Last year, the United States suffered its largest-ever single-year homicide increase, causing crime to now poll as a top voter concern.
This carnage has many so-called “criminal-justice reform” advocates struggling to convince Americans that things aren’t so bad, despite data proving otherwise.
The left-leaning Brennan Center recently admitted that the homicide trend is “frightening,” yet insists that murders “have stayed far below their peaks” in earlier decades.
The far-left British Guardian reminded their insular readers that “Americans overall are much less likely to be killed today than they were in the 1990s, and the homicide rate across big cities is still close to half what it was a quarter century ago.”
Indeed, the national murder rate was higher in the 1980s and early 1990s. But the national murder rate reflects an accumulation of all homicides measured against the national population. When it comes to the recent increase in killings, this weak talking point ignores important realities.
The majority of Americans spend their lives in the communities where they reside and perhaps where they work. Since violent crime is mainly concentrated in large cities, a national homicide rate doesn’t provide anyone with a proper sense of local reality. A handful of safe suburbs can offset urban areas’ massive contribution to the national murder rate. So is that any consolation to those who live in modern war zones?
And claiming crime isn’t as bad as it was in the 1990s is no longer true for dozens of American cities, which have surpassed prior decades’ homicide tallies.
Philadelphia already broke its all-time annual homicide record, as has Albuquerque, Austin, Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville, Portland, St. Paul, and Tucson.
Former mayor Michael Nutter is right: soft-on-crime policies from a Soros prosecutor caused a record number of murders in Philadelphia. https://t.co/aR4iNoodG8
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) December 9, 2021
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Denver, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Memphis, Milwaukee, Wichita, and several other large and mid-size locales saw their highest homicide tallies since 1990 last year.
Places like Baltimore, Chicago, Fort Worth, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Tulsa must reach back a quarter-century to see similarly awful numbers.
Telling skeptics — or concerned folks simply citing facts — that violent crime is not as bad as 30 years go, in the aggregate, is insulting, misleading, and of course, purely political.