accounting for the different racial and ethnic populations in the countries being compared and you’ll no longer want to hear the answer.

    People like you have abundantly confirmed my prediction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  38. @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yes, but my hypothesis wasn’t that it was the multiple societies per se that increased violent, but the increased social tensions between them. Geographic segregation would reduce those tensions as it reduces how often members of differing social groups come into contact.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. @Stormy Dragon: Actually, such segregation can often lead to increased tensions for at least two reasons:

    1) Lack of mixing means that it is harder to lean to relate to other groups.

    2) Territorial segmentation can lead to resentments over resource allocation from the central government to the (ethnically segmented) localities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  40. @Buzz Buzz:

    People like you have abundantly confirmed my prediction.

    Well, I would accept this statement, but not in the way you intend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  41. Drew says:

    Its hard for me to imagine that it’s not social breakdown and gang violence. And gang violence means control of the drug trade, or, in prohibition, alcohol. Follow the money.

    Although I did get a good laugh at blaming it on the Lone Ranger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. @Buzz Buzz:

    A little pot calling the kettle black, there.

    You did not accept the wider data, because it didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear.

    Over history rates of violence are not stable for race, they evolve with cultures.

    It does not refute the world’s wider history to say “look here, at this moment, who is killing whom.”

    In the context of the wider data it makes sense that there will be “hot spots.” There have been all over the world, throughout history.

    … there I was patient with the racist freak for a little longer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  43. @Steven L. Taylor:

    I wasn’t adovcating segregation as a good policy, just trying to explain the data. There are much better ways to reduce tensions, but using French Canada, which operates as almost a sub country of Canada, isn’t really a good analogue to the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  44. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Actually, the reason for excluding those states is quite straightfoward: the chart goes back to the 1960s. Mexico has only been in the OECD since 1994 and Estonia since 2010. As such, the data are not available.

    There are some other OECD states not in the data as well, such as Israel, Chile, and the Czech Republic (and for the same reason).

    They why were Korea and Hungary included which didn’t join the OECD until 1996?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. JKB says:

    Well, if you look at these census maps, you’ll see at least in this snapshot, there are many intersecting variables that correlate to the US state graph. It would probably take a time series comparison to see if one trait dominated over the time period or if several aligned together. But it is not honest to out of hand dismiss the possibility of race dominance in the assault statistics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. @Andy:

    They why were Korea and Hungary included which didn’t join the OECD until 1996?

    I simply do not know. I did not collect the data, but am simply providing someone else’s work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. mattb says:

    @Drew:

    Its hard for me to imagine that it’s not social breakdown and gang violence.

    But… does that mean that since the 1980’s we’ve seen social reconstruction? Because the first chart clearly demonstrates that the numbers have been in decline since the height of the mid 70’s.

    That’s on of the problems with the entire “we’re a more violent culture today” argument — the data doesn’t bear out that “society is falling apart” simply looking a violent crime statistics.

    As Steven says, our current rates are still far too high, but compared to the 1970’s, things have greatly improved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  48. mattb says:

    On other (perhaps cynical) question of the first graph, if I read correctly, it’s reporting deaths per capita.

    It occurs to me that it would also be good to see violent crimes per capita mapped as well for one key reason — advancements in medical treatment.

    Solely focusing on deaths overlooks the fact that there have been huge leaps in trauma treatment since the mid 70’s (we’ve also seen this on recent battlefields). So it could be that the level of aggravated/life-threatening assaults have not decreased quite so rapidly… it’s just that more people are surviving them.

    That said, last I checked all violent crime is trending down — but it might not be going down quite so fast.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  49. Drew says:

    @mattb:

    Both fair points. It could be data error as well.

    I do know in this little lab we call the City of Chicago, we kill them by the half dozen to a dozen a night. Almost exclusively in gang activity on the far west and south sides. Drugs, drugs, drugs. And young men who never had an authority figure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. KariQ says:

    Well, if I accept Buzz’s contention that violence correlates with non-white population and then look at the third chart and see that the region that had the greatest reduction in violent deaths is the West, then the only rational conclusion is that the West became more white during the period of 200-2010. Get back to me on whether that’s correct, will you?

    More seriously, the median age of the population did increase since the 1970s, as the baby boomers grew older, there were fewer people in the “prime crime” age range. I’ve also heard it suggested that exposure to lead from gasoline may be tied to violence so perhaps our national switch to unleaded helped a tad (that always seemed a little tenuous to me, but who knows?).

    In any case, we certainly have a culture that celebrates and endorses violence. Violent movies get a PG rating, violence in television and games doesn’t cause anyone to bat an eyelash, and we are (as a nation, not necessarily as individuals) quite concerned that young men learn to be tough. We seem to promote violence rather than non-violent conflict resolution. This is all observational, not criticism; I would not advocate changes to games and TV and movies, nor do I think that those things necessarily cause violence. They are simply part of a culture where fictional violence is regarded as normal, and real violence is far too common.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  51. Spartacus says:

    I find it interesting that whenever there’s a discussion about violence in America someone quickly points out the higher rates of violent crimes committed and suffered by racial minorities as if to counter the argument that America (or some particular state within America) is a violent place. Both whites and non-whites in America are more violent than whites and non-whites in the rest of the OECD.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  52. mattb says:

    @JKB:

    But it is not honest to out of hand dismiss the possibility of race dominance in the assault statistics.

    Its no so much that we think race should not be plotted, but rather we were reacting to the fact that Buzz Buzz clearly thinks that race (ie. non whites) are the key problem for why we are a violent society. See the following comment:

    Why do so many people keep pointing out that countries with a large percentage of non-white citizens are statistically more violent than countries that are almost exclusively white?

    There’s no need to read between the lines. Buzz Buzz is expliticly tying race and violence together.

    There’s no other attempt at other explanations — a variety of socio/economic questions that could also be asked of the data. All he did was simply reduce it to race and only race.

    BWT — Buzz Buzz wonders why, on another thread, we keep bringing up the fact that the current republican/conservative movement might have some serious structural race issues that they should attend to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  53. michael reynolds says:

    @Drew:

    Yep. Drugs. You know who never shoots each other? Liquor store owners. You just never see the Bev Mo gang and the Total Wine crew shooting it out in the parking lot.

    The inability of the American people to see the futility and destructiveness of the drug war is just astounding. Every day I drive by San Quentin. What’s it full of? People involved in illegal drugs. And off my deck I see Alcatraz, now decommissioned as a prison, formerly full of people involved in illegal alcohol.

    Legalize and regulate drugs in this country and our murder rates will come down. Not enough to make us into Sweden, we’re still a violent people, but enough that we may not look quite so appalling. Bonus: the Mexican rates would fall as well.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  54. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I don’t see a methodology listed at the link. I appears to me that other violent countries were left out for purposes of narrative as much as anything else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. @Andy: Again, I cannot speak to that.

    I will say this: eyeballing the list of countries, this is a fair comparison amongst advance, developed counties (which counts out Mexico, anyway).

    if we start throwing in very violent places, like Mexico and Colombia, this would make the US look better by comparison, but it does not diminish the fact that when compared to Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada. etc. that the US is a true outlier.

    If Estonia were included, for example, does that really say anything about the US’s relative position?

    Out of curiosity: which other cases do you think should be included, and what do you think it would tell us?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  56. mantis says:

    @JKB:

    Chicago is doing their best, give them time. Problem is, they deny law abiding citizens the right to bear arms and the criminals have poor gun control. they shoot and wound dozens every weekend but they are crap at killing each other.

