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Windmill's avatar

Do you think the world is more dangerous now than it was in, say, the 60's?

Asked by Windmill (508 points ) February 1st, 2013

Growing up my folks just turned us loose in the neighborhood after about the age of 5. All of the kids in the neighborhood were turned lose. In the summer we came home only if we were hungry or it was raining (or waited the storm out in someone’s garage…or played in the rain if it was warm enough.)

I know I didn’t allow my kids to run too freely when I was raising them in the 80’s. I always knew where they were and who they were with.

Is it more dangerous today, or is that only a mis-perception brought on by the onslaught of never ending media coverage?

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32 Answers

Shippy's avatar

We are more aware now. I was abused in the 70’s. But more people on earth more problems.

Pachy's avatar

The world has always been a dangerous place but it seems to me there are more dangers, or at least more types of danger. But as @Shippy says and I agree, we just hear and know more than we did in the pre-Internet, pre-TV-all-the-time days… about more places around the globe. Also, as I mentioned in a question a few days ago, I think because of the Media and Internet motivates more people to have more to say more often about things that happen in the world, which tends to keep us more focused on the bad things happening.

Windmill's avatar

@Shippy I think I had some neighbor girl friends who were abused. I’ve thought back on some of their actions, but I didn’t recognize it until I was grown and became more aware. That just wasn’t discussed in those days.

I’m sorry, Shippy. :(

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Do you think that all the media coverage actually gives people “ideas” they wouldn’t have had otherwise?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It is media speed and coverage. Think CNN and internet.

Pachy's avatar

@Windmill, I do believe that, just as I firmly as I believe violence in movies/TV/games begets violence on the streets.

wundayatta's avatar

Overall, since 1990, the rate of deaths from assault has declined in many western countries, notably the United States. Globally, death rates from war declined by two-thirds from the 1970s to the 1990s. Genocide is declining. Deaths from terrorism seem to have peaked. And they were never significant compared to all other sources of violent death.

The world is getting safer over time. If it seems otherwise, it is because of the news media, which loves to cover violence. Violence grabs eyeballs. But while it scares us all, that does not mean the world is getting worse off. It isn’t.

marinelife's avatar

It seems as if it is more dangerous. I also ran in packs of neighborhood kids and roamed freely even on Halloween after dark.

I would not let a child do that nowadays.

Windmill's avatar

@wundayatta I’m not thinking about death so much as about dangers to kids running about.

@marinelife it DOES “seem” more dangerous.

Aster's avatar

Well, if there were worries in the sixties that you could be murdered in a school, a theater or a mall, that your parent might smoke crack, that GMO’s in the food supply could be killing us, that Aspartame in soda was a real health threat and that the US President had little respect for the Constitution then no; the world is no more dangerous now than it was in the sixties.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think it’s a bit more dangerous and a lot more media coverage. People don’t sweep abuse under the rug any more, which is good. Plus abusers work like a reverse pyramid scheme. One abuser abuses 10 kids, odds are a couple of them are going to be abusers. Plus the violence and stuff in the media and on games can’t be good for some minds.

Blackberry's avatar

Your neighborhood growing up isn’t a representation of any single culture, society, or country.

Violent crime has decreased over time.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Oh, and welcome to fluther.

zenvelo's avatar

There weren’t as many handguns and assault weapons back in the ‘60s. But there were a lot more hidden secrets. We’re aware of more because people talk about it and expose teh secrets.

It’s like drunk driving. In the 60s the cops would just make sure that Joe or Bill got home, and nobody knew the difference. But now that awareness is that drunk driving is intolerable, and everyone will know if you are caught, no matter how famous you are, You think a pro football player would have been arrested 50 years ago? No, teh cops would have made sure it was covered up and that the player was ready for Sunday’s game.

So incidents have gone down but awareness is up.

And with the publicity, I think a lot of deranged minds have viewed as some sort of “I’m not the only one…” permission to go whacko. Hence more shooting incidents because of the easy access to guns. 50 years ago, in small towns, the gun shop owner would have known that Tommy or Al didn’t think straight, and would not have sold a gun. Now in an impersonal world, the guns are sold to whoever has the cash. And someone sees a theater shooting on Colorado and copies it in Arizona.

And the President violated the Constitution was happening back in 1972. Now it only happens in the fantasy minds of people reading conspiracy websites.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Not at all. In some aspects it is more dangerous, yes but in others its actually safer now than it was in the 60’s. I think the unsafe perception comes from the fact that there was a sharp increase in the mid 70’s to early 90’s and people still believe its as dangerous as it once was. I thin the other influence is the media’s non-stop coverage of this. When you turn on the nightly news all you hear is who was stabbed, raped, or murdered that day.

