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. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Its always the Kriminal Kiddies aging out and getting fat.

  2. Dallas says:

    In other news, gun related deaths continue to sky rocket.

  3. The Mick says:

    Kind of makes you wonder what is the real reason is behind all of this anti-gun hysteria.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Why do you “think” 20 murdered grammar school kiddies is not all the justification in the world needed?

      Guns are for idiots.

      Safe schools are for everyone.

      You strike the balance.

      • The Mick says:

        I agree bobbo, all gun owner are idiots who are in favor of seeing kids murdered in school.

        • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

          Well Mick==not “all”—but enough.

          Enough so that mere background checks have the Republican Party ready to filibuster.

          Why is that?

          Only an idiot would be against background checks.

          You say thats not true? That its just the International Arms Manufacturing Corporations paying the NRA to blackmail our Congress Creeps to vote against the interests of their own membership?

          But the NRA membership grows every year.

          What would you call that?

          • The Mick says:

            OK bobbo, you’ve changed my mind “most” gun owner are idiots who are in favor of seeing kids murdered in school.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Well Mickey==the Question you inartfully dodge remains: “Why do you “think” 20 murdered grammar school kiddies is not all the justification in the world needed?” /// Even most idiots know why you aren’t answering the question.

            Go Ahead: “The mass murder of kiddies in schools, or theater goers, or people lining up at a fast food burger joint is sad but acceptable in our society because guns…..” /// Let me chamber a round while we wait for your response.

          • The Mick says:

            Why, you’re a feisty little fella aren’t you?

            Sheesh, try to agree with a guy, and all he wants to do is argue.

          • Tim says:

            When everyone is dis-armed, this administration will drop them out of helecopters and push for a ban on windows anyways.

        • So What? says:

          Why do you think he posts?

          • bobbo, telling shit from shinola lo these many years says:

            So What? evidently wanting to be nothing but obnoxious and irrelevant says:
            4/12/2013 at 4:17 pm

            “An obvious Shill.” Responding to an even more obvious nitwit. /// Well, its not THAT clear yet that The Mick could indeed just be socially retarded and he just really loves his guns. Feels naked without one, has grandiose notions that He and His Gun are the only thing standing between sweet baby Jebus and Hitler. We don’t know, because he won’t answer a direct simple question.

            Nitwit? //// What defines a nitwit for you So What? Most people would say it is someone who says “So What” to almost any argument made. Contra that/you, I ask for analysis. You say that is the request of a nitwit. Seeing that post is from you, I say: So What?

            I could finish by saying that even Pedro makes more valuable comments…. but that wouldn’t be true.

          • The Mick says:

            Gee bobbo, why are Liberals so angry all the time, you really should have that looked at.

            Can’t we be friends?

      • MWD78 says:

        Hey Bobbo, how many innocent children have been murdered by Obama’s drone program? Isn’t that all the justification the world needs to sanction the US’s use of drones?

        Drones are for idiots.

        Safe homes are for everyone.

        Drone Strikes =/= balance.

        • Mextli says:

          I think that is what drone supporters call “An Inconvenient Truth”.

      • jim g says:

        Perhaps the government could just outlaw all guns on school property, and make all schools gun-free zones. That’ll make all the schools safe, right?
        Yeah, in a pig’s eye it will. How about if the school staff is armed. It takes a good person with a gun to stop a bad person with a gun.

      • deegee says:

        If there were no guns or knives easily available then they would (and have and do) use bombs.
        You cannot legislate against crazy, you cannot stop ill-minded people from doing bad things.
        If you honestly believe that is possible then you are living in a fantasy world.

        Just look at Israel as an example.
        The suicide bombers continually hit the grade schools, killing children…
        Until they trained and armed the teachers.
        Then funny how the school suicide bombing stopped.
        Gee, you would think there was some correlation between arming the teachers and the bombing stopping.

  4. Mextli says:

    Synopsis: Article touches on just about every conceivable contributor to violent crime because they have no idea what they are talking about.

    Stuff like this is the cause of a lot of it.
    “University of Colorado campus police were contacted at least for a background check on Holmes, but what happened from there is not clear. “

    • Tim says:

      Cut your arms off with a SawZall(tm) at HomeDepot or it didn’t happen.

  5. ECA says:

    For some strange reason..
    the 1% rule is gone.
    “1% rule, if it dont affect 1% of the populace, we wont do anything about it..”

    Is it getting so BORING out there that we have to do something about the .1%..
    There are ALWAYS going to be IDIOTS. What do you do about them? HOW DO YOU CONTROL THEM?

    Anyone for CHIPS in the brain?
    ANYONE for tattoo and LABELS on your person..

    I think they are running out of things the BLAME.

