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Gang members (courtesy

A new study from Yale University wanted to take a relational look at the crime rate in Chicago. In other words, instead of using a pure statistical and geographical approach, they investigated the relationship between various murder victims, and they found that there was a massive spike in the murder rate among those who associated with other victims. This pretty much reinforced what we already knew — that murders in Chicago are mainly gang related, and that the best advice to staying alive is avoiding stupid people doing stupid things (like drug dealing). But it’s nice to see a study backing up that common sense conclusion.

From the article in US News:

Andrew Papachristos, an associate professor of sociology at Yale, analyzed police and gun homicide records from 2006 to 2011 for people living in a high-crime neighborhood in Chicago. He found that 41 percent of all gun homicides occurred within a network of less than 4 percent of the neighborhood’s population, and that the closer one is connected to a homicide victim, the greater that person’s chances were for becoming a victim. Each social tie removed from a homicide victim decreased a person’s odds of becoming a victim by 57 percent.

So, in other words, you can reduce your risk of being murdered by over 50% simply by avoiding the murdering crowd. Or I suppose you could move out of Chicago, which would help too.

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  1. Some people can’t get away from that or don’t have a choice because of “street rules”. In an NPR special I heard about a high school in Chicago you are in a game depending on where you live whether you want to be or not. You get targeted for just living on the wrong side of the road and then coming to the same school as a rival gang.

  2. The flip side of this is that by sending nonviolent offenders to prison, we basically put them “in network” and make it more likely for them to come out as violent offenders.

    • Nah, he’s in the process of transitioning to his self-identified species group. The Klingon hormones haven’t fully kicked in yet.

  3. Holy Sh!t, Cpt. Obvious strikes again.

    It makes sense to try and avoid criminals, but sometimes the crims come looking for you. Oh and since Chicago is so restrictive on guns, better fire up that cellphone quick, its probably the only thing you can use to defend yourself when homie’s beating your ass for infringing on his turf.

  4. This is why I do not associate with homicide victims, only with live people.

    Not only is it dangerous to hang out with the dead, but dead guys are terrible conversationalists and in three days they stink as bad as house guests.

  5. From the article:
    “Typically, Papachristos says, there are traditional factors that put a person at a higher risk of becoming a victim of gun violence homicide – African-Americans are more likely to be killed than whites; men more likely than women; gang members more likely than non-gang members; and those who come from low-income neighborhoods more likely than affluent individuals.”

    In other words, the stereotypes are probably dead on. I sympathize with the good people trapped among the bad but in the end it’s up to the individual to move out and take his family with them. Physical distance is the only answer. I understand how tough, expensive, and uncertain it is to move but the alternative is really bad.

    • It gets a bit tiresome to hear poor people blamed for living with poor people as if they just love being poor and living with poor people… Where are they going to go? Master planned community like mine with few apartments and no where near jobs that don’t require higher ed?

        • It would help immensely if we could stop community organizers and others from saturating such communities with a message of entitlement and selling helplessness. Also improving public education would do wonders. If we have no other ideas then vouchers across the board would probably help.

          Also reforming welfare so benefits decrement as one gets better jobs until they are welfare free, which I think was one of the main goals of Friedman’s “negative income tax” proposal.

          When recovering from severe injuries an individual undergoes physical therapy to be rehabilitated. We have entire communities that need some sort of ‘moral therapy’.

          I’m tired after an 11 hour day, and my attention span isn’t great at the best of times, I hope there is something coherent in this.

      • Another thing: It’s not about poor people living with poor people. Plenty of areas in this country that are poor. The problems stem from mismanagement and outright incompetence of the leaders both elected and un-elected which foster climates that allow these problems to get a toe-hold. All the social programs, spending, wealth transfers, and other feel good measures won’t substitute basic decency and ethics, which is almost completely ignored by policy makers interested in winning elections, singing songs about change, and politically correct behavior.

        And once people quit giving a shit and resign themselves to their situation it’s over.

