I am Joshua Poehls. Say hello Archives (not so) silent thoughts

Crime Rates Are Dropping

We all know the news is biased. Media slants to the left or the right. Bias is natural and very difficult to avoid.

I don't read the news much but the recent public shootings in Aurora, Colorado and at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin have made my social media feeds flutter with the topic of gun control with points from all sides.

Today I listened to an episode of Common Sense with Dan Carlin, a podcast that I occasionally listen to and always enjoy. He does a good job, in my opinion, of thinking about situations from both sides of the fence.

Dan listed several statistics from the DOJ's website. Some I expected, but a few caught me off guard.

As I said, media is slanted, we know this. So when I hear how our country is violent and things are worse than ever, I figure it isn't nearly that bad. But, I do figure it is worse than it was to some degree. Well the numbers don't seem to agree.

In fact, it would seem that this country has never been a safer place.

The chart above was just for 2005 and doesn't give you much for comparison. Here are the numbers for victims of all types of crime for 1993 and 2010. See for yourself.

Bureau of Justice Statistics. Generated using the NCVS Victimization Analysis Tool at www.bjs.gov. 13-Aug-12

This isn't an opinion or bias, just facts. Crime is going down, not up. As of 2010, violent crime specifically was a mere 29% of what it was just 17 years prior. That is a massive drop.

I'm not saying that this is good enough, that we should stop trying. What I am saying is that things are a heck of a lot better than they were.

I don't believe the solution to violence in America will be as simple as banning weapons. Just like I wouldn't propose banning phones as a solution to the telling of lies. Medium is not cause. We need to be more creative when trying to solve this problem.

Raw data for the Bureau of Justice Statistics
Victimization by Type
  1993 2010
Violent Victimization 16,822,618 4,935,983
Rape/Sexual Assault 898,239 268,574
Robbery 1,752,667 568,510
Aggravated Assault 3,481,055 857,751
Simple Assault 10,690,657 3,241,148
Property Victimization 35,093,887 15,411,610
Household Burglary 6,378,721 3,176,181
Motor Vehicle Theft 1,921,179 606,991
Theft 26,793,987 11,628,437