May 24, 2011

Homicides down

From the LA Times:
California’s homicide rate continued to fall in 2010, reaching the lowest level since 1966, Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris announced Tuesday. 
Preliminary figures gathered by the California Department of Justice from the state's largest jurisdictions show the number of homicides reported in 2010 declined by 9.6% from 2009.
That is the fifth year of declines in killings. 
There were 1,335 homicides in 89 of the state's largest jurisdictions in 2010, according to the report, down from 1,476 in 2009. 
The continuing drop reflects a trend seen in Los Angeles, where there were 293 homicides in 2010, down from 312 the year before, according to the state report.

This is welcome news. The traditional liberal assumption that crime is driven by Les Miserables-like stealing of loaves of bread to feed starving families has been outmoded for some time.

But, what is going on? I've suggested a number of reasons over the years. Besides implementing James Q. Wilson's theory of incapacitating bad guys by long prison sentences (a system threatened by yesterday's Supreme Court ruling to release 33,000 crooks from California prisons), the payoff from crime has diminished relative to the risk of getting caught. The rise of cell phones that track exactly where you are at all times is particularly daunting to teenagers who are thinking about a life of crime but who also want to stay current on their social network. If you can't brag about your crimes on MySpace without creating a permanent record that can be used against you in court, maybe it makes more sense to stay home and play Grand Theft Auto than to go out and commit it.

A couple of suggestions that I don't think have drawn enough attention are:

- Lack of a new drug. Fortunately, nobody has invented a new super drug since crack in the mid 1980s.  Crack was just an all-around disaster: a drug aimed at poor people, which made them nastier, and which generated vast amounts of money where there wasn't much of a settled cartel to keep dealers from shooting each other.

- Rick Nevin's work on lead in the environment. In 1939, Robert A. Heinlein drew up his famous "Future History" chart showing how his early sci-fi short stories fit together chronologically. The most striking prediction he made was that the 1960s and 1970s would be the Crazy Years. Lead in the environment from gasoline, paint, and industrial air pollution might have had something to do with this. (On the other hand, you would think Japan ought to have had Crazy Years, too, but didn't.) I considered Nevin's theory here in 2007 at some length. It seems to me to deserve more investigation.

- I think we may be getting a less violent sort of Mexican illegal alien since the rise of the drug wars in Mexico over the last couple of decades. Mexico used to be a police state in which the police had such an upper hand that life was pretty calm. My father and I wandered all over Mexico on vacations in the 1960s to mid 1980s without noticing much crime other than shakedowns, or much evidence that anybody was worried about crime. To the kind of young Mexican man who liked crime, America may have seemed like a happier hunting ground.

On a 1996 trip to Ensenada, however, the number of men standing around gripping automatic weapons was not confidence inducing. The gigantic new mountaintop villas overlooking the seaside golfcourse suggested that I didn't want to know how the owners had gotten their wealth or why they felt the need to employ so many men with AK-47s to guard them.

As American police forces regained the upper hand in the 1990s by sending criminals off to prison for a long time, opportunities for dangerous young men boomed in Mexico's burgeoning crime world. I suspect that America started getting the less violent illegal immigrants on average, while their more dangerous cousins stayed home to be narcos. There may even have been some reverse migration of the craziest Mexican-Americans into Mexico to fight in the drug wars.

70 comments:

Thursday said...

Not sure if this directly applies to homicides, but why would you rob anyone anymore when no one bothers to carry around any cash.

Also, most "stuff" has gotten cheaper, at least it seems so to me, so why bother to break into someone's house.

Daniel said...

Steve:

Meth is pretty serious and has extremely high rates of addiction and mortality, and correlates strongly with crime. Doesn't that count as a "new drug"?

Anonymous said...

Lock up the bad guys and keep them locked up.

SF said...

Meth was a big problem in Haight-Ashbury in the '60's. Probably it spread very quickly to big cities, more slowly to the heartland. I forget when "Methland" was written.

corvinus said...

Steve:

Don't forget our deporting hundreds of thousands of criminal illegals back to Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and so on. Rather amusingly, these countries have been complaining loudly about the crime wave caused by the returnees, as well as the fact that many of them speak English instead of Spanish. The irony drips.

Daniel:

Meth was a serious problem in the 1990s, but has tailed off in recent years as states have cracked down on the procuration of ephedrine and India started policing their major ephedrine-producing factories (where the major Mexican-run meth ring had been getting its supply).

Luke Lea said...

I'd like to hear Ron Unz's take on your more law-abiding illegal immigrants theory. Surely that could be documented.

anony-mouse said...

What about Oxy and other pain killers?

Anonymous said...

