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America, Your Child is Safe from Murder. Your Child is Safer from Murder in School.

Last week, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released its annual report on safety in U.S. schools, bringing our knowledge of school killings up to date for the 2011-2012 school year.  Our mass media worries incessantly about the murder of children in the United States, but if you read the report you’ll learn two things.

First, statistically speaking our children are safe from being murdered.

Number of Children aged 5-18 (2012) versus the Number of Homicides of Children aged 5-18 (2011-2012)

There were 77.8 million children aged 5-18 in the United States in 2012.  Of all those children, just 1,199 were murdered.  Of course, 1,199 children murdered is 1,199 children too many.  But is it a matter of significant worry for you if your child has not been murdered and you’re thinking about the future?  Not really.  1,199 is just 0.00154% of the population of kids aged 5-18.  In other words, the chances that your school-aged child will be murdered is 1.5 in 100,000.  If you must worry about your child (and as a parent I know that at some point it seems we must), worry about something else.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the year 2012 more than 90% of child deaths (which are in turn just 1/2 of 1% of all U.S. deaths) are caused by something other than murder.

Second, your children are 79 times more likely to be murdered out of school than in school.

Only 15 of the 1199 murders of school-aged children happened in schools.  All the rest happened outside of school. (School year 2011-2012)

When you read about some company trying to convince school districts to buy their expensive products to prevent school shootings, remember this.

3 thoughts on “America, Your Child is Safe from Murder. Your Child is Safer from Murder in School.”

  1. Charles Manning says:

    Thanks! This kind of analysis is one of the reasons I always check out Irregular Times.

    One clear implication seldom mentioned in the media is that any proposed solution to the small but attention-grabbing problem of school homicides should also address the tremendously larger but widely ignored problem of out of school homicides of children.

  2. Tom says:

    It’s complete bullshit Charles. These guys are completely missing the point – the Earth is going through catastrophic collapse WHICH WILL KILL THEIR CHILDREN. This is established fact. Doing nothing about it is tantamount to MURDER.

  3. Tom says:

    Wicked problems and wicked solutions: the case of the world’s food supply

    [quote from the beginning]

    First of all, should we say that the world’s food supply is a “problem”? Yes, if you note that about half of the world’s human population is undernourished; if not really starving. And of the remaining half, a large fraction is not nourished right, because obesity and type II diabetes are rampant diseases – they said at the conference that if the trend continues, half of the world’s population is going to suffer from diabetes.

    So, if we have a problem, is it really “wicked”? Yes, it is, in the sense that finding a good solution is extremely difficult and the results are often the opposite than those intended at the beginning. The food supply system is a devilishly complex system and it involves a series of cross linked subsystems interacting with each other. Food production is one thing, but food supply is a completely different story, involving transportation, distribution, storage, refrigeration, financial factors, cultural factors and is affected by climate change, soil conservation, population, cultural factors…… and more, including the fact that people don’t just eat “calories”, they need to eat food; that is a balanced mix of nutrients. In such a system, everything you touch reverberates on everything else. It is a classic case of the concept known in biology as “you can’t do just one thing.”

    Once you obtain even a vague glimpse of the complexity of the food supply system – as you can do in two days of full immersion in a conference – then you can also understand how poor and disingenuous often are the efforts to “solve the problem”. The basic mistake that almost everyone does here (and not just in the case of the food supply system) is trying to linearize the system. [please read it all]

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