    You may have missed it, but McDonald v. Chicago made guns legal in Chicago thanks to Heller. Actually, some guns always were legal here, but I know you gun nuts can’t actually argue on factual premises, so whatever. Anyway, even though it is now legal to own handguns and such in Chicago, the residents here have not been terribly anxious to jump in the middle of gang wars, guns ablazin’. Shocking, isn’t it? And since gang violence accounts for a big majority of the murder rate in Chicago…

    But thanks, JKB, for pointing out this good example of how loosening gun restrictions does absolutely nothing to decrease violent crime, and may very well contribute to its increase. I appreciate it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  57. John D'Geek says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You’re sorta proving Stormy’s point here.

    Quebec regularly has succession votes, at which point the Army is nearly always called out to maintain order. There is quite a bit of tension between the various Canadian parties — but they tend to segregate themselves.

    Japan is a very homogeneous society. A quick peek at Belgium shows that it is made up of primarily homogeneous provinces.

    In the US, we are far more heterogeneous — there is no “Italian state” or “German state” (though PA comes closest to the latter) or what not. In a multi-homogeneous nation, the tensions won’t generally spill over to individual bloodshed — but the same tension will show up in politics. I know Canada has that problem; I remember reading about Belgium having a similar problem (they were considering splitting Belgium up into three countries, IIRC, but the logistics were too much trouble), but couldn’t find it with my quick search.

    That said, I think that a map of poverty vs. violence would show much more correlation than a map of culture vs. violence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  58. Ron Beasley says:

    I think the homogeneity of income might be an interesting study. I lived in Germany for several years and there are no real poor people there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  59. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mattb:

    There’s no need to read between the lines. Buzz Buzz is expliticly tying race and violence together.

    I do not work for the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    Bureau of Justice Statistics:

    Most murders were intraracial. From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

    That evil, racist Bureau of Justice Statistics, and their evil, racist numbers.

    The facts and the people who look at the facts are racist, racist, racist!

    RACIST!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  60. @Buzz Buzz: Yes, but no one is denying the stats. What we are denying is your implicit argument that white people aren’t violent because they are white and black people are violent because they are black. Or that the US is more violent than Europe because it is less white.

    That would be the racist part.

    Are you not making that claim? (While, btw, ignoring JP’s points–or for that matter, mine–above).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  61. mattb says:

    @Drew:

    I do know in this little lab we call the City of Chicago, we kill them by the half dozen to a dozen a night.

    And having been a recent Chicago resident (South Side), its worth pointing out that your ability to accurately represent the amount of violence (which is still way too much) versus what you think is the regular amount of violence (unless of course you’re just engaging in hyperbole), points to exactly the problem with basing beliefs on what you *think* versus what the facts actually are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  62. Buzz Buzz says:

    @john personna:

    You did not accept the wider data, because it didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear.

    On the contrary, I was responding to Stephen Taylor’s original post, which compared the death by assault rate of a bunch of homogeneous countries to the higher U.S. rate and asked:

    Numbers like this really do beg the question: what is wrong with us?

    I predicted no one would want to discuss the answer to that question after actually looking at the underlying data. I was right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  63. @Buzz Buzz:

    I predicted no one would want to discuss the answer to that question after actually looking at the underlying data. I was right.

    Then you haven’t been reading/comprehending too well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  64. DRS says:

    @John D’Geek:

    Quebec regularly has succession votes, at which point the Army is nearly always called out to maintain order.

    What? Quebec has twice held referendums on succession, in 1980 and 1995, and the Canadian Army was not called out to maintain order. Where did you get that?

    These are Canadians, for God’s sake. They don’t really do riots very well or often.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  65. DRS says:

    Unless the Stanley Cup is involved, of course. Then it’s hit-the-dirt time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  66. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    What we are denying is your implicit argument that white people aren’t violent because they are white and black people are violent because they are black.

    I have never claimed or implied that white people aren’t violent because they are white and black people are violent because they are black.

    Or that the US is more violent than Europe because it is less white.

    That would be the racist part.

    Yes, I have already denounced the evil, racist, racist, evil Bureau of Justice Statistics for looking at the actual, factual numbers involved and coming to the racist, evil, evil, racist statistical conclusion that:

    Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

    They are all very bad people for actually looking at the data, and they should feel bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  67. Drew says:

    @mattb:

    Of course it was hyperbole. Insert the actual numbers and restate the assertion.

    C’mon, what’s happening here is an absolute travesty. Further, if you are here, you know the hyperbole isn’t that great. The murder rate is out of site.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  68. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Then you haven’t been reading/comprehending too well.

    I don’t consider shrieks of “RACIST!!!” in response to the presentation of actual data to qualify as a discussion.

    YMMV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  69. @Buzz Buzz: You are simply being evasive at this point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  70. @Buzz Buzz: Who is shrieking? You made the implications.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  71. mattb says:

    @Drew: It’s completely correct to make two points:

    #1 – Chicago’s murder rate is way too high.
    #2 – This year has been terrible on the South Side (41% above the rate from last year).

    However, you are making certain judgments based on a micro set of data versus the bigger picture. The actual number of homocides occurring in Chicago (including the south side) in recent years is still less than half what it was in the early 1990’s (1990: 851 homicides, 2011: 440 — more stats at the wiki page below).

    To this point this year appears a huge (and significant) outlier. As to whether or not it’s a trend, only time will tell. It still needs to be addressed, it needs to be fixed. But, the facts don’t bare out the broader argument you are making…

    (To put it a different way, it’s like saying that no one should ever invest in the Stock Market again due to the record losses that took place in late 2008).

    data source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Chicago

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  72. mattb says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    I don’t consider shrieks of “RACIST!!!” in response to the presentation of actual data to qualify as a discussion.

    Ummm… help me out, where was the actual data you brought? All you did was throw out a hypothesis:

    Normalize the data accounting for the different racial and ethnic populations in the countries being compared and you’ll no longer want to hear the answer.

    And what we’re reacting to is that the premise of your hypothesis is “it’s all the fault of non-whites.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  73. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I’m not evading anything.

    I presented the data that answered your question as to why the death by assault rate was so different for the U.S.

    As I predicted, no discussion ensued, beyond the implicit and explicit claims that it was racist to look at the actual government-collected data which answered the question that had been posed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  74. mattb says:

    @mattb:

    help me out, where was the actual data you brought? All you did was throw out a hypothesis:

    I missed your link to the BoJ topline report. I retract that part of my statement.

    Just downloaded the entire report and will respond after I read it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  75. @Buzz Buzz: Well, you haven’t done a good job of responding to questions and observations above. This is what I mean by evading.

    More importantly: what do you think the data you presented means, as that is the key issue here. You seem to have reached a conclusion, but you have no explicitly shared it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  76. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mattb:

    Ummm… help me out, where was the actual data you brought? All you did was throw out a hypothesis:

    Sure. I’ve linked this twice already (once as a direct response to a comment of yours), but once again, just because you asked:

    Bureau of Justice Statistics:

    Most murders were intraracial. From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

    There’s a wealth of statistical data at the BJS web site if you bother to look. But it’s all very racist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  77. Drew says:

    Mattb

    You have now devolved into statiscal gamesmanship. Those 440 people arent any less dead, and the third point stands: the source of the violence is gangs and drugs, along with people with a twisted set of values.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  78. Murray says:

    We should declare war on Canada and let us be invaded by Canada.

    It’s the shortest route to public civility and fiscal sanity.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  79. @Buzz Buzz: Citing demographics is not an argument.

    The issue would become: what do you think those demographics mean?

    If I say that mostly women are raped, this is a descriptive fact. However, it is not an argument about why.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  80. mattb says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    As I predicted, no discussion ensued, beyond the implicit and explicit claims that it was racist to look at the actual government-collected data which answered the question that had been posed.

    Slow down there…

    The first thing that a number of us said — and now that we have data we can explore — is that before we simply reduce it to “it’s all about the minorities,” we take a look at what, if any, contextualizing data there is.

