The Truth is Out There

Ira Schwartz

After looking at the listing Hollywood Republican posted about the US being 4th in the world in homicides I decided to look into it a little deeper.  You see when I read it I could not believe it was true.  There is so much political minutia being posted now a days if one isn’t careful one can get sucked into a spiraling well of untruths.

The-Truth-Is-Out-ThereWhen most writers do an article, a story, a screenplay or a book where facts are necessary to move the story along they do extensive research to prevent their facts from coming back and biting them on the butt somewhere down the road.  But everyone, one time or another, makes a mistake.  The good ones usually make only a few in their careers.

So where does the United States stand on homicide rates in 2012.  If you would believe an unsubstantiated comment from a blogger on Topix then the US is in 3rd place.  But when looking further into it we see the listing is anything but the truth.  After going to the Topix page where this statement originated we are sent to a local Arkansas blog called the Jonesboro Forum.  There listed on the topics is “US 3rd in the world in murders”.  But when you click on that you are sent back to the same page on Topix.

Not satisfied I decided to see if there was an actual list of countries in the world that had the highest homicide rate and if so what it really showed.  So I “Googled” it.

The first site that caught my eye was the one that used the UN’s data.  http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/homicide.html

Once there you need to download the graph to get the information, which I did.  Whereas the graph only lists the countries in alphabetical order it does clearly show, in percentage, the homicide rates.  Not only did this show the US was NOT number 3 it also showed we are not in the top 10 and indicated quite clearly the homicide rate in the US has gone down since 1995 quite dramatically.  Those of you who don’t want to take the time to analyze the statistics can go to

http://www.businessinsider.com/1homicidal-countries-2011-11?op=1

They have broken down the stats for you.

Okay but one site was not enough for me so I searched on and came to About.com.  They based their story on the findings of the “Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development”.  Here is the link.  http://worldnews.about.com/od/crime/tp/Top-Murder-Rates-In-The-World.htm

Again the list of top 10 countries has no mention of the United States.  These facts are percentages based on per 100,000 people.  Remember countries with larger populations will always show a larger listing of violence that is why it is always broken down to “per capita” percentages to put everything in proper perspective.

Now as to Most Dangerous Cities in the World.  All the sites I have check which include ABC News, the Wall Street Journal and several other reputable sites, used the Mexican think tank Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice” latest release on their findings.   4 US cities made the top 50; Baltimore 48, St. Louis 43, Detroit 30 and New Orleans 21st.

In fact the US crime rate has dropped significantly in the last 10 years.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/29/justice/us-violent-crime

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/01/03/9925171-jobless-rate-up-but-crime-down-what-gives?lite

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1

In fact according to figures released by the FBI of the cities in the US with the highest crime rate only one from that list, Detroit, made it…it was number 2.

It is now very clear to me that my original suspicions of the original statement were correct.  That they were nothing but a false statement made by an anonymous blogger that certain political spin machines used to their benefit without substantiating the facts.  But like I said the truth is out there all we need to do is take the time to find it.

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One Response to The Truth is Out There

  1. maryellen on July 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for doing all the leg work and providing this good article!

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