Crime and The Shrinking World

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

As we roll into June 2019, it was announced that the world population count just hit seven point seven billion people.  Over 320 million of them live in the United States. Keep these numbers in mind as you read through this information.

Most of us are familiar with the six degrees of separation theory.  College campuses familiarize their inhabitants with a game involving Kevin Bacon as the point of reference, the first degree so to speak.  

A degree of separation is a measure of distance between individuals. You are one degree away from everyone you know, two degrees away from everyone they know that you don’t, etc.  It has been theorized that we are all, each one of us, six degrees away from everyone or anyone on this planet. All 7.7 billion of them, or 320 million if you prefer to stay close to home.

Up until recently this six degrees theory was just that, a theory.  With the advent of big data that theory has been proven true, more or less.  

In 2006 Microsoft took a sample of its messaging service for a one-month period and was able to calculate that the degree of separation was actually 6.6 – of its messenger users. Five years later Facebook shared that among it’s users, that separation has dropped to 4.74 degrees.  If we take the average of the number crunching done by Microsoft and Facebook we are looking at 5.67, so we’ll just leave it at 6 degrees of separation.

There is a common phrase that pops up in just about any industry you can mention that helps us realize that who we know is often more important than what we know.  In many scenarios people would find it delightful and uplifting to realize they are only six degrees, or six people away from the Queen of England or the Dalai Lama.  But if we turn the looking glass in the opposite direction, looking at six degrees of separation in the other direction; we’re not that far removed from an element of society most would not find delightful.

When looking at your exposure relative to this six degrees theory, remember that it takes into consideration everyone in which we have contact; not only the people at the office and friends at the club, but people most of us ignore – the lawn guy, the pool boy, the trash collector.  And they know more about us than we’d care to realize!

If we could place a point in space and draw a sphere around that point to represent everyone in our first degree, and then expand to a second sphere, then a third and so on; you will find within those six spheres is someone that you would not want to know anything about you.  

In a 2014 investigative report from USA Today, they disclose that known fugitives roam the streets free and unrestricted.  Predators, including sex-offenders and murderers living in our communities all because law enforcement in the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed will not pursue the perpetrator across the state line.

The USA Today article tells a story of rapists, child molesters and murderers living free around the United States even as law enforcement knows of their whereabouts.  But the local justice system will not release the resources necessary to collect the individual and bring them back to face judgment.

The USA Today investigators were able to determine that 186,873 fugitives are currently beyond reach as they remain across a state border.  To return to last month’s newsletter for reference; how many degrees of separation could you be from one of these fugitives? Could one be living next door?

When considering the safety and security of you and your family; education, information and awareness are key elements to the foundation of personal protection.  We want to provide you with the education and information you need to protect you and your family.

There is an element of threat in our communities.  Arming ourselves with knowledge improves our ability to remain safe; and hopefully keeps us from having to use the arms we keep concealed.


Learn more about training programs and firearm instruction here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

© Copyright 2019 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

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