    There is no question that statistically speaking, young black men as a whole, are statistically more likely to be either the victim of a homicide or the perpetrator of a homicide than young white men. But that isn’t remotely the whole story.

    We could easily point out that young men of all colors are more likely to commit homicide than young women. But you didn’t suggest that we should look at gender at all (last I checked a number of the countries below us skewed female). Nor did you mention that young people are more likely to commit murder than old people (Average age in a number of those countries skews older than the US).

    Our point is that you simply dropped the race bomb using a tone that suggested that “all yuz Libruls are afraid to admit that the problem iz the darkies.” (Which fits into a larger posting pattern you’ve established over the last few weeks).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  81. @Drew: Yes, but weren’t you claiming 6-12 murders a day?

    That would be 2190 to 4380. As such, your estimates were off, at the high side, by almost a factor of 10. This is why @mattb meant when he said:

    its worth pointing out that your ability to accurately represent the amount of violence (which is still way too much) versus what you think is the regular amount of violence

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  82. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Well, you haven’t done a good job of responding to questions and observations above. This is what I mean by evading.

    You asked a question (why is the U.S. murder rate higher than certain other OECD countries), I provided the data which answered it (there is a demographic segment of the U.S. population that commits murder at a statistically significant higher than normal rate, and that demographic segment is either absent or only negligently represented in the other OECD countries being compared).

    Which “questions and observations” related to why the U.S. murder rate is higher than certain other OECD countries have I evaded?

    More importantly: what do you think the data you presented means, as that is the key issue here. You seem to have reached a conclusion, but you have no explicitly shared it.

    I think it means that in the U.S., government statistics show that “Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.” The conclusion I have reached is that this anomaly is the main reason why the U.S. murder rate is higher than the other OECD countries being discussed.

    Do you dispute the data?

    Do you dispute the conclusion?

    If so, what hypothesis and supporting data do you offer in its place?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  83. mattb says:

    @Drew: Your original point is that all this violence shows society is breaking down.

    My response was: no the facts don’t suggest that — i.e. there has been an ongoing fall in violence.

    Your second post then was to say — oh yeah, what about Chicago’s South Side (which btw, is predominantly an African American community… nicely tying into Buzz Buzz’s point that it’s all about skin color… let’s not mention the level of poverty on the South Side, or the fact that it was the ignored aspect of Chicago for most of Daley I’s reign), murder is out of control there.

    My response was: You are right, there is a huge spike this year. BUT, that spike is not representative of a larger trend that can be seen. In fact, the murder rate, previous to this year, has been significantly down from where it was in the early 1990’s.

    What’s ironic is one so many other discussions with you, especially related to climate change, you always tell us to “ignore the spike” as it’s a statistical outlier. And yet here, you are hanging your entire argument that society is falling apart on that spike.

    It’s an emotional argument, not a fact based one.

    Now, you may be proven right in time. But there’s no way to suggest than a spike = a trend. And a 48% year over year growth suggests that something else is going on right now (which to your point could be an influx or drugs or a new gang war, but we have yet to see any data to back that up beyond your “gut.”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  84. @Buzz Buzz: I am not disputing the data.

    I am disputing that data represent a conclusion.

    The data themselves do not say why these things are happening, just that they are (that’s what data do).

    You are inferring a conclusion without having the courage of your convictions and actually saying it outright.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  85. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I don’t really mind excluding countries, even if the intent is to make the point the author is making, but I think it should be made clear why some countries were excluded and not others. Implying the US is the sole outlier without such disclosure could be viewed as dishonest.

    On the larger point, I agree – the US is definitely more violent than most OECD countries and that’s not something we should be proud of.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  86. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mattb:

    Our point is that you simply dropped the race bomb using a tone that suggested that “all yuz Libruls are afraid to admit that the problem iz the darkies.” (Which fits into a larger posting pattern you’ve established over the last few weeks).

    Your statement is simply a lie, but is the quality of argument I expect from “all yuz Libruls” on this site (much like your earlier dishonest claim that I’d provided no data even though I’d given you a link to the BJS site directly in response to one of your earlier baseless accusations of racism).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  87. mantis says:

    I presented the data that answered your question as to why the death by assault rate was so different for the U.S.

    The data didn’t answer the question.

    If you think you know the answer, share it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  88. anjin-san says:

    “we’re a more violent culture today”

    The reality is probably more we are a media saturated culture today – 24/7/365. The more awful and bloody the story is, the more frequently it is repeated. Every time there is a tragedy like this I have to talk my mother down after she spends three straight days watching cable news nonstop.

    She lived through the depression, WW2 and the cold war, but she is convinced the world is far more perilous today. The media knows how to play on people’s fears, when they are scared, they stay tuned in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  89. Drew says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I know there is a theory that legalizing drugs – perhaps decriminalizing is a better term – would simply encourage the crooks to move on to the next vice, say, prostitution. oK, legalize that. Then what?

    For the life of me I can’t imagine another venue that would yield enough revenue to cause people to set up gang territories and shoot it out for the, uh, distribution channel. Maybe the chocolate doughnut trade?

    I know people say kidnapping. I think that’s a desperation argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  90. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    You asked a question (why is the U.S. murder rate higher than certain other OECD countries), I provided the data which answered it (there is a demographic segment of the U.S. population that commits murder at a statistically significant higher than normal rate

    That’s not an answer to the question. It tells us who, not why. And it doesn’t even tell us who to much satisfaction (except to someone who wants to say blacks are violent and nothing more).

    , and that demographic segment is either absent or only negligently represented in the other OECD countries being compared).

    You have not shown this to be the case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  91. mantis says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You are inferring a conclusion without having the courage of your convictions and actually saying it outright.

    Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  92. mantis says:

    By the way, anyone notice how Jenos disappeared just as Buzz Buzz appeared? I don’t think that’s just coincidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  93. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You are inferring a conclusion without having the courage of your convictions and actually saying it outright.

    You lie and slander as casually as mattb. I have directly answered the questions asked by stating facts. Anything you infer from those facts is on you, not me.

    Also, you are the one who is avoiding direct questions that were put to you:

    Which “questions and observations” related to why the U.S. murder rate is higher than certain other OECD countries have I evaded?
    ?

    Do you dispute the data?
    No.

    Do you dispute the conclusion?
    ?

    If so, what hypothesis and supporting data do you offer in its place?
    ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  94. @Buzz Buzz: You did not respond to JPs point about the evolution of violence in Europe nor did you respond to my comments above about the non-white cases/cases with other non-white populations. This is what I was referring to.

    And you remain confused about the different between descriptive statistics and explanation for those statistics.

    Since you claim to be saying nothing but the stats, then all I can say is: thanks for the info, but it isn’t a conclusion and you have not explained to me why it should be taken as a conclusion.

    it is that simple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  95. @Buzz Buzz:

    If so, what hypothesis and supporting data do you offer in its place?

    As far as I can tell, you have not offered an explicit hypothesis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  96. @mantis:

    By the way, anyone notice how Jenos disappeared just as Buzz Buzz appeared? I don’t think that’s just coincidence.

    Jenos’ style is different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  97. anjin-san says:

    Jenos disappeared just as Buzz Buzz appeared?

    Well, you have someone who seems certain they are saying something brilliant more or less babbling – I see your point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  98. mantis says:

    Jenos’ style is different.

    I thought so too, but I thought the same thing about Jay Tea vs. Jenos, and I was recently shown pretty solid evidence that they are the same person. Maybe he uses different names to try out different approaches.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  99. DRS says:

    Jenos and Buzz Buzz sound pretty similar to me. They’re probably the same person.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  100. Drew says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    C’mon, Steven. I said it was hyperbole. Lighten up. Google a Tribune or Sun Times article on the subject. It makes the news 3-4 times a week. Consult with your colleague Dave Schuler. We have a world class violence problem here. An extraordinary problem.

