Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
baroque
Topic Author
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:48 am

From an ABC radio program called Counterpoint:
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2010/2846122.htm
Why do Americans kill each other at rates three times that of other western nations? Is gun ownership the cause of the problem or are there other factors at work ? Historian Randolph Roth has a novel explanation. He's observed a correlation between the murder rate and the level of trust placed in Government by its citizens.

Some items from the interview (E&OE as this is from memory).

De Tocqueville America had low homicide rates.

US homicides are mostly adults not related to the murderer.

Homicide rates fell nearly 10% in the first half of 2009.

Homicide rates rose in the states that recorded increased GOP votes in 2008 during the first half of 2009.

Some interesting material on trust in government and lack of it.

Sounds like a book to read
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/ROTAME.html
Roth argues that the United States is distinctive in its level of violence among unrelated adults—friends, acquaintances, and strangers. America was extraordinarily homicidal in the mid-seventeenth century, but it became relatively non-homicidal by the mid-eighteenth century, even in the slave South; and by the early nineteenth century, rates in the North and the mountain South were extremely low. But the homicide rate rose substantially among unrelated adults in the slave South after the American Revolution; and it skyrocketed across the United States from the late 1840s through the mid-1870s, while rates in most other Western nations held steady or fell. That surge—and all subsequent increases in the homicide rate—correlated closely with four distinct phenomena: political instability; a loss of government legitimacy; a loss of fellow-feeling among members of society caused by racial, religious, or political antagonism; and a loss of faith in the social hierarchy. Those four factors, Roth argues, best explain why homicide rates have gone up and down in the United States and in other Western nations over the past four centuries, and why the United States is today the most homicidal affluent nation.

He also notes that African Americans being high in the stats did not occur until more recent times. And I found the discussion of anger levels interesting. Unfortunately I was driving and visiting a post office and hardware store so I did not hear as much as I would have wished. So I will be listening to the Podcast available from the first link. Unfortunately "Counterpoint" does not have transcripts of interviews. But the podcast is enough.
 
TheCommodore
Posts: 3458
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:14 am

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:59 am

Very interesting Baroque.

I will listen to the podcast sometime tomorrow work permitting.

I was always pretty sure gun ownership must play some part, but will listen fully before coming to any conclusions.

I'm sure this thread will draw great attention for our American friends.
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
Mudboy
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:51 am

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:03 pm

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 1):
I'm sure this thread will draw great attention for our American friends.

Why don't you just rent Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore, he holds all the truths to why us Americans are so trigger happy, he even puts in statistics of the US vs other countries, yet he leaves out a few key ones?   
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:11 pm

Did he happen to mention what might have caused the rise and fall of the level of trust in government? I know I have steadily become less trusting of my government over the years, resulting mainly from watching how it conducts its various operations and how offiicials discharge thier various duties. I know the electorate gets some of the blame; after all, we voted for the crooks, but I can't help but think that there is something more to this as well.
Proud OOTSK member
 
StarAC17
Posts: 3961
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:54 am

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:55 pm

Quoting Mudboy (Reply 2):
Why don't you just rent Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore, he holds all the truths to why us Americans are so trigger happy, he even puts in statistics of the US vs other countries, yet he leaves out a few key ones?  

I've seen that movie a few times and it is one of his better ones and leaving out your "Stirring the Pot" icon aside, he never really finds an answer to that question of why American's shoot people more than other western countries.

The biggest thing he does is make the connection that violent movies and video games do not cause the more gun homicides per capita in the US vs other Western countries with have the same video games and movies. As well he points out that Canada has a high level of gun ownership and our homicide rate is far lower.

I'm sure he missed a lot of stuff as in Sicko he never really brought up the problems with Canada's, the UK's and France's healthcare systems he just focuses on his point of view.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
baroque
Topic Author
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:10 pm

Quoting lowrider (Reply 3):
Did he happen to mention what might have caused the rise and fall of the level of trust in government?

Yes there was a long section on that, but I was passing a school zone and do not trust my memory. It is in the podcast.

Overall, he seems to place considerable significance on the Civil War - or that is what I thought I heard!!! Yes, I did hear that, very low rates until the Civil War. A catastrophic failure of nation building but the rates started to rise in the 1840s. Oh gosh you really need to hear it all. He links it to political instabiiity but I am finding myself out of depth on general US history.

There is a logic to all he said, but I think you might have to read the book to fully appreciate what he is on about.

He commented that most murders are of strangers in the US but of persons you know in Australia. What he did not say, was if the rate for murders of folk you know was about the same in the US as in Aus or if the US excels itself there too. But whatever that rate is, it is swamped by stranger murder. Mind you, I do wonder how he classifies gang killings, I guess they often know their victims.

I am downloading the file now - 8.7 megs. I have a bit of a busy week, but will try and listen and get back. Forget about the first 1 min 30 unless you like their "music"!!!

Listening now. Really so complex you need to hear it.

Up until the 1890s Afro American murder rates were low and then high soon thereafter. Now extraordinarliy high non-white murder rates.

The Wild West rates were high, but even higher in the slave south during reconstruction.

Gems of information - just too many to list. I would be interested in informed comment. Is he correct?

Correlates Afro Amer rates with problems under Nixon. Then White rates with bussing and smoothed out by Reagan. Fascinating, just too much information too fast.
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:02 pm

I will download it, too. I have 9 hours of driving coming up later this week, it will give me something to listen to.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 5):
The Wild West rates were high, but even higher in the slave south during reconstruction.

These are linked, and the stats have to be assigned a lower confidence rating. Some of the "Wild West" settlers were people who were displaced by the Civil War and where looking for a place to flee to, or try and rebuild in. There were also large areas with no effective government, and therefore subject to mob rule, so record keeping was not as uniform or thorough as they might have been in later years. It was a chaotic, fast moving time.
Proud OOTSK member
 
baroque
Topic Author
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:12 pm

Quoting lowrider (Reply 6):
so record keeping was not as uniform or thorough as they might have been in later years. It was a chaotic, fast moving time.

I wondered about the record keeping. I guess the book in the end, but meanwhile, his interview gives quite a bit for thought.

When I lived in Kansas I read a bit about the Kansas WW and I certainly got the impression that fact and fiction were a tad difficult to separate. I suppose his point would be that a town like Lawrence had a history in the 1860s the like of which my home city of Newcastle upon Tyne had not had since we had a few arguments with the Scots!
 
TheCommodore
Posts: 3458
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:14 am

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:36 pm

quote=Mudboy,reply=2]Why don't you just rent Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore, he holds all the truths to why us Americans are so trigger happy, he even puts in statistics of the US vs other countries, yet he leaves out a few key ones?[/quote]

Ah Mudboy,

I may just do that, and while I'm at the DVD/Video shop I 'll hire the one he made on your health system as well, because from what I've heard that's a cracker too !!   
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
Mudboy
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:51 am

RE: American Homicide - R Roth Interview

Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:15 pm

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 8):
Ah Mudboy,

I may just do that, and while I'm at the DVD/Video shop I 'll hire the one he made on your health system as well, because from what I've heard that's a cracker too !!

Don't forget the Oscar Award Whinning version of the events on 9-11-2001, while you are at it.    Right back at you HaHa!! 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bpatus297, casinterest, cskok8, Electra, NIKV69, Reinhardt, victrola and 24 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos