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?

Read More

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. orchidcup says:

    The fluoride in the water must be working.

  2. orchidcup says:

    Funny how these statistics coincide with the perpetual wars that have involved the United States since 1991.

    Coincidence? I think not!

    We are exporting our violence to other countries.

    • McCullough says:

      Conscripted some of the criminals, as in go to jail, or go to Iraq/Afghanistan?

      A common tactic during the Vietnam War.

      • orchidcup says:

        Actually, I know of two “gentlemen” that were offered the option you describe.

        Historically the military has attracted the brightest and most able street thugs.

    • pedro says:

      What can you expect from someone who irrationally sees bad on good news? Food for thought!

  3. MikeN says:

    New York Times used to report this all the time, I think the author was Fox Butterfield. “Number of prisoners increase even as crime rate falls.”

    Then you have an abortion regime as the department of pre-crime. Bill Bennett was called a racist just for observing the argument, and saying he still thinks it’s not a reason to have abortion.

    You also have more concealed carry laws during that time frame.

    On the other hand you replaced Giuliani and the good police chiefs with Bloomberg and co.

  4. orchidcup says:

    If we legalized everything there would be no crime.

    • pedro says:

      Are you even remotely aware of the concept of anarchy?

      As if the human race is so evolved & civilized that we need no more rules.

      Here, a shipment of unicorns & rainbows for you.

      • Tim says:

        Because oligarchies and every other kind of beast SYSTEM has worked out splendidly, don’t ya think?

        • pedro says:

          Anarchy works on the premise of the survival of the fittest. Somehow, I don’t think you two have what it takes, specially if you’re in the “ban guns” crowd and I’m sure orchi is.

  5. bobbo, telling shit from shinola, Me and Dr Freud says:

    nogame demonstrating that canned boilerplate does not always apply says:
    4/13/2013 at 6:47 am

    Yes, why should Mick prove bobbo wrong, when bobbo hasn’t shown himself correct! /// Because Mick is uniquely the only one able to do so.

    bobbo question/statement “Prove me Wrong.” is a false proposition and false attempt at critical rationalism. /// No. The phrase rather than calling for a mathematical proof is rather an invitation to Mick to show something more of himself. “I” cannot do that for Mick. I can only show something more of MY SELF, as you do for yourself…… and if your reading comprehension could be turned up to 11–as only Mick can do for Mick===assuming he has a knob that goes to 11. Know what I mean?

    bobbo is trying to turn Garbage into gold with “Prove me Wrong.” /// Very true. But with no response, it looks like the Mick will remain garbage.

    Ha, ha. Thanks for the nogame.

    • The Mick says:

      Obsessive compulsive? Seriously, you don’t have to live your life like this. I know a guy who might be able to help.

      • pedro says:

        And you still need to see him off his rocker

        • bobbo, telling shit from shinola, Me and Dr Freud says:

          Thats a very fine line there Pedro–but thanks.

          Being a self aware conasewer of the internets, when do I go bobbotilt?:

          1. Gun Control (people Die)
          2. Anthropomorphic Global Warming (Science Deniers)
          3. Homophobia (Intolerance afoot)

          I note this forum does not call up the stupidity of homophobia like the first two do. Does show a change in society?

      • bobbo, telling shit from shinola, Me and Dr Freud says:

        Hey there Mick. I keep pushing, you never push back. Something is there. Not knowing you at all…. I can still point out it is a strong case of “Cognitive Dissonance.” Thinking things you can’t/don’t support should be resolved within your own mind if no where else. Its a life skill that brings benefit across the board. There are of course 15 other possible reasons. But in a vacuum, CD is at the top of the list.

        What is life worth if we don’t learn from it.

        • The Mick says:

          My dad was OCD. His particular affliction was constant hand-washing. Your affliction is apparently hand-wringing as well as the overwhelming need to always have the last word.

          I’ll prove it…..don’t answer this comment. See if you can do it. If so, you may be one step closer to recovery.

          I’m pullin’ for you man!

        • The Mick says:

          He shoots, he SCORES! Thanks man, made my day!

  6. jbenson2 says:

    Violent crimes way down – how can this be?

