New Hampshire Senate Candidate Ruben Links Gun Violence To Unemployed Men

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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New Hampshire Senate candidate Jim Rubens (R) has a theory on the rising rates of mass shootings and serial killers in America: men are lashing out because they’re angry and embarrassed over a lack of economic opportunity.

Rubens wrote his opinion in a May 30, 2013 blog post. The blog is now unavailable, but you can check out an archived version of the site here.

Here are a few key points Rubens tries to make about American men and crime:

  • Men are charged with 82 percent of violent crimes and 89 percent of murders, women with 53 percent of embezzlements and 45 percent of frauds.
  • Over the period 1974 to 2000, 71 percent of school shooters—all of them were males—had been previously bullied, persecuted, or physically injured. 
  • Over the last century, between 75 and 85 percent of the world’s serial killers were American and 90 percent were men. Serial killing victimization rates exploded by about 35 times between the 1950s and 1980s.

Rubens ties together crime rates and male economic opportunity in his closing paragraph, saying that a lack of jobs is more damaging to the male psyche than the female.

“Bottom line: the collaborative, flexible, amorphously-hierarchical American economy is shutting out ordinary men who were once the nation’s breadwinners in living-wage labor and manufacturing jobs,” he says. “Because status success is more vital to the male psychology, males are falling over the edge in increasing numbers.”

BuzzFeed recently interviewed Rubens recently about his relatively controversial stance. Rubens stood by his theory.

While Rubens’ argument might seem appealing on the surface, a deeper look at statistics involved show his theory doesn’t really align with reality.

For starters, men still outnumber women in the workplace by 59 to 44 million. Second, men still make significantly more money than women – and are promoted more frequently – in almost every industry. Third, violent crime rates have been declining in America for nearly two decades. In 2012, the homicide rate in America was the lowest it has been since the mid 1950’s. Ruben’s idea of increasingly frustrated and violent men simply isn’t true.

With these figures in mind, it seems like Rubens’ theory is a bit of a reach. 

Sources: Think Progress, Web.Archive.Org, NBC