The Heritage Foundation

Lecture #393 on Crime

July 2, 1992

July 2, 1992 | Lecture on Crime

Guns, Crime, and the Culture War


(Archived document, may contain errors)

Guns, Crime, and the Culture War

By James IL Warner am going to speak to you tonight on the relationship between guns, crime, and the culture war. Before my remarks, however, it would be inappropriate in 1992 to say anything about American culture without noting that this is the Quincentennial of the event that made A m erican culture possible, the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. Columbus became a bene- factor to all mankind when he brought civilization to the Now World. The enemies of American culture say that we should view Christopher Columbus from the p e r- spective of Native Americans. I just did. That was from the perspective of the millions of native Americans who were, but would not have been, bom because their ancestors would have been, but were not, human sacrifices. It is coincidental that I chose t o speak on the subject of the culture war before recent events which have made it current. But it gives me an opportunity to do something that you might never see otherwise. The National Rifle Association frequently is criticized for its refusal to compro - mise. Well, tonight I am going to do the unthinkable and offer a compromise. First, some background. A large number of convicted felons come from single-parent house- holds. Many of them don't even know who their fathers are. The Vice President has been e xtremely rigid about this issue, but not me. I am going to compromise. The compromise is this -1 am not asking anyone to change her lifestyle. All I ask is that the next time the script writers for "Murphy Brown" want their character to have sex, that the y makeher register the man first. That way, ff she gets pregnant, her child will know who the father is. That's reasonable, isn't it? And while we are at it, shouldn't there be a seven-day cooling off period? After all, as the gun control advocates say, ff this can save even one life it would be worth-it. Blaming External Factors. Seriously, the enemies of our culture refuse to recognize individ- ual responsibility for behavior. They prefer to shift the blame. They have a long list of external factors which they claim are causes of crime. Foremost among these is the one which I wish to talk about. They claim that easy access to firearms causes crime. I can prove that they are wrong. We have 700,000 sworn police officers in America. They carry firearms day an d night, on duty and off. Taxpayers had to invest more than a billion dollars to arm and train these officers. We spent the money because we thought that these guns would suppress, not cause, crime. We have at least that many private citizens who are entit l ed to carry handguns concealed. Their firearms are not a problem either. We trust these people to carry guns without fear that their guns will cause crime. Doesn't that suggest that it must be the character of the person, rather than the gun itself, with w hich we need concern ourselves. The fact is, we all know that access to firearms does not cause crime, a proposition which I shall deal with at length later. The cause of crime is self evident. Crime is behavior and is con- trolled by the moral values of the individual. If one's moral values will not permit him to do something, he will not do it. If one's moral values do allow him to do something, no law will re- strain him ff he believes that he can get away with it.

James H. Warner is Assistant General Counsel of the National Rifle Association of America. He spoke on May 27, 1992, at a meeting of the Ibird Generation. ISSN 0272-1155. 0 1992 by The Heritage Foundation.

Always Wrong. The enemies of American culture, the cultural warriors, reject this re asoning. In fact, they reject the rational process itself. If you don't believe this, ask yourself this question: Why is it that the American left is always wrong? They have been wrong for most of this cen- tury. They were wrong about Sacco and Vanzetti. T hey were wrong about the Rosenbergs. They were wrong about Alger Hiss. They were wrong about Stalin and Castro. They were wrong about Mao Tse-tung and Ho Chi Minh. They were wrong about nuclear winter and they are wrong today about global warming and the o zone hole. Why are they always wrong? Let me suggest that their problem is that they use subjective criteria to test reality. They use in- ternal reference points, and believe, therefore, that truth is determined by their desires. To illustrate this, talk to one of them about science. Explain how Archimedes's Principle proves that the seas will not rise with the melting of the polar ice caps. There will be no attempt to disprove Archimedes. Instead, you might be told that you are using the same argument as Sen- ator Jesse Helms, or some other conservative. It's bad science, and bad logic, to believe something because you dislike those who can prove that it is false. It is called the ad hominem fallacy. Or take the example of the feminist philosophy professo r who says that all science is perme- ated with racism, sexism, ageism, and classism, and who wonders why no one points out the recurring themes of rape (I am not making this up) in the works of Sir Isaac Newton. She sug- gests, apparently with a straight f ace, that it would be more illuminating to refer to "Newton's Rape Manual" instead of "Newton's Laws of Mechanics." That goes beyond bad science, and ap- proaches the irrational. Still another example is the widespread belief that certain ideas are invali d because the authors of these ideas are dead, white, European males. To the rational mind this argument has interest- ing consequences:

