Monday, December 17, 2012

A Statistical Analysis of Fear Based America

Every time something like what happened in Connecticut Friday happens, there is always a spate of, "Oh it's not like the good ol' days any more.  People are way crazier now."

I like to take every opportunity I can to remind people that they are wrong:

NYC - Violent Crime has been decreasing since 1990. - Remember crack?  Yeah, that was part of the good ol' days.  Lotta fucking crack heads doing a lot of crazy shit for like $15.

(I know it's tough to see, but that's what "Ctrl" + "+" is for.  Had to make it fit.)  

Crime rates lowest since the '70's motherfuckers.  Listen, Connecticut was a tragedy, but you can't let that make you stop thinking.  As much as everyone says the world is getting smaller, it is obviously still too big for people to process properly. People fly off the handle as though our personal safety is more in jeopardy now than it was yesterday, that is empirically and absolutely not true.  Your children still have the same chance of a lunatic walking into their school that they've always had.  It's never been a non-zero probability and it never will be.

On the plus side there are 53 or 54 MILLION (as of 2010) school age kids in this country, so while every life is precious ('cept them foreigners amirite?!, any of you even hear about this?), the odds of your child encountering in-school violence like that in CT is incredibly unlikely (in fact it's lower than when I was going to school).

And in case you were wondering, here is a summary of violent crime in schools which was also trending down through 2009 (see below).

That's right, your kids are statistically safer than you were, so please stop saying you're going to pull your kids out of school.  There have always been crazy people.  As long as they can get their hands on sufficiently deadly weapons, they will always do depraved things to others that are "horrifying" and "unimaginable."  Speaking of which, I have one more bone to pick. 

Please for the love of god stop telling me in the same sentence that someone has just done something unimaginable and they should be publicly tortured for it.  Yes, I understand the desire for revenge, but letting your emotions control you to the point where all empathy has been lost was what allowed the original asshole to do what he or she did in the first place.  No one should be tortured, especially not on live TV, this is first level Roman Colosseum shit.

Anyway, that's my rant of the week.

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