Re: European Versus United States Violence

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 27 Dec 1997 16:12:39 -0500

Matthew Gaylor wrote:
> These discussions over European vs. American violence leave out several key
> points-
> One- Europe at various times this century has been very unsafe- Shouldn't
> world war be included in any serious discussion on violence? What about
> Bosnia?

This is an excellent question. While a low level of urban conflict seems
to be a characteristic of American Society, does such a low level act as
a relief valve, while the European tendency toward repression of
conflict simply act to store up the 'pressure' until the time is right,
until the culture is weak, so that widespread violence erupts in war?

THis century, between 20-50 million people have died in various levels
of conflicts in Europe, yet, even if you apply today's high murder rate
in the US to every year in this century, that only totals 2-3 million
people. Which region is it more dangerous to have lived in this

Its also obvious by US emigration/immigration data that, on the whole,
the US is still a more attractive place to move to than to move out of
than most other countries. That we have such a big problem with illegal
immigration indicates that poeple much prefer living in the US in a
illegal status than as an upstanding citizen in their own countries.
THis is not just third world countries. SOmeone a bit back cited that
one is more likely to be murdered in the US than in Northern Ireland,
yet why is it that many more Northern Irish immigrate or travel as
tourists to the US than the reverse?? Even if solely US-European stats
are used, it show that more people from Europe wish to go to the US than
the reverse.

> Second- We should define precisely who we are talking about- If you
> factor in race and location, the difference is startling. White suburban
> America has similar violence rates to Europe- Of course writing about race
> is taboo in American society.

Yes it is unfortunate, but indicative of the attitudes of those in power
wishing to perpetuate their constituency than in raising them up, in
order to keep their jobs.

> Third- Due to the first Amendment, Americans enjoy a free press- Canada
> as an example censors many lurid crime details from being reported. The
> American press' sensational tabloid reporting style doesn't do much for the
> American image either-

This is another point relative to my first response here. Why is tourism
to the US so much higher if everyone in other coutnries sees this
country as dangerous?

> Fourth- There is a lack of correct historical perspective- How many of us
> have heard about the "Wild, wild west? Crime rates in the late 1800s in
> the US were low- Do you really think that a bunch of civil war veterans on
> the western frontier would let a gang terrorize their town?

I think that the "wild wild west" was the first example of the
sensationalist tendencies of the free American press, but I think that
the term came more from the habitat, originally.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?