83% of Americans to be victims of violent crime

This is a discussion on 83% of Americans to be victims of violent crime within the Defensive Books, Video & References forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 83% TO BE VICTIMS OF CRIME VIOLENCE - NYTimes.com This is a very old article (1987) so it may or may not be currently relevant. ...

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    Member Array Bardo's Avatar
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    83% of Americans to be victims of violent crime

    83% TO BE VICTIMS OF CRIME VIOLENCE - NYTimes.com

    This is a very old article (1987) so it may or may not be currently relevant. (Although it would be interesting to go back and look at the statistics versus how many people actually have been victims of violent crime since 1987.)

    That said, I read this article and I was shocked. 83%? Really? But then I started to think about people in my immediate circle of friends, and how many of them I knew who have been victims of crime. I realized then, that the numbers are not that far off.

    So I was a little curious, strictly anecdotally speaking, whether you think that these numbers are in anyway accurate. I do recognize that this forum is probably somewhat biased, we "self-select" for people who have an interest in self-defense and so therefore we tend to naturally assume that the numbers are higher than the general public probably does. But I'm still curious about your perspectives.

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    NYT should do a follow-up story, to see if in the 26 years since that article was published how many 38 year-olds have been victims of violent crime.
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    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
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    Being a victim of a violent crime even once in a 70 year life span, within the total U.S. population sounds excessively high to me.

    I can see that percentage being victims in urban environments on numerous occasions in their lifetimes. No way that statistic applies to lifetime country folk. Ever notice the more people squeezed into a small area, the more violent crime? (Taken from the Dr. Dennis1209 crime statistic fact sheet).
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    I think this was written at a time when crime rates were alarmingly high and going up every year, for whatever reasons. Crime, especially violent crime, has been on the decline nationally since the late 90's or so. Even at that, 83% seems pretty excessive. It also depends on how they defined "violent". I notice burglary and personal theft was mentioned in the article. I wouldn't call that violent crime as a rule.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis1209 View Post
    Being a victim of a violent crime even once in a 70 year life span, within the total U.S. population sounds excessively high to me.

    I can see that percentage being victims in urban environments on numerous occasions in their lifetimes. No way that statistic applies to lifetime country folk. Ever notice the more people squeezed into a small area, the more violent crime? (Taken from the Dr. Dennis1209 crime statistic fact sheet).
    I would think so too, right? And I, personally, (thank goodness) have not been a victim of violent crime, but my wife has, my sister has, and I've had several friends who have as well. We don't live in the inner city, we're not drug dealers and we don't engage in excessively risky behavior. So I dunno...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis1209 View Post
    Being a victim of a violent crime even once in a 70 year life span, within the total U.S. population sounds excessively high to me.

    I can see that percentage being victims in urban environments on numerous occasions in their lifetimes. No way that statistic applies to lifetime country folk.
    I've been on the receiving end of three separate violent attacks against me, plus two attempted carjackings. That's 3 events, plus 2 near/attempted-events. Am not yet 70yrs of age. These each occurred in a given smaller town (25K pop., very spread out) in a semi-rural area far from "major metro" cities, across a ~10yr period in the late 1980's to late 1990's. Male, solo most of the time, reasonably simply dressed (bus. casual), clean-cut, fairly aware of surroundings, definitely not an in-your-face sort. Yet, these situations happened to me.

    I have known a few people who have had one or more incidents themselves, in various towns/cities, including largely rural areas. Nowhere near 83% of the people I've known, at least of the people who I've asked if they have ever experienced violent situations. Most haven't.

