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I haven't seen this addressed in the discussions about curbing gun violence, but it seems highly plausible that gun incidents may be correlated with the ups and downs of the economy.

I'm no statistician, but I wonder what a plot of shootings vs., say, the unemployment rate would look like. And of course you'd want to include suicides, too.

I'd expect the Right would try to suppress any discussion of this, since if a connection were found, it would be one more reason for the government to help the victims of the bad economy, and to do something to address unemployment.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:46:56 PM PST

  •  There were a number of papers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, a2nite, high uintas

    ...on this starting in 2008. Around that time, it also became a frequent motive in murder-suicides. In the past couple of years, that motive has receded somewhat -- probably because the stigma has lessened across the middle class.

    As for suicides, I don't know.

    You'll find the papers on Google.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:00:19 PM PST

  •  Lowest murder rates in Utah and Vermont (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, annecros, high uintas

    Vermont is fairly prosperous and has a low murder rate.

    Utah has a low murder rate and a low per capita income.  (But a higher household income)

    census dot gov has all kinds of interesting data on crime.

    The murder rate seemed to come down in about 1990 and really declined during the Clinton administration.  Could be prosperity, could be Freakonomics.

    •  Amazingly, there is very suggestive evidence (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dogs are fuzzy, high uintas, Azazello

      that lead toxicity in the environment was a major cause of the crime wave that peaked in the 1990s.

      Lead exposure is known to cause brain defects and impair impulse control.

      Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has been covering this story, which has precipitated lots of discussion.

      What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

      by RobLewis on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:42:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  By all means check this idea out (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, NancyWH

        It's good enough to get past the first round or two of critical thinking and filtering.

      •  yes, i have been reading about this, and the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NancyWH

        correlative evidence is compelling. funny thing, when i first read the headline to this diary, i thought it referred to the loss of income/medical expenses, generally associated with being the victim, or a victim's family, of gun violence. it, in turn, has a ripple effect, on the local community's economy as well.

        the actual issue is also a commonly discussed one with, historically, an inverse relationship: as the economy improves, gun violence decreases, as the economy gets worse, gun violence increases. there have been many studies showing this relationship, with numerous examples supplied, to illustrate the effect. the most common one being the argument, that escalates to gun violence, because one of the participants is already stressed over the loss of job. remove the job loss induced stress, and it would have more likely ended with the two them exchanging drunkenly ineffective punches, then being dragged off by their slightly more sober friends, with the odd black eye or broken bone to show for it. add the job loss stress, and it ends with one participant dead or wounded, from a gunshot, and the other being arrested for murder or attempted murder, both being described (by friends/family) as "really nice guys, would never hurt a fly, i have no idea what caused it."

        how the recent studies, on the effects of reduced lead consumption, will affect the "age group most likely to do something stupid.", i have no idea.  hopefully, it will reduce both the stupid, and the most likely to.  

  •  Maybe a little further (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dogs are fuzzy, high uintas

    to loss of hope that things will ever get better.

    The only mass shooting I know much about are the postal shootings that happened long ago. They did many studies and gave the results to their employees who had to take many surveys to help them out with it.

    To their suprise but not ours they discovered that the post office was an incredibly abusive place to work. People were hounded and picked on to the point they literally snapped. Often this treatment was dished out over personal issues such as the boss didn't like a certain employee for no reason related to work.

    Bless them they did a major overhaul that seemed to result in almost an invasion of the body snatchers thing. There was a driving instructor in Tacoma that was so mean people actually made huge mistakes and got in wrecks because he was screaming at them. He became a nice guy who I ended up liking him and we became friends. No one was more suprised than me.

    The shootings stopped. Maybe our country needs to take a good hard look at what in our culture and circumstance is fueling all this anger. Our shooters may just be the early symtoms of something that is very wrong.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:00:52 PM PST

    •  Wasn't just that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PSWaterspirit

      The rules selected veterans of the Viet Nam war for positions in the post office. In the days before PTSD was recognized, post office employment was a very concentrated source of these folks who should have been given medical care and the collective national gratitude of our country.

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        it was an alot of managers who treated people very very badly.

        In the case of the first postal shooting the man who was the shooter was followed on his route almost daily, written up for even minor infractions, threatened and even timed with a stop watch while he sorted mail all while being told if he sorted slower than x number of pieces a minute he would be fired.