Aristotle is a dead, white, European male. Therefore, all the ideas of Aristotle am invalid.

This type of reasoning is called an enthymeme. It was invented by Aristotle. So the conclusion is true if, and only if, it is false. Bitter Hatred. This is absurd, but there am now people on the left whose philosophy amounts to an endorsement of absurdity. They believe that ratio n al thought and the rules of logic are the tools of European male domination and should be rejected. Because their belief system, such as it is, is irrational, the creeds that they profess are as numerous, and as different as the patterns in a kaleidoscope . However, for all their apparent diversity, they have one principle in common. Be- hind everything they say there is a bitter and implacable hatred of America, its culture, and its civilization. Why do they hate us? I read recently about a junior member o f a university faculty who used the phrase "individual genius" in a paper. One of the more senior faculty members, who read the paper, circled the word "individual" and returned the paper with a margin note saying "...there are some people who think that u s e of this term shows bigotry." Individualism, and the independence of the indi- vidual, are abhorrent to them. That's why they hate America. That's why they hate our culture. American culture took English culture, on which it is based, and built upon it. T he most signifi- cant influence on the new culture was the freedom of the frontier. People came to the New World seeking freedom from the heavy hand of authority. When they were not satisfied with the mea- sure of freedom they found, they moved west. In t he West, on the frontier, there was no authority.

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On the frontier there was always the second chance. No one asked about another's back- ground. Disgrace or failure in an earlier life were not important. Because of the second chance, because they could always move on, people on the frontier were always thinking of what lay be- yond the next hill. This led them to see the potential in things. In the words of Robert Frost, they saw America "...such as she was, such as she would become." On the frontier a d versity was a fact of life. Survival required one to square off and face adver- sity. On the frontier it was believed that one had a moral duty to bear up under adversity. On the frontier, culture became a melting pot. Make no mistake. The American cultur e draws from all cultures, but it is one, unified, single culture, whose highest value is individual freedom. On the frontier there was no authority to provide safety. Safety was an individual responsibil- ity. Once people learned that they were responsibl e for their own welfare, they saw objective evidence of the truth of the philosophical doctrines of John Locke and the English Whigs. Even- tually, everyone on the frontier adopted the views of the Whigs. Inalienable Right. John Locke said it is self-evide n t that everybody is born with an inalien- able right to life, liberty, and property. Now, if it is inalienable, that means you can't lose it. If you can't lose it, it means you have a right to protect it (do you see why they hate logic?). If you have a ri g ht to protect it, ii necessarily follows that you have a right to own the means to protect it. John Locke said that the individual has the same right as any government to defend sover- eignty. Because the firearm is useful in the defense of personal sover e ignty, the enemies of our culture hate guns. Consistent with their error in every other aspect of life, they are wrong about guns. For example, they point to the "well-regulated militia" clause in the Second Amendment and say that say that the Second Amen d ment really protects the right to join the National Guard. They say that the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution because the states were afraid that they wouldn't be allowed to have militias. It is interesting to note that there is not a shred o f historical evidence to support this proposition. The cultural warriors should not have been so quick to abandon classical education, for if they had spent just a little more time at it they would have learned how to diagram sentences. The phrase "well-r e gulated militia7' is found in a subordinate clause. The subject of the sentence is "the right of the people," and it is predicated by . ..... shall not be infringed." From the grammar, it is difficult to see how it could be construed as other than an indi v idual right. However, I am going to compromise again, and concede, for the sake of argument, that one would have to be a member of a "well-regulated militia" in order to keep and bear arms. The question is, what is a "well-regulated militia"? The phrase w a s not chosen at random. Authors Stephen P. Halbrook, in That Every Man Be Armed, and David T. Hardy, in Origins and Development of the Second Amendment, point out that the concept of a "well-regulated militia" was more than 250 years old by the time James Madison put it in the Second Amendment. Niccolo Machiavelli, author of The Prince, was a re- publican who had actually commanded a citizen militia. In The Art of War (1521), he explained why a "well-ordered militia!' was necessary for the security of a fr ee state. He recited. three cri- teria which such a militia must meet, to serve its purpose:

