Friday, April 27, 2007

Stress and Murder

I’ve been unable to verify that there is a stress limit for the murder rate similar to the one I’ve assumed for the violent crime crate. I finally curve-fitted the murder rate to the violent crime rate, and found that the murder rate tracks very closely to the average stress in the population. Both never get below about 45 percent of their peak values.

The stress model predicts that while the violent crime rate will never drop below 374 (crimes per 100 thousand people per year), the murder rate will never drop below five. The model also predicts that the maximum violent crime rate is 839 and the maximum murder rate is 11.

With three-quarters of all murders (including non-negligent homicide) involving firearms, it is conceivable that the maximum murder rate might drop to a fourth of its present value if we remove the chance someone will use a firearm to commit murder. The minimum rate would still be 44 percent of the maximum, or about one.

As Michael Moore’s movie “Bowling for Columbine” demonstrated, other countries have achieved murder rates comparable to the minimum. My model indicates how this could happen: Reduce the stress on the population by both maximizing the power that everyone has over their lives and training them to accurately perceive the world. The latter approach (addressing the “intelligence” part of the model, or “adjusted power” between zero and its half-way point) could include demonstrating that murder is not a “positive” tactic for reducing stress.

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