    And it is dominated by the gang wars, young men, on the far south side and far west side. Drugs and territory. And then the kids get hit by stray bullets. It’s a mess.

    I’m no stranger to the south side. I used to go bar hopping on the way home from the steel mill in NW Indiana years ago. I used to drive straight west from the loop through the Austin neighborhood just to get a feel. I wouldn’t do that on a million dollar dare now after d ark.

    We can play debating games, or we can address your essay, and its query. The violence is gang dominated, and it’s serious. And at the root: the drug trade.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  101. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You did not respond to JPs point about the evolution of violence in Europe nor did you respond to my comments above about the non-white cases/cases with other non-white populations. This is what I was referring to.

    You’re right, I did not spend much effort to address the separate topic that JP brought up. Nor did I address all of the other topics that everyone else mentioned. I chose instead to focus on the content of your original post, and the question you asked therein.

    And you remain confused about the different between descriptive statistics and explanation for those statistics.

    On the contrary. I have stuck to just reciting the facts – which on their own answer the question you posed regarding the statistical discrepancy – precisely because I do not know the why of these facts. The BJS report does not try to explain the why of these facts, either. It simply states what the data are, as I have.

    You seem angry and confused that I will not draw any conclusions beyond the available statistical facts, to the point that you are insisting that I have somehow done so even when I have not.

    Since you claim to be saying nothing but the stats, then all I can say is: thanks for the info, but it isn’t a conclusion and you have not explained to me why it should be taken as a conclusion.

    I explained this earlier:

    I think it means that in the U.S., government statistics show that “Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.” The conclusion I have reached is that this anomaly is the main reason why the U.S. murder rate is higher than the other OECD countries being discussed.

    But your dismissive comment makes it appear that you aren’t really interested in what the actual data-based answer to your question is. I presume that instead you’re looking for some kind of “gotcha” answer to play politics with.

    No doubt you’ll find one, or failing that, manufacture one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  102. Racehorse says:

    What we have now are too many soft on crime judges that show more concern for criminals than their victims; courts that are like revolving doors for criminals who are released on some technicality to go out and roam the streets for more innocent victims. We see horrible crimes committed by criminals with records a mile long and we wonder why they are locked up with the key thrown away. One solution would be to make judges and parole boards legally liable and responsible for the criminals that they release!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  103. Drew says:

    @mattb:

    I see the problem. I absolutely did not say society is breaking down. That implies a process. I said the root cause of the current violence, specifically in the big cities, and certainly in Chicago, is drug trade and impaired individuals gang activity.

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. And if you believe you have an alternative explanation please do tell. But of you live in Chicago you know this is absolutely the case. That aren’t shooting over girls and the White Sox vs the Cubs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  104. Carson says:

    “Go ahead. Make my day.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  105. al-Ameda says:

    Generally, Americans are comfortable with violence.

    We have a tradition that glorifies the exploration and actions it took to acquire and take control lands and territories, we mythologize the violence of the American West, we had a Civil War that resulted in the death of over 600,000 Americans, etc.

    Also, we are now a well-armed civilian population – over 250M guns for a population of about 310M people. We love our guns, and we’re willing to put up with a fair amount violence to ensure that our right to virtually all manner of weaponry is subject to limited restrictions.

    It’s not surprising at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  106. Bennett says:

    @Racehorse: Who in their right mind would ever agree to be that parole board? Might as well just make any felony a life sentence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  107. mattb says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Jenos’ style is different.

    Completely different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  108. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    You seem angry and confused that I will not draw any conclusions beyond the available statistical facts,

    Steven does not seem the slightest bit angry. You’re projecting.

    But your dismissive comment makes it appear that you aren’t really interested in what the actual data-based answer to your question is.

    Again, you have in no way answered the question. The question was why are we violent, not who is violent among us in what rates. Though the demographics of violent crime are certainly relevant, they are not a reason. Unless you believe race determines behavior. Most people here are assuming you believe race determines behavior because you are strongly suggesting that you do without saying it outright. Regardless of that, you have not answered the question, despite your claims.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  109. mattb says:

    @Racehorse: Spoken like someone who has absolutely no idea what they are talking about and doesn’t fricking care on iota. As someone who knows a LOT about the criminal justice system will tell you, judges are anything but “light” on criminals. Plus with sentencing guidelines it’s almost impossible for a judge to be *light* even if they want to be. And that doesn’t even begin to get to how stacked the criminal justice system is for the state. And that’s before we get to the issue of parole (and especially how rare it is for violent felons to be paroled — just look at California for perhaps the most extreme example).

    Trust me, if judges were light on criminals, if the system was so forgiving, prisons would not be over crowded.

    Turn off right wing talk radio, get off the blogs, step away from the talking points and actually do some research because you are just making yourself look stupid talking about things that you so clearly know nothing about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  110. mantis says:

    @Drew:

    We can play debating games, or we can address your essay, and its query. The violence is gang dominated, and it’s serious. And at the root: the drug trade.

    I don’t know about America, but when it comes to Chicago, I’m with Drew. Most of the violent deaths here are from gang violence. Gang violence exists the way it does because of the drug trade. Prohibition creates crime that wouldn’t exist without it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  111. mattb says:

    @Drew:

    I see the problem. I absolutely did not say society is breaking down. That implies a process.

    Ok… I guess I must have misread this earlier comment wrong or something:
    @Drew:

    Its hard for me to imagine that it’s not social breakdown and gang violence.

    I was assuming you were explaining why are we a violent society. What “it” were you referring to anyway?

    And for that matter:

    Although I did get a good laugh at blaming it on the Lone Ranger.

    What the hell did this mean anyway? Lone Ranger? Did we read the same articles?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  112. mattb says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    I presume that instead you’re looking for some kind of “gotcha” answer to play politics with.

    And beginning with a post that translates as “libruls don’t want to admit darkies are violent” isn’t responding with a “gotcha” answer?

    BTW, if anything Buzz Buzz’s particular rhetorical style reminds more far more of past posters like JWest and Polaris.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  113. mattb says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    (much like your earlier dishonest claim that I’d provided no data even though I’d given you a link to the BJS site directly in response to one of your earlier baseless accusations of racism).

    Boy… that claim would have been soooo much more dishonest if I didn’t immediately publicly retract it right here — you know within ~minute of posting it initially, without you having to ask.

    Chances are before you even read it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  114. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mattb:

    And beginning with a post that translates as “libruls don’t want to admit darkies are violent” isn’t responding with a “gotcha” answer?

    Repeating your lie doesn’t make it any more true. It only confirms your dishonesty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  115. al-Ameda says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    And beginning with a post that translates as “libruls don’t want to admit darkies are violent” isn’t responding with a “gotcha” answer?

    Repeating your lie doesn’t make it any more true. It only confirms your dishonesty.

    Where did he lie?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  116. mattb says:

    @Drew:

    The violence is gang dominated, and it’s serious. And at the root: the drug trade.

    For all the back and forth, I pretty much agree with this.

    That said, has anyone in the Chicago press actually been able to point to what’s happening in the immediate moment? Who are the big gangs on the South Side now a days? Is someone new entering the territory?

    But, beyond all of that, Drew’s claim points to a larger picture, that the US has more organized gang activities than most of Western Europe. And I’ve heard anecdotal data from a number of sources that gangs are continuing to push into increasingly rural areas (and continue to go after “at risk” populations … there have been huge recruitment efforts targeting Indian Reservations over the last few years apparently).

    BTW @Racehorse, you do realize one of the key recruiting strategies for gangs is to go after low level drug offenders who’ve been sent to prison on relatively minor charges. Rock on mandatory sentences for low amounts of possession and/or 3-strike-and-you’re-out-rules!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  117. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mattb:

    Chances are before you even read it.