1) The "well-regulated militia!'must include the whole body of the people; 2) The members of the "well-regulated militia!' must own their own arms; and

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3) The "well-regulated militia7must not be controlled by the central government, and, in fact, should elect its own officers. James Harrington was an English Whig. In The Prerogative ofPopular Government (1656), he said that a "well-disciplined militia" w a s necessary to the the security of a ftee state. Like Machiavelli, he listed the same thm criteria which such militia must meet. Andrew Fletcher was a Scottish Whig who was sentenced to death by James H. He escaped to the court of William of Orange, and r e turned with William and Mary following the Glorious Rev- olution. In Discourse of Government With Respect to the Militias (1698), he, too, said that a "well-regulated militia" was necessary to the security of a f3ree state. T he "well-regulated militia!' o f Andrew Fletcher was defined by the same three criteria. Roger Molesworth was an English Whig. In Franco-Gallia (1721), like Machiavelli, Harring- ton, and Fletcher, he said that a "well-regulated mflitia7' is necessary to the security of a free state. H e gave the same three criteria. The leaders of the American Revolution were Whigs and republicans, in the tradition of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. George Washington and George Mason. formed the Fairfax militia in 1774. Among the attributes of the mili t ia was that it was to be "well-regulated." Certainly none of you here believe that Father George was trying to support King George's government. In an earlier time, school children were required to memorize the speech of Patrick Henry in which he said "gi v e me liberty or give me death." This speech was given before the Second Vir- ginia Convention in 1775. He was speaking in support of a resolution for the formation of a "well-regulated Militia." Clearly, this was not a call for the formation of a "Nationa l Guard7' to serve at the pleasure of the central government, because the central government was George M. Anyone who went to school before the curriculum came under the control of the cultural war- riors knows that Patrick Henry wanted the militia formed i n order to resist George III. Shared Philosophy. James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, knew Patrick Henry, George Washington, and George Mason. Surely he had read many of the same books as they had read. They all shared the same political philo s ophy, for they were all republicans who believed in limited government. Madison used the same language, in the Second Amendment, as Niccolo Machiavelli, James Harrington, Andrew Fletcher, Roger Molesworth, George Washington, George Mason, and Patrick Henr y , when he used the phrase "well-regulated militia." It strains credulity to believe that this could have been mere coincidence. Given the context, it is not possi- ble to conclude that Madison meant for this Amendment to protect anything other than a pers o nal righL Proving this, however, is not good enough. The enemies of our culture have a fall back posi- tion. The Supreme Court has held that the government can infringe upon a Constitutional right if such infringement serves a "compelling state interest." Surely gun control would serve a compel- ling state interest ff it would reduce violent crime. However, it can be proven that gun control, at best, is irrelevant to violent crime. Canada has strict gun control laws. There are very lenient gun laws in Main e , New Hamp- shire, North Dakota, and Vermont. In each state handguns may be carried openly, and the authorities must issue a concealed carry license to any honest citizen in Maine, New Hampshire, and North Dakota. No permit is required in Vermont, where m a ny adults carry handguns con- cealed. Each of these states closely resembles its neighboring Canadian province with respect to climate, population density, and topography. I used the homicide rates over a twenty-year span, from 1963 through 1982, because those were the years for which I had Canadian data. The full data are included in Appendix A. The dif-