Per 100,000 people in the US
Violent Crimes 69–328.7 91–758.1 2011–386.3
Property 68–298.4 91–758.1 2011–386.3
Murder 69–6.9 80–10.2 2011–4.7
Rape 69–15.9 92–42.8 2011–26.8
Robbery 69–131.8 91–272.7 2011–113.7
Assault 69–143.8 91–433.3 2011–241.1
Burglary 69–984.1 76–1,532.1 2011–702.2
Theft 69–1,930.9 91–3,228.8 2011–1.976.9
Car Theft 69–393.0 91–658.9 2011–229.6

This chart only goes to 2011 but I think its worth noting as you can see from the chart that things are on a decline so I’d imagine the number are actually lower today than whats listed there.

91 was like the shittiest year ever :P

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room How do you account for the literally millions of people who consume violent video games/movies/tv shows and never commit any sort of violent crime in their life? Stop scapegoating.

Pachy's avatar

@uberbatman, many thanks for your opinion. And you’re very welcome for mine.

woodcutter's avatar

Back in the 60’s we had the threat of nukes that weighed on our minds. No not so much now. Kidnappers and perverts of all stripes were still out there. With the information age, bad news travels faster than good news.

burntbonez's avatar

I do not. I think we are safer. I think the news makes it seem like we are less safe, but the reality is that people are more afraid. We could easily let our kids run around as they did in the 60s and there would be no problem. But since we are more afraid, we are afraid to do that, because if anything happened to the kids. we could never forgive ourselves.

flutherother's avatar

I remember the 1960’s and the ‘four minute warning’. That was the amount of time we would have before Armageddon. Nuclear war no longer seems imminent but I sense our planet is sliding towards environmental catastrophe.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Statistically, the world is actually safer now than it was in the 60’s & 70’s. However, with so much reporting going on, we usually do not feel any safer now.

filmfann's avatar

I remember that 1968 was a pretty fucked up year. Hard to imagine things any worse.

Pinkpastelrainbow's avatar

I think the world is still the same just people are more aware of danger. We have more technology to protect us. But there’s a downside like stealing money or getting the location of someone who put there info on a website. There’s always danger around us.

augustlan's avatar

Though we feel less safe, we are (on the whole) certainly safer these days. We are just more aware.

mattbrowne's avatar

The world becomes less dangerous every decade if measured by incidents times severity per capita.

But our brains are great at storing negative examples. Plus more and more news media. Plus omnipresent cctv and cell phone videos.

Pachy's avatar

Where we live colors our answers of course. Someone in Kandahar or Detroit will necessarily feel differently about this question than someone tucked away in Sun City. Perception of more/less danger is also affected by one’s age, economic situation, level of access to media, and many other factors.

Aster's avatar

No matter where we live in the US, if we indeed live here, we should prepare for the possiblity of Sharia Law, Civil War, losing our guns and empty grocery store shelves. Just sit back and watch. We’re stockpiling food.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^ I disagree.

augustlan's avatar

@Aster That’s a pretty extreme outlook you have there…

Aster's avatar

I agree @augustlan . But these are extreme times we’re in now. Who would ever have guessed we’d be on the cusp of turning in our guns? Did you hear they were giving out gift cards in exchange for guns? Second Amendment. At the same time the US government is stockpiling guns. What for? Or have I bought into a pack of lies? Police were giving away gift cards for guns, but a group of people showed up for a whole other reason.

Hundreds of people showed up Saturday morning for a gun buyback in Seattle.

One man even brought a rocket launcher. He said it had already been used and could not do any harm.
Mason Vranish said he bought it from a man for $100, but within seconds police took it off his hands.

Officers gave Vranish a gift card and said they will investigate and will let him know if he can have it back.

The event was supposed to go until 3 p.m., but the even drew such a big crowd, police wrapped up by noon.

Police said in the first two hours, more than 160 guns were turned in and $35,000 in gift cards were handed out.

augustlan's avatar

Do you have any links on this info? I’m betting some of that just isn’t true, and you’ve been getting info from some unreliable sources.

woodcutter's avatar

Gun collectors were setting up shop near these cop run gun turn in depo’s and offering much more to the people turning in theirs. There were some incredible deals being done and both parties won. It looks like the cops got the left overs. Funny

And yeah, why is the govt buying way more ammo than they really need? Even some police dept’s are having trouble getting ammo.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, guys…the government doesn’t need any more ammo than it has now to wipe out its own civilians! It certainly doesn’t need to go garage saleing for left over guns! LOL!

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