    No, mattb, I read it and was in the process of writing my response to it before you “retracted” it about 4 minutes later.

    You can see that I even have a response to someone else sandwiched in between your initial dishonest claim that I provided no data and your retraction thereof.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  118. Bennett says:

    @Buzz Buzz: It’s EXACTLY what you have been saying. You think the data shows that the US is more violent because we have more black and latino people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  119. mattb says:

    @Buzz Buzz: Here, I’ll decode it for you… I have my bigot2.0 ring here somewhere (got it in a crackerjack’s box of course):

    The people [Decoder ring: Already moving to negatively identify a class of “people” — and what people? Well clearly academics and policy folks who create these sort of charts. Beyond that the ones who are arguing that there might be something about the culture necessary to correct, ahh progressives/libruls] making these “stunning” comparisons [It’s in quotes so you know its sarcastic… this isn’t a discovery… it’s a conspiracy to hide the truth] seem willfully ignorant [willfully ignorant: choosing to lie to themselves or others] of the actual underlying numbers [“actual underlying numbers” = I haz the real factz… nothing that you said is true… and what’s the key underlier you ask? It’s all about race! Nothing below race. That’s it. Blame the darkies!].

    […]

    Normalize the data [I’m fighting science with science] accounting for the different racial and ethnic populations [I.e. blacks, muslims, latinos, whoever else is not white or the good type of asian] in the countries being compared and you’ll [again, whose “you”? why the ones who are hiding the truth. And since this has to do with race though you’re clearly afraid to completely say that outright, clearly it’s Librulsm Sheeple who always conceal racial truth — they are the party of the KKK (well except for David Duke). Good conservatives know that their side has no issues talking about the “black problem.”] no longer want to hear the answer [because the answer is that people of color (blacks, muslims, latinos, whoever else is not white or the good type of asian) are the ones who make our society violent… and that’s counter to everything that they’ve been telling themselves for years. And also it’s proof that librul social policies only hold people down.].

    I note that you haven’t even attempt to discuss the substantive points we raised.

    How Alinskey of you. Clearly you must have a background in political science.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  120. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Bennett:

    You think the data shows that the US is more violent because we have more black and latino people.

    I think the data (from the Bureau of Justice Statistics) show:

    Most murders were intraracial. From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

    From which:

    The conclusion I have reached is that this anomaly is the main reason why the U.S. murder rate is higher than the other OECD countries being discussed.

    Tell me, Bennett:
    What do you think the data show?
    What do you think accounts for the statistical difference in the U.S. death by assault rate and that of the other OECD countries?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  121. Neil Hudelson says:

    Buzz Buzz style is a lot more like Jwest’s.

    Say what you will about Jenos, but he doesn’t seem to hold racial views any more extreme than the average Republican. (I say this without an encyclopaedic knowledge of his previous statements) His style is a lot more about lib-baiting than race-baiting.

    And sorry this comment doesn’t directly deal with the subject at hand. I have too little experience to comment on violence in our society at large.

    The two times I did directly experience violence were quite different. Once was a mugging on a hiking trail (of all places) in Charleston, SC. Two young men just out of prison. They took my cash and bus pass, but left me my credit cards, explicitly stating they just needed a few bucks to get a bite to eat. Not quite the mugging experience I expected.

    The second time was a run-in with the MS-13s in Houston. I don’t know about society at-large, but the gang violence I witnessed was horrifying.

    But you know what occurred to me after the incident(s)? That we were only in danger of gangs–MS-13s or other–in the incredibly poor areas of town. It didn’t matter if that area was Latino, Black, White, or Asian. Wherever poverty was rampant, gang markings appeared.

    And to give BuzzBuzz an example of what stating a hypothesis is versus stating a set of data is:

    It is my anecdotal conclusion that violence in American society is due in large part to great inequalities in wealth.

    See how easy that was BuzzBuzz?

    What is your hypothesis?

    What you seem to be intentionally obtuse about is, that by only supplying a set of data and stating that that is the equivalent of your conclusion, and that that set of data only regards race, your conclusion is that race itself–inherent qualities in a person of that race–is the cause for violence.

    By not stating such, you are a coward, not an intellectual.

    If that is not what you are inferring by only posting one set of data, tell us what you actually believe rather than getting angry at our inferences.

    Side note:

    I greatly enjoyed the conversation before it was hijacked by BuzzBuzz, and I had hoped that the conversation between Drew, Mantis, MattB, and Michael could continue without breaking down into insult hurling.

    Alas…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  122. mantis says:

    @mattb:

    That said, has anyone in the Chicago press actually been able to point to what’s happening in the immediate moment? Who are the big gangs on the South Side now a days? Is someone new entering the territory?

    I don’t know if anyone in the Chicago press has it figured, but I live on the west side and work on the south side, and from my perspective it seems like we have a lot of different territory wars that are escalating for a few reasons. There is less cash on the streets due to the economy, and the competition has become more fierce as a result. Plus there has been a lot of splintering and disorganization among the gangs in recent years, leading to more and more factions fighting for territory. Then you have the normal escalation of war. No attack can go without a response, preferably a bigger one, etc. Add in an extra hot summer following a warm winter when everyone is out in the streets and the fact that the CPD still has not found an effective strategy against gangs, and you’ve got a recordbreaking year for murders. It’s pretty awful, and it’s very pretty tightly confined within certain areas of the city.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  123. mattb says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    No, mattb, I read it and was in the process of writing my response to it before you “retracted” it about 4 minutes later.

    You can see that I even have a response to someone else sandwiched in between your initial dishonest claim that I provided no data and your retraction thereof.

    Well I was wrong about that — that you didn’t read it. And I was wrong to say you hadn’t posted any facts, I should have rescanned the thread. Let me own those to things. I apologize for both accusations.

    I still argue that my broader point, I publicly retracted the statement before you asked, is still correct.

    As far as that initial accusation — that you hadn’t posted any facts — It wasn’t dishonest, it was a mistake. You did post that link. I missed it. I apologize.

    Now, if you choose to see it as dishonest, more power to you. As with the content of your posts, that decision indicates far more about you, than it does about me.

    Now that’s all cleared up and we’ve had our little moment, I’m going to take off and will respond substantively to that data you’ve posted when I’ve had the chance to dive into it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  124. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    What do you think the data show?
    What do you think accounts for the statistical difference in the U.S. death by assault rate and that of the other OECD countries?

    Why don’t you answer those questions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  125. mattb says:

    Ok Buzz Buzz, you can nail me for lying again — I opted to post once more. Mea Culpa. I’m off to flog myself for this sort of dishonesty after I type this (and possibly respond to something on another thread).

    @Neil Hudelson: Agree on all points (in particular the Jwest thing) — including the issue of poverty and its relation to the centers of gang violence. Likewise @mantis those are some really good points.

    All that said, the overall trend still remains, even with all the specific flare-ups, that violent crime is trending down. The question is (for all the reasons @mantis laid out) whether or not the current economic conditions and high unemployment levels for unskilled workers will contribute to an increase in crimes akin to what we saw in the 70’s (though pushed further out than simply the urban areas).

    And @Neil Hudelson you really nailed it with this line:

    By not stating such, [Buzz Buzz] are a coward, not an intellectual.

    Buzz Buzz is a classic example of the post Limbaugh bigot — he knows what he’s doing is making a racist/bigoted argument (in that it’s all reduced to race without any subtly or any attempt at additional explanation) and does it in a fundamentally cowardly manner. I mean, at least Superdestroyer makes no bones about his racism. Buzz Buzz on the other hand is either self delusional (at best) or is simply a coward.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  126. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mattb:

    You’re trying too hard.

