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Crime Going Down, Fear Going Up

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The amount of crime in Florida is steadily going down, while public fear of crime is going up.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the overall violent crime rate in Florida, per capita, has gone down more than 57% since 1996. Those numbers come from the 2016 report.

In 2016 we had 20,148,654 people living here, and only 1,108 people got murdered, including the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting. That’s not to say those 1,108 people don’t matter, because life is precious and each person has a story to build and tell. But let’s keep some perspective. Watch any nature documentary and you’ll soon come across a scene where some animal devours another. Humans have big brains and we’re smart enough to know that killing is wrong, but we also have big brains that are full of fucked up thoughts that we take too seriously. So, as a result, there are people that kill other people, for various reasons.

Violent crime in Florida over the past 20 years (FDLE)

You have a 0.00005% chance of getting murdered in Florida, if we compute those numbers into an easy to digest percentage. That’s an absurdly low chance. Granted, numbers lie, and this percentage is just another pathetic attempt at describing reality. Mathematics is the language of nature, but none of us speak it fluently. The scientific┬átheorem that random particles are the framework of our seemingly stable world should be the greatest evidence yet that numbers only tell a tiny fraction of the whole story. Be careful though. Don’t dismiss statistics outright, but don’t extract bullshit to justify your irrational opinions from them either. Conjectures can be made from statistics, but be careful not to call them “conclusions,” because things are more complex than that.

We’re doing pretty good overall here. Crime has been going down consistently.

But that still doesn’t stop people from fearing.

In fact, the majority of Florida voters believe that crime has gotten worse, according to a survey done by the Pew Research Center in 2016.

Majority of voters say crime has worsened since 2008

Despite the contrary evidence, most people really believe things are getting worse, and that crime in increasing. Ironically, the opposite is true: in fact, crime is, and has been, decreasing.

People are afraid still.

So news and media outlets continue to fear-monger and play into that emotion, because it helps them sell ads, and because politicians know people are easier to manipulate when they’re frightened. Here at WTFF News we do a little fear-mongering too, but only because it’s funny.

Take everything with a grain of salt, and receive all information with simplicity, skepticism, and just as importantly, respect. Just because you’re being lied to and manipulated doesn’t mean that everything you hear is “fake news.” Respect the power of words enough to know that some information is valuable and important, and there are times when we should be angry and afraid.

To instantly retreat into apathy is a mistake, just as succumbing to hyped-up fear is a mistake. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, in the emotionless and boring zones far removed from the polarized insanity we see on social media and TV.

Use your mind to analyze reality. Research things. And take a walk once in a while out in nature. Wisdom should always be matched with faith. Have a little faith that everything’s going to be alright, because it will be.

Stay safe out there in crazy Florida, be nice to each other, and have fun y’all.

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Crime Going Down, Fear Going Up

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