Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

The Fantastic American Murder Rate: Do Presidents Make People Kill?

NOW IT'S A DOUBLE PUNWhy do people like to kill other people so much in America? (Which, much like Cardiff, is the stabbingest and shootingest place in the better parts of the world, except, unlike Cardiff, America is actually in one of the better places in the world.) And we mean besides the obvious reasons, such as being surrounded by bad smells and dirty looks and not enough parking spaces and hating other races and stuff. In a look this week at historian's attempts to make sense of our murder rate, some ideas are tried on and discarded: "The homicide rate appears to correlate with Presidential approval ratings. If [American Murder author Randolph] Roth is right, electing a bad President is dangerous and inciting people to hate any President, good or bad, could be deadly. But which is the cart, and which the horse? The Presidential approval rate might be a proxy for all sorts of measures of a well or poorly adjusted society. Or maybe there's another horse, somewhere, some third factor, that determines both the Presidential approval rate and the homicide rate."

14 Comments / Post A Comment

shostakobitch (#1,692)

Doesn't every president make people kill with their wacky executive orders to use the army and whatnot?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I like the idea of the Bad President making people do it, and especially I like the idea of an invisible population of zombie murderers who are clueless about who to elect, but can infallibly recognize a Bad President after the elections are over, when their votes really count. The murderers look like ordinary civilians, watching TV and waiting for Bad Numbers. However, if the Bad President's approval rating rises, the murderers sort of doze off, statistically speaking. They still wake up and murder somebody now and then, more than in other countries, but not as much as they used to.

KarenUhOh (#19)

It thought it was hot summers and warm beer.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Who is this "It" of whom thou doth speaketh?

HiredGoons (#603)

I'm guessing this isn't a big seller in Iraq.

Flashman (#418)

I stumbled into a protest once in Vienna, and I decided to support the cause by buying a (rather swell) black t-shirt from the Marxists. It reads "Almut Macht Angst" on one side and "Angst Macht Haas" on the other; or, 'Poverty breeds fear, fear breeds hate'.
This might apply here.
Plus of course y'all are conditioned by your culture and history that violence is the first resort to solve your problems rather than the last, and on top of this you have ready access to tools which make taking somebody's life quick and easy.

Flashman (#418)

er, Armut. Entschuldigung.

Baboleen (#1,430)

Can you say oppression?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Can you say it without thinking?

jfruh (#713)

Side note: when you start talking about "another horse, somewhere," your metaphor has officially gone out of control.

Kataphraktos (#226)

Cardiff has become much stabbier since the departure of one Captain Jack Harkness.

This is the lesson we learn when we scare the hottest, snarkiest gays away.

(Yes, I am a thorough hetero with a man-crush on John Barrowman. Sue me or throw me out of your stinky cab, fuckers)

Mindpowered (#948)

Federalism = Tribalism

Among major 1st world states, America is the most tribal, due to a weak historically hand tied government. Far from being a melting pot, like South Africa it's a layer cake mixed with a stew.

Hence affiliation to political party, or religion, or ethnic group is greater than say region or state. And these tribes take justice into their own hands. Whether it's over women, honor, or fear of the out group, inter tribe violence has plagued America.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

So you're saying the Pledge of Allegiance is just not enough?

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