Violent Cities??

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by wimic, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. wimic macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2006
    calgary, alberta
    Okay... so I recently moved to Calgary, Alberta from Eastern Canada and am kind of alarmed at how much violence there is. Just the other day a dead body was dropped from a car in the center of downtown. Perhaps I'm just not accustomed to this type of thing seeing as how I come from a city with just under 200,000 people... but in any case, it got me wondering why these things happen, what causes them and how they can be stopped.

    I know that Calgary (whose population recently exceeded 1 million people) is a relatively tame city. But I've spoken to some long-time Calgarians and they've assured me that this type of behavior and these types of incidents have recently become a lot more common. Is it fair to say that population (or population density for that matter) is proportional to violence? Or are these problems rooted more deeply in society?

    Does the demographic of the city play a role? The school systems? Water additives perhaps (as insignificant as these things sound - they MAY have an affect!). I really believe it's unfair to blame violence on one specific social or ethnic group, yet it happens everyday! Why is it that certain racial groups are associated with violence moreso than other groups? Are these people genetically predisposed to being violent people? I think not!

    Use this as food for thought or comment if you like... I'm just interested in seeing what YOU think is the cause of violence (whether it be random acts of terrorism, gang violence or premeditated attacks... whatever you like). And perhaps get some ideas as to how it can be stopped!

    religion, drugs, money, jealousy, crude oil, the last parking space, the last seat on the bus... all these things have cause violence and rage in people, why are human beings so aggressive?

    Any comments?
  2. Josh macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2004
    State College, PA
    There's just all around more death in larger citites.

    Even New York, which can be a pretty violent city, suffers more suicides than murders.

    It's not so much a particular group directly, but more so particular social situations (low income, drug use, gangs, etc).

    Indirectly, those situations do affect some ethnicities more than others (which is where wrongful stereotypes are born).
  3. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004
    Come to Baltimore or Southeast D.C. It's the nature of large urbanized areas.
  4. wimic thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2006
    calgary, alberta

    But why is it the "nature" of those cities? I don't think the word urbanized is synonymous with violent or crime. I think it's the way those cities are run, the values and ethics that are bred into it's children, and ultimately the way that social programs are implemented.

    Yes it's probably true that low income families or communities tend to produce more violence than higher class communities... but why do those classes exist in the first place?

    Perhaps I'm reading way too far into this... but I just find it intriguing that all of this social inequality, and all of the need for conformity, and all the drug use and gang association... it all ultimately boils down to things that can be changed in society... albeit it can't happen over night!

    Instead of throwing the guy who holds up the liquor store in jail, why don't we focus more on preventing the robbery in the first place?
  5. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I see 2 worlds every day... maybe countless more. I live in a very nice area; Saddleworth. My whole family live in it's villages (Diggle, Springhead, Uppermill). So beautiful. next to no crime, no troubles. replace by random footballers and soap stars. I don't know about you but I'd be happier with a gang of chavs living next door than the actor who plays Martin Platt and his drama queen ways.

    I've been a student at Manchester Met Uni for the past 2 years but I'm moving to a course in Salford for my final year. Both places I consider are pretty dangerous. I almost got mugged in Manchester one morning! by the very nicest of thugs. I told them I couldn't afford a new iPod and they didn't take it off me. Quite surreal.

    Used to walk to college on a nice day. Just over Harts Head Pike. Lovely place, but frequently you would spot a burnt out car. Maybe a killed sheep or cow.

    It seems timid around here. I have nothing to fear except big cats from the moors. and because I'm just a naturally relaxed guy I really don't understand this inner-city anger you get.
  6. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    And UFO's :D
  7. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004
    I'm not saying that I agree with the behavior or with all the remedies that are put into place to try and fix the problems. However, where there are serious socio-economic problems there will most likely be high rates of crime. This doesn't mean that more affluent areas are immune since there are plenty of rich/decent kids that get into trouble, too, but in a general sense the more affluent areas tend to have a healthier social structure.