I have been struck for some time by the fact that white crime seems to have disappeared. Look at the movies from the 30's (Jimmy Cagney, etc), there are mostly white criminals. And now it is almost entirely black and Hispanic, mostly black.

I often wonder why white crime disappeared. Maybe, whatever it was, it is now happening to black people too. I dunno.

Harry Baldwin said...

Lack of a new drug. Fortunately, nobody has invented a new super drug since crack in the mid 1980s.

Why does it have to be a new drug to cause problems? Heroin is huge now in New England, very cheap popular with high school students.

Also, as Anony-mouse says, Oxy, Adderall and other prescription drugs are being widely abused.

I think the omni-presence of security cameras helps identify the miscreants.

Also, more and more states are passing concealed carry laws. You know, the ones that liberals till claim will make every town into Dodge City. Quite the contrary.

Anonymous said...

Nothing new here but I would like to know the statistics on overall shootings. Is it possible that improvements in emergency medicine have led to a decline in homicide numbers?

Anonymous said...

"Kamala" Harris?

Thalassio said...

Technology has made us -- criminals included -- lazy and ineffectual.

The widespread availability of porn cuts the incentive for a pervert to rape and kill. Video games offer ever more psychologically fulfilling simulations of risk-seeking. TV offers a seemingly billions-strong litany of choices in programs or networks, each calibrated to every taste, mood, or demographic.

Thursday's observation complements mine: why go outside when you can watch TV cheaply and gorge yourself on cheap snacks?

In comparsion to these means of occupying one's leisure time, engaging the real world is deemed too much of a hassle.

Another possibility said...

How about overweight and obesity?

We've heard that obesity may lower testosterone and lower estrogen. Americans and especially non-Asian minorities have been getting really fat lately.

Being fat also makes it harder to commit crime. Reduced mobility to beat someone up and harder to get away after doing something illegal. So why try?

Anonymous said...

There are fewer white criminals (as a share of population) because there are fewer white young men (the white TFR is now well below the black and brown TFR's-- which is probably a mix of cause and effect since young women are happy to get knocked up by criminal men).

Also, as the demographics have changed from 80-90% white, 8-12% black, and the rest "other," toward 50% white and 50% NAM, white men have literally been competed out of the violent- criminal business. The NAM population is such a vast reservoir of low-IQ, low-time-preference, low-conscience miscreants that even the lower stratum of whites is intimidated into staying home!

Whites used to make up a big share of the bottom of the barrel because they were a huge share of the whole barrel. Now there aren't enough whites in the bottom of the barrel (in Calif) to compete-- they can hardly fill the ranks of a big enough prison gang to ensure their own survival in the "crime biz."

Henry Canaday said...

I would give the Brady bill some credit. My recollection is that gun homicides declined faster than other homicides after it was passed.

Also, do not ignore the possibility of stupider criminals. The American justice system has a hard time catching and putting away felons who exercise a little cleverness in either committing crimes or avoiding conviction. We may be dealing chiefly now with people who can't or won't exercise much cleverness.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Crime is a young man's game. The aging of the population probably has as much to do with the reported decline in crime as does the tendency to lock criminals up for longer terms. We'll see what kind of increase in violent crime the early release mandated by the Court's ruling brings.

California has the highest number of criminals on death row of any state: 702 as of April 1, 2010 (probably more now - this is the most recent information I could find quickly). If only the Court could quit being such an obstacle, it would be very helpful to empty the prisons of those convicts - in pine boxes. Every time the courts delay an execution, I hope the state of California's attorneys remind them of the Supreme Court's mandate to reduce the numbers of inmates.

Another possible help might be to combine flogging with a shorter term in a county jail for a longer term served in state prison. It works in Singapore - and, again, when judges quibble, remind them of the scarcity of prison beds. Delaware for many years had, in addition to its gallows, both the pillory and the whipping post - and got by with nothing but county jails. Its hard-core criminals all high-tailed it to Pennsylvania.

AmericanGoy said...

"In 1939, Robert A. Heinlein drew up his famous "Future History" chart showing how his early sci-fi short stories fit together chronologically. The most striking prediction he made was that the 1960s and 1970s would be the Crazy Years."

He made the prediction that the 1960's and 1970's will be the crazy years for humanity... in 1939.

Hah.

Hahahahahahahaha.

Anonymous said...

"I often wonder why white crime disappeared."

The level of machismo among Euro Americans seems to have gone down. A collapse in white crime may just be a subset of that. If machismo has indeed gone down, why? I don't know. Changes in diet, something in the water or the air, TV teaching sissified values?

It is often said that Sweden is the most sissified nation on Earth. Among Euro nations Russia is probably the least sissified. What facet of modernity, what new thing has affected Sweden the most and Russia the least, with other European countries and the US being at different points in between? I don't know the answer to that question, I'm just asking.

