‘Make America Safe Again’? What the numbers say

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The theme for the opening night of the 2016 Republican National Convention, “Make America Safe Again,” has certainly taken on additional emotional resonance in the wake of tragic police shootings in Dallas and then again in Baton Rouge over the weekend. Fortunately, however, the assumption that underlies the theme — America is not safe, the long-term trends are going in the wrong direction, everything is going to hell in a handbasket — is demonstrably false.

We are safer than we have been in decades.

Take a look at what has happened to violent crime in the decade between 2005 and 2014, the most recent year for which we have full national data:
Violence

Over that decade, the overall rate of violent crime has fallen by 22 percent; the violent crime rate in 2014 was the lowest in the previous 45 years. The murder rate is down by 15 percent, and was the lowest since at least 1960; rape and robbery are down significantly as well. And while some in media and politics would like to portray the problem as intractable, focusing on the isolated example of Chicago, the number of homicides within the black community has been declining at a faster rate than the number of homicides overall.

It’s also worth noting that these trends have continued through the Great Recession, even though economic hard times are often associated with rising crime. In addition, the rate at which we incarcerate people in this country peaked back in 2008, and since then both the incarceration rate and the crime rate have continued to fall.

Now, the numbers above don’t make very good headlines, and the story they tell is understandably overwhelmed by the public’s natural horror at the mass assaults conducted by the likes of Omar Mateen in Orlando, Dylann Roof in Charleston and Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary. Those numbers tell us that we are not a nation in decline, unable to live in peace and security with each other. If we compare it to the historical data, they tell us that even with occasional spasms of violence, America in 2016 is safer than it has been in about half a century. We have been getting better, not worse.

But history also tells us – it tells us loudly and insistently — to beware those who seek power by telling you to be very very afraid, and who then conveniently offer themselves as the antidote to that fear.

Reader Comments 0

1947 comments
Timothy Evans
Timothy Evans

Were not racist ,were just tied of the Lost,hurt,blind, evil,confused & guilty ones. The government & their demons smh

honested
honested

Maybe they will let Melania speak again.

She can sing the song she wrote about how "This Land Is Your Land" or the wonderful poem about "Leaves of Grass".


Maybe they will hire speechwriters with some sense of history.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"I am surprised at the Left, especially those here going after Melania. But then again, considering her beauty vs most of the gals on the Left, a high degree of jealousy should have been expected."


@Johnny The Rebel


She is looking UGLY today!


How could she let this happen??


The Chumps think they are untouchable.


WELL THAT CHANGED LAST NIGHT!


Michelle  Obama's  intelligence vs Melania's ignorance.



RantNRave
RantNRave

@td1234


yeah yeah yeah.......


You cons got caught !


heeheeheeheeheeheee

quaterhorselady
quaterhorselady

Quoting prominent progressives and founding fathers is NOT plagiarism.  


honested
honested

@td1234 

It's ok tiny dog.

Natasha's speech was the perfect conclusion to War Is Peace day at the Open Carry Cavalcade of Clowns.

Now chump only has to get 100% of the white male vote and 90% of the white female vote.

Good luck with that.

C_Casselberry
C_Casselberry

@td1234 Ole TD surfaces with some dopey photo. Let's see we have a slovenian who ripped off a black woman's speech talking to an all white audience that hates blacks and immigrants. Can't make this stuff up. What a dumpster fire.

Bwhahahahahaha.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"Melania's speech last night was a thing of beauty!  It was heart-felt, warm and genuine. "


@Down In Out In Albany


THANKS TO MICHELLE OBAMA !


You cons are so ignorant that you can't


THINK FOR YOURSELVES.


You have to STEAL QUOTES !

Michelle Obama Keynote Address at DNC


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=790hG6qBPx0

quaterhorselady
quaterhorselady

@RantNRave Listening to Melania's "speech", I thought,  "Gee, she sounds like a Democrat, she'd be a much better candidate than Don the Con"!  Then I woke up to political outrage (Morning Joe) and found out the rest of the story!


JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I am surprised at the Left, especially those here going after Melania.

But then again, considering her beauty vs most of the gals on the Left, a high degree of jealousy should have been expected.

I mean think of it --- Hillary with her big butt that can't be covered with any type pant suit (she has tried) and Bill who looks like a dry prune vs The Donald with his comb over and Melania on his arm.

Yep, lots of jealousy. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@JohnnyReb Ok, now I just think you're trying to compete with BOW for silly troll postings.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@MaryElizabethSings @JohnnyReb you float around MES in some mystical neverland with little touch to reality.

You would be surprised how many will vote against Hillary because they don't want to face an old, ugly, lying woman on the tube for 4 years.

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@JohnnyReb 

When I start using looks to decide to vote for I'll let you know. This has to be the most shallow statement you've ever made but SO typical of the angry old white man syndrome you suffer from.

quaterhorselady
quaterhorselady

@JohnnyReb NOBODY is going after Melania!  They're shocked at the stupidity of the Trump "campaign".  What a bunch of know-nothings.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Melania's speech last night was a thing of beauty!  It was heart-felt, warm and genuine.  This beautiful lady (inside and out)  should be celebrated.  She is a successful, LEGAL immigrant!  She is living the American dream! 

honested
honested

@DownInAlbany 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

A speech she lifted from the First Lady of the United States from 2008!!!

Moose and Squirrel

Moose and Squirrel

Moose and Squirrel

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@honested @DownInAlbany

Dude, she didn't lift it. It was lifted for her.

She's rich, she doesn't have to lift anything but whatever her personal trainer(s) tell her to lift.

(These people, they're not like you and me, see.)

ByteMe
ByteMe

@DownInAlbany The American Dream is to be an Eastern European runway model snatched up by a rich icky guy to be his third wife?


You, sir, have weird dreams.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@DownInAlbany


Michelle Obama is a "beautiful lady (inside and out) and should be celebrated."


Melania did a beautiful job of delivering Michelle Obama's mind.

honested
honested

@ByteMe @DownInAlbany 

"I came to this country and within 2 years had married one of the biggest blowhards in the United States and was wrapped in his garish vision of what the world should be......somebody help me!"

ByteMe
ByteMe

@honested Yeah, there's all kinds of ways to read that, isn't there?

Menace
Menace

@Kamchak  All for all these I thouhgt it was the O'Jays..............

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Menace 

Twitter is exploding right now with these fake quotes and it's hilarious.

ByteMe
ByteMe

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday morning brushed off questions about the portions of Melania Trump's Monday night speech lifted from the speech Michelle Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic convention.

Matt Lauer, co-host of NBC's "Today," asked Christie if he could "make a case for plagiarism."

"No, not when 93 percent of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech. And they expressed some common thoughts," Christie said in response before pivoting to say that the first day of a convention is typically the worst day.


I wish I could make this stuff up... I'd be an awesome novelist if I could.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I didn't hear Rudy 9/11's speech, did he (for the 6,000th time)  take personal credit for the crime trends outlined in Jay's piece above during his stint as NYC mayor?

I know, I might as well ask if the sun rose in the East this morning.