    Hard to say what the nationwide numbers would be, short of a large study that controlled for urban/rural, solo/group behaviors, typical modes of travel (ie, how often segregated from others, as inside an enclosed vehicle, vs accessible in a subway/rail car). And, in many places, the trends are far different here in 2013 than they were in 1987.
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    A lot of gun laws have changed since 87'. I'm guessing it's a lot lower now.
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    83%! That's high for Chicago and that's saying something.
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    Yup, I'm patiently waiting on my turn...
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    NYTimes - I put that right up there with the 93% figure the anti's had flying around.
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    87% of people I know have not been victims of violent crime, nor have I. Luck? Maybe, or maybe just a bit wiser in not getting into risky situations. Seems to be another made-up stat.
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    Newspapers have and always will deal in sensationalism. Particularly negative sensationalism. That's how they sell their product.
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    No .. I don't believe it for several reasons...
    * that was in 1987 , and a lot of CC laws hadn't been passed and as many "citizens" weren't armed for self-protection as they are now.
    * the 'violent attacks' here needs to be defined better... does that include domestic violence, etc. ?
    * the rates for rape, murder, and many violent crimes ... has been decreasing for about every year since 1987..... so, their statistical model wouldn't be applicable, and that's without saying that I'm sure it didn't account for that but figured it would 'rise' each year.
    * I also think the % of people who are no longer going to be a "willing vicim" and the mentality that accompanies that, has changed dramatically over the last 10 yrs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    I've been on the receiving end of three separate violent attacks against me, plus two attempted carjackings. That's 3 events, plus 2 near/attempted-events. Am not yet 70yrs of age. These each occurred in a given smaller town (25K pop., very spread out) in a semi-rural area far from "major metro" cities, across a ~10yr period in the late 1980's to late 1990's. Male, solo most of the time, reasonably simply dressed (bus. casual), clean-cut, fairly aware of surroundings, definitely not an in-your-face sort. Yet, these situations happened to me.

    I have known a few people who have had one or more incidents themselves, in various towns/cities, including largely rural areas. Nowhere near 83% of the people I've known, at least of the people who I've asked if they have ever experienced violent situations. Most haven't.

    Hard to say what the nationwide numbers would be, short of a large study that controlled for urban/rural, solo/group behaviors, typical modes of travel (ie, how often segregated from others, as inside an enclosed vehicle, vs accessible in a subway/rail car). And, in many places, the trends are far different here in 2013 than they were in 1987.
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    The US Justice Department conducts and maintains the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) annually, tabulating all categories of reported crime for every state, city, and major metropolitan area. Crimes are broken down into several "parts" with Part One crimes being the more serious (criminal homicide, assault, robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping, etc). These data are easily obtained and readily available (if I remember correctly, they are delivered to every public library. I suppose they will be on-line these days).

    In the early 1990's Colorado citizens were pushing for "shall issue" concealed carry permit laws to replace a hodge-podge of "may issue" applications in 63 counties and 260 municipalities across the state. As a police chief, I was asked to appear with many others and testify before a legislative committee hearing testimony on this subject.

    I based my testimony on the following:

    1. Uniform Crime Reports showed that UCR Part One crimes included one offense per 17 residents in Colorado each year, based upon the entire population (men, women, children). While some people might be victims of more than one Part One crime in a given year, overall the statistical probability of being a victim was one in seventeen in any given year. So, a Colorado resident living to age 68 was likely to be a victim of a serious offense 4 times; one living to age 85 was likely to be victimized 5 times.

    2. Of the 63 counties (at that time) the sheriffs' departments of 38 counties had insufficient manpower to maintain one deputy physically on-duty 24 hours per day and 7 days per week (based upon staffing levels and a 40-hour work week). Of the 260-plus municipalities (cities and towns) only about 150 had police departments, and over half of those were not staffed for services 24/7. (24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, equals 168 hours. So, minimal staffing for one person on-duty at all times is 4.2 full-time employees plus vacations, sick leave, court appearances, holidays, etc).

    3. On-duty law enforcement officers actually interdict crimes in progress less than 1% of the time; the majority of crimes are over and done with before officers can respond. Response times vary by department and staffing, but for serious crimes in progress response times averaged over 20 minutes response time in major cities, while response times in outlying areas were usually measured in hours.

    4. As has been ruled several times by courts up to and including the US Supreme Court, law enforcement agencies have no duty to protect any citizen or property. Duties of the various law enforcement agencies are generally spelled out by statute (i.e.: operate the jail, serve the orders of the court, maintain records of crimes reported, etc). Patrol, crime prevention, crime interdiction, etc, are laudable efforts but not required by law. Short version: duties imposed by law must be performed first, with any time left over allowing for other services. If there were laws requiring officers to protect every citizen and property then any victim would have clear standing in any lawsuit to recover damages from those public officials who had failed to perform their statutory duties (in other words, the public coffers would have to be thrown open to every crime victim every time).

    Basically, what I told the legislators was that the likelihood of being the victim of a serious crime was real and significant, and that when it happens to you the likelihood of receiving public assistance before the crime was completed was extremely small. Every citizen should be prepared to deal with such incidents on their own, and denying law-abiding citizens the means for effective self-defense was ill-conceived and dangerous to the public well-being.

    Within a few years Colorado had adopted a statewide uniform "shall issue" concealed carry permit statute. Any citizen not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm, and had completed specified training, could apply for and receive a concealed handgun permit.
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