Monday, December 14, 2015

A Quick Run Around the Web -- December 14, 2015

Just some miscellaneous linkage today:

What we have to remember when looking at statics about violence is that America is actually a pretty safe place and the lion’s share of all the violence reported on in these statics is actually gang on gang violence that occurs in select small pockets of bad neighborhoods in some of our biggest cities.  If you hear a story that 5 people were killed in a shooting spree you’re probably picturing 5 innocent law abiding citizens like yourself being gunned down by a criminal, however, chances are if you looked into the story a little more chances are the shooting happened in a bad neighborhood in a big city and it was one gang shooting another gang, probably over drugs.

I’ve always liked www.motherjones.com and they been keeping a database on mass shootings that goes back to 1982.  However, theirs filters out the white noise, so to speak, so we can see the real problem. Their data base looked at instances where 4 or more people were killed but they removed cases of gang on gang violence, domestic violence situations that occurred in a private residence, and cases of armed robbery.  After these things were removed what was left was just instances of what you think a mass shooting should be: some asshole shooting up a public place.

So, how many times has some asshole shot up a public place this year?  4 times.  There have only been 73 true mass shootings in the US since 1982 (which is still too many).  In those last 33 years there has only been 502 people killed in mass shootings, a number that sounds large but when put in context it really isn’t.  Over the last 33 years 15 people have died, on average, by being caught in a mass shooting each year while 52 people die each year from lightning strikes. 

 
You are nearly 4 times more likely to be killed in a lightning strike than in a mass shooting.  What are your chances of dying in a lightning strike?  I looked it up and according to the National Center for Health Statistics it is: 1 in 89,930.

    ... it seems clear that the large majority of legal immigrants choose to come—or, more exactly, are chosen by their relatives—for their own reasons. They are not selected by the United States to advance some national interest. Illegal immigrants are of course entirely self-selected, as are asylum seekers. Even the refugee process, reportedly the most tightly screened, operates to a considerable extent outside national control: The first assessment of refugees is typically made by the UN High Commission on Refugees from within camps it operates. That explains why, for example, Christian Syrians make up only about 3 percent of the refugees admitted to the United States, despite accounting for 10 percent of the country’s population: Fearing violence from Sunni Muslims, they apparently hesitate to enter UN camps in the first place.
      Donald Trump’s noisy complaints that immigration is out of control are literally true. Nobody is making conscious decisions about who is wanted and who is not, about how much immigration to accept and what kind to prioritize—not even for the portion of U.S. migration conducted according to law, much less for the larger portion that is not.

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