      • There are allways jobs for those who are willing to work hard. I should know, since comming in this country in 1998 (with couple hundred dollars in my pocket and one bag of clothes) I started as construction helper, working 10 – 12 hours a day, 6 -7 days a week. No english, no higher education that would be recognized here. No friends or family. I did not have a clue how the system works here, no drivers licence eighter. In Chicago too!
        Today I still work in construction business, have family, no debt except mortgage which will be paid off in 9 years.
        I know lots of guys with similar histories. When someone with two healthy hands, born and raised in US claims he is poor because he can’t find work I have difficulties believing it.

  6. There are few areas In the US as economically disadvantaged as Appalachia. We’re so poor we can’t afford to have a study about how poor we are. That said, the violence rate here, outside of metropolitan areas (of which there are few) is very, very low. I live in one of the seven poorest counties in Ohio. We have a serious drug problem (oxycontin) and a major problem with burglary. We also have an unemployment rate that would make your head spin( 7.7% but that doesn’t begin to account for the high number of people who will not work and are not seeking work (SSI, SSD and chronic consumers of public assistance. However, we have a very low incidence of violence. I contribute our low violence ( our murder rate hovers around zero) to both the prevalence of armed homes and citizens and the fact that family still means something here, even to criminals.

    Arguably, what separates us from Chicago is that we take murder seriously here. Plea bargains in murder cases are generally rejected in favor of trials, and sentences for all sorts of violent crime are statistically high here. You can kill people in Chicago all day long and tell yourself that you’ll eventually end up back on the street. Do that here and you know, if you live through the spree, you’ll never live outside prison walls again.

    The difference is that we don’t tolerate violent offenders. You decide why Chicago and places like it do, I’m not giving my opinion, but when you won’t tolerate such offenders you don’t have many of them.

  7. Local, state, And federal governments have NO vested interest in preventing murder or lesser crimes because it keeps 10% of our population employed. Law enforcement…police, DEA, ICE, DOJ, ATF, game wardens, swat teams, FBI, county air squadrons, Border patrol, parole officers. JUDICIAL…Judges lawyers, court officers, county clerks, parole officers, bail bonds, Bounty hunters. Criminals….drug dealers, gang members committing crimes to pay rent to landlords, doctors, chop houses, chemist, chemical sales, tattoo artist, bike builders and bar tenders. Counselors, psychiatrist, career developers, priest, the list is endless.

    Prison systems, prison businesses, You might not be aware CA prisons have 800 acres of Almond groves, buys equipment & machinery to maintain them & packaging equipment, to provide every prisoner with 23 grams of almonds a day. Chicken farms and project managers to run facilities and managers for each business segment.

    War on Drugs will never end, for every 1 dollar spent by law enforcement it returns 4…a 75% profit. Not many business can claim that…All supported by our tax dollars and the reason why hustling law abiding citizens is the next step in keeping the Castles built.

    While we gripe about trigger rights….the state is sucking coin out of our pockets at unsustainable rate. Here lies the reason our elected representatives want our guns…because they want more and they don’t want you to resist while reaching into your wallet.

    If you have a better answer, I’ll lend an ear.

    • True. Just a little nit to pick:
      “… for every 1 dollar spent by law enforcement it returns 4…a 75% profit.”
      I’m no economist but the math seems to be off.

  8. My ccw class teacher made a very good point in our class.

    If you hang out with criminals, sooner or later you’ll wind up being a suspect, a witness, or a victim. Quite possibly all three.

  9. Someone is going to attack that Yale Study as racist, anti-poor, anti-immigrant, anti-children from broken up families, biased, etc for attacking or suggesting directly or indirectly certain demographic groups are gun violence prone and it is not the fault of gun prevalence itself.

  10. 41 percent of all gun homicides occurred within a network of less than 4 percent of the neighborhood’s population

    So, in his follow up study are we going to be treated to a shocking realization that 4% of a neighborhood’s population are repeat offenders?

    Because if that were the case the resulting cognitive dissonance could make a lib’s head explode….

    • Just think that 4% and how much they cost the US Taxpayer. Add the other 6% for remaining criminals and you finally understand the sum total we’re paying does not justify expenditure.

  11. Same goes for avoiding being a traffic statistic, the less you drive the less chance you will be killed in a auto accident. When you put yourself at risk the odds of being hurt or killed multiply, don’t need some Yale study to figure that out, that’s community college stuff there.


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