Yeah, But Still…Be Your Own Factual Boss.

I heard it said that statistics are just numbers waiting for an argument.

Then argue with me.

Despite a significant US population increase since 1991, the murder rate that year was 24,700 compared to 14,249 in 2014 with a decrease nearly every year in between. The odds of you getting murdered have been nearly cut in half the last 25 years.

Yeah…but still.

There were 687,730 robberies in 1991 compared to 325,802 in 2014.  The chances of you being robbed has been well over cut in half the last 25 years. In addition, aggravated assaults, thefts and burglary rates have all plummeted during this same period.

Yeah…but still.

In 1991, the population was 252,177,000 and there were 14,872,900 violent crimes committed. In 2014,  the population was 318,857,056 and 9,475,816 violent crimes were committed.318,318,857,056857,056

yeah-but-still-1_1250

Adjusting for population, violent crimes have been cut in half in the last 25 years. The United States has never been a safer place.

Yeah, but still.

Thus far in 2016, 57 Americans have been killed by terrorists, including the recent Dallas police officer murders. In a 30 year study, it is estimated that a minimum of 3,000 and as many as 49,000 Americans will die from the flu each year.

Yeah, but still.

According to the Washington Post, 1,502 people have been shot and killed by police since January 1, 2015.  732 were markedly white and 382 were markedly black -with the rest of unknown ethnicity.

Yeah…but still.

In my very first blog in 2012, I wrote, “The odds of a child getting shot and killed at school is 1 in 12.2 million, pending the year. A child is over 16 times more likely to get struck by lightning than to die in a school shooting. To provide another vantage point, the CDC reports that in 2008 alone, 1,700 children died from child abuse and neglect in the US.”

Yeah…but still.

By far the greatest danger to children’s lives, other than abuse and neglect, are not guns, shootings or terrorism, rather it is our country’s swimming pools -with nearly 400 deaths per year.

Yeah…but still.

Speaking of children, though we instill a healthy fear of “strangers” in our children, they are far more likely to be abused, kidnapped or killed by their parents than all the strangers on the street combined. Ernie Allen, the once head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said, “We have been trying to debunk the myth of stranger danger.”

Yeah…but still.

With 41,143 suicides in 2014 and only 16,105 homicides that same year, you are 2 ½ times more likely to kill yourself than to be killed at the hands of another.

Yeah…but still.

In regards to breast cancer, the chances are far greater that a US woman will die from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension or lung disease/cancer before breast cancer. In fact, breast cancer is the 6th leading cause of death for women up until this writing.

Yeah…but still.

According to US News, undocumented “illegals” who supposedly drain our system, contribute nearly 12 billion dollars per year to the US economy, with California receiving nearly 3.2 billion of this pie. This does not include their labor contributions.

Yeah…but still.

We fear the things we should not while not fearing those things we perhaps should. Thanks mass media. You are just awesome. We have been trained and conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs to believe your bullshit.

Yeah…but still.

Argue with me.

jimmysintension

12 Comments

  1. Jimmy this exactly is why more people need to take the time to really learn the facts of claims these days. You have proved that not everything the media says is true and its sometimes portrayed and exagereated for the sake of ratings. The media tends to put us in two categories, left and right, and then tailor the news into what we should believe and what fits our politics party. It is more important now than ever to question those in power, those in the spotlight and the media before just accepting their stats as the truth.

    • Thanks Dayna…we all need to become shrewd consumers of the media and believe everything is bullshit until proven otherwise. I believe that it is not a matter of left or right primarily because they will lose half their audience. They use fear because it is universal and appeals both to the left and the right. We are being seduced into being fearful infants…and where there is fear there is the opportunity for control. People cannot accept many of these statistics as truthful…even though they are…because it does not fit the narrative the mass media is selling. Thank you so much for contributing to the conversation.

  2. Jimmy, I’m not sure what to say. This post doesn’t sound like and argument. It’s more like a list of facts. I don’t know much about these statistics. You are the teacher and I’m sure you aren’t feeding me bullshit. So how about this. We aren’t suppose to worry about anything in this country. But what comes to your mind when I argue there is a monopoly on force? Are we really safe because police officers are here to protect and to serve us, or is it just that we’re getting good at living in the future? Right, 25 years ago the murder rate was twice as bad as it is today. And yes, maybe the flu does kill more people than violence today. But why do we have this problem (violence) to begin with. And why are people in low income areas “breaking more laws” than everyone else? Our men in uniform are taking a break in a rich neighborhood and arresting people in poor ones.

    • First off, do not trust me at all…check my sources and research. NEVER trust someone who says you should because they are the professor. Professors are as capable of bullshit as anyone…perhaps worse. I have stories…I really do not want to get into the police things because it misses the point of the blog. The point of the blog is most are plagued by the disease of irrationality…things we should be concerned with we are not and vice verse. Most live by their emotions through the lens of the media…a media whose only concern is reaching the largest audience possible. Fuck them. I believe media is currently doing far more harm to our country than police officers…and I am not a big fan of the po po, believe me. Thanks for reading Daniel!

  3. I can’t argue with your main point. Most of us are sheep easily manipulated by the media. However, the fact that violent crimes are lower than 25 years ago and you are not as likely to die from breast cancer etc… does not signify we should neglect these issues. Terrorist crimes are becoming more and more common, to the point where I’m not astonished when I hear there was another mass shooting.

  4. For arguments sake :), I think people need to also take into consideration violence on a micro level as well. Violent crimes may have decreased overall, but in other areas, violence has increased. If you look at domestic violence, it has increased in the last year (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/money-woe-one-reason-behind-rise-in-domestic-violence-cases-1.2740918). So while you may be safer in a public place, or walking your dog, or delivering groceries to a market in the hood, you will find when you arrive home, you may have something unexpected waiting for you in the kitchen or in the garage. There has also been an increase seen in child abuse cases (http://www.wwaytv3.com/2016/08/03/pender-co-sees-increase-in-child-abuse-neglect-reports/) in our nation as well as human trafficking, yes, in the United States of America (https://mountainx.com/news/our-voice-launches-two-year-project-to-combat-modern-day-slavery/). While it is great to focus on the improvements in our society and recognize areas where we have improved, it is also necessary to continue improving, but also examining areas that are worsening as well. Yeah… but still…. there are increases on a micro level.

    • Thanks Catherine! I am not certain you can separate micro and macro crime. If you are more likely to get hit in a domestic abuse, that is considered a violent crime period. In regards to human trafficking, I would say we are doing a lot better…considering our country WAS BUILT on slavery. Regarding child abuse, the source you cite is from a small country in, I believe, North Carolina, where the rise was over the last 6-8 weeks. I really believe the best and most accurate place to go for these stats is the FBI website. Thank you so much for the contribution…of, and for being the organized mom who puts out potluck lists online!

  5. Yeah…but still. You stated “it is estimated that a minimum of 3,000 and as many as 49,000 Americans will die from the flu each year.” And while this number is drastically lower than that of the number of Americans killed by terrorists, it seems to me the shock and awe value is to be considered. The flu is a natural part of life. We’ve all had it, it comes and goes, it’s so natural to us we use it as an excuse to take a day off work. (Whether or not we actually have it). Tell someone you have the flu, and you get a frown and a bottle of NyQuil. Tell someone your son was murdered by a terrorist, and you know the shock is real. You know words can’t do it justice and there will never be enough empathy in the world to make the tragic and unnecessary death of your son at all justified. And while the both of these scenarios end in death, I feel the human nature is exponentially more equipped to handle death by disease than death at the hands of another. So while death by flu may take a much larger amount of lives, I believe death by terrorist takes a toll on the human spirit as well.
    The same could be said for the statistics regarding the death of children by lightning vs. a school shooting. Yes, both are incredibly tragic, but how much easier is to explain force majeure than the insanity of an armed man who decides today is the day he wants to rob children of their the opportunity to live another day.
    I do think your statistics are eye opening, but I don’t think the numbers are the only things to be taken into account.

    • And you were home schooled?? (hehe) I LOVE your point of view and your argument -that has a rational component that includes emotion…it is so very valid. Of course I do not agree…as a death is a death is a death. My point is that regardless of the way one is killed, there are far less today than ever in a very long time. The emotional toll of “non-traditional” death may be greater than that of a “traditional” death, though, overall, we must know rationally that we are safer than ever. Thank you so much for your contribution to the blog…even if it was for extra credit! 😉

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