    Because more States have enacted concealed carry laws and reciprocity.

    • BS & F says:

      …And let’s not forget that having to scrounge for a living in a depressed economy takes away from the fun of hunting down one’s rival drug dealers – or while trying to harvest animals for food.

      But whatever you do, don’t remind the mindless how gun laws were actually RELAXED during this period of less violence. Because even hinting at it with comments like “conceal carry” or “reciprocity” is going to piss off some jack ass libtard.

      Quite simply, the jack”ass” libtard idiots don’t want to understand things that might help with one’s independence and especially don’t care to understand itty bitty things like RIGHTS! To them, guns are the real life manifestation of monsters that actually get up all by themselves and go kill people. (Personally, I blame cartoons like Adult Swim’s “Burger Shake Fries” for giving these pot-head burn-outs the idea.)

  7. ECA says:

    Filling papers/TV/NET for WEEKS, with 1 incident, makes it look as if Crime is rampant.
    Is our country so BORING that we have to justify/glorify a single event beyond belief?
    And in the re-telling LIE about the instance?

    Arnt there BETTER things going on, HAPPY things? reporting on 1 crime and forgetting all the interesting things happening?
    WHAT happened to LOCAL NEWS..its all gone. Covered up with something that PROBABLY happened 1000-2000 miles away..

    • BigBoyBC says:

      “You never let a serious crisis go to waste…”

      Rahm Emanuel

    • BS & F says:

      Sounds like you’d rather bury your head in the sand. So could it be that you finally realize just how stupid you’ve been on this issue?

      This story is clear evidence that more (concealed) guns in the hands of law abiding citizens equals less violence!!!

      So go ahead. Go bury your head in the sand. It almost certainly will smell better than where you’ve had it.

  8. Uncle Patso says:

    One factor might be the huge increase over the same period of obesity rates. Fatty meats wrapped in bacon slathered with “cheese” accompanied by ever larger HFCS-infused soft drinks, “light” beers, sweet beers from Zima to Apple Ale, etc., etc., etc.

    The kids are too fat to have the energy to get into serious trouble.

    It was not for nothing that Shakespeare had Julius Caesar complain of Casca’s “lean and hungry look.”

    • McCullough says:

      Dude, your making me hungry.

      • Tim says:

        Hell yeas.. I gonna be eatin’ something after that. It’s time for operation ‘wafer thin’.

    • BS & F says:


      You don’t think that the invention of the Internet coupled with cell phones and transforming (developed) society into the mindless wandering drones you see everywhere had anything to do with it?

      Or could it be that some of those drones are now allowed to legally pack a little heat?!

  9. Anonymous Coward says:

    Both Captain Obvious and Taxed Enough Already Dude make excellent points.

    What was missed was that in the late 80′s, a number of large gangs made truces that more or less endured, minus the constant fracturing they seem to endure. This reduced the rate at which gang bangers were taking pot shots at each other.

    Unfortunately, since gang bangers were both the main shooters and main victims of these wars (and the majority of gun death stats in America as well), that means there’s more of them running around now. One show on gangs I saw claimed 2 million gang bangers total. Scary if true. That’s 1 in every 150 people in the country. It doesn’t take many aggressive human vermin to turn a neighborhood into an unpleasant place to live.

  10. Captain Obvious says:

    Another sad fact. The majority of fatal and non-fatal violent crime against women is by someone who known to the victim – friend, relative, intimate. Like 75% of the time.

  11. James says:

    Perhaps the availability of birth control and, started 1973, thanks to Roe vs. Wade, there have been a steady decline of unwanted babies? There is a higher probability that those kids might have been grown up in a less than desirable environment, thus easier to get in troubles.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Bingo! (And it was recognized by Steven D. Levitt.)

      There’s fewer unwanted kids (except to those few inner city kids born to teenage single idiots, uh, mothers,) so there’s a whole lot fewer unloved, unhinged, broke-ass, dangerous, disadvantaged, losers out there.

      Its not crime, its pre-crime and its handled years before by abortions, condoms, the pill or by strangling the li’l fucks in their cribs.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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]

  16. 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.