    The people [Decoder ring: Already moving to negatively identify a class of “people” — and what people? Well clearly academics and policy folks who create these sort of charts. Beyond that the ones who are arguing that there might be something about the culture necessary to correct, ahh progressives/libruls] making these “stunning” comparisons [It’s in quotes so you know its sarcastic… this isn’t a discovery… it’s a conspiracy to hide the truth] seem willfully ignorant [willfully ignorant: choosing to lie to themselves or others] of the actual underlying numbers [“actual underlying numbers” = I haz the real factz… nothing that you said is true… and what’s the key underlier you ask? It’s all about race! Nothing below race. That’s it. Blame the darkies!].

    When I said “[t]he people making these “stunning” comparisons” I was referring to the actual people making these comparisons in their blog posts. The word “stunning” was in quotes because that was the description Stephen Taylor used in the original post. And despite claims of wondering why the numbers look so bad for the U.S. (“Numbers like this really do beg the question: what is wrong with us?”), there is no effort at examining or discussing the underlying data even though it is readily available (as I’ve demonstrated by linking to it multiple times in this thread).

    Normalize the data [I’m fighting science with science] accounting for the different racial and ethnic populations [I.e. blacks, muslims, latinos, whoever else is not white or the good type of asian] in the countries being compared and you’ll [again, whose “you”? why the ones who are hiding the truth. And since this has to do with race though you’re clearly afraid to completely say that outright, clearly it’s Librulsm Sheeple who always conceal racial truth — they are the party of the KKK (well except for David Duke). Good conservatives know that their side has no issues talking about the “black problem.”] no longer want to hear the answer [because the answer is that people of color (blacks, muslims, latinos, whoever else is not white or the good type of asian) are the ones who make our society violent… and that’s counter to everything that they’ve been telling themselves for years. And also it’s proof that librul social policies only hold people down.].

    Yes, yes, the evil, racist Bureau of Justice Statistics, and their evil, racist numbers. Again, I denounce them for collecting and normalizing the actual homicide data, and declare them to be bad people who should feel bad.

    I note that you haven’t even attempt to discuss the substantive points we raised.

    As I asked Stephen Taylor, please point out which substantive point you’ve raised relating to the information in the original post that you think I haven’t addressed.

    How Alinskey of you. Clearly you must have a background in political science.

    I’ll merely point out that it isn’t me who’s been reduced to rewriting your comments with my “bigot2.0 ring” to dishonestly make them say things they clearly didn’t say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  127. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mantis:

    Why don’t you answer those questions?

    Sure. Once again.

    I think the data (from the Bureau of Justice Statistics) show:

    Most murders were intraracial. From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

    From which:

    The conclusion I have reached is that this anomaly is the main reason why the U.S. murder rate is higher than the other OECD countries being discussed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  128. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Sure. Once again.

    I think the data (from the Bureau of Justice Statistics) show:

    As I’ve pointed out, all you have is demographics, no causes. Unless you think the demographics are the cause. Do you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  129. mattb says:

    @Buzz Buzz: Yeah I lied again…

    From which [you wrote]:

    The conclusion I have reached is that this anomaly [higher rate of murders among people of color] is the main reason why the U.S. murder rate is higher than the other OECD countries being discussed.

    So, if I am reading why you just wrote correctly, you are saying the reasons that our rate of murders remain higher than the rest of the world is because we have a higher murder rate among people of color.

    Again, what you are stating is a fact. You’ve shared your demographic/crime statistic data?

    Apparently the point that we’re missing is what those facts mean. Especially since returning to your initial post, they are supposed to make me not “want to hear the answer.” (Your words).

    You clearly have not been happy with the answers we’ve given you so far. Perhaps we’re too dense to understand. But maybe we’ve got it all wrong. So please, expand upon your conclusion. If not for me, for others reading the thread, so you can be sure that your point has gotten across.

    Is there a specific reason for the higher rate of murders around people of color within the US? Also do you think that it’s just a problem within the US?

    Or are the European rates being inflated by their own population of color?

    Seriously, what are you trying to say with this particular statistic?

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  130. Buzz Buzz says:

    As I’ve pointed out, all you have is demographics, no causes. Unless you think the demographics are the cause. Do you?

    I don’t know what the cause is. I said as much before, earlier in this thread, in response to Stephen Taylor:

    I have stuck to just reciting the facts – which on their own answer the question you posed regarding the statistical discrepancy – precisely because I do not know the why of these facts. The BJS report does not try to explain the why of these facts, either. It simply states what the data are, as I have.

    You seem angry and confused that I will not draw any conclusions beyond the available statistical facts, to the point that you are insisting that I have somehow done so even when I have not.

    I note that my refusal to indulge in speculation seems to cause the same anger and confusion in you that it did in him.

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  131. mattb says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    As I asked Stephen Taylor, please point out which substantive point you’ve raised relating to the information in the original post that you think I haven’t addressed.

    I have promised you a full response after I read through the data, which really have to put down the OTB-Pipe and start doing.

    But, I would humbly suggest that the following post was the beginning of a substantive response addressing the limits of your use of data.

    The first thing that a number of us said — and now that we have data we can explore — is that before we simply reduce it to “it’s all about the minorities,” we take a look at what, if any, contextualizing data there is.

    There is no question that statistically speaking, young black men as a whole, are statistically more likely to be either the victim of a homicide or the perpetrator of a homicide than young white men. But that isn’t remotely the whole story.

    Which I’ll couple with Steven’s point from here:

    More importantly: what do you think the data you presented means, as that is the key issue here. You seem to have reached a conclusion, but you have no explicitly shared it.

    Again, you’ve presented data, but you have taken no steps to interpret it or contextualize it. Your hypothesis is nothing more than a restatement of the data, there’s no synthesis.

    Do you have any opinions on the larger picture? Is race the most important data point for understanding violence within the US?

    BTW — just to be clear, I don’t think any of us are saying that the data is racist or the decision to measure the data that way is racist. Typically racism (or racist agendas) only emerge in the interpretation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  132. michael reynolds says:

    Another comment thread hijacked by one of Steve Sailer’s trolling drones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  133. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    I don’t know what the cause is.

    Yet you have claimed repeatedly to be answering the question of cause by reciting demographic statistics. People have responded accordingly, and you’ve simply whined rather than clarify. You dissemble your meaning repeatedly, and shift back and forth as to whether you are offering an explanation of cause or not.

    I note that my refusal to indulge in speculation seems to cause the same anger and confusion in you that it did in him.

    Kindly point out examples of “anger” from either of us. As to any confusion, that is your fault, because you debate dishonestly.

    Basically, you’re a troll. You offer nothing of substance, and are here simply to annoy people. Further discussion with the likes of you is quite pointless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  134. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mattb:

    Cutting and pasting my responses over and over to you because you don’t bother reading them the first time is getting boring, so I’m not going to do so any more. You can look back at the thread and see what I’ve said if you really want to know.

    Alternatively, you can continue to ignore the statements I’ve made and the real-world data I’ve presented to support those statements, slip your “bigot2.0 ring” back on, and go back to fantasizing about the racist things you wish I’d said instead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  135. @Buzz Buzz:

    You seem angry and confused that I will not draw any conclusions beyond the available statistical facts,

    Angry? No. I am a bit frustrated because you seem to think that stating a fact is the same thing as making an argument and reaching a conclusion or engaging in analysis. It isn’t and if you don’t understand that, then I don’t know how to keep discussing this (or, really, any other) matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  136. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mattb:

    The first thing that a number of us said — and now that we have data we can explore — is that before we simply reduce it to “it’s all about the minorities,” we take a look at what, if any, contextualizing data there is.

    There is no question that statistically speaking, young black men as a whole, are statistically more likely to be either the victim of a homicide or the perpetrator of a homicide than young white men. But that isn’t remotely the whole story.