But maybe that question is even wrong. Someone here has suggested in the past that whites in the US were pushed out of the crime business by other groups. You don't see native English speakers driving cabs in NYC either, and yet that used to be common. That niche has been completely filled by others.

I'm guessing that at the Chinese track and field championship all the 100m dash medals go to Chinese athletes. West Africans fit that particular niche much better than the Chinese, but since there are no West Africans in China, the niche is still probably filled by Chinese.

Before WWII there weren't many blacks in large US cities. So the crime niche was filled by whites.

Sgt. Slaughter said...

Nothing new here but I would like to know the statistics on overall shootings. Is it possible that improvements in emergency medicine have led to a decline in homicide numbers?

Might be related to this: Combat survivability has doubled since Vietnam, says assistant secretary

Black Death said...

I wonder if the Supreme Court's decision to release a bunch of California inmates will make a difference?

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1233.pdf

Truman I said...

Now just wait for a liberal to connect the homicides down story with released prisoners and claim that the prison population is misunderstood and less violent than society at large.

Anonymous said...

"I have been struck for some time by the fact that white crime seems to have disappeared. Look at the movies from the 30's (Jimmy Cagney, etc), there are mostly white criminals. And now it is almost entirely black and Hispanic, mostly black.

I often wonder why white crime disappeared. Maybe, whatever it was, it is now happening to black people too. I dunno."

5/24/11 4:55 PM




Hi Anonymous from Miles,
Prisons were segregated back then. Whites could commit crimes and know that they were going to serve in prisons with their fellow whites. People had never heard of prison-rape, AIDS, or prison-gang-beatdowns of severely outnumbered whites. If you had an uncle or relative who had to do a stretch for a year or two in the seventies, they will tell you prison was not like the Mayberry Jail they expected. It was awful. Its still awful as one is placed in with the true dregs of humanity. Nobody white who is half-sane wants to legitimately risk doing a long stretch in there.

This, in my opinion, is why most whites shirk at leading a life of crime. You will get caught eventually. Forensic analysis, security cameras, more professional law enforcement, computerized records et al are just too tough to get away with it for very long. They will catch you eventually.

Another possibility said...

Oops, I meant to say obesity may lower testosterone and *raise* estrogen. And, to clarify, testosterone makes people more aggressive...

Also, video games and new media in general probably makes a difference.

People are getting less animalistic all around. People may be less violent, but teens are also having less sex (http://www.kff.org/youthhivstds/upload/U-S-Teen-Sexual-Activity-Fact-Sheet.pdf).

Less violence might be good, I don't have much of an opinion on that.

Less sex, though, well, that means my people are not making babies.

Canadian Cincinnatus said...

Another factor is the widespread prevalence of shall-issue concealed carry laws, enabling honest citizens to fight back in equal terms against violent criminals. Violent criminals are the type of people to discount the future heavily. The prospect of meeting the judge, jury and executioner in a bathrobe is a far bigger deterrent than the (small) possibility of jail time 9 months down the road.

Anonymous said...

"Less sex, though, well, that means my people are not making babies."

TEENS are having less sex.

Geez, this is the Keystone Kops of scientific methodology.

Research Methods courses in college should just link to the comments on this blog, and say "Don't do this."

Anonymous said...

Medical advances mask epidemic of violence by cutting murder rate
Roger Dobson
BMJ 2002;325:615 (21 September)
bmj.com

...Without this technology, we estimate there would be no less than 50,000 and as many as 115,000 homicides annually instead of an actual 15,000 to 20,000...

The aggravated assault rate was, by 1997, almost 750% higher than the baseline figure. The team also described the dramatic overall decrease in trauma mortality in the second half of the 20th century...

The period of greatest change came between 1972 and 1977, on the heels of the US involvement in the Vietnam war, which triggered big advances in trauma care...

ATBOTL said...

If you actually look at things, what you will find is that the kinds of homicides that have been declining for decades are domestic homicides and fights between drunk adult men.

Anonymous said...

Rick Nevin traced the effects of lead in countries world-wide. The "phase" of the crime wave has a lag connected to the date lead was removed from gas I don't know what he found for Japan, but perhaps they had fewer cars per capita in those years, so the difference couldn't be detected.

But if it is lead, why is the effect continuing for so long? Lead in the mothers, related to lead in the grandmother?
Robert Hume

ATBOTL said...

"What facet of modernity, what new thing has affected Sweden the most and Russia the least, with other European countries and the US being at different points in between?"

Civil society or something related.

agnostic said...

The only factor that has panned out is the fraction of the country that is 15-24 year-old males.

