The FBI recently published its latest crime statistics for 2012, and it turns out that disagreements over money end in murder an awful lot .
Last year, there were 148 murders stemming from “arguments over money or property,” more than were committed during “brawls due to influence of alcohol” (82), burglaries (92), or “romantic triangles” (95). It’s also more than the total number of murders committed annually in many countries, including Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Belize, and many more than the 15 deaths the CDC recorded from “contact with a marine animal” (including sharks) between 1999 and 2010.
Sadly, that number actually represents an improvement over previous years; overall, murders related to money disputes have actually fallen by 18 percent since the FBI started breaking those numbers out in 2010. That decrease mirrors the general decline in violent crime that’s been happening in the U.S. since the early ’90s.
That so many people are killed annually over such arguments is instructive. People can be really nasty in disputes over money, up to and including pulling out a gun and murdering you. Rather than letting something escalate to that point, it might be better to walk away and call a lawyer to resolve the issue instead. No one likes paying legal fees, but it beats the heck out of dying over what, in the scheme of things, may be a pretty trivial amount of money.
What do you think? Have you ever been involved in a dispute over money where you felt physically threatened? How did you get out of it?
(Photo: Chris Yarzab)