iPods Don't Kill People, People Kill People

|

According a new report from the Urban Institute, the recent uptick in violent crime can be attributed to the number of iPods in circulation. From the New York Times' "City Room" blog:

The report suggests that "the rise in violent offending and the explosion in the sales of iPods and other portable media devices is more than coincidental," and asks, rather provocatively, "Is There an iCrime Wave?"

The report notes that nationally, violent crime fell every year from 1993 to 2004, before rising in 2005 and 2006, just as "America's streets filled with millions of people visibly wearing, and being distracted by, expensive electronic gear."

Apple had no comment on the report, and there is no word whether the company will offer $100 rebates to those grievously wounded in iPod-related attacks.

Questionable Urban Institute report here. [pdf]

NEXT: Breaking Hot!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. this is kind of old news – I was under the impression that it’s recklessly stupid to wear the apple-issued iPod headphones when walking around at night in not so great neighborhoods

  2. The report notes that nationally, violent crime fell every year from 1993 to 2004, before rising in 2005 and 2006

    Right when Alberto Gonzales took over at the DOJ. Coincidence? I think not.

  3. Silly rabbits. The uptick in violent crimes is directly attributable to climate change. People get hot under the collar, they say things, guns are pulled, mayhem ensues. The science is settled.

  4. If i stagger down the street with $100 bills hanging out of my pocket, might I be more likely to be mugged? Of course this does NOT mitigate the crime of robbery.

  5. Well thank god it has nothing to do with the drastic increase in how often I masturbate. For a second there, I thought I was causing all that crime.

  6. The uptick in violent crimes is clearly caused by the disintegration of the family unit of Briney Spears and Kevin Federline. It really spiked after Brit-Brit went completely bonkers and shaved her head.

    If Brit-Brit and K-Fed can’t hold it together then where’s the hope for rest of us? I can’t live in a world where Tater Tot and SPF don’t have stable family structure. In response I go out and do some violent crimes. Ding dang, y’all!

  7. I have this rock in my office, and I’ve never been mugged.

    Coincidence? I think not!

  8. Proof of my thesis.

  9. I don’t know if that was a sigh of relief or sweet, sweet release.

  10. Has the Urban Institute forgotten that the final Star Wars prequel film — Episode III: Revenge of the Sith — was released in 2005? After seeing the prequel movies, tens of thousands of betrayed fans took up the habit of roaming the streets, violently attacking anyone who looked, sounded, or dressed like George Lucas, and the trend continues to this day.

    iPods. Phaugh.

  11. No, there’s a clear coincidence of two seemingly-unrelated things trending in the same direction over a short period of time with no experimental control group or third factor being otherwise mathematically accounted for. YOU CAN’T ARGUE WITH THAT!

    It would be silly to question this further. Let those who carry iPods on the street be shot on sight. For the children.

  12. The uptick in violent crimes is clearly caused by the disintegration of the family unit of Briney Spears and Kevin Federline. It really spiked after Brit-Brit went completely bonkers and shaved her head.

    Barry Bonds was approaching Hank Aaron’s record when all this started. God, it’s so obvious.

  13. Violent crime picked up the more people commented on H&R. Coincidence? I think not.

  14. * hatches scheme to steal thoreau’s rock.

  15. I’m waiting for the Swiss Army iPod so I can use it to open tin cans and if necessary, defend myself.

    “She slices, dices and more.
    She can handle any household chore,
    and I love the feel of her stainless steel
    when we’re rolling all around on the floor.”

  16. Sorry, Warren, but that rock is protected by tigers.

  17. “If i stagger down the street with $100 bills hanging out of my pocket…”

    This, for reasons we needn’t explore, conjured in my mind the image of a Firefly episode in which “Jayne” receives, in the mail, a hand-knitted hat from his mother. The preacher guy, upon viewing the spectacle of “Jayne” in his pink and orange (vaguely Peruvian-looking) hat, says, “I see a guy walking down the street in a hat like that one, I sez to myself, ‘There’s a guy who’s not afraid of nuthin’.'”

  18. Well thank god it has nothing to do with the drastic increase in how often I masturbate. For a second there, I thought I was causing all that crime.

    No, you just cause God to kill kittens, you cuteness murderer.

  19. Sorry, Warren, but that rock is protected by tigers.

    And Britney Spears who’s packing a bad ass umbrella.

  20. I remember a co-worker being mugged in his shitty neighborhood in Brooklyn back in ’99. What was he doing? Wearing earphones, listening to an MP3 player, and coming back late at night from work.