    You keep complaining that no one is looking at the data while you continue to refuse to look at the data I linked in favor of posting more content-free “you’re a racist!” comments.

    Again, you’ve presented data, but you have taken no steps to interpret it or contextualize it. Your hypothesis is nothing more than a restatement of the data, there’s no synthesis.

    Taylor’s and Healy’s posts presented some “stunning” graphs which purported to show “America the Violent“. They presented data, but took no steps to interpret it or contextualize it. Their hypothesis is nothing more than a restatement of the data, there’s no synthesis.

    However, Taylor’s post did ask why the U.S. data was anomalous among the OECD countries; a question I believe is answered when the actual underlying data is examined.

    Do you have any opinions on the larger picture?

    That depends on what you think “the larger picture” is. (Though I will say that the efforts to tie the higher U.S. murder rate to current gun laws is statistically laughable.)

    Is race the most important data point for understanding violence within the US?

    Why don’t you look at the actual data, tell me what you think, and we’ll go from there?

    BTW — just to be clear, I don’t think any of us are saying that the data is racist or the decision to measure the data that way is racist. Typically racism (or racist agendas) only emerge in the interpretation.

    Just to be clear, I didn’t make any interpretations of the data (and in fact, it seems to really make you guys mad that I won’t do so). But that hasn’t stopped the groundless, dishonest implicit and explicit accusations of racism.

    You (collectively) make a good case study of the hive mind at work.

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  137. michael reynolds says:

    Any time anyone produces a statistic than can be wedged into the “scientific racist” narrative up pop the trolls. It’s most likely quite deliberate. It used to be “Tango Man.” Mention a statistic and race and up he would pop. I’d be willing to bet “Buzz Buzz” is just the latest V-Dare troll.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  138. @mantis:

    I thought the same thing about Jay Tea vs. Jenos, and I was recently shown pretty solid evidence that they are the same person.

    Actually, I came to the conclusion a while back that Jenos was almost certainly Jay Tea. They actually do have similar styles and both lapse into some of the same patterns when confronted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  139. @mattb:

    BTW, if anything Buzz Buzz’s particular rhetorical style reminds more far more of past posters like JWest and Polaris.

    Polaris isn’t coming to mind at the moment, but I recall the name. The style is very much jwest (although the lack of any Alinsky references or attacks on my political science training make me think it isn’t him).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  140. @michael reynolds:

    Any time anyone produces a statistic than can be wedged into the “scientific racist” narrative up pop the trolls. It’s most likely quite deliberate. It used to be “Tango Man.” Mention a statistic and race and up he would pop. I’d be willing to bet “Buzz Buzz” is just the latest V-Dare troll.

    Indeed. It is V-Dare/Sailer-like. And I well remember Tango Man (although not fondly). He was better an argumentation than Buzz Buzz, however.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  141. Buzz Buzz says:

    Angry? No. I am a bit frustrated because you seem to think that stating a fact is the same thing as making an argument and reaching a conclusion or engaging in analysis. It isn’t and if you don’t understand that, then I don’t know how to keep discussing this (or, really, any other) matter.

    Let me try phrasing my conclusion another way, then:

    “I don’t have much to say here, save that I find it all depressing. Mostly it is food for thought (as while I know we, as a country, often worry about crime, I am not sure we actually think about how violent our society actually is).”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  142. @Buzz Buzz: At least by quoting someone who markedly stated they were presenting information without drawing conclusions you are making sense. The fellow you are quoting was, if I understand him correctly, not providing data and stating that said data was a conclusion in and of itself.

    Progress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  143. steve says:

    Why do black people commit more homicides?

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  144. Buzz Buzz says:

    The fellow you are quoting was, if I understand him correctly, not providing data and stating that said data was a conclusion in and of itself.

    Right, there were no conclusions being drawn in a post titled “America the Violent” which contained the line

    Numbers like this really do beg the question: what is wrong with us?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  145. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Allow me to offer an hypothetical situation to explain the problem here. None of the “facts” listed below are meant to be factual outside of this hypothetical (though they might be).

    First, a factual premise:
    – A study shows that the United States produces significantly fewer college graduates, per capita, other western industrialized countries.

    Question posed, from let’s say…Steve: “Why does the US produce far fewer college graduates?

    Comment offered by, umm, Burt: “People in poverty go to college in much smaller percentages than people living above the poverty level. Other western industrialized countries have smaller percentages of their population living in poverty.”

    Burt then proceeds to repeatedly insist that he has both answered the question and that he has not suggested that poverty causes the lower rate of college graduation. When others try to point out that if he is not asserting poverty as the cause, then he has not actually answered the question. He responds by telling them they are angry and confused.

    Do you see?

    Either you are suggesting race is the cause of violence, or you are not suggesting anything, but are purposely leading people to believe that you are so you can cry fowl when they say so. You are Lucy with the football, but here the football is racism. Lucy can get bent, and so can you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  146. @Buzz Buzz: The data clearly show violence. I did not attempt to suggest I knew why.

    Perhaps it is clearer now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  147. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I made the same point about the data I presented that you did about the data you presented.

    The data clearly show violence. I do not attempt to suggest I know why.

    In fact, I explicitly rejected that I knew the why.

    Perhaps you can explain why you find it acceptable when you do this, but “evasive” and “frustrating” when I do it.

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  148. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mantis:

    Your effort to put words into my mouth is as worthless and dishonest as mattb’s 19:41 comment was.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  149. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    The data clearly show violence. I do not attempt to suggest I know why.

    Yes, you do. Repeatedly. Like, say, here:

    I have stuck to just reciting the facts – which on their own answer the question you posed regarding the statistical discrepancy

    You claim the data you cite, which exclusively concern race, themselves answer the question. Therefore, you claim race is the cause.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  150. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Your effort to put words into my mouth is as worthless and dishonest as mattb’s 19:41 comment was.

    I’m quoting your words, dipshit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  151. @Buzz Buzz: One of us has a clear comprehension problem in this thread, and I know how I would vote. You are entitled to your view. I see no point in recapitulating (yet again!) what you have said.

    You are free, of course, to re-read the thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  152. jukeboxgrad says:

    I’m pretty sure Buzz Buzz is bithead/Florack.

    Do a site search for “put to you” (something Buzz Buzz said in this thread). It appears about six times. Two of those are bithead/Florack.

    Do a site search for “no doubt you’ll” (something else Buzz Buzz said in this thread). It appears about four times. Two of those are bithead.

    Do a site search for “though I will say” (something else Buzz Buzz said in this thread). It appears twice (after you remove one false result). One of those is Florack.

    Do a site search for “as while I” (something else Buzz Buzz said in this thread). It appears twice (aside from this thread). One of those is Florack.

    BB also said “therein” and “thereof.” Those words come up hundreds of times in a site search, but bithead/Florack is very often the reason for that.

    Try a site search for “I note with amusement.” You’ll get two results: bithead and BB.

    Now try “TANG documents.” You’ll get three results: two bitheads, one BB.

    That’s enough to convince me. Bad writing can be like a fingerprint.

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  153. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mantis:

    The data clearly show violence. I do not attempt to suggest I know why.
    Yes, you do. Repeatedly. Like, say, here:

    Here’s what I say in the comment you linked – I’ve chosen to highlight the part that you dishonestly omitted from your own blockquote:

    On the contrary. I have stuck to just reciting the facts – which on their own answer the question you posed regarding the statistical discrepancy – precisely because I do not know the why of these facts. The BJS report does not try to explain the why of these facts, either. It simply states what the data are, as I have.

    You seem angry and confused that I will not draw any conclusions beyond the available statistical facts, to the point that you are insisting that I have somehow done so even when I have not.

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  154. Buzz Buzz says:

    @mantis:

    I’m quoting your words, dipshit.

