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Murder on My Mind


No matter how great the strides we make in health care and science, the news of homicides is relentless. At least 5 homicides of males were reported in the Bay Area this weekend. Murder is the 10th leading cause of death of men in the US. But the US isn't even close to the top 10 countries in homicide rates worldwide. It is difficult to get accurate numbers and it depends on the reporting methods and sources, but as of this writing, Columbia appears to hold the dubious distinction for being the country with the highest homicide rate (although other sources claim El Salvador).

The list of the top 25 on Wikipedia reads like a Travel Zoo Top 20 - many of the same destinations we flock to as tourists are listed. Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Brazil, Panama, South Africa. The US comes in at number 40. Washington, DC is one of the most dangerous cities in the US. Honolulu and San Francisco are considered safe cities. Even though Finland as a country has a low homicide rate, the murder rate in Helsinki is high. Louisiana is the most dangerous state and Puerto Rico has a high murder rate, too. Maine has the lowest homicide rate of the 50 US states.

Most murders are due to men arguing with men, usually about money or property. Most murders (in the US) are white on white males under age 25 years, under the influence of alcohol. Homicide and violence are global public health problems. The World Health Organization defines violence as: The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm,
maldevelopment or deprivation. Over half a million people are murdered every year. A public health problem demands a comprehensive public health prevention program.

Thank you AJC1 for use of photo Chalk Outline.
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The Healthline Editorial team writes about the latest health news, policy, and research.

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