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(17,493 posts)
7. If the homicide rate is "almost exactly the same as it was in 1950" ...
Sun Jan 27, 2013, 04:41 PM
Jan 2013

then it is improving.

Homicide rates have dropped steadily in U.S.
By Neely Tucker,December 19, 2012


The national homicide rate for 2011 was 4.8 per 100,000 citizens — less than half of what it was in the early years of the Great Depression, when it peaked before falling precipitously before World War II. The peak in modern times of 10.2 was in 1980, as recorded by national criminal statistics.

“We’re at as low a place as we’ve been in the past 100 years,” says Randolph Roth, professor of history at Ohio State University and author of this year’s “American Homicide,” a landmark study of the history of killing in the United States. “The rate oscillates between about 5 and 9 [per 100,000], sometimes a little higher or lower, and we’re right at the bottom end of that oscillation.”...emphasis added

Last year’s rate was the lowest of any year since 1963, when the rate was 4.6, according to the Uniform Crime Reports compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Don’t relax quite yet: Americans still kill one another at a much higher rate than do citizens of other wealthy nations.

“By international standards, we never really get to ‘low,’?” Roth says.

When I watch the news I get the impression that the level of violence is increasing dramatically and I suspect this has many people to buy firearms for home protection. Perhaps if the news media publicized the fact that our society is actually becoming safer, fewer firearms would be sold.

There is absolutely no doubt that firearms are extremely lethal and should never be in the hands of a person who has been drinking excessively. Also when a person is suffering from depression a firearm in the home can lead to suicide. If a person choses to try to commit suicide by taking a large quantity of drugs it is quite possible that another person will discover him and a trip to the emergency ward may save his life. A firearm used for suicide is far less forgiving.

I grew up in the 50s and the 60s. The only people I knew who owned firearms used them for hunting or informal target shooting. I didn't know one person who felt a need to have a firearm in his home for defense.

I think two main groups are driving the perception that we live in extremely violent times in our nation.

Obviously the NRA and gun manufacturers hope to increase membership and the sale of firearms. They push the idea that a firearm in your home or on your person, if you can legally carry, is wise and might save your life or the lives of those you love. The NRA also promotes distrust of the government and suggests that patriotic citizens should be ready to resist a dictator or tyrant.

The main stream media has long sought to impose strong gun control on the citizens of our nation. It pitches the idea that we live in extremely violent times and the solution is to ban first "assault weapons" and eventually all semi-auto firearms.

As a result many citizens have a tremendous fear of a home invasion or being mugged on the street. When politicians push for stronger gun control laws they fear bans and confiscations and decide that they might truly need a firearm in the future but if they wait they will be unable to boy one.

You would think that in a society with a dropping level of violence, gun sales would also be decreasing. If the realistic chances of needing a firearm for self defense is low then it would be reasonable for people to use their disposable income on more important items. The fact that this is not happening shows how effective the propaganda we see and read actually is.

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