Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Little Good News

How about a little good news?


You are less likely to be the victim of a violent crime in the USA today than a decade ago, or two decades, or a century.


MUCH less likely!


You are also MUCH less likely to be the victim of property crime.


Violent crime and property crime have been in a long steady decline for decades.


Doesn’t feel that way, does it? You probably don’t feel safer. You may be doubting the voracity of my assertions.


Here is the FBI crime data:


The table can be a daunting, if you are not a geek like me who can pore over data like this for hours. In my opinion, the “crime rate” columns are the most telling. They represent the number of incidents, per 100,000 persons.


I know there are skeptics who do not trust the FBI. Sorry, I can’t help you. Live in fear.


But if things are actually improving, why do we FEEL less safe?


There are undoubtedly many reasons. I’m not an expert on the subject, but I can think of two that seem like they might be major reasons.


One: Mass media. It comes streaming into our homes instantly, graphically, and repeatedly every day. If there were a gunfight in Denver 100 years ago, the residents of Chicago might see one newspaper article about it…they might. Today, it will play over and over again for days. This is compounded by the exploding population. 100 million people in 1920, to 300 million in 2020. There will be more crimes, even though the RATE has dropped. All of which is to say, the perception that crime is increasing is an illusion. This is a benign consequence of mass media. It isn’t usually evil intent, it’s just that most of us are not well equipped to put the reporting into proper perspective. My intention is to give a little perspective.


I said I knew of two reasons.


Two: Political Opportunism. There are people on both sides of the political aisle who want us to be afraid. They are villains.


My point is not to bash political opportunists. My point is to give a little hope. Circling back to my opening assertion – crime in the USA is in a long steady decline.


How? Why?


Just my opinion – but I think it has something to do with the brave men and women in blue who lay it on the line every day. This thanksgiving, I am thankful for our Police.


God bless and protect them.


Final thought: this data does not include 2020. There might be an anomalous uptick for 2020. I’m not certain there will be, because again…even 2020 might be a bit of an illusion, that when brought into context may not be quite as bad as it feels.


Happy Thanksgiving!



  1. Yep, the media don't like to talk about happy stories, it doesn't sell enough, a gruesome crime is more interesting...

  2. Replies
    1. Oh Yay! That was my intent. Thanks for the feedback!


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