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ference in the homicide rates per 100,000 population was 0.017, or less than 2 homicides per ten million, which can be considered as statistically insignificant. In other words, there is no statisti- cally significant difference between extremely restrictive gun laws (Canada), and gun laws which are either extremely lenient (Maine, New Hampshire, and North Dakota), or non-existent (Vermont). This st u dy may be contrasted with a comparison of the homicide rates in ten states with lenient gun laws-Iowa, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Now Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont-with the homicide rate in the District of Columbia. T h e District has the strictest gun control laws in the country. The data compared are for the years 1987 through 1990. The ten states, with total population of approximately 14,660,000, had 1,499 homi- cides for the four years. In contrast, the District of C olumbia, with a population of 622,000, had 1,500 homicides in the same period. That is, the states had a homicide rate of 2.6 per 100,000, and the District of Columbia had a rate of 60.3. These data are included in Appendix B. Moral Values. Clearly, high r ates of homicide are not caused by lenient gun laws. Then what is it that causes such disparity between the homicide rates of certain jurisdictions? We have said earlier that it is self evident that moral values-culture-is the variable which explains this dif- ference. No statistical test will measure moral values. However, education transmits to the young the acquired learning of a society, including its cultural values. Educational attainment can be mea- sured, and the results taken as an analog for the t ransmission of cultural values. Accordingly, I compared the rankings of each state in the 1989 Educational Attainment Assess- ment Test for mathematics with the rankings of each state in its 1990 homicide rate, the highest score in each case being ranked a s a "I". Using linear regression, the coefficient of correlation was a negative 0.82. This is an extremely high negative rate, and strongly indicates that the same factor which induces a high homicide rate may also contribute to low educational attainment . In other words, it is highly probable that the factor, in each case, is a failure in education. When the schools fail to teach mathematics, they also fail to teach cultural values. These data are in Appen- dix C. The values of the American culture are th e moral values which make possible a civilized life in a state of fivedom. The failure, or the refusal, to impart those values to children deprives those children of this American birtbright. I am reminded of that verse in "America the Beautiflah"

Oh, beautiful, for patriot's dream, That sees beyond the years, Thine alabaster cities gleam, Undimmed by human tears.

Our cities are not alabaster, neither do they gleam, undimmed by human tears. Many of our cit- ies are dystopias, wretched places where untold m isery is produced by profound social pathology. This is illustrated by the plight of a mother who lives, with her children, in a public housing project in the District of Columbia. Recently she wrote to the Washington Post describ- ing the conditions in h e r project. Her children cannot play outside for fear of being murdered. Drug addicts inject drugs in their hallway and leave their debris. They urinate in the hallway and defecate in the stairwell. They even perform sexual acts outside her door. She is al ways afi-aid. She did not write from Beirut or Sarajevo, but from the District of Columbia.

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What is wrong? Is it presence of guns or the absence of culture? Guns do not get young girls pregnant. Guns do not create drug addiction. Guns did not create a welfare system which traps young women in dependency and keeps them in its thrall. Guns do not create music which glori- fies hatred. Guns do not teach young children that they are not part of America, and that they have no sham in its culture. Guns do no t cause people to urinate in the halls nor to defecate in the stairwells of public housing projects. Guns did not create schools which do not teach. But each of these conditions can be traced back to the enemies of our culture, and each of these ills is, i n some measure, archogenic (government created). Remember that the unifying principle of the enemies of our culture is hatred. What does the culture of hatred produce? Look at the chart in Appendix E, which represents the homicide rate in the District of C o lumbia since 1960. Take the years when the intensity of the culture war began to increase, and look at the curve since 1985. What direction is it heading? The social ills of America's urban dystopias exactly reflect the ground which we have lost in the cu lture war. "Moment to Decide:' I am put in mind of a stanza in the poem by James Russell Lowell, which became the standard of the abolition movement:

Once to every man and nation comes the Moment to decide, In the strife of Tmth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side.