Canada had a similar rise and fall in homicide rates, yet they did not increase police per capita or prisoners per capita at all during the 1990s -- they slightly fell, if anything.

So we can rule out greater police presence and locking up more bad guys.

The first should be obvious to anyone who remembers crime movies from the '70s and '80s where the police are shown as either clueless, impotent, or restrained by red tape.

The second isn't as obvious, but just remember that if you remove one set of bad guys from the crime niche, someone else will fill their place -- someone who had been sitting it out before, seeing how full the niche was.

"Thank God they threw those drug dealers in jail -- I've been wanting to get into that business for awhile now! But this hood was always so crowded with established dealers."

agnostic said...

We can also rule out cell phones, MySpace, etc., since crime rates peaked in 1992, and none of those things existed for the average American until the late 1990s (phones) or mid-2000s (social network sites).

Remember that even as late as 1995, cell phones were so exclusive that a running joke in Clueless is that in Beverly Hills, everyone is so obscenely rich that all the high school students have cellular telephones!

Hard drug use among high schoolers actually peaked later (later '90s) than did the violent and property crime rates (1992). From the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. So we can rule out an initial decline in the drug culture.

agnostic said...

Changing patterns of Mexican or other immigration can be ruled out since the crime rise and decline occurred across all 50 states (and Canada, the UK, Italy, Sweden, France, ... basically the entire West).

There could be something to this in high-immigration areas, but it would be a smaller secondary factor, since even uber-white places like Alaska and Vermont saw crime rates plummet.

The lead theory is neat, but also likely unnecessary given how widespread the rise and fall of violence was across the Western world.

Another possibility said...

Okay, Anonymous.

First of all, I didn't claim to have proof people are having less sex. I just said teens are having less sex and that has something to do with "animalism," and if people are having less sex that probably means fewer babies.

But I looked into the topic a bit. I found these posts over at Audacious Epigone which seem to indicate men are having the same amount of sex and women slightly less.

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2010/07/men-having-no-more-or-less-sex-partners.html

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2011/05/women-have-little-less-sex-and-couple.html

Now, couple that with demographic changes, and it seems whites may be having less sex.

By the way, obesity should affect that, too. But maybe it does not...

agnostic said...

To end, we don't need to come up with ad hoc explanations for why crime went down. There have been cycles up and down of violence throughout Western history, and even the pre-state Yanamamo have periods of greater and lesser raiding that each last several generations.

There's some kind of natural rhythm at work, making specific causes for this or that rise, or this or that fall, unnecessary.

That said, my hunch for what the proximate cause is is levels of social trust. As people become more trusting, they expose themselves to greater risk of predation by the bad guys. That eventually erodes their trust, and falling trust levels mean they're more shielded from exploitation.

With far fewer targets to prey on, the bad guys can't commit as much crime. Eventually people see crime falling so deep and for so long that it's OK to start trusting others again -- the bad guys seem to have gone away. This rise in trust starts the cycle all over again.

Anonymous said...

Myspace also makes it easier to learn the full name of the jackass who dissed you at that party so you can inform on him and screw him over.

Anonymous said...

Re: Japan and lead, Japan has never had a lot of cars and traffic in residential areas compared to the West. The cities are not built for car traffic except a few feeder streets. The arrival of major freeways was a lost-decade 1990s phenomenon.

Scratchy said...

Off topic, Steve, but Peter Frost has unveiled one of his theories that he promised at the beginning of the year in the threads here. I don't know what to make of it, but it's interesting.
He proposes that men who find being cuckolded titillating are being manipulated by the fungus, Candida albicans. He found the first mention of this fetish to occur in 17th century England and further proposes that it probably is linked to the slave trade.

http://www.evoandproud.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

"The lead theory is neat, but also likely unnecessary given how widespread the rise and fall of violence was across the Western world."

At different exact time frames, depending on the change in lead exposure and laws in each of those nations. Russia for instance banned it late, and just recent years the homicide rate has started to plummet.

Steve Sailer said...

I spent several hours looking into the lead theory in 2007. I immediately came up with the counterexample of Japan (which had bad air pollution from cars in the 1960s), but then I didn't come up with much, strongly pro or con, for the rest of the evening.

It's hard to get good data and nobody really has much of a model: is it lead in gasoline or in paint that's the problem. How long is the lag time, can it last more than one generation?

Still, more people should look into it.

Anonymous said...

