Crime in America Is Down; Experts Not Sure Exactly Why
By Victor Thorn
There’s good news for Americans: According to FBI statistics, violent crime in the United States is continuing a decade-long decline, with 2010 figures equaling those of the early 1970s. Overall homicides, assaults and rapes reached their peak in 1991 and have steadily dropped or leveled off ever since. A particularly good example is murder, which has dropped by 51% in the last 10 years.
To put this matter into perspective, a Feb. 16, 2011 article by Danielle Kurtzleben entitled “The 11 Most Dangerous Cities” stated, “In 1991, there were 758 violent crimes per 100,000 Americans, compared to 2009’s figure of 429.” She continued: “Total crime numbers have also decreased over that period despite population increases. 1.9M violent crimes were reported in 1991, a figure that in 2009 stood at 1.3M.”
Even better, a National Crime Victimization Survey revealed, “In 2009, America’s crime rate was roughly the same as in 1968, with the homicide rate being at its lowest level since 1964.”
Before U.S. citizens celebrate too loudly, though, domestic homicide rates are still five times those in many European nations, and nearly three times those in Canada and the UK. On the other hand, Russia’s murder rate is 2.5 times higher than the U.S., while some Central and South American countries are an amazing 9-15 times higher.
Although a whopping 1.2M violent crimes were still committed in 2010, this figure is over 13% below that of when George W. Bush was elected in 2001. The biggest question, naturally, is: Why has America seen such a relatively stark decline in crime? One of the primary reasons is that over the past three decades, the number of people imprisoned in this country has tripled. In other words, those who are most apt to commit crimes aren’t given as much opportunity because they’re behind bars.
It’s well known that the U.S. imprisons more of its citizens, and probably more per capita, than any other nation—2.2M in America compared to the second highest, China, with 1.5M. With only 5% of total world population, U.S. prisoners comprise one-quarter of all those who live behind bars. Moreover, another 5M U.S. citizens are on probation or parole, which means they’re being at least somewhat monitored and regulated.
Although it’s true that over half of all prison inmates are there for non-violent crimes such as marijuana possession, the prison-industrial complex has incarcerated an inordinate number of individuals. Young blacks and Hispanics are more apt to be in jail.
Still, with a stagnant economy and skyrocketing inner-city unemployment, why have aggravated assaults (62% of total violent crime), robbery (29% of the whole), rape (7% of the total) and murder (1.2%) all decreased since the early 1990s?
In addition to the above-stated reasoning, four other factors have been proposed. First, in what some call a Big Brother police state, there are obviously more officers and more surveillance equipment on the streets. Secondly, technology and scientific data collection techniques (e.g., DNA forensics) make it much easier for law enforcement and the courts to get convictions.
Not quite so apparent is a third possible reason: legalized abortion. Since blacks as a percentage of the population receive considerably more abortions than any other race, potential criminals—especially among the inner-city poor—are often eliminated inside clinics before they mature into actual criminals.
Lastly, author Mark Kleiman hypothesized, “Given the decrease in lead exposure among children since the 1980s and the estimated effects of lead on crime, reduced lead exposure could explain a very large proportion of the crime decrease from 1994 to 2004.”
Numerous studies are released each year that chronicle America’s most dangerous cities. Regardless of how they differ in terms of the variables used in their considerations, a few trends consistently emerge.
Namely, metropolitan areas with populations over 100,000 are clearly more crime-ridden than rural or medium-sized cities. Geographically, the South persistently leads all other areas of America in terms of overall violence, murder and property crimes.
In terms of gender, males are nine times more likely than females to commit murder. When these homicides by males do occur, firearms are used two thirds of the time.
When the incidence of violent crime in specific cities is examined, a number of familiar venues repeatedly keep popping up. In the South, five particularly dangerous locales are Memphis, New Orleans, Little Rock, Miami and St. Louis (which, to its credit, did have an 18% reduction last year).
On the East Coast, habitually crime-plagued cities include Camden, Newark, Washington, D.C., New Haven and Philadelphia. In the West, Los Angeles and the Oakland area continue to teem with violence, while Phoenix—due to a refusal by the U.S. government to seal its borders—is America’s car theft and kidnapping capital.