    Oftentime it seems, areas that do get redeveloped just end up pushing the problems elsewhere. I'm not saying that I agree with that, but it is a very difficult/complex problem to fix. Children that are brought up and exposed to the environment are definitely going to have a harder time avoiding succumbing or changing after they have succumbed to their surroundings. Those that do succumb when they are younger are going to have a harder time at rehabilitation, which makes it even more of a difficult problem to solve. From my limited knowledge of psychology, there are some behaviors and developments of conscience that must be learned while young. If they aren't learned during that period they will never be learned. If this happens then rehabilitation is pretty much fruitless.

    So ultimately, what probably needs to happen is a change in, and refocus on, the home lives of the people in troubled areas since this is where the majority of behaviors are learned by youngins'. Outside of that there needs to be programs that focus on effectively providing good role models for children and teenagers both in and out of the home. These are just cursory suggestions to finding an eventual solution (and by no means do I think they are complete solutions). They're simple suggestions on paper, but extremely difficult to implement. If someone could find a way to do it they'd truly be revolutionary.
  8. wimic thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2006
    calgary, alberta

    Very well said! I agree with pretty much everything you said. I find it rather tragic, however, that "lower class" members of socitey have to contend with these hardships simply because they're uneducated, physically or mentally disabled, or simply disadvantaged.

    What's the first step in implementing programs to change these behaviors? To encourage people to not strive for money and posessions as an end in themselves, but to take the focus off of material things and focus on the betterment of society and an overall better quality of life.

    I think that violence stems directly from a persons' inability to value themselves as a person. Nobody who's afraid of suffering the consequences of a crime is going to commit that crime! I think it's those people who could care less about themselves, and others for that matter, that pose the biggest threat to society. Afterall, what does someone with nothing have to live for?

    What does someone do when they've hit rock bottom? They reach out - they reach out to a society that judges them and makes them feel even worse about themselves for letting themselves get into that predicament in the first place. The alcoholic reaches for another drink, the gang member returns to his or her gang, the drug dealer scores another hit. Violence stems from despiration, in my opinion. And i think the first step in abolishing that despiration is through education and prevention. Not "this is your brain - this is your brain on drugs" education, but the type of education that helps people make the right decisions in life - how to transition from a teen to an adult, how to raise a child, and ultimately how to treat other people - despite their afflictions. A bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way.
  9. wimic thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2006
    calgary, alberta

    I agree that walking at night would be stupid and i avoid it at all costs. I also know that Calgary is a relatively safe city and I'm very thankful for that. It's hard to ignore the fact that these things are happening more frequently, however.

    ps... go flames! :)
  10. thedude110 macrumors 68020


    Jun 13, 2005
    It's one of the first steps, but education can only go so far. I do think that communities owe it to their citizens to provide greater "life skills" or "service learning" opportunities to their kids. Not to say kids shouldn't learn how to write an argumentative essay, but is to say that kids can, with the right curriculum, change the face of their community (and their own lives).

    You're accurate in your use of the word desperation, but I think sometimes that word is overused. People fundamentally need hope in their lives -- so many of the kids I've worked with already feel hopeless (for a myriad of reasons) at just 15. You can imagine how hopeless they'd feel at 45.

    I like your wonder and your commitment to others. And I think you're right -- capitalism is too often unethical and too often stands in the way of broad social equality.
  11. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    Dallas has a very high crime rate. Gotta be tough 'round here. :D
  12. MultiM macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2006
    TO. I've moved!
    I also live in Calgary and have for 17 years. My very first day here there was a double murder/suicide. I have not let that colour my opinion of Calgary as a whole.

    I will agree that gang violence has increased alarmingly in the last few years and I beleive that that is a direct result of the huge economic growth we are experiencing right now. There has to be a direct correlation between economics and crime. The more some of us have, then the more someone else wants to take it away.

    Partially to blame is the justice system that does not allow punishment for violent crimes. As an example: a man and a woman lured another man out of a local bar and into an alley. They then proceeded to kill him for a lousy $160.00! The judge just came back with their sentencing: 5 yrs in prison. Does that sound like justice to you?

    Calgary is not the only city experiencing violent crime, but it seems more prevalent here because it wasn't as common before.

    Enjoy Calgary. Despite what you may see, Calgary really is a great place to live.
  13. CompUser Guest

    Come on over to Hartford, CT. There was a period of time where people were getting there every day- even school busses.