We know have over 20 million hispanic illegals, and however many qualified hispanic immigrants in this country competing with blacks for apartments, and the neighborhoods that go with them. People take for granted that Mexico has different regions with different ways of doing things from region to region.
Northern Mexicans are essentially the same as cowboys from Texas. They don't acclimate to shenanigans from black criminals very well. They tend to take the law into their own hands. Blacks have learned this, and when things get heated in a neighborhood, they move. Mexicans do not.
A quick perusal of the demographic change of Compton, and it's cooresponding crime rate dropping at an unprecidented rate, will support the theory.
Coupled with the fact that, via Section 8, poor blacks have become mobile like never before, and they have no reason to stay and face the Mexican music. As for California, they move back down south, or to the high desert area such as the crime-plagued Lancaster, Victorville, etc., as well as pockets up north such as the crime- plagued Oakland.
A closer look at the demographics show that where blacks congregate, crime increases. Section 8 has allowed them to scatter, and/or leave the state. When that happens, crime drops.
One more element... the amount of fraud via Section 8, and other programs have allowed poor blacks to achieve a middle-class lifestyle. I personally know of a couple of black families on welfare, driving mercedes and sports cars they purchased with cash, even though they are on Section 8. So section 8 has turned into a method of government to artificially push blacks into the middle-class.
I just bring this up to underline my theory that the moment Obama or anyone else decides to reign in the outrageous amount of fraud, we will see a crime increase that will astound the "experts."
In short, we're currently paying blacks to stay home.

Thomas said...

Keep in mind that unemployment and high gas prices tend to make it harder for people to spend their evenings and weekends out. That leads to fewer opportunities for people to drink and wind up hitting, stabbing, shooting, or raping each other. A similar story was reported today in the New York Times on a national level focusing on a drop in crime in smaller towns in the US, which I would take as corroborative of this possible particular factor.

Eric said...

I think the omni-presence of security cameras helps identify the miscreants.

This. You can't go anywhere without ending up on somebody's security camera. If the cops are motivated enough they can pull footage from ATMs, liquor store security cameras, parking lot cameras, etc. Recently the cops in my area bagged a shooter because he showed up on the nearby WallMart parking lot cameras. McVeigh was identified because the rental truck was on an ATM camera.

Anonymous said...

I just bring this up to underline my theory that the moment Obama or anyone else decides to reign in the outrageous amount of fraud, we will see a crime increase that will astound the "experts."

-----

Gonna happen sooner or later. Better buy some firearms.

Chuck said...

Many people are writing off the impact of greater policing efforts, but what about the increased focus on tactical gang units as a percentage of overall police spending?

As someone mentioned above, we may gain insight by looking at the relative changes in the types of murders.

jody said...

increased police presence and better police work is one reason. but i think one of the overlooked reasons is something i've suggested before. the massive government wealth transfer that is happening now. basically paying lots of people to sit around and watch television and play video games, so they don't bother looking for a job or bother to do some small time crime out of boredom and real, destitute poverty. america is the only nation in the world where the poor have an obesity problem.

millions of citizens now pay for almost nothing. forget about not paying income tax which is where an increadible HALF of all citizens find themselves. forget about the extension of unemployment benefits to ridiculous 2 YEARS. millions of people don't pay for housing or even for food! how many citizens get food stamps now? 45 million people and counting. that's 15% of the US.

even most dumb people can see that it would be a mistake to end that free ride by doing some small time crime. better to just sit back, turn on the TV, and wait for those checks to come in the mail, then go shopping at wally world.

also, the violent crime rate of euro americans is so low now. me and steve were talking about this 2 years ago, when the LA murder map was around. their violent crime rate was lower than the asian violent crime rate. if the violent crime rate of the largest group is at historical lows, the overall crime rate has to be relatively low.

Anonymous said...

psychopharmacology: those most likely to commit crimes tend to be mentally anguished or disturbed, now they are all comatose thanks to zoloft or zyprexa

Daniel said...

corvinus:

You said: "Meth was a serious problem in the 1990s, but has tailed off in recent years as states have cracked down on the procuration of ephedrine and India started policing their major ephedrine-producing factories (where the major Mexican-run meth ring had been getting its supply)."

I saw a good "Frontline" on this issue, and it made a pretty convincing case that cutting off the supply of ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine (from India and by extension from Mexico) is a great way to prevent meth epidemics. (Incidentally, my understanding is that it's the Feds that do this work, not the states... Oregon doesn't have much sway with the Indian government, but DC does).

For what it's worth, though, I think you have the timeline wrong. The worst of the meth epidemic came in the last decade, and not in the 90's. It's only very recently been curtailed.

http://alcoholism.about.com/od/meth/a/blsam050926.htm

Living in a "meth state" (Washington State), anecdotally I can say it's become a huge problem over the last ten years, and only dropped off in the last 3 or 4 years (and it remains a serious problem still, though less so).

Nevertheless, I don't think this nit-pick takes away from your general point, which is that meth is apparently controllable by controlling the source of ephedrine which, because it is a high-tech product and not a plant, is more easily done than controlling sources of coca or opium.

