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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/we-shouldnt-be-wondering-about-these-types-of-30471006.aspx

Subject:  Re: Gun Self Defense Info Date:  1/7/2013  10:59 AM
Author:  Colovion Number:  664895 of 736840

We shouldn't be wondering about these types of things. The government, if it's serious about creating legislation based on facts rather than whiny librul feelings, can keep accurate records. The technology is available, after all.

Yes, the technology is available to keep the stats... the problem is compiling them.

Part of what I do every day at work is compile crime stats. You'd think it would be as simple as "X number of things reported stolen, add them to the list, done!" Yes and no. I do essentially that every day, but invariably things happen down the line and I have to change those numbers. Reports are deemed unfounded and erased from the stats after the fact. Reports change from one file class to another during the investigation, which changes the stats. Then there's simply the fact that people don't bother reporting crimes at all or for a LONG time after the fact. For instance in December we had a student report the theft of their bike that happened in September. Technically that stat is carried in December though the incident actually happened in September. We've had instances where people waited YEARS to report crimes.

Granted homicides aren't going to go unnoticed for long generally speaking, though sexual assaults are very under-reported (and are certainly violent crimes). In fact if someone reports a sexual assault to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center on campus there's no guarantee it will EVER be reported to any police agency and won't ever appear in the UCR stats if it isn't reported. One of the first things they are told is that it is up to them whether or not they want to report it to the police, which is fine and all until you get someone looking at the SAPAC numbers, looking at our numbers and getting irate that the numbers are different. We can only record what is reported to us, if someone doesn't report it then it will NEVER show up in our MICR stats (which are what we send to the state, and they send along to the FBI for them to compile the UCR numbers).

The points I'm trying to make are A. the stats are never "finalized", they're always a snapshot-in-time and are subject to change forever and B. even the stats given are certainly not the "actual" stats but merely what is known at that moment; what isn't reported or not yet reported won't show up in those stats of course.
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