Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Despite what you may think, crime rate is down’

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Published: Wednesday, July 31 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

Yes, crime is down. In fact, gun crime is way down. Interestingly enough, the number of states with Castle Doctrine laws also is up along with the number of people who carry concealed weapons. An interesting correlation, huh?

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Lets begin by getting the facts straight shall we professor? What George Zimmerman did was not a crime, it was self defense.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@Mainly Me --

"Interestingly enough, the number of states with Castle Doctrine laws also is up along with the number of people who carry concealed weapons. An interesting correlation, huh?"

One of the first lessons we learn in science-oriented classes is that "correlation does not imply causation".

In this case, one might just as easily claim that crime rates have been falling during the years of the Brady Act -- and therefore conclude that gun *regulation* is what caused the drop.

In reality, however, the answer is not nearly as simple as either you or my example would make it out to be.

In fact, IMHO paranoia rather than a good sense of reality is what has caused the rise in concealed carriers And Castle-Doctrine type laws -- since crime rates started dropping well before their widespread legalization.

Lew Scannon
Provo, UT

Thanks, Richard, for trying to nudge us from fantasy land into reality. I find it interesting that we LDS often hear our leaders exclaim that the world keeps getting more and more evil. I suppose if you view the world through sexual lenses, this assessment is probably true. But in so many other ways—crime, war, racism, discrimination, illiteracy, abuse, to name a few—the world is actually becoming a better and safer place to live. I look around and see lots of really decent people who are trying to do their level best to live good lives and help others. Stories like the recent one about the donut shop patrons who kept paying the next person's bill make me think we live in a pretty good country with lots of fine fellow citizens. The one area that worries me is the rather sudden increase among certain political ideologues of an attitude the scriptures describe as "grinding the face of the poor." Other than that, I'm encouraged by the decency of the majority of human beings.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

Lew Scannon, to say America is becoming a safer country is one thing, but when one sees the world as a whole, particularly the middle east problems and the huge upsurge in global terriorism , these are not safer days for planet Earth. Per capita, bad things may be down, only because the world population is now about 6 billion. I as LDS side with the view that the world is getting more and more like Sodom and Gohomorrah than it is the City of Enoch.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

" I as LDS side with the view that the world is getting more and more like Sodom and Gohomorrah than it is the City of Enoch."

Actually.... we have been in a sodom and gohomorrah state for a dang long time. Owning people as property... burning people at the cross for belonging to the wrong religion.... single faith versus a choice in faiths... maybe different issues.... but the brothels are nothing new... its not called the oldest profession in the world for no reason.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Thanks, Richard, for reporting the facts on the dramatic decrease in crime rates in the U.S. in recent decades. Too bad that July's Ensign magazine (p. 4) stated that "crime spirals upward."

SlopJ30
St Louis, MO

m. g. scott's comment is telling. As "an LDS," you side with the view that the world is becoming more evil, because that's what we hear over the pulpit and our various meetings all the time. It doesn't play well to the LDS crowd to point out that, hey, in many ways things aren't deteriorating daily. Facts? Bah; who needs 'em? You can't teach a bunch of deacons that saving themselves for marriage is a good idea without scaring them with broad generalizations about how their wicked non-LDS peers.

Teen pregnancy rates have been dropping sharply for years. STD rates are much lower now than they were 15-20 years ago. Teen sexual activity is lower now than it was a decade ago. But nevermind . . in terms of sexual behavior, things are getting worse every day, because . . well, just because they are.
So crime rates are down nearly across the board. Fact. But you can't fit in with your LDS friends if you aren't always yelling about the sky falling, can you? People will believe whatever they're going to believe.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

What "fear-mongering"? I haven't heard anybody saying the crime rates are skyrocketting!

Just because Richard Davis got this message out of the Zimmerman case... don't put that on our backs. Nobody here said the Zimmerman case means crime rates are up. I've read about every article on it, and don't know where the letter writter got the impression this case made people think crime rates are up. I haven't seen anybody doing any fear mongering on crime rates. He's the first person I've seen even suggest anything about crime rates.

It's tough to contravert an opinion piece that is based on the author's false assumption that he knows what people are thinking. I never thought the Zimmerman story message is that crime rates are rizing... so I guess I missed the all the fear-mongering that he saw.

LiberalEastCoastMember
Parkesburg, PA

1,000 likes for Lew Scannon above! I thought I was the only member of the curch with that world view. I'll take this world over the world of my parents, grandparents, or any other ancestor's had ANYTIME! Never in the course of history has man lived in a world as safe as the one we enjoy and never have we had more freedom, liberties, opportunities and blessings than we have today. NEVER.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

@2 bits: "What 'fear-mongering'? I haven't heard anybody saying the crime rates are skyrocketting!"

Check out page 4 of the July Ensign magazine, which says "crime spirals upward."

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Steve,
The letter writer was talking about the Zimmerman case coverage (not Ensign articles). What in the Zimmerman coverage indicated crime rates have skyrocketing? And where was the fear-mongering in the Zimmerman coverage?

I doubt he was refering to the Ensign article.

Crime rates depend on where you live. For instance... crime in Florida doesn't effect me so I don't know what their crime rate is. But I think the Ensign was talking about morality and crime in general (world-wide). I don't think the Ensign was talking about Florida, or the Zimmerman case.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

I’ve heard two provocative theories on this:

1.The prevalence of Three Strikes laws has now imprisoned many who a generation or two ago would be repeat and continuous offenders.

2.That for most poor inner city women, abortion has been legal for a few decades and thus many of those who would be committing crimes are simply not here.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

2 bits:

Davis in his article clearly was not limiting the misperception of high crime rates only to those who were commenting on the Zimmerman case. And the stats he used show that he was referring primarily to U.S. crime. Therefore, those who say "crime spirals upward" need to get in touch with the facts, rather than fall for the "ain't it awful" perception of society.

You are the one who said "I haven't heard anybody saying the crime rates are skyrocketting!" By citing the Ensign article, I showed you someone who very recently said, in effect, that crime rates are indeed skyrocketing.

Edgar
Samaria, ID

cjb - There's an old saying from Shakespeare that goes something like "(He)doth protest too much, me thinks" I think your comment is a mordern day version of that.

What Dr. Davis said, specifically, was, "The trial of George Zimmerman that captured national headlines recently suggested a climate of violence in the nation as the trial documented the killing of a teenager by a neighborhood watchman." Those are facts - a teenager was killed by a neighborhood watchman. Dr. Davis did not imply any other facts in this case.

But you, on the other hand, asserted that "What George Zimmerman did was not a crime, it was self defense." This is clearly not "fact". A trial was held and a jury of 12 people determined that George Zimmerman was not guilty of murder. That's all we know for sure. But neither you or I will ever know whether it was truly an act of self defense. Just because a jury makes a decision, doesn't make it a fact.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Steve,
The opening sentence of the article states, "The trial of George Zimmerman that captured national headlines recently suggested a climate of violence". Obviously he was talking about the Zimmerman coverage (not the Ensign).

I haven't heard any crime rate fear-mongering in the Zimmerman coverage. Have you? I know you like to attack the church, but let's try to leave unrelated magazine articles out of it. Obviously the letter writter was talking about the Zimmerman coverage.

I just don't like artcles that are based on a false premise created as a base for the article.

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