But still, I think it's wrong — at least in rural, Western states — to suggest that there have been no new, serious, deadly, epidemic drugs since the advent of cocaine. Meth certainly qualifies.

Maybe... to speculate.... meth despite its extremely pernicious nature has not had the same effect on homicide and other violent crimes because it affects primarily white communities and not black and latino ones? The white addicts tend to steal and prostitute themselves, whereas the black addicts tend to steal, prostitute themselves, beat others up, and kill them.

jody said...

here we go with agnostic and his "look at canada" BS. reminds of the "guns, yes, guns, no" arguments where one side cites japan and the other side cites switzerland. japan no guns, low crime, so no guns = people can't kill each other easily so low crime. switzerland, literally EVERY house has not a handgun but an assault rifle, low crime, so 100% guns = people are rather polite to each other and low crime.

the fertility rate in mexico has been in decline for two decades, yet the violent crime rate is at an all time high. sorry, it's not just about number of 20 year old men, agnostic. the violent crime rate in each nation sized area is result of a combination of factors.

the fertility rate of mexicans in the united states is...higher, not lower, than that of mexicans in mexico. almost double in fact. this is because of the generous wealth transfers the US government makes from euro-american taxpayers to mexican border jumper freeloaders. yet despite pumping out almost twice as many kids in the US, their crime rate in the US is falling, just like it is for all groups. this is due to the effects of better US law enforcement, ubiquitous camera surveillance, instant internet and cell phone communication, and getting locked in prisons and staying there. none of which happens in mexico. again, take away the law enforcement budgets and free government wealth transfers and see how the mexicans in the US respond.

agnostic might be a canadian, and might not. either way, he doesn't understand what it takes to police a huge population of africans. there are more africans in the US than there are people in canada. if he thinks their violent crime rate just naturally declines to very low levels, he's deluded.

wait until the muslim population is high, and how much law enforcement money will have to be spent to keep them not only from raping the local women, but from trying to blow stuff up.

jody said...

"Another factor is the widespread prevalence of shall-issue concealed carry laws, enabling honest citizens to fight back in equal terms against violent criminals."

yeah, i've wondered about this. i have friends that carry. this is the NRA "switzerland" position. an armed society is a polite society.

i have considered carrying but don't encounter a threat level high enough, often enough, that i feel the need to carry. if i lived in a city and was there all the time for my job too, i would probably carry, mainly to exercise the right. avoiding trouble or situations that put you in trouble, is still by far the best defense.

now that i run all the time, up to a half marathon distance, sometimes in the suburbs, sometimes in the woods, and occassionally out in the genuine middle of nowhere mountains, i've actually started to more seriously think about carrying in case of animals.

if the dog population here was any higher i WOULD carry a ruger LCP on my long runs. encountering stray dogs is a common occurrence. dogs are low to the ground and don't see you that well, and at running speed, you're up and in their personal space very quickly and then they're eye balling you and growling. i have a dog enounter like this once or twice every month. about 1 in 5 of the people around here who are regular walkers on the streets and trails, carry sticks and bats openly for this reason. texas governor rick perry did shoot and kill a coyote that was threatening him when he went on a jog one day. ruger made a special edition LCP for him.

i have a friend that lives on cheyenne mountain in colorado springs, and is a marathon runner. i went up there and ran with him in the rocky mountains last summer, which was AWESOME, but the whole time i kept thinking "Yeah but man this is stupid too." out there deep in the mountains running around with no guns and there are literally bear tracks on the trails.

well my friend has a dog that he would take on the trails and run with. eventually after a year of this his luck ended. on a training run one day, bears attacked the dog and killed it only 30 or 40 feet from him off the trail.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if this article has been cited before, but it seems to explain a lot:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/09/us/09housing.html?pagewanted=1&hp

Anonymous said...

"I have been struck for some time by the fact that white crime seems to have disappeared."

I often wonder if this is because potential white criminals have realized what happens to their kind in the predominately black- and-hispanic populated prisons.

Anonymous said...

Steve comments "I spent several hours looking into the lead theory in 2007. I immediately came up with the counterexample of Japan (which had bad air pollution from cars in the 1960s)"

Just to complicate things, I think the lead may fall, in a "heavier" form than most of the complex exhaust, close to the tailpipe. So the earlier comment about the separation between homes and highways in Japan may NE relevant.
Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

Steve comments "I spent several hours looking into the lead theory in 2007. I immediately came up with the counterexample of Japan (which had bad air pollution from cars in the 1960s)"

Just to complicate things, I think the lead may fall, in a "heavier" form than most of the complex exhaust, close to the tailpipe. So the earlier comment about the separation between homes and highways in Japan may NE relevant.
Robert Hume

lesley said...

