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View Diary: BREAKING NEWS: Santa Monica college shooting. Update: 7 reported dead, several injured(LIVE BLOG) (120 comments)

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  •  True, it's way too violent here (1+ / 0-)
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    and there are way too many guns, but the murder and violent crime rates in the US are nowhere near the worst in the world.

    •  Hmmm..... (2+ / 0-)
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      bigjacbigjacbigjac, lyvwyr101

      Reminds me of a remark that a French general made during the conflict in Algeria: Having few casualties doesn't matter much if you're one of the casualties. If you want to compare the US with Somalia, I suppose your remark is true, but that is very cold comfort.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:22:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's really not even close to the highest (1+ / 0-)
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        Countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and the Ivory Coast have rates over ten times higher.
        Murder rate by country, 2011

        Actually, the US is almost exactly in the middle.  I would guess that the completeness of our count is also more accurate than most of the world.  Way too high still.  Higher than any Western European country.

        •  countries like Honduras, El Salvador, etc.-- (1+ / 0-)
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          i suspect there the poor are much more poor than our poor

          and the built-in inequity even worse than ours

          but we're supposedly a first world country, supposed to have been the great experiment in democracy

          i think that's telling in such a comparison

          •  There are much poorer countries w/ much lower (1+ / 0-)
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            isabelle hayes

            murder rates (Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia. India).   The gangs in Central America have become horrible (some of them imported back from the US).  Most of Latin America has gotten very bad, even as incomes  have improved.  The sub-Saharan countries are almost all very high, certainly due a combo of factors incl poverty and way too many endemic wars, with the availability of weapons and a ready recourse to violence to address conflicts translates to frequent murders.

            The US does poorly compared to other first world countries, certainly true, but we are the largest of such countries, by far, with a very wide range of social living conditions and laws.  Mississippi and Louisiana have murder rates nearly ten times higher than those in Hawaii or New Hampshire.  States like Massachusetts. Montana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Maine, Utah, Iowa, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Hawaii all have murder rates comparable to the other first world countries (many of which have a population the size of these states).

            It's not so useful to make broad generalizations, really.  We have problems, bad ones, that need fixing.  But we've had successes too.

            So what is there to learn from all this?  Well, it's complicated...  

            •  To be more specific on our culture of violence, (2+ / 0-)
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              Be Skeptical, isabelle hayes

              I think there is a culture of violence in America, a culture that is professionally cultivated and produced in media and recorded in newspapers. Other countries may have more incidents of actual violence, but as has been said, "Violence is as American as apple pie."

              That is what I think is almost unique about America, that acceptance and even embrace of a culture of violence. Guns are only one aspect. War is another, as is our prison industrial complex, and our increasingly militarized police force.

              Until that culture is undone, or at least until its impact is blunted, I think we are diminished individually and as a nation, because of our association with that culture.

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