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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/1/2005 9:57:09 AM EDT



The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker @ Amazon.com

Has anyone here ever read this book? The head of my department at work wants us all to read this book. I have my suspicions about it. My first clue was the blurb on the back that states, "In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the nation's leading expert on violent behavior...". Who is Oprah Winfrey to run around making statements about who the leading expert on violent behavior is?


My suspicions were borne out in the first chapter. It only took until page 7 that apparently BS statements jumped out at me.



Violence is a part of America, and more than that, it is a part of our species. It is around us, and it is in us. As the most powerful people in history, we have climbed to the top of the world food chain, so to speak. Facing not one single enemy or predator who poses to us any danger of consequence, we've found the only prey left: ourselves.

Lest anyone doubt this, understand that in the last two years alone [the book is copyright 1997], more Americans have died from gunshot wounds than were killed during the entire Vietnam War. By contrast, in all of Japan (with a population of 120 million people), the number of young men shot to death in a year is equal to the number killed in New York City in a single busy weekend.





With that statement above, my BS detector jumped into high gear.

A quick perusal of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports for the years 1995-96 (the last two years preceding his book) showed that in 1995 20,043 Americans were the victims of murder or nonnegligent homicide. The FBI further states that firearms were used in 7 of 10 homicides. Seventy percent of 20,043 is 14,030.1.

The statistics for 1996 show that 15,848 Americans were homicide victims, and again, 7 of 10 victims were killed by an assailant wielding a firearm. Seventy percent of 15,848 is 11,093.6.


14,030.1
+11,093.6
25,123.7

Wikipedia's page on the Vietnam War states that during America's involvement in Vietnam from 1957-75, 58,226 American service members were killed in action.


25,123 < 58,226 = Gavin de Becker = full of shit.

What do you guys think?
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 10:27:55 AM EDT
I think since he said "during the entire Vietnam War", you also need to include all the service members that died due to disease and accidents.

Also, your boss is a metrosexual.

That's what I think.

HTH.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 10:36:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 10:36:39 AM EDT
While I am a firm believer in trusting your gut, I think you'd be much better served by reading Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's books.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 10:43:52 AM EDT

more Americans have died from gunshot wounds


Pssssssst They included suicides, they ALWAYS include suicides, and they always seem to leave off that they are including suicides.

Otherwise their numbers would look like this. (sourced from WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports)

1981 - 2002, United States
Homicide Firearm Deaths
1981 15,089
1982 13,830
1983 12,040
1984 11,815
1985 11,836
1986 13,029
1987 12,657
1988 13,645
1989 14,464
1990 16,218
1991 17,746
1992 17,488
1993 18,253
1994 17,527
1995 15,551
1996 14,037
1997 13,252
1998 11,798
2000 10,801
2001 11,348
2002 11,829
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 10:47:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 10:50:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MMcCall:
While I am a firm believer in trusting your gut, I think you'd be much better served by reading Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's books.





Another one of the books he wants us to read is On Combat. Someone else has it today so I thought I'd delve into a chapter or two of The Gift of Fear. I didn't make it past the first chapter.


Honestly, I think I'll wait until On Combat becomes available again. I might even buy it myself; I already own On Killing, so On Combat shouldn't be too far removed from what I've already read.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 11:04:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
and yet they DONT include Japanese suicide rates.
Gee, wonder why?



I'm glad you asked that question!

From the World Health Organization

1999 (most recent year available there) in Japan the suicide rate per 100,000 36.5 for men and 14.1 for women.

In 1999 for the United states the suicide rate per 100,000 (crude rate no age adjustment) for men was 17.15 and for women it was 4.04(WIQARS) or 17.6 for men and 4.1 for women if you want to use the WHO data for 1999.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 11:15:23 AM EDT
Read it. Its decent. I can sum the whole thing up.


Pay attention to the little voice in your head if its saying "something is wrong here."
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 11:28:53 AM EDT
my voice was telling me that a few nights back when that girl with a big adams apple wanted me to come home with her.......i should have listend to my little voice
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 11:40:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BeckettOfNevada:
my voice was telling me that a few nights back when that girl with a big adams apple wanted me to come home with her.......i should have listend to my little voice



"Well I'm not the world's most passionate guy..."
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 11:46:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Read it. Its decent. I can sum the whole thing up.


Pay attention to the little voice in your head if its saying "something is wrong here."


+1
There are 3 or 4 excellent chapters, a couple really obnoxious ones, and a few that are not useful, but are interesting tales of the weirdos that stalk celebrities and other high profile people.

Lumpy, have you (or anyone else here) read Becker's other book "Protecting the Gift"? I have it, but have never read it and was interested in knowing what to expect from it.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 12:31:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Francisco_dAnconia:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Read it. Its decent. I can sum the whole thing up.


Pay attention to the little voice in your head if its saying "something is wrong here."


+1
There are 3 or 4 excellent chapters, a couple really obnoxious ones, and a few that are not useful, but are interesting tales of the weirdos that stalk celebrities and other high profile people.

Lumpy, have you (or anyone else here) read Becker's other book "Protecting the Gift"? I have it, but have never read it and was interested in knowing what to expect from it.





Well then, you two. Which chapters should I read and which should I skip?
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 12:36:41 PM EDT
Just the cover it looks sketchy, it reminds me of local news

"ARE YOU GOING TO DIE?! News at at 11!"

Link Posted: 10/1/2005 9:26:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/1/2005 9:32:13 PM EDT by mPisi]
It's worth reading I thought. Basically, trust your instincts. Some great examples of people doing that and surviving. Just ignore his anti-gun stuff and celebrity name-dropping. Decent book for head-in-the-clouds people you care about.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 9:29:56 PM EDT
Lt. Col. Grossman recommends it, so it must be worth something. After all, Grossman wrote this

I really need to get a copy of "On Combat"
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 9:33:53 PM EDT
On Killing and On Cambat are terrific reads, and Lt.Col. Grossman references The Gift of Fear several times in those books. For personal reading, I'd rather read more of Grossmans books or some of Loren W. Christiansen's books.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 3:14:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By napalm:

Originally Posted By Francisco_dAnconia:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Read it. Its decent. I can sum the whole thing up.


Pay attention to the little voice in your head if its saying "something is wrong here."


+1
There are 3 or 4 excellent chapters, a couple really obnoxious ones, and a few that are not useful, but are interesting tales of the weirdos that stalk celebrities and other high profile people.

Lumpy, have you (or anyone else here) read Becker's other book "Protecting the Gift"? I have it, but have never read it and was interested in knowing what to expect from it.





Well then, you two. Which chapters should I read and which should I skip?


It has been awhile since I read the book, but IIRC: Chapter 4 Survival Signals is the best, most directly informative chapter and the surrounding chapters are decent. Chapter 11 "I Was Trying To Let Him Down Easy" is also good. I definitely recommend just reading the whole thing.
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