Letter: Crime is still linked to class

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YOUR editorial last week makes a number of valid points. But it makes a fundamental error when trying to compare the information available on the association between crime and unemployment with that on the association between watching violent videos and actual violence.

In the case of the supposed effects of watching violent videos, we are usually presented with some cases (often spurious) of people committing violence after watching such films. There are several ways of setting up control groups for this, but the most obvious one is the rest of the population who watch violent videos but don't commit violence. The number in the latter far outweigh the few cases that we keep seeing quoted.

Logically, we have no choice but to conclude that there is no general association between video violence and real violence.

The mistake of reasoning from specific cases to generalities is a well-known logical fallacy and can be easily demolished by quoting similar cases where videos couldn't have been involved.

It is also easy to quote cases where other triggers are involved. For instance, it is especially common for certain types of murderer to justify their actions by reference to the Bible, particularly Revelation.

If we rely on the 'common sense' association suggested by this we should be arguing strongly for banning this book.

R J Gardner

Northwich, Cheshire

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