  6. Rick Fane says:

    While there’s no single cause, this article provides a lot of evidence that lead in the environment is probably a major factor:

  7. Admfubar says:

    baby boomer are aging and are now heading into nursing homes and retirement centers… golf is the new crack… soon the nursing homes, retirement centers funeral homes and hospitals will all be in then next economic collapse as the boomers die off..
    film at 11

  8. CPBrown says:

    All sides always claim the other side doesn’t follow the science or the “truth”. When, in reality, myths abound depending on one’s own policy agendas.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      …..yes, anyone with an agenda will manipulate everything they touch.

      but science has an agenda of finding the truth, working towards it. Studies and surveys, tests when possible.

      If everything is political and agendized, how will you recognize the truth when you trip over it?


  9. John E. Quantum says:

    Reasons not mentioned-

    Winnowing effect of the last 30 years permanently removing miscreants from the gene pool through the violence itself.

    The very hard and dedicated work of many people in the community to stop the violence

    High cost of ammunition

  10. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    The Mick not understanding the difference between shit and shinola become clear after a few rubs says:
    4/12/2013 at 3:48 pm

    Why, you’re a feisty little fella aren’t you? /// I am a Man of Science.

    Sheesh, try to agree with a guy, and all he wants to do is argue. /// I don’t want and didn’t ask for your agreement, but rather, your analysis.

    Why do you “think” 20 murdered grammar school kiddies is not all the justification in the world needed to make appropriate gun restrictions as the majority/Sup Ct may determine from time to time?

    You know–stop being glib and clever yourself and actually challenge yourself to think for a change===and to fully comprehend the stupidity of your position.

    Prove me Wrong.

    • The Mick says:

      Why should I prove you wrong, whats in it for me?

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        “Whats in it for me?” /// Ha. ha. EXACTLY.

        Smart enough to ask the question, but not smart enough to know the answer?

        I doubt that.

        An obvious Shill.

        • So What? says:

          “An obvious Shill.” Responding to an even more obvious nitwit.

          • noname says:

            Yes, why should Mick prove bobbo wrong, when bobbo hasn’t shown himself correct!

            bobbo question/statement “Prove me Wrong.” is a false proposition and false attempt at critical rationalism.

            bobbo is trying to turn Garbage into gold with “Prove me Wrong.”

    • deegee says:

      Bobbo said:

      “Why do you “think” 20 murdered grammar school kiddies is not all the justification in the world needed to make appropriate gun restrictions as the majority/Sup Ct may determine from time to time?

      Prove me Wrong.”

      You are wrong.

      Banning firearms will do nothing to stop “murdered children”.

      Here is your proof: Bath School Disaster (google it).

      This is just one of many world-wide school killings where guns were NOT used.

      Not only are you wrong, but you also don’t listen, or perhaps you have a short memory, as I brought this to your attention months ago during one of your other anti-gun hoplophobic rants. :p

      • Tim says:

        Here! Here! {parlamentary mumblings}

        I think I found a home for this cut-‘n’-paste

        If I were new to killing machines yet came to realize that even I needed defense, then I might (in my ignorance) take Biden’s advice and Obama’s stance and absorb the recoil of my new *double-barrel shotgun* with my face. Repeatedly. That way, I could spout crap about how gun laws have whatever to do with Newton in a sing-song manner.

        By doing this, I may be able to cover over my own blood-soaked soul dripping with misery that sprang from the former realization that the kinds of policy I advocate made the massacre possible — A 100 pound kid gets a 26-1 kill-streak with no resistance save the absolutely impotent adults complacent and soothed in their knowledge that the *gun-free zone* was there as a guardian angel to their entrusted charges. The only thing standing between Death and the kids — a faulty ideal.

  11. bobbo, telling shit from shinola lo these many years says:

    Michael missing the whole and entire point says:
    4/12/2013 at 4:13 pm

    They made abortion legal, and crime went down? /// Yep. Why do you “think?”

    Making things legal makes crime rates go down? /// Well thats true, might you have a point?

    Killing/Murdering/Stopping/Whatever-you-prefer-to-call-it-ing people that will engage in crime makes crime rates go down? /// It is definitional. If you understand your own point, you’ve already made it.

    In other words, if we legalize the slaughter of people in large blue cities, crime rates will go down? /// Blah, blah.

    When abortion is legal, more are performed with the direct result that fewer single mother poor families are formed and there are fewer young agressive thoughtless kiddies bored and looking for something to do like…. crime. Yes, you do have to name and connect a few dots.

    Cause and Effect in a complex social milieu. I know you can do it.