    You quoted nothing of mine in your 21:24 comment.

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  155. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Here’s what I say in the comment you linked – I’ve chosen to highlight the part that you dishonestly omitted from your own blockquote:

    Actually, I’ve pointed out how you offer an answer and claim to not know the answer. That was an example of you doing both in the same sentence.

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  156. mantis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    You quoted nothing of mine in your 21:24 comment.

    When I offered a hypothetical for comparison? You’re right. So what?

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  157. mantis says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    I’m pretty sure Buzz Buzz is bithead/Florack.

    Convinced me.

    Why do you keep changing your name, bithead?

    At least you seem to have scared Jenos off by conclusively showing he is Jay Tea. I’m sure he’ll be back under a different name though.

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  158. Scott O says:

    There was a spike in violence in the US during prohibition. Homicide was consistently in the 8-9 per 100k range. According to wiki we were at 9.8 in 1991 and 4.8 now.

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  159. wr says:

    @mantis: “Basically, you’re a troll. You offer nothing of substance, and are here simply to annoy people. Further discussion with the likes of you is quite pointless”

    Well, yeah. Hence the comparisons to Jenos/Jay Tea and JWest. I’m not sure why so many otherwise intelligent people have been tussling with this troll for 150 messages. All it wants is attention.

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  160. jukeboxgrad says:

    And aside from having the same distinctively lousy writing style, compare the views expressed by Buzz Buzz in this thread to the views recently expressed by Florack here:

    from a statistical standpoint, Derb has a point. thing is, I view these issues as cultural, more than racial … this is not about race. This is about culture. Particularly, Liberal culture, which a large number of blacks tend to subscribe to. To their own destruction, I think. … if you look at the crime rates involved broken down by race you’ll notice that there is a large disparity between crime rates among the impoverished whites and the impoverished blacks. Again, that would seem to be cultural in nature. … Are we afraid of those statistics? And if so, why?

    I think the ideas, style and attitude are a perfect match.

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  161. superdestroyer says:

    Buzz Buzz,

    Welcomre to the world of how progressives forced themselves to think. When viewing violent crime data of countries, progressives immediately believe that the data shows that Americans are evil violent criminals who would be better off if when lived like Swedes. You countered that Americans are not really that violent but that African-Americans are hyperviolent and you back up your theory with data. And as you have seen, if progressives are ever shown data that goes against their biases and beliefs, those progressives must ignore that data.

    On wonder how the U.S. will ever resolve any problems if so many Americans refuse to face any data that does not conform to their narrow world view.

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  162. @steve:

    Why do black people commit more homicides?

    Certain communities have high homicide rates. If you or I were dropped into those communities and lived exactly the same lives as their residents, we’d probably have the same risk of violence.

    Putting yourself in such a foreign experience can be hard, but it’s the key to understanding a lot of things. In the case of poorest, most drug dependent, violent communities, life is still “nasty, brutish, and short.” When life is NBS you are going to make different choices, no matter what you might have been in a non-NBS environment.

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  163. mattb says:

    Ok…

    So finally read through the report that Buzz Buzz linked to. Unfortunately, as I suspected, the data in the extended report is rather limited, without geographic or economic marking. So there’s no way to ask some key questions of the data — ie. clustering murders based on geographic regions, population density, poverty, etc).

    So, for the moment, until I have time to find other reports, all I can do — like Buzz Buzz — is state th topline without drawing any actual conclusions: as (sadly) we all knew already, statistically speaking, its far more dangerous to be a young black man in the US than it is to be just about anyone else.

    BTW: as an interesting data aside — did you know that, according to the report, whites are far more likely to kill children under 6 than blacks? Just saying… not drawing any conclusions.

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  164. John D'Geek says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    If I say that mostly women are raped, this is a descriptive fact. However, it is not an argument about why.

    It’s also false. More men are raped in the US than women — once you take prison populations into account. In fact, the US is (IIRC) the only nation on the planet to have admitted that.

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  165. mattb says:

    Just another note, which highlights the problem of getting beneath race — very little data has been systematic collected on contextual information (such as income or education levels) among murder victims or perpetrators. So trying to get to the next level is extremely difficult. There have been smaller scale studies, but nothing on the scale of the information compiled by the DoJ or the CDC.

    Did find a few recent papers on the topic, but won’t have a chance to read them until much later.

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  166. @John D’Geek: Point taken. Of course, I wasn’t trying to make a point about rape.

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  167. Rob in CT says:

    All this to point out that the data don’t, by themselves, provide an answer to “why” (which, in turn, is necessary to tackle the problem effectively).

    I don’t know the answer to the question “why are black Americans so violent?”? My guess is that it’s a combination of the following:

    1) The War on (some) Drugs
    2) Poverty, and culture that both grows from and perpetuates poverty (here I’m thinking of some posts I read a while back from Ta-Nehise Coates, about growing up in Baltimore in the 80s and how violence saturated everything).
    3) Significant inequality of wealth and opportunity. It seems to me that there are many possible root causes here, starting with slavery, moving on to Jim Crow, “white flight” and then moving further into our post-industrial society in which gainful employment is less and less available without significant education.

    I strongly suspect that dysfunctional communities are more violent communities and thus the short answer to the question is “dysfunction” not “immutable racial characteristics.”

    Drew brought up gangs. Well, why does one join a gang?

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  168. John D'Geek says:

    @DRS:

    What? Quebec has twice held referendums on succession, in 1980 and 1995, and the Canadian Army was not called out to maintain order. Where did you get that?

    From a Canadian. But, thinking back, it was probably more like “they’re constantly talking about succession / trying to succeed”.

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  169. Rob in CT says:

    @superdestroyer:

    And as you have seen, if progressives are ever shown data that goes against their biases and beliefs, those progressives must ignore that data.

    No one is ignoring the data. Don’t lie.

    The data is what it is. The question is “why?”

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  170. John D'Geek says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Legalize and regulate drugs in this country and our murder rates will come down.

    There is another option. Portugal decriminalized drugs without making them legal. Basic concept is to send possession offenders (the majority in our system) to rehab rather than jail. Critical to the plan is to not give them a criminal record. That way, they can turn themselves in without fear of retribution or reprisal.

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  171. Rob in CT says:

    I’m down with the decriminalization option, at least as a first step. If things go well, consider going to full-blown legalization.

    And whaddya know, Connecticut is trying this out.

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  172. Rob in CT says:

    Put another way, about violence and demographics:

    If all you have is some variant of “oh, they’re just animals” that’s useless. It does nothing.

    If your answer is “culture” (which I think is correct but incomplete) then you have to come up with some plan to alter the culture you think is causing the problem, right?

    I think aggressively promoting the idea that going straight & narrow (stay in school, study, don’t get into the drug trade, don’t join gangs, etc) is the path of a winner is among our best options, but then it has to actually work that way. Kids from dysfunctional communities who make the right choices need to (by and large) win, so their peers and younger counterparts see them winning and make the connection. They have to see a viable pathway to middle-class life. Right now, you can certainly show people stats that indicate that dropping out, using/selling drugs, etc = a path to failure. That’s clear. And I think many do grasp that. But there’s gotta be a carrot to go with the stick, and I get the impression (again, this is all outside of my experience, so I could be talking out of my *ss here) that the carrot doesn’t seem real.

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  173. @John D’Geek:

    More countries should try full decriminalization. I’m not sure we should be next, but maybe third or fourth.

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  174. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Why does something have to be done? That the demographic difference exist just needs to be acknowledge without the laying of blame or the creation of new government programs. AT least with the acknowledgement that the differences exist and thus, the U.S. cannot be just like a small, all whitecountry in northern Europe.

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  175. Rob in CT says:

    Right, like I said, useless.

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