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A comforting report from highlights what they see as an incongruous silver lining in the country’s persistent economic doldrums: “Americans, take solace: While your chances of landing a job these days might not be great, you’re also less likely to be murdered, or robbed or to have your car stolen. The rate of major crimes in the U.S. continues to drop – even during the recent recession and its aftermath – and crime experts aren’t sure why.” Their “experts” explain that in every recession since WWII, there’s been an increase in crime rates. Criminologist and UC Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring provides an appetizing visual by pointing out that, “What’s pushing it down is the mystery meat in the recipe of recent years.” But when he says “recent years,” what, precisely, does he mean?

According to recently released FBI crime statistics, the number of violent crimes — murder and non-negligent homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — reported in the first six months of 2011 declined 6.4 percent compared with the first six months of 2010. The number of property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft) decreased 3.7 percent for the same time frame.

The report is based on information from more than 12,500 law enforcement agencies and shows the continuation of a downward trend in crime that began in 2008.

Hmmm, I wonder. Is there anything else that’s happened? Something that started in 2008 that might explain the drop in crime rates? Well, according to an October, 2008 story from the New York Times:

Sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition have surged in the past week, according to gun store owners around the United States who describe a wave of buyers concerned that an Obama administration will curtail their right to bear arms.

But is that just an anecdote or was that part of a bigger trend? According to the FBI, NICS checks (which are indicative of firearm sales) have been steadily rising since 2007. Looking at the 60 months of NICS checks from January 2007 through December 2011, there have only been eight months where sales didn’t rise over the previous year’s sales. In layman’s terms, people have been buying more guns each year than they did the year before. And the media have been all over this story for years.

So how does a non-credentialed, non-professorial, non-criminologist, non-journalist with no experts to call on connect these dots when a senior editor at can’t? It’s almost as if he’s wearing ideological blinkers or something. Perish the thought.

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    • MSNBC is on the Left Coast Channel and they are a Pure Entertainment Program which contains nothing really news worthy.

  1. “What is MSNBC? Is that a news show or a variety program? What channel are they on?”


  2. The decrease in the population of impulsive criminals with poor judgment is most likely due to two factors – removing lead from gasoline (it causes brain damage in children resulting in just those symptoms), and the availability of safe, low cost abortions (taken advantage of by the population groups most likely to produce children with just those symptoms). Look at the timeline of when those two factors were introduced and the prime age range for those associated with that sort of crime.

    • Wasn’t the crack epidemic ending at around the same time as the aborted children would have reached adulthood?

  3. It’s possibly a mix of some factors:
    * An increasingly well-armed population.
    * The growth in abortions and sterilizations.
    * More and more teens and young adults (and middle age adults too) that are vegged out on cable TV/video games, and eaters of high-fat processed foods and lacking in exercise. Too tired to go mug somebody (sugar lows).
    * Lots of people on anti-depressants and happy drugs.

    Countering the above:
    * Growth of single parent households (almost 50% of current “families”) which produce a high percentage of the current violent criminals. About 80% of men in prison for a second violent offense grew up with a single parent.
    * Increase in worship of the individual, less respect for traditional ethical accountability to others, etc.

    Just some thoughts.

  4. I think the important thing about the drop in violent crime and the increase in the number of guns among law-abiding citizens is that the guns didn’t increase violent crime as the antis want people to believe.

  5. Cell phones and improved communication systems have also lowered crime. Just think of how having a cell phone speeds up the process of reporting a crime, and also deters it in some cases. Surveillance video impacts crime too I have to admit, we are a videoed society today.
    What’s important to realize and point out to others is the increase in gun ownership and carry laws did not result in the blood bath we were told would happen.

  6. Crime statistics — as opposed to actual crimes — also have improved because police departments in some jurisdictions (like New York City) cook the books to make themselves look better. See, for example,

    Once the heat was on and the police were squeezed into reporting the truth, it was revealed that murders and rapes had increased by about 20% in Bloomberg’s gun-free paradise.

  7. There is a reason that they focused on POST-WAR statistics, and that is because during the 30’s depression, much to the annoyance of would-be fascists and communists, crime went down. You know, America is different than other places on the planet. “Three strikes and you are out” laws and increasing gun ownership oddly enough seem to combine in lower crime rates these days. Crime statistics have consistently shown that a small number of criminals are responsible for a large portion of crimes. So, if they are locked up, um, crime goes down? Befuddling I am sure.

  8. I think that it’s due to the regression trend of multifactorial dimensional factors arising from chickens coming home to roost 😉

  9. Many overtly racist theories here, but I’m with Ralph. The people who report crime statistics have a vested interest in showing improvement (much like the people who report education statistics), especially as they compete for those Federal grants to further militarize themselves into authoritarian urban counter insurgent death squads (perhaps I exaggerate a bit). I think we can conclude that increased legal gun ownership has not increased crime (and that’s all we need to prove), but it’s tough to jump to the conclusion that it’s reduced crime, especially since many of those people buying guns already had at least one gun, so the number of gun sales may not necessarily reflect the increase in the number of gun owners. Does someone have a stat on new gun owners?

  10. @NCG: It’s not a national thing, but in the repressed state of Hawaii, we have to apply for permits to buy guns, in addition to registering them. We’ve had record-breaking or near-record-breaking numbers of permit to acquire applications for the last several years. Those permits do need to be renewed every year for long guns, and a specific permit is needed for each handgun, but we also see tons of new shooters every week on our various websites. The bottom line is, both statistically and anecdotally, the Brady Campaign line about how it’s simply the same few people buying more and more guns (while the number of gun owners is supposedly declining) is patently untrue.

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      model, very clean and excellent user friendly style and design,
      as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  11. LIB STATES (& areas) ESPECIALLY have been reporting overwhelming sales of gun purchases thru 2011.

    U know LIBS? …the ones who’ve wanted everyone GUN-LESS & DEFENSELESS for decades?!!

    Can u say loser HYPOCRITES”???!!!

    “hypocrites” : persons who profess beliefs or virtues they don’t actually hold or possess; falseness.

  12. Perhaps it’s not the liberals in those liberal states purchasing guns. There are conservatives there, too. And they may be getting a little pissed off concerned about at how things are going in their state….

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