Perception vs. Reality


The decline in violent crime is one of the most striking trends over recent decades; the rate has declined roughly by half since 1993.

To be precise, the F.B.I.'s count of violent crimes reported to law enforcement has declined from a rate of 747 violent incidents per 100,000 people in 1993 to 387 incidents per 100,000 people in 2012, which is the most recent year for which it has published complete data. This reflects the fact that over this period, the homicide rate has fallen by 51 percent; forcible rapes have declined by 35 percent; robberies have decreased by 56 percent; and the rate of aggravated assault has been cut by 45 percent. Property crime rates are also sharply down.

FBI: Violent crime drops, reaches 1970s level


"The violent crime rate last year was 367.9 for each 100,000 in population, down 5.1 percent from 2012. The rate has fallen every year since at least 1994, the earliest year for readily accessible FBI data, and the 2013 figure was about half the 1994 rate."

Perceptions of crime haven't always followed the reality...

"Between 1992 and 2011, the annual number of murders in the United States fell from 23,760 to 14,612 despite a growing population.

In May, a Pew Research Center study found that 56% of Americans believe that gun violence is higher than it was 20 year ago, even though it has fallen precipitously since the 1990s.

And in 2011, Gallup found that 68% of Americans believed crime was getting worse, despite the reality of declining crime rates nationwide."

Why the Disconnect - Public Ignorance About Crime Rates?


"Unfortunately, however, most voters have little incentive to either acquire accurate information about crime policy, or rationally evaluate the information they do know, such as sensationalist media accounts of individual crimes. Because the chance of casting a decisive vote in an election is so extremely low, this kind of ignorance about crime is actually rational behavior, if the only purpose of seeking out the truth is to become a better-informed voter. For ideologically committed “political fans,” it is actually emotionally satisfying to interpret sensationalistic media stories as evidence of rising crime rates that (for the right) demonstrate the need for aggressive law enforcement or (for the left) the need for stronger gun control."

THIS, in my opinion, is highly relevant; whether Republican or Democrat, playing up/sensationalizing crime/crime rates plays into and advances both parties agendas. For Republicans, justifying increased aggressive/militarized law enforcement procedures and/or protocols, protecting and securing 2nd amendment right, coddling/advancing NRA initiatives in exchange for monetary contributions + increase of gun sales by advancing the message that you're not safe anywhere and you need a gun(s) for protection. For Democrats, as stated above, stiffer gun control laws.

MO ~