        While I do not discount the idea of PTSD working under that kind of pressure is enough to make the most level headed person lose it. i saw it all the time most just did not feel the need to shoot up the office.

        People were hounded out of jobs like this very often by a hand full of really bad managers. I was a union arbitrator at the time all this happened. There were some vile things going on.

        A friend of mine called it quasi military in culture. My boss at the time became one of the trainers because our office had a 90% approval rating ad we had almost no turnover. We all rated our boss as excellent and she was.

        Some of the Offices had a turn over rate that looked like a temp service.

        I have to hand it to them they looked at themselves and the change was breathtaking in its speed. It is such a shame that people had to die before they would acknowledge there was a problem.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:49:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Skiing lowers crime. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas

    OK, so that's snark.  But Utah and New England have pretty low murder rates.

    I think that Utah (it shocked the heck out of me, too) and New England have low income inequality.  

    California and New York have an income inequality problem........

  •  If hope is lost or so repressed that people see no (0+ / 0-)

    way out they will move to suicide or homocide.  Others get quietly depressed and just live that way.  If you have agun in the house statistics show you are 25 times more likey to get injured or lose your life by it than you will get to shoot an inruderto your home.  Fear mongering by the NRA to increase gun sales is a good source of unneeded guns in the home, but big profits for the gun industry.

  •  In the case of mass shootings apparently not (0+ / 0-)

    Mass shooting are a different animal from the bulk of everyday gun violence, of course.

    The killing spree perpetrators are almost always well-off white males.

    •  And the frequency has been (0+ / 0-)

      fairly constant over the last several decades, despite all the ups and downs of the economy.

      And Columbine / Santana-style shootings are virtually unheard of in the 'hood... despite an enormously higher overall level of violence.

      There doesn't seem to be much of a correlation.

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:10:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This sounds like a question for David Waldman! (0+ / 0-)

    Aka KagroX on Kagro in the Morning, often with Greg Dworkin.

    The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. Mark Twain

    by BlueMississippi on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:13:40 PM PST

    •  there is this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueMississippi
      n the late 1970s and early 1980s, several important reviews of the literature failed to establish a clear consensus on the relationship between economic conditions and violent crime. The research presented here applies the procedures of meta-analysis to 34 aggregate data studies reporting on violent crime, poverty, and income inequality. These studies reported a total of 76 zero-order correlation coefficients for all measures of violent crime with either poverty or income inequality. Of the 76 coefficients, all but 2, or 97 percent, were positive. Of the positive coefficients, nearly 80 percent were of at least moderate strength (>.25). It is concluded that poverty and income inequality are each associated with violent crime. The analysis, however, shows considerable variation in the estimated size of the relationships and suggests that homicide and assault may be more closely associated with poverty or income inequality than are rape and robbery.
      http://cjr.sagepub.com/...

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:36:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and there is this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueMississippi
      The proportion of violent crime in a community is closely associated with the unemployment rate of that community and will vary longitudinally over time. The overall county population is less important. These data may be used for public policy initiatives regarding resource allocation to trauma centers, law enforcement planning, and programs aimed at crime prevention.
      http://archsurg.jamanetwork.com/...

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:38:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Complex question with many layers of answers (0+ / 0-)

    In times of economic hardship (artificially created by off budget wars and fake "grass roots" Tea Party activism) it's hard for folks to think beyond their end-of-week budget problems. They become more susceptible to the threats of the right wing fear-mongers.

    To get a real picture of the grand design, you need to read Naomi Klein. But it's unlikely that the average guy (at the 7/11) will understand.

    For a real insight, can't recommend "Deer Hunting with Jesus" enough. I've been stalling finishing it, savoring the author's insight into why rural folks vote against their economic self-interest.

    That book and a lot of sociology might just begin to explain the relationship between economic hardship and the susceptibility of the low income majority to believe that "the government is coming for them."  I see the same thing in Northern Michigan where they really fear and hate the Department of Natural Resources, who threaten their "right" to get a deer the day before the season opens.

  •  There is this (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.nber.org/...
    More people apply for SSI & SSD during economic downturns.  One theory is, it is less "shameful" to be on disability, than on unemployment.  

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:28:50 AM PST

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