"well my friend has a dog that he would take on the trails and run with. eventually after a year of this his luck ended. on a training run one day, bears attacked the dog and killed it only 30 or 40 feet from him off the trail."

Aside from human criminals, people don't take the threat of animal attack seriously enough. I've supported as many wildlife charities as any tree-hugger, but nevertheless, I am realistic. An outdoorsman actually wrote a book dedicated to warning people about this--that our Disney attitude towards animals can get us killed by them. Animals like bears, mountain lions, etc., are first and foremost, wild. Even dogs can be vicious. Just remember, they live in a different reality to us. I used to be critical of ranchers and farmers ready to shoot strange critters on sight, but now I sort of get it. Personally I'd prefer a stun gun--I don't want to kill the critter; I just don't want to kill me.
This reminds me of goofy liberals and their pet causes.

Chicago said...

Crime in the US is more cultural in nature rather than being solely a product of economics. Some people like the adrenaline rush of a life of crime and find it addictive. Working a job is for square chumps.
Lowlifes make a guess as to their prospects for any criminal undertaking and shy away when they see too many of their homies biting the dust.
Homicides drop after hitting some peak as the results and ensuing blowback spook some of the thugs off of doing it as a first resort. Then the memory fades and they're ready for another round.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the internet keeps a lot of kids indoors than outdoors. Staying indoors means less crime. And maybe many more drug transactions are also being done through cyberspace than out in the streets, where most of the violence flares up.

Anonymous said...

Injury survivability. My girlfriend is a case manager at the best trauma hospital in Boston, and she says that there are many cases walking out the door that 20 years ago would have been taking the hearse.

Silver said...

There are fewer white criminals (as a share of population) because there are fewer white young men (the white TFR is now well below the black and brown TFR's-- which is probably a mix of cause and effect since young women are happy to get knocked up by criminal men).

It's completely irrelevant that the white TFR is now 'well below' the the black and brown TFR. I'd assume the same was true twenty, thirty years ago, too, but I'm just correcting your error.

Nevertheless, the demographic argument still seems amiss. Despite the proportion of the Californian population in the high crime years (say 15-34) falling from 18% to 15% from 1990-2000 -- a 16% decline -- the total number of people in that age bracket declined by only 3% (essentially unchanged). Yet the total number of crimes has fallen by a vastly greater percentage, and the crime rate by greater proportion again. I draw attention to the total number of crimes because an influx of non-violent people into an area will lower the rate, and yet the criminal tendencies of the population may remain unchanged (eg Japanese tourists flooding into a holiday town). But if the total number of crimes falls then assumption a change in underlying tendencies is much sounder. (Check out the refreshingly functionally named site ucrdatatool.gov for the numbers.) I draw atte

The NAM population is such a vast reservoir of low-IQ, low-time-preference, low-conscience miscreants that even the lower stratum of whites is intimidated into staying home!

Sounds like typical WN drama queen drivel to me. Anyway, it's high time-preference that's problematic, genius. But I understand the trap you fell into: "low" just sounds bad, doesn't it? Just the sort of thing you'd wish to associate with NAMs.

Jody,

Average monthly food stamps amounts to $133. Somehow I doubt that covers too many people's food budget. So they're not exactly "paying nothing for food" then.

agnostic said...

Jody, next time bother reading before speaking.

The comparison with Canada is not a cross-sectional one, like no guns in Japan vs. guns in the US. It is a time-series comparison. Both the US and Canada had a similar rise and fall in violent crime.

The US locked up lots more people and put more cops on the beat, while Canada did not. Therefore, we can rule out the marginal increase in policing and incarceration as factors in explaining the international rise and fall in crime.

There is also experimental evidence within the US: in the mid-'70s, Kansas City experimentally treated one community to a greater police presence, compared to another matched for relevant variables. It made no difference in the crime rate.

You've never read anything in the criminology literature, but hey, you just know that "more cops = lower crime, or you're just some liberal faggotttt!!!"

"it's not just about number of 20 year old men"

No shit -- that's why I said it's the only factor that pans out, not that it explains all the variance over time. It only soaks up 20-30% of the variance, which is why I emphasize that no one really knows what the causes are.

agnostic said...

"there are more africans in the US than there are people in canada."

There are no Africans in Alaska, Vermont, and many other lily white states. Yet they all saw the same rise and fall in violent crime over the same period. Ditto Sweden, Italy, and most of the Western world from 1960 through 1990.

You keep confusing cross-sectional comparisons at a single point in time to comparisons over time. America has a higher crime rate than Canada or Sweden at any point in time because we have more blacks.