In America’s heartland, Chicago suffered 49 shootings over a recent weekend, ten of them fatal. In the past, National Guard troops have been called out to maintain order in the Windy City. Then, of course, Detroit and Flint remain open sores of criminality. Notwithstanding a mass exodus that has severely diminished Detroit’s population, those most prone to illegal activity remain in the Motor City. Intel analyst Megan Wolfram summed up the situation best in regard to Flint and Detroit: “People don’t have jobs, and they don’t have money for food, so they become a lot more desperate.”
The Complexion of Crime in America
In 2005 black men raped 37,460 white women, while white men raped less than 10 black women
By Victor Thorn
Despite a corrupt mainstream media that refuses to highlight this predominant social plague, the statistics are irrefutable: Blacks commit an excessively disproportionate number of crimes in comparison to other races. And many of these crimes are black on white. According to a 2005 Justice Department report entitled “Criminal Victimization in the United States,” black men raped 37,460 white women, while white men raped less than ten black females, for example. Blacks murder whites at a rate 18 times higher than whites murder blacks.
A 2005 report published by the New Century Foundation called “The Color of Crime” took these trends a step further:
• Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
• Blacks are three times more likely than non-blacks to use a gun in a crime.
• Blacks commit 75% of all interracial crimes; whites commit 15%; while others account for 10%.
• Blacks are seven times more likely to be imprisoned than whites.
To gauge these numbers, although blacks only comprise 13% of the U.S. population compared to whites at 65%, in 2010 blacks committed more murders (5,890) than whites (5,286). In this context, it’s not surprising that over 10% of all black males aged 25-65 currently reside in prison. That figure is a mere 1.4% for whites.
With unsealed borders that still allow a huge influx of illegal immigrants, an uncurbed amount of crime is directly attributable to gang activity, much of which is comprised of lower-class Mexicans who join deadly groups such as MS-13. A 2009 National Youth Gang Survey Analysis uncovered some disturbing data: “Of gang members, 49% are Hispanic (Latino), 35% black, 9% white and 7% other.”
The aforementioned “Color of Crime” report disclosed, “Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs.”
With these gangs proliferating in many Southwest cities—in addition to many other areas of the country—their crimes include human smuggling and slavery, beheadings, hangings, drug trafficking and car-theft rings. Many of the incidents compiled for this article are too gruesome to be recounted in this family newspaper.
However, to provide an overview, reporter Jim Kouri released a report on April 30, 2010: “In a population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about eight times per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than one arrest; 38% had between two and five arrests; 32% had between six and ten arrests, and 26% had 11 or more.”
In Los Angeles County, illegals driving without a license have now created a blatantly discriminatory situation where police officers are being told to no longer impound their vehicles, whereas any legal alien or U.S. citizen driving without proper documentation faces 30 days without their car.
The crime wave and its threat to this country have reached such a deplorable level that an unnamed Mexican drug cartel has reportedly placed a $1M bounty on the head of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
SANFORD, FLA. AND THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE
With the Trayvon Martin controversy still festering in Sanford, Fla., on March 29-30 this writer contacted four different private investigators from that area to determine what type of community it is. In a twist of irony, their varied responses reflect the differences we’re seeing emerge from the mainstream media. While MSNBC and CNN run round-the-clock stories about racial profiling and “prejudice against blacks,” Fox and right-wing talk radio highlight Martin’s three expulsions from school and his “gangsta” lifestyle.
Similarly, one private eye emphasized that Sanford is not terribly upscale, that there aren’t many exclusive gated communities, and how the environment is closer to those of inner cities.
Strangely enough, a second PI commented on Sanford being overwhelmingly “nice and safe.” He also spoke of Sanford’s roots as a one-time migrant town where immigrants came to work in the agricultural field. Today, he said, Sanford is mostly white, with residents employed in auto-oriented businesses. Or they travel to Orlando, while a few more fortunate individuals still have jobs in the aerospace industry.
A third investigator described Sanford as predominantly middle class, with downtown areas being more dangerous. He added that some fairly upscale neighborhoods do exist. He also pointed out that there had been a string of burglaries and break-ins near the locale where George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.
Finally, a female PI referred to what she considered an exceedingly corrupt judicial system in Sanford that facilitated embezzlement and political fraud. Her exact words were, “This city has been one big cover-up since at least the 1980s.”
All of the PIs agreed that individuals such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are exploiting the situation and have the potential to start a great deal of trouble. One man took it a step further by claiming that Sharpton is “bad news” and wants to start a riot akin to what happened in Los Angeles after the Rodney King trial.
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and the author of over 40 books.