  12. bobbo, telling shit from shinola lo these many years says:

    The Mick still not recognizing the Big Muddy he has wandered into says:
    4/12/2013 at 4:53 pm

    Gee bobbo, why are Liberals so angry all the time, you really should have that looked at. /// Yeah, I do come off a bit more angry than I actually am. DU does have that corrosive effect over time… as does talking to idiots who will never answer a direct question. Know what I mean?

    Can’t we be friends? /// The only person on this Forum with a Friend that I have noticed is Pedro’s Donkey… but he doesn’t even post. Just carries Pedro’s trash from place to place. But how disingenuous to call for friendship when you won’t even honor the smallest of requests that actually benefit YOU more than anyone else?


    Atleast when asked to do so when obviously you haven’t done it to begin with. You are engaged in a very dishonest form of shit. You’ll never get it to shine.

    Yea, verily!

    • The Mick says:

      I think you really would like to own a gun, but because of your anger issues I think you are correct. We would all be safer if you don’t.

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

        Absolute refusal to think.

        Why would ANYONE want you as a friend, friend?

        But I stoop to your level.

        Throw your BS into the marketplace of ideas and when asked to justify your position, nothing comes back but a fusillade cannonade of obfuscating red herrings.

        “Why do you “think” 20 murdered grammar school kiddies is not all the justification in the world needed?” /// And as the shit is scrubbed away at, it doesn’t appear you are a shill. They are professional enough not to dig a bad hole even deeper. Your language skils reveal you are not an idiot, by standard definition.

        ………… starting to look like “emotions.” So, your position, failure to respond, and incessant cry for friendship is all emotionally driven. NEVER applying a truth without looking at myself as well, how now brown cow?? Well….. yeah….I don’t really care about the 20 dead kiddies. They are dead. Dead and gone. Never to laugh or cry again. Always the living. Their parents. I cry for their parents and would like to see fewer parents cry for their murdered children in the future.

        I don’t see how me owning a gun achieves that goal. Getting rid of guns does achieve that goal.

        I must be goal driven?

  13. The Mick says:

    Like taking candy from a baby….

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

      Ha, ha. Now, a completely isolated dissociative fugue?

      KNOW YOUR PATIENT/adversary/opponent.

      I don’t like candy. More like: “Never take a beer from a drunk.” Still not true, but a closer meme.

      For YOUR OWN benefit–next time/every time/all the time==just say anything. Like a chess game, over time, the good moves will prove out. Its possible but relatively difficult to actually engage yourself and not wind up thinking in the process.

      Heres one that might be close to your mark: “I like guns and grew up shooting them. I see no reason why I should suffer their confiscation just because other people elsewhere have problems with it. In a free nation, these contests do cause strain, even misery, from time to time. But my rights and pleasures should not be infringed for the imagined protection of others.”

      Totally wrong and f*cked up. But so much better your than your dipshit responses.

  14. Hmeyers says:

    It was prosecuting minors as adults for violent crime that started in 1994. No other major reason.

    Suddenly, killing at age 17 didn’t mean being released at 21 with no criminal record.

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

      In that vein, maybe 3 strikes locking the hard core away?

      I don’t know…. maybe I should read the link???

      Ha, ha.

      • Hmeyers says:

        Imagine being in a group of a teenage gang — New Jack City style — where you can kill an adult and get away with murder.

        But if the adult tries to fight back, he is guilty of assaulting a minor.

        That was the law 1993.

  15. pam says:

    Video Games. Every hour some yahoo spends shooting Nazi Zombies on his Xbox is one less hour to cause mayhem in the real world.

  16. Captain Obvious says:

    Violent crime has been declining for more than three decades in the US. Better policing techniques, more public awareness, changing attitudes, declining overall gun ownership, etc.

    It’s never one thing. One thing hasn’t changed though – people can’t read and interpret statistics.

    “Math class is tough!” – Barbie

  17. deowll says:

    As gross as this sounds to me I do think a big chunk of it is that huge numbers of unwanted pregnancies were terminated. If you kill off the unwanted youngsters they don’t suffer from bad parenting from bad parents and the total numbers of young people in society is much lower than it would otherwise have been. Older people as a group tend to be less violent.

    Gun ownership was going down because people felt safer. Communities with high levels of legal gun ownerships seem to have reduced levels of home intrusions and related crimes and criminals will tell you the reason is they don’t want to confront armed home owners. Getting into a shoot out and maybe getting killed isn’t normally part of their game plan.

    However BO has sold more guns than anyone else I’ve ever heard off. I don’t have a clue how this is going to factor into future violent crime statistics.

  18. orchidcup says:

    The fluoride in the water must be working.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. orchidcup says:

    If we legalized everything there would be no crime.

  22. 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.

      • 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!

  23. 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.)

  24. 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.

  25. 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?!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.


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