The battle is joined. Our culture requires us to protect the victims of our urban dystopias. We must give back to the children who Eve in American cities the culture which has been taken from them. Their American heritage has been taken fr om them by the enemies of our culture, who deny that there is a "melting pot" in which these children have a place, and who teach them that they must strive to be separate from, rather than participate in, American culture. The objective of our enemies is division. Our objective is assimilation. We share our objective with many notable Americans. We share this objective with Crispus Attucks, the first American to die for his country. A freed slave, he was in the crowd into which British soldiers fired in t h e Boston Massacre. We share this objective with the thousands of black soldiers who fought in the Civil War. There are reports of black soldiers, wounded in battle, who were so eager to prove themselves as Americans that it was necessary to order that the y be tied to their litters, lest they try to rejoin their comrades in the fight. We share this objective with Zara Neale Hurston, the black woman whose writing was first promoted by H.L. Menken, in his monthly, The American Mercury. In the October 1943 iss u e, while the outcome of the Second World War was still in doubt, she wrote about a figure from the folklore of slavery, High John the Conqueror. Ifigh John was the comforter of the slave. He could "...find a way when there was no way, and finish it off wi th a laugh and a song." He began preparing the slaves for the end of slavery, telling them what they must do to be free, and how to endure until they were. The following is a passage from the article:

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So the brother in black offers to these United States the source of courage that endures, and laughter. High John the conqueror. If the news from overseas reads bad, and the nation seems stuck ... listen hard, and you will hear John the Conqueror treading on his singing-drum. You wffl know then, that no matter how bad things look now, it will be worse for those who seek to oppress us. Even if your hair comes yellow, and your eyes are blue, John the Conqueror will be working for you just the same. From his secret place, he is working for all America now. We are all his kinfolks. Just be sure our cause is right....

Common Culture. The verse to "America the Beautiful," from which I quoted earlier, ends with the words "...and crown thy good with brotherhood, fr om sea to shining sea." 71bere is no reason why the streets of Washington, D.C., could not be as safe as the streets of Lyndonville, Vermont, or Bismark, North Dakota. But this will not happen until all Americans are assimilated into one country with one, common culture. The moral values of the American culture, not stricter enforcement of the laws, are the answer to crime. For this reason, we must be resolute. When the enemies of our culture come to us and ask us to compromise, we must say no. Civilizatio n is the real prize in the culture war. In this, there is no room for compromise. Not now, not ever.

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APPENDIX A

GUN CONTROL AND HOMICIDE A Comparison of Homicide Rates (per 100,000 Population) Selected Northern Border States and The Dominion of Canada

S ince 1977 the Dominion of Canada has had extremely restrictive firearms laws. Many Americans favor such restrictive laws and seek to prove their case by comparing the homicide rate in the United States with the homicide rate in Canada. How valid is this comparison? Such comparisons imply a uniformity among the states which does not exist. The states differ in such important variables as firearms laws, population densities, climate, and other factors. In order to determine what effect, if any, may result from restrictive firearms laws it would be necessary to find states which most closely resemble Canada with respect to population density, demographics, climate, and terrain, and in which the only variable is lenient gun laws.

In order to make this compar ison, I have chosen Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Vermont. Each of these states closely resembles its neighboring Canadian province. However, in each of these states handguns may be carried openly, and the authorities must issue a concealed carr y license to any honest citizen in Maine, New Hampshire and North Dakota. No such license is required in Vermont.

I used the twenty-year span from 1963 through 1982 because those were the years for which I had Canadian data. The Canadian data were publishe d by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, and the U.S. data were published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports, of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The difference in the average homicide rates, per 100,000 population, of th e Northern Border States and the Dominion of Canada, was 0.017 per 100,000. This is less than 2 homicides per 10,000,000, and can be considered as statistically insignificant. In other words, there does not appear to be any statistically significant resul ts ftom restrictive gun laws, when compared over time, with extremely lenient (Maine, New Hampshire, and North Dakota) or non-existent (Vermont) gun laws.