    Moral of the story: don’t listen to digital music players in shitty neighborhoods.

  21. Pope John Paul II died in 2005, and was replaced, that same year, by Pope Sidious, er-Benedict.

    Coincidence?

  22. So, did anyone but me click on the link?

    Plainly, none of the people assuming that the author merely noted a correlation didn’t.

  23. “Moral of the story: don’t listen to digital music players in shitty neighborhoods.”

    I think I’ve heard this referred to as “situational awareness.”

  24. If the Urban Institute says it, you know it’s true.

  25. Some of us are busy making Simpson’s jokes, joe.

  26. The problem here is big government. If we got rid of such things as insider trading laws and public schools, everybody would have plenty of money and thus there would be no bad neighborhoods. Plus, we’d all own iPods already so there would be no motive to steal them.

  27. If people don’t want to live in high crime neighborhoods they can always get killed and be reincarnated somewhere safer.

  28. Plainly, none of the people assuming that the author merely noted a correlation didn’t.

    Yes, our mocking and criticism is very pointed and has nothing to do with the fact that we are all just having fun being snarky assholes.

    I think the crime rate correlates with joe’s smugness, myself 😉

  29. I make snarky comments in blog posts and I’ve never been mugged.

    Clearly, they fear my smug superiority!

  30. Crime rates go up every time joe thinks he’s right when in reality he’s way off…

  31. Is today “Talk Like Buddhist Dan T Day”?
    If it isn’t it should be.

  32. Oh, Episiarch.

    My smugmess began to spike long before 2006!

    Maybe crime is a trailing indicator…

  33. Plainly, none of the people assuming that the author merely noted a correlation didn’t.

    Perhaps we saw the title, “Are iPods to Blame for Rising Crime?”, and just assumed it wouldn’t be worth the wasted time.

  34. Assume makes an…

    Aw, screw it.

  35. does this mean you’re giving up and moving back to npr land, where the only crimes are against fashion and nature (in that order)?

    but yeah long story short kids are robbing each other for apple’s money generating magic rock.

  36. Assume makes an…

    Well, the article WAS a waste of time so in this case the assumption was correct.

    In other news, greater numbers of women “asking for it” to blame for rising incidence of rape! “Are Women to Blame for Rising Crime?” More at 11.

  37. Did you know the rise in gang activity is strongly correlated with the decline in Spirograph?

  38. There are no posts by Urkobold? prior to 2004. The start of his trolldom correlates with a drastic upsurge in crime. Coincidence? I think not!

  39. Sorry, Warren, but that rock is protected by tigers.

    Hey Warren, why don’t you try my BRAND NEW PRODUCT:

    TIGER-B-GONE!

    Act now!

  40. “Firefly episode”

    Great show. In other news, we now have two nights of that show Who Is Fucking Dumber Than a 5th Grader?

  41. I might be able to think of something else which happened in 2005 which might have affected crime rates here in eastern Texas and the Gulf Coast. Would it be impolite to speculate as to what it is?

  42. David Ross,
    Is it the arrival of West Nile virus??

  43. Ooh! Ooh! Refugees from Chocolate City?

  44. “Moral of the story: don’t listen to digital music players in shitty neighborhoods.”

    I couldn’t agree more! I live in one of those “shitty urban neighborhoods” and when I see people walking around with their ears plugged up with earbuds I think, man, are you ever stupid.

  45. I carry job applications when I go into high crime areas. Nobody comes near me.

  46. riiiiiggghhht…….
    that makes PERFECT sense! everything is clear now! to stop crime…. we have to stop… ipods. that must be the only thing ever stolen nowadays! i mean, besides all the other things.

  47. This just in!

    Thieves steal because they want what others have! Film at 11.

  48. I carry job applications when I go into high crime areas. Nobody comes near me.

    Books also work well. 😉

  49. So, did anyone but me click on the link?

    Nah, too much work.

    I carry job applications when I go into high crime areas.

    A.D. wins the thread.

  50. “America’s streets filled with millions of people visibly wearing, and being distracted by, expensive electronic gear.”

    Two words: Sony Walkman.

  51. uh….its declining pirates, people. Duh!

  52. One last comment (yeah, always late to the party): maybe the thesis is bogus because the ipod was released in 2001. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in NYC they were ubiquitous long before 2005. Criminals are generally dumb, but not so dumb it takes them four years to notice a new shiny toy – unlike, say, think-tank researchers.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.