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Response to Leslie Valley (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:05 PM

5. The problem with this whole approach is that the base rate of bizarre behavior

is much, MUCH higher than the base rate of mass/serial homicide.

Suppose there are 100 mass killings a year in the US, and about 5 in 100 people exhibit worrisome symptoms.

Further suppose that, eliminating women and young children as potential killers, you end up with a total pool of 150 million potential killers (males in the right age groups).

If 5% of those 150 million people are screened in for further examination based on their worrisome symptoms, you have a pool of 6 million potential killers, of whom 100 will actually commit hienous crimes. What are you going to do--treat/confine 6 million in order to stop 100? And that's assuming that your net doesn't let any slip through. It would be remarkable if your net were good enough to identify half of the potential killers (the others not having shown sufficient overt signs to warrant inclusion). So now you are confining or otherwise majorly interfering with 6 million people in order to stop 50 of them. In order to stop one mass murder, you will need to somehow intervene on 120,000 non-killers who "look dangerous" but in fact aren't.

And all of this is a best-case scenario.

About 3% of the population is psychotic (schizophrenic, severely bipolar, etc.), and would surely be among the ones netted up. Yet the incidence of homicide among schizophrenics is about the same as in the general population. You will have spent a whole helluva lot of money & resources rounding up a very large number of people who are at no greater risk of doing horrific things than is the general population.

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Leslie Valley Feb 2013 OP
greiner3 Feb 2013 #1
CreekDog Feb 2013 #27
Scuba Feb 2013 #2
xocet Feb 2013 #11
Brigid Feb 2013 #18
Aerows Feb 2013 #20
PSPS Feb 2013 #3
greiner3 Feb 2013 #4
LineReply The problem with this whole approach is that the base rate of bizarre behavior
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #5
cliffordu Feb 2013 #10
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #13
Scuba Feb 2013 #19
Peter cotton Feb 2013 #26
Sunlei Feb 2013 #6
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #23
davidthegnome Feb 2013 #7
alp227 Feb 2013 #17
broadcaster75201 Feb 2013 #8
cliffordu Feb 2013 #9
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2013 #30
Overseas Feb 2013 #12
Grins Feb 2013 #14
Grins Feb 2013 #15
bemildred Feb 2013 #16
madville Feb 2013 #21
eilen Feb 2013 #22
Leslie Valley Feb 2013 #24
L0oniX Feb 2013 #25
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #28
lib2DaBone Feb 2013 #29
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #33
Live and Learn Feb 2013 #31
lindysalsagal Feb 2013 #32
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