Source: F.B.I. Uniform Crime Reports; Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

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HOMICIDE RATES (per 100,000 Population)

Year Maine North New Vermont Dominion of Dakota Hampshire Canada

1963 3.70 2.10 3.20 0.50 1.14

1964 1.50 0.90 0.90 0.50 1.17

1965 2.10 0.90 2.70 0.50 1.24

1966 2.20 1.80 1.90 1.50 1.11

1967 0.40 0.20 2.00 3.10 1.39

1968 3.00 1.10 1.40 2.60 1.52

1969 1.60 0.20 2.50 2.50 1.65

1970 1.50 0.50 2.00 1.30 2.03

1971 2.00 1.30 2.20 1.10 1.98

1972 5.30 1.30 1.70 1.70 1.98

1973 2.10 0.80 2.10 2.20 2.17

1974 2.90 1.40 3.50 3.40 2.44

1975 2.80 0.80 2.90 2.10 2.81

1976 2.70 1.40 3.30 5.50 2.67

1977 2.40 0.90 3.20 1.40 2.70

1978 2.70 1.20 1.40 3.30 2.52

1979 2.80 1.50 2.40 1.40 2.48

1980 2.80 1.20 2.50 2.20 2.06

1 3.20 2.30 2.90 4.30 2.48 1982 2.10 0.70 2.20 -T 2.3 2.74

Average 2.49 1.125 2.345 2.17 2.015 Standard 0.96 0.538 0.682 1.259 0.577 Deviation

Combined Average for the Northern Border States 2.0325 Average for the Dominion of Canada 2.015

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APPENDEK B

A COMPARISON OF HOMICIDE RATES (per 100,000 Population) BETWEEN TEN SELECTED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

S tatistically comparing selected Northern Border States, with lenient gun laws, with the Dominion of Canada, whose gun laws are more restrictive than most of the United States except for the District of Columbia, the data showed no statisti cally significant difference between the American states and Canada. In order to prove that firearms restrictions would have an identifiable effect upon homicide rates, the more restrictive jurisdiction should show a statistically significant lower homici de rate. 11e Canadian comparison, therefore, is inconclusive at best.

The District of Columbia has firearms laws which are as restrictive as those of Canada. The District forbids the purchase of handguns, and all rifles and shotguns must be registered before the purchaser can take possession. I have compared the District wi t h ten states which permit the ownership of handguns, rifles, and shotguns without permits. Two of the states, Nebraska and Vermont, have no provisions for the concealed carry of handguns. No permit is required in Vermont, and Nebraska permits concealed ca r ry under circumstances where a "prudent person" would think it appropriate for personal protection. In Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota, concealed carry permits are issued on the basis of very liberal, objective standards, and any hones t citizen may obtain one. Of the ten states, only Minnesota has a reputation for restrictive issue of such permits.

The total population for the ten states is 14,666,000, and the four-year total of homicides is 1,499. The population of the District of Colu mbia, as of 1987, was 622,000, and the four-year total of homicides was 1,500. The combined homicide rate, per 100,000, for the ten states was 2.55. Ile homicide rate for the District of Columbia was 60.28.

The comparison with Canada fails to confirm any positive effect from strict gun control. The comparison with the District of Columbia may suggest a negative effect. However, the District of Columbia study does not control for variables which are controlled in the Canadian study, so no valid conclusion can be drawn as to any such negative effect from gun control. The disparities between the District and the ten states is so great, however, that it must suggest (without proving) that gun control does not have any posidve effect.

S ource: FJ31. Uniform Crime Repau.

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TEN STATES Homicides STATE Population 1987 1988 1989 1990 Total Rate per as of 1987 100,000 Iowa 2,834,000 59 47 54 54 214 1.88 Idaho 998,000 31 36 26 27 120 3.00 Maine 1,187,000 30 37 39 30 136 2.86 Minnesota 4,246,000 112 124 ill 117 464 2. 73 Montana 809,000 33 21 23 39 116 3.58 Nebraska 1,594,000 55 58 40 43 196 3.07 New 1,057,000 32 25 36 21 114 2.67 Hampshire North 672,000 10 12 4 5 31 1.15 Dakota South 709,000 13 22 9 14 58 2.04 Dakota Vermont 560,000 15 11 11 13 50 2.23

