“Violence is what people do when they run out of good ideas.”
-James S.A. Corey, Leviathan Wakes
There were over 423,767 violent crimes in Canada in one year based on StatsCan numbers from 2018 (reported by the Chiefs of Police across the country).
I repeat, 423,767 violent crimes.
Let’s play with the numbers for some perspective,
Let’s assume there at least 2 people per crime, an aggressor and a victim. The number of people now involved with violent crimes is 847,534.
A ridiculous number for a civilized country.
Canada’s population currently sits at 37,500,000 (37.5 million). Consequently, that means 1 in 43 people are directly involved with violent crime either as an aggressor or as a victim.
1 in 43
Here’s a thought experiment:
The average family size in Canada is 2.9 people per household. For the sake of meager math skills everywhere, let us assume 3 people per household, for instance.
Establishing each person involved with a violent crime belongs to a household of 3, each incident now populates with 6 people because each person in their respective household will have to deal with the fallout from this incident.
The fallout from these crimes can manifest itself in numerous ways. The effects of violent crime are fractious, whether it’s having your life turned upside-down by the legal system for the next few years or because of injury, lost income, counseling or plain old-fashioned workplace/neighborhood gossip.
6 people multiplied by 423,767 crimes equals 2,542,602 (2.542 million), people AFFECTED by violent crime. Take Canada’s population (37.5 million) and divide by 2.542 million to find the rate of people affected by violent crimes.
As a result, the national rate could be 1 in 14 people who have intimate knowledge of a violent crime.
1 in 14.
I like that number.
It’s hard to visualize 400,000 of anything, never mind 2.5 million people or a 37.5 million population. It’s pretty hard to imagine a mass of people numbering in the hundreds of thousands or millions unless you were at Woodstock.
A Personal Level
1 in 14 fits the bill because it automatically takes me back to when I was in public school. After looking at one of our class pictures and confirming the number of kids was 28, it is possible 2 of those children, I personally knew and grew up with, was affected by violent crime.
Maybe, you can look at your workplace, your local school or even the local mall and contemplate maybe every 14th person you see or meet is potentially affected by violent crime.
They have seen blood on the floor, heard yelling and shouting, felt violence first hand or smelled the breath of an aggressor.
Let’s keep in mind the 70, 000 police officers across this country have not been mentioned for their involvement. Or the 20, 000 paramedics who probably attend more than one scene of violent crime a year. Let’s not forget entire neighborhoods repeatedly waking up to sirens and flashing lights.
Fractiousness of Violence
The fractiousness of violence happens in multiple ways. Not just in terms of the mental and emotional states of aggressors and victims, but also to family members, entire households and neighborhoods.
There is also the category of unreported crimes of school yard violence, sexual assaults and domestic violence. These incidents may be as numerous as the official numbers are.
Suddenly, 1 in 14 seems too big and too small a number at the same time.
***In the spirit of transparency, most of this article was written over a year ago. Of course, we all understand what has happened since. Let’s face it 2020 was a shitshow with violent protests and riots erupting across North America and the world, presumably exploding violent statistics everywhere.
The stats cited in this article are bad. Real bad. Somehow, we made it worse.