Source: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics

Washington Post– Back in the crack-infused 1980s, young men with guns and drugs ruled the single block of Hanover Place NW. People who lived in the two-story rowhouses one mile north of the Capitol fell asleep year round to the sounds of the Fourth of July, a pop-pop-pop that they hoped was firecrackers. It rarely was.

But after two decades of consistent and dramatic declines in homicides and gun violence in Washington and many other major cities, Hanover Place is mostly quiet these days. Complaints to the police tend to be more about kids shooting craps on the sidewalk than about drug dealers shooting at rival street crews. On a block where houses were unloaded for as little as $30,000 in the 1990s, the most recent sales have ranged from $278,000 to $425,000.

As welcome as such changes have been, explanations for the nation’s plummeting homicide rate remain elusive, stymieing economists, criminologists, police, politicians and demographers. Have new police strategies made a difference, or have demographic shifts and population migrations steered the change? Could the reasons be as simple as putting more bad guys behind bars, or does credit go to changes made a generation ago, such as taking the lead out of gasoline or legalizing abortion?

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Mass shootings such as last year’s searing incidents in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., have put gun and mental-health policies back atop the nation’s agenda. But the narrative of crime over the past two decades runs in a different direction. Law and order has largely vanished as a political issue — in 1994, more than half of Americans called crime the nation’s most important problem; by 2012, only 2 percent of those surveyed by Gallup said so. The drop in deaths from firearms and in slayings overall — over the past two decades, homicide declined by 80 percent in the District and overall crime fell by 75 percent in New York City — has come even as the economy has tanked, the number of guns owned by Americans has soared and the number of young people in the prime crime demographic has peaked.

“There has been a real drop in crime, and anyone living in New York or Washington sees it,” said David Greenberg, a New York University sociologist who has tested theories for the decline. “In principle, we should be able to explain it, but it’s easier to determine what factors don’t contribute than it is to say what does.”

I have to admit, even I was surprised by the information in this article. It seems it’s always good to get a different perspective other than what is produced by the hyperventilating left.

  1. ThadCo says:

    It’s ALL about the lead. Pb that is. Violent crime rates dropped in direct correlation to reductions of lead in gasoline in every country no matter how left or right leaning. So much so that many are no longer calling it a correlation, but direct evidence of causation.

    It’s not about abortion or guns or race or anything else you racist assholes. It’s about a reduction in a substance known to cause developmental problems in all children. Inner city kids are exposed to much higher airborne doses than suburban or rural kids. I can take any one of your superior offspring and turn them into the most violent raging killer animal just by poisoning them daily through their entire youth. That is what happened to two entire generations of kids. 🙁

    I know some of you are just joking, but your jokes betray hints of racism and classicism.

    • McCullough says:

      Sorry, fluoride in the water….the Nazi’s discovered this tactic in the death camps. It keeps the slaves docile. So drink your fluoride and shut up slave.

      • ThadCo says:

        The Pb thing wasn’t a conspiracy. It was simply a mistake.

        The automakers needed better gasoline and Tetraethyllead was an easy answer. Plain and simple.

        And it was driven out of use (bad pun intended) by general environmental concerns, not that is was breeding generations of criminals. It was really only posited that lead might increase violent crime after its use was discontinued and researchers went looking for a logical and consistent possible explanation. Pb was the only thing that always fit.

        Yes, there will always be criminals, but the historical spike and subsequent drop really do seem to be directly linked to lead.

  2. shooff says:

    I think BS & F is on to something.

    My buddy was a Public Defender in Ohio. He represented a dude who did aggravated homocide. The victim’s mistake. He fouled the “shooter” in a hoop game.

    My buddy sits down with the dude. He claims he is in a gang. A bad ass gang. My buddy ax him, “What’s your gang’s criminal enterprise (drugs, theft, pimp’n)?” The killer says, “Nah man we play xbox, and ps3. Try to pick up (chics) on Facebook!, Hoop it up once in a while.” Really, teens are to lazy to be criminals.

  3. Mac Guy says:

    I have to admit – I wasn’t surprised. I’ve been saying this all along, but the whiney anti-gun nutjobs just don’t care.

  4. Mr Diesel says:

    Thomas Midgley Jr

    Probably killed more people than anyone else in history.

    High atmospheric lead levels have been associated with serious health problems.[12][13][14] J. R. McNeill, an environmental historian, has remarked that Midgley “had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history.”[15]

  5. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    The decline in the 1990s was due to an improving economy, the aging of the baby boomers beyond the primary violent crime – producing years, & the smaller number of Americans entering those years.
    As far as the 2000s go, the children of the baby boomers are different. Teenage pregnancy being a post-World War II low is one example.

    I think.


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