But the size of the black population does not explain the rise and fall in violent crime over time. This is automatic in US states or other countries with basically no Africans. Even in those states with high black populations, their numbers have only grown over the '90s and 2000s, all while violent crime is plummeting.

Obviously you didn't learn anything from the predictions that the '90s were going to get a lot worse with respect to crime, since it was clear then (and turned out to be true) that the size of blacks and young blacks was going to increase.

Teen pregnancy, hard drug use, etc., are all down among blacks as well as whites and Hispanics. So it's not that a random black person is now as dangerous as they always have been, and that their size is changing. Everyone has become less dangerous than they used to be, regardless of whether one group's trendline is always higher than another's.

Canadian Observer said...

In response to several commentators above, I would suggest that black men are less likely nowadays to be incarcerated for raping white women because they don't really need to do it anymore.

White girls are much more open to having sexual relations with black men today than they were back in 1992. As such, what is the point of black men sexually assaulting them when white women are very willing nowadays to seek black men out as sexual partners?

Anonymous said...

And maybe many more drug transactions are also being done through cyberspace than out in the streets, where most of the violence flares up.

Hard to fight turf wars when transactions take place at the local Wal Mart, where there are closed circuit cameras and plenty of cops. Yes, there is the risk of apprehension, but going to prison definitely beats a trip to the morgue.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, aren`t california prison segregated? You see, I have have good knowledge about these things because I have read books by Edward Bunker:)
In Dog eat Dog the "hero" hangs with mexicans because white kids in LA are so pussy until he meets tough white boys in prison who come form Fresno.
So if there are no prole whites in big cities the white crime will go down. Always urban enviroment gives most support for criminal behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Prisons are full of blue collar criminals. The white blue collar population in California has been ethnically cleansed therefore no white criminals (apart from the kind that don't go to jail).

Immigration increased the crime rate, including murder, by replacing white blue collar people with non-white.

Medical advances reduced the murder rate back down again because attempted murders were only attempted.

The black murder rate is so much higher than any other group that in places like California where blacks are being replaced by hispanics the murder rate goes down even though the hispanics have a higher murder rate than whites.

laughter is the best med said...

"In response to several commentators above, I would suggest that black men are less likely nowadays to be incarcerated for raping white women because they don't really "

need to do it anymore.

White girls are much more open to having sexual relations with black men today than they were back in 1992. As such, what is the point of black men sexually assaulting them when white women are very willing nowadays to seek black men out as sexual partners?"

There were 30,000 black on white rapes in 2005 according to FBI stats. White on black, about 10.

I know you're Canadian and can't imagine rape, but people who just want to screw usually find other ways that threatening with a deadly weapon. Rapists -- I'm not talking about the Assange kind -- are also known for being among lowest IQ and most psychopathic of criminals. They are also given to assaulting whatever female is convenient, hence the elderly victims (almost always black perps.)
So no, I don't think your little fantasy of the whities offering free sex for any darkies wanting it, quite lends an answer.

Please stop taking sex education lessons from Red Green.

J said...

Lead. And Mercury.

J said...

PS.: I also second Obesity as a probable factor of change.

Anonymous said...

There were 30,000 black on white rapes in 2005 according to FBI stats.

No there weren't. The stat you're referring to includes not only rapes, but "sexual assaults" (including verbal harassment), as well as threats of sexual assault or rape. Look it up.

laughter is the best med said...

"There were 30,000 black on white rapes in 2005 according to FBI stats.

"No there weren't. The stat you're referring to includes not only rapes, but "sexual assaults" (including verbal harassment), as well as threats of sexual assault or rape. Look it up."

5/26/11 4:29 AM

That's a new one. And I assume the dozen or so white on black rapes from that same set of stats includes "assaults" and "verbal harrassment." What does that bring white on black stat down to? Two or three? One?

I notice you didn't tell us what the exact percentage were actual rapes, so that's telling. Were murder/bludgeoning assaults mixed up so much with "hey @$*" calls? White women report black verbal harrassment? That'd go way over the tens of thousands, if so.
Assault? Would that be attempted rape? She somehow got away? That's close enough. Considering the reluctance to report even violent rape, any "assaults" must have been pretty bad.
But speaking as one who personally knows no fewer than five victims of black rape (and I didn't look for them, they are just relatives of friends), I don't think it'll make much difference.
btw. Verbal assault by blacks is so vile that it can seem physical. It is one of their most unique contributions to popular culture.

TGGP said...

I'm surprised Steve didn't mention his dispute with Steve Levitt' over the 90s drop in crime.

Alex Tabarrok used terror alerts to estimate the effect of police presence on crime here.

laughter is the best med, you need to read more race/history/evolution notes. White women still place a high penalty against potential black mates, and are particularly fearful of them during the most fertile phase of their cycle.