Gun violence has also been on a steady decline since it's peak in the early '90's. The decline continued even after the sunshine clause on the assault weapons ban expired and it became legal to purchase them again.
data and reference, please.
Can't participate much in this thread right now, nine credits of college plus job hunt (got laid off a few weeks ago, and strangely, being unemployed seems to be harder work than actually having a job). But for whatever it may be worth, this came from my course materials for this week's homework. The boldface is mine, everything else is original.
One aside, by the way… this is the first criminology course I've ever taken, and one thing I've learned is that crime is far, far
more complicated than I ever would have thought. The "fifty percent drop since 1973", for example, is probably not related -- at least, not in a significant way -- to firearms. Prevailing theory actually holds that it is more likely due to the legalization and increased availability of abortion (and, to a lesser extent, contraceptