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View Diary: Something Has Changed, But What? (315 comments)

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  •  Correct Me if I'm Misreading (5+ / 0-)

    But if the worldwide market is $15 bn, and the U.S. accounts for $11 bn of that, isn't the rest of the world drastically under-medicated?

    Or the U.S. over-medicated?

    Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

    by The Baculum King on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:10:41 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  There are several factors (5+ / 0-)

      that contribute to the disparity, mainly the fact that we have the highest drug prices in the world.

      Which is, however, irrelevant to the truthiness of this diary. But out of curiosity, is anyone from RKBA working on the look-over-there-violent-TV post yet?

      Fuck you, I put on pants yesterday.

      by MBNYC on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:22:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Don't Know What RKBA is Doing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea

        I've never joined, and don't own a gun.

        Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

        by The Baculum King on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:27:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Plenty of that in this diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, MBNYC

        but not from RKBA:

        the look-over-there-violent-TV post
        The look-over-there violent TV/video game comments are alive and well.

        All of the social-factor arguments are, of course, predicated on the claim that the kids today are more violent. And, in fact, they are not. Violent crime is down on both an absolute and per-capita basis since the peak in the late '80s/early '90s.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:28:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't disbelieve you in the least (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MBNYC, kyril

          As you know, I recognize your intelligence and commitment to fact. Thus I am wondering your source for this, which is interesting. I know Mother Jones says mass murders went up. I know the DOJ said, during the AWB which lasted ten years, that homicides by gun didn't decrease. What is the source you're using for this stat? Thanks. I'd like to know it because I'm trying to be thorough in my consideration of this issue, and I'd like to think through how events like Sandy Hook can be prevented in the future. Per capita violent crime is perhaps a separate issue from mass murder, although there may be some overlap; I think the mall shooter a few days ago was most likely a suicide-by-cop where the cops didn't show up as quickly as he expected, based on what I've read, for example.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:40:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Some data (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive, 417els, MBNYC
            http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/...
            Per-capita victimization rates for violent crime, as of 2009, were 1/3 of the average from 1980-1994. Victimization rates have been dropping 6-10% per year since 1994.

            More details from the DoJ:
            http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/...

            Violent crimes involving firearms decreased dramatically from 2000 to 2009, remaining almost stable as a percentage of all violent crime (that is, firearm victimizations tracked closely with all victimizations). (page 8)

            Murders went down 8.1% from 2008-2009, exceeding the average for all violent crime.

            More sources on homicides specifically:

            Even as early as 1998, criminologists had already observed a marked and unexplained drop in the homicide rate since its peak in 1991:
            http://www.jstor.org/...

            The homicide rate is now very near (if not below) the historical lows reached in the late '50s:
            http://thepublicintellectual.org/...
            http://marginalrevolution.com/...

            The homicide and robbery rates have tracked fairly closely together since they both started to rise in the late '60s. Both are down significantly since 1991; while the robbery rate is still elevated compared to the '50s, the homicide rate has returned to 1950s levels. Rates of homicide and property crime also seem to be very strongly linked.

            (The breakdown by age/race is interesting.)
            http://www.crimetrends.com/...

            As of 2012, violent crime is down again for the fifth straight year.
            http://www.csmonitor.com/...

            And yet most Americans, as usual, believe that crime is up. Why?
            http://www.gallup.com/...

            As for mass murders, specifically, it's surprisingly hard to get good information. The most recent article I can find that cites an actual professional is here:
            http://www.salon.com/...

            That one claims that mass murders peaked in the '90s and were down below 1980s rates in the '00s. (It also claims a peak in 1929, but no numbers are given in support.)

            Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century.
            However, it's easy to find articles from 2009-2010 claiming that mass shootings are up, giving completely different numbers.

            One thing that can be said for sure is that these events are so rare that it's very difficult to distinguish a trend from statistical noise, especially given that researchers don't seem to be working with a single commonly-agreed on definition and data set. If there is a trend in mass murders (either up or down), the effect is so small that we can't even say for sure that it exists. And an upward trend of that order of magnitude would probably be explainable by population growth.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:52:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You can find more DoJ charts (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive, MBNYC

            specifically related to gun crime and gun murders here:
            http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/...
            and here:
            http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/...

            but keep in mind that all the charts in the first link and some in the second use absolute numbers of offenders rather than per-capita victimization rates. Per-capita victimization is a much better measure, because population growth affects absolute numbers.

            (The ideal metric for what I'm trying to convey would be per-capita offense rates by age cohort, but nobody seems to have made that graph.)

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:09:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm looking mainly at mass murders (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MBNYC

              This is outstandingly helpful, however. Thank you, kyril. This is going to be very useful even if my interest is less so with a per-capita, age-ranked cohort for general homicides involving gun violence. I think so many factors go into gun violence (drugs, gangs, domestic assault, burglaries, etc.) that it's not something which is a tremendous concern to me beyond anything involving innocent people getting caught up in this. In other words, I need to remain narrow in my focus because one can only tackle so much at a time. In my case, I have an interest in mass murderers, who I've followed stories of for a long time. Well before I was on this site.

              Grant Duwe's work is really helpful here. I looked in my university database, and they don't have his primary article on this, however, they did have some abstracts which were noteworthy. Thank you for introducing me to his work. He notes:

                 THE PATTERNS AND PREVALENCE OF MASS MURDER IN TWENTIETH- CENTURY AMERICA.
              Authors:
                  Duwe, Grant
              Source:
                  JQ: Justice Quarterly; Dec2004, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p729-761, 33p, 5 Charts, 3 Graphs

              Abstract:
                  Even though previous research has not examined mass murder prior to 1965, scholars have asserted that the mid-1960s marked the onset of an unprecedented and ever-growing mass murder wave. Using news accounts and the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) as sources of data, this study analyzes 909 mass killings that took place between 1900 and 1999. Although the mid-1960s marked the beginning of a mass murder wave, it was not unprecedented, because mass killings were nearly as common during the 1920s and 1930s. The results also show that familicides, the modal mass murder over the last several decades, were even more prevalent before the 1970s. Moreover, mass killers were older, more suicidal, and less likely to use guns in the first two-thirds of the 20th century. Although some have claimed that workplace massacres represent a new "strain" in mass murder, the findings suggest that the only new type of mass killing that emerged during the 20th century was the drug-related massacre. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

              So this represents a strong demographic shift in mass murders which is an academic, peer-reviewed work, showing that previously, they were less likely to involve strangers or younger men, were more domestically oriented, tended to involve suicides, and were less likely to involve guns before the 1970's.

              And I am curious what the shift to a younger demographic, more likely to kill strangers, and more often with guns, can be attributed to. I have a hypothesis about changing treatments in schizophrenia, but nothing more than a hypothesis, although it could explain the demographic shift, perhaps. I will keep looking at his work and other similar citations toward this end and others.

              Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

              by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:30:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Glad you found something useful (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, 417els, MBNYC

                I wasn't quite sure exactly what you were looking for, so I just sort of started throwing everything I had at the wall :)

                I'm not as interested in mass murders - I'm interested in the long-term effects of video game exposure on real-world behaviour. So most of what I've been looking at involves aggregated indices of violent crime. But I do find the mass murder research interesting.

                Re: the trends: My initial hypothesis would be that the change in age and the change in victims/venue are likely to be related.

                • The social pressure to marry is far, far less now than it used to be. Young people can live alone into their 20s and even 30s without attracting much comment. Even teenagers have less pressure to be attached.
                • Instead of dating seriously/marrying/starting a family, potentially-unstable young men are left alone to brood and isolate themselves. Parents may act as caretakers but have limited influence on their adult children.
                • Absent the protective effect of marriage and social ties, these individuals may snap earlier. Those with diagnosable mental illness may be less compliant with treatment and less forthcoming about side effects if their caretaker is a parent rather than a spouse.
                • When they do reach the boiling point, they won't have a wife and kids to kill. They're more likely to identify a school/workplace, or perhaps some generalized conception of 'society' or 'government', as the source of their rage.

                "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                by kyril on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:35:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Video game theory is always interesting (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril, MBNYC

                  to me. Sorry to have initially been overly broad, by the way. I'm skeptical of video games despite all of the literature which I've read which largely say there are no correlations between video games and violence. Then again, I'm sort of a Luddite. When I was a kid, my parent's wouldn't let me watch Tom and Jerry because they thought it caused violent behavior; obviously, I think this was pretty cracked now. What have you found with the video game stuff?

                  I can see your hypothesis at work with young, unmarried men. It's interesting. It seems like more men used to kill their families. Maybe they had more to kill.

                  I keep arguing something like your third point: that we have less social ties than we used to, and less than many other countries where mass murders are low. I would say this absolutely must be because it is harder to be mentally ill and have it go unnoticed when society is close. Even in some countries, like Serbia, where the gun ownership is are near equal to the U.S. and laws are considered fairly lax, yet mass murders are low, people tend to live in closer proximity and with higher social ties. Mass murders tend to occur in developed countries almost solely in the U.S. and parts of Western Europe and Scandinavia with a few exceptions. The U.S. has, by far, the most. We also seem to have a very isolationist society, including within our family units and how we live in larger social groupings. I think this is probably similar to parts of Western Europe as well (and Scandinavia perhaps too). I'm thinking less of parents vs. spouses here, and more about how ones' total daily life is interconnected with other lives.

                  Interesting stuff. I think your breakdown is astute. I especially think Nancy Lanza had grown perhaps desensitized to the peculiarities of her son, as his parent; I've seen that more times than I can count with friends for various behavioral issues with their kids.

                  Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:47:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've found absolutely nothing (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mahakali overdrive, MBNYC

                    The strongest evidence for a connection is the empirical research that shows an increase in children's expression of aggression immediately following exposure to violent imagery. But I'm not really interested in whether playing Call of Duty makes a kid more likely to punch her brother - that's a concern for parents. I want to know whether it makes her more likely to shoot someone in the future, and so far, there appears to be absolutely no evidence to support that theory.

                    (The anecdotal observation that all of the recent mass murderers have been online gamers is...rather useless. They're middle-class white males born after 1980. It's practically a statistical certainty that they play games. And since they're not athletes or sports fans...it's going to be RPGs, shooters, or strategy games.)

                    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                    by kyril on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:06:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  As long as Tetris doesn't do anything (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kyril, MBNYC

                      I'm going to be okay, personally.

                      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:07:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, I am fully prepared (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mahakali overdrive

                        to use my holy powers to keep a team of ten people alive as they battle the tentacle-ridden dragon harbinger of the coming apocalypse.

                        I'm also a champion at hiding in the shadows and taking down overgrown sewer rats with precision shots from a bow and arrow.

                        And, like any respectable young American, I can navigate diabolically-complex three-dimensional puzzles and destroy stationary laser-wielding talking robots while armed only with a wormhole-generating gun, an inert cube, and basic Newtonian physics.

                        I am clearly a threat to society. I must be stopped :)

                        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                        by kyril on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:42:10 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Seen them too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          And it really comes down to "let's throw up as many straw men as possible so there's no discusion about gun violence as such", let alone - shiver - the idea that every moron really should have a huge arsenal at his or her disposal.

          None so blind as those who will not see.

          Fuck you, I put on pants yesterday.

          by MBNYC on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:08:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the actual facts are different (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MBNYC

            than you think they are, perhaps your proposed solutons are equaly wrong?

            The supply-side gun control argument, distilled, goes something like this:

            (1) Guns are more availabe and more lethal than they have been in the past.

            (2) Violent acts are more common than they were in the past

            (3) Change (1) and you'll change (2).

            If (1) isn't true, (and it isn't,) and if (2) is also not true, (and it isn't,) then what does that say about the conclusion?

            --Shannon

            "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
            "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

            by Leftie Gunner on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:26:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If the facts are different (0+ / 0-)

              then yes, of course the remedies must change. But right now, it does seem as if the scope of the latter is the prime factor in consideration of the former on all sides of this debate.

              Personally, I don't want to take your guns. I don't have one myself, but I do know how to shoot, and may want to have one one day.

              But we do have to get to the point where all of us can accept that flooding the country with firearms is going to result in tragedies like Newtown.

              Fuck you, I put on pants yesterday.

              by MBNYC on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:12:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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