HOT AIR — While you couldn’t tell it from most of the headlines over the past 18 months, there’s actually some good news on the law enforcement front. Violent crime rates continued to drop over the past two years on a national per capita basis, including the murder rate. The motto of if it bleeds, it leads likely keeps the focus of many news media consumers on some regularly occurring violence, but overall we’re still experiencing record low levels of the worst violence in the modern era, as was described this past winter by the Washington Post.
In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013.
Most of that decrease obviously was the result of a national reset in our approach to law enforcement in the early to mid nineties, including Bill Clinton’s much maligned crime bill (which his wife now claims was a mistake) but local efforts in cities along the same lines contributed as well. Believe it or not, that trend continued through 2014 and 2015 across the nation as a whole. Murder and other gun related violent crimes have continued to dip or at least remain flat at levels not seen in the living memory of the majority of voters.