    At my school they "import" students from Hartford to make my school more racially diverse. One of those kids little brothers got shot in the stomach. Two days later the kid that goes to my school was shot in the leg. There are too many drug dealers and gangs in Hartford that usually end shooting innocent people.

    I think last year the paper said Hartford, CT was the 7th or 9th or 11th or something most dangerous city. Ironically, although CT is the richest state (thanks to NYC), we have some of the poorest cities.
  14. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    think of it like this

    Calgary has about 2 homicides for every 100,000 people.

    Indianapolis has about 13 homicides for every 100,000 people.

    Both cities are roughly equivalent in population and climate...I think Calgary has about 200K more citizens. The murder rate in Indianapolis is 1.75 times the US national average, though...who knows why?

    1 homicide is one too many, but it could be a lot worse.

    I loved Canada, but didn't understand it. How is it possible for a country to be so clean and civilized? What is it you guys are doing up there that we can't figure out?
  15. CompUser Guest

    Hartford has per 100,000 people

    - 12.8 Murders (I guess someone didn't kill someone all the way- ghosts? :p)
    - 43.2 Rapes
    - 711.4 Robberies
    - 422.8 Aggravated Assaults

    ^^^ these "violent crimes"

    Property crimes per 100,000 people
    - Burglaries: 1376.4
    - Larceny/Thefts: 5292.2
    - Motor Vehicle Thefts: 2099
    - Arsons: 77.53
  16. thedude110 macrumors 68020


    Jun 13, 2005
    There's no question that Hartford is a tough city.

    The projects were razed a few years ago -- the idea was if you spread poverty out across the city, crime would decrease.

    Instead of crime decreasing, the poor and hopeless became poor, hopeless and without community.
  17. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    Give me a break... I'm so sick of hearing people blast SE DC. Maybe you've heard of the recent crime sprees and killings in NW, Georgetown specifically?

    And Baltimore has cleaned up its act a LOT in the past decade.
  18. chris200x9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2006
    I'm from detroit! tough mofo so suck it trebek.................that had nothing to do with anything I just really wanted to say it! lol :D :p
  19. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    better funding for public schools would be a big help, I think. Isn't quite fair that the kids in the poorer neighborhoods (or counties, cities, and states for that matter) don't get the same opportunities as the kids in the wealthier neighborhoods. Field trips, computers, art, music, sports...poor school districts can't afford that kind of stuff.

    schools funded by property taxes...the rich get richer, the poor get the picture...
  20. mustard macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2005
    Ironically enough I just picked up this months Maxim magazine and it has a nice article on just this topic - and the winner was Camden, NJ. Which is nice because a little jaunt down the road to get the kids in check if we ever have any couldn't hurt.
  21. Jschultz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hmm. Chicago's murder rate is almost 3x the national average (2.7) while our robbery is also almost 3x (2.73)

    I know exactly where all of this stuff is happening too. For all you Chicagoans, would you like to guess the 3 neighborhoods? :D
  22. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2004
    I'll strike a guess and say it's not in one of the Glens.
  23. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2002
    As with so many things, I think that it's combinations of factors which cause crimes to take place. A lot of people get mugged and murdered in London, but if you are sensible and load the dice in your favour, that's the best thing you can do, really. Travelling where there's good lighting and walking with confidence (and looking like you know where you're going) make a big difference in my opinion.

    I have to say that where I live now is the safest place I've ever been in. There's never any trouble here, really.
  24. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    Larger cities have larger populations. All things being equal, a city of 2 million will have a murder rate about 10 times higher than a city of 200,000. Usually though it will be even more than 10 times higher, as the affluent people have fleed to nice houses in the suburbs and taken all the jobs with them, leaving the poorer inner core folks with reduced quality of life, more bitterness, and less to lose. As the well-to-do move into their new digs, the day after they get their first property tax bill in the mail is the day they usually become conservatives and say "taxes are killing us - let's cut them." Inner-city education, health care, etc. then go down the crapper and, before you know it, your city has become Houston, Atlanta, LA, Dallas, or similar ********. :p

    Go to any city or town in North America and survey a group of people and they will say that crime has been getting worse lately. This is probably the media reporting crime increases but not decreases.
  25. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    I live in one of the poorer states in the US. I usually tell people that there's not much crime here because there's nothing worth stealing :D

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