Population Homicide Rate per Total Total 100,000 F14,666,000 1,499 2.55

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Homicides

Population 1987 1988 1989 1990 Total Rate per 100,000

District of 622,000 225 369 434 472 1500 60.28 Columbia

APPENDEX C

MEASURING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TRANSMISSION OF CULTURAL VALUES AND CRIMINAL VIOLENCE

There is a wide disparity in the rates of violent crime between different regions of the United States. All other things being equal, it seems most likely that violent crime is a cultural phenomenon. To test this thesis, I have chosen the National Educati o nal Attainment Test Scores for 1990 as an index of the degree to which cultural values are taught to young people, since a school which does not teach one thing might be expected to fail to teach other things as well. I have chosen homicide rates as the i ndex for violent crime.

To test for correlation I used linear regression. Correlation can be masked by the disparity of values being compared. In this case, an analysis of the cardinal numbers (test score averages and the homicide rates) gives a coefficien t of correlation of -0.143. This is too small to be significant. However, when the ordinal rankings of the states, in terms of test scores and homicide rates are compared, where 1 is the highest ranking, a coefficient of correlation of -0.82 is obtained, indicating an extremely strong negative (or reciprocal) correlation.

Schools and learning are necessary to civilization. However, schools will function well only in a culture that requires that they function well. A culture which tolerates schools that can not teach children mathematics is not a culture which places a high premium on civilized behavior. Such a culture would also tolerate the anti-social behavior which produces high rates of violent crime.

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TABLE I A COMPARISON OF THE NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS MATHEMATICS TEST SCORES (1990) WITH THE HOMICIDE RATE PER 100,000 Test Score Homicide/I 00,000

281 North Dakota 0.60

280 Montana 2.90

278 Iowa 1.90

276 Nebraska 2.50

276 Minnesota 2.50

274 Wisconsin 3.60

273 New Hampshire 3.30

272 Wyoming 4.40

272 Idaho 2.60

271 Oregon 4.80

270 Connecticut 5.90

269 New Jersey 5.10

267 Colorado 4.40

267 Indiana 6.30

266 Pennsylvania 6.30

264 Michigan 10.70

264 Virginia 7.90

264 Ohio 6.00

263 Oklahoma 6.50

261 Now York 12.50

261 Delaware 5.10

260 Maryland 11.60

260 Illinois 9.00

260 Rhode Island 4.90

259 Arizona 6.70

258 Georgia 12.70

258 Texas 11.90

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TABLE 1 (Continued)

Test Score Homicide/1 00,000

256 Kentucky 7.90 256 California 10.90

256 New Mexico 8.60

256 Arkansas 6.40

256 West Virginia 6.50

255 Florida 11.10

252 Alabama 10.20

251 Hawaii 4.60

250 North Carolina 8.90

246 Louisiana 14.90

231 Guam 10.50

231 District of Columbia 71.90

218 Virgin Islands 15.50

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TABLE 2 TEST SCORE RANKING AND HOMICIDE RATE RANKING

Test Rank Homicide Rank

1 North Dakota 33

2 Montana 29

3 Iowa 32

4 Nebraska 31

4 Minnesota 31

5 Wisconsin 27

6 New Hampshire 28 7 Wyoming 26

7 Idaho 30

8 Oregon 25

9 Connecticut 23

10 New Jersey 24

11 Colorado 26

11 Indiana 21

12 Pennsylvania 21 13 Michigan 10 13 Virginia 17

13 Ohio 22

14 Oklahoma 20

15 New York 5

15 Delaware 24

16 Maryland 7

16 Illinois 13

16 Rhode Island 19

17 Arizona 18

Georgia 4

18 Texas 6

TABLE 2 (Continued)

Test Rank Homicide Rank

19 Kentucky 17 19 California 9

19 New Mexico 15

19 Arkansas 16 19 West Virginia 20

20 Florida 8

21 Alabama 12

22 Hawaii 25

23 North Carolina 14

24 Louisiana 3

25 Guam 11

25 District Of olumbla 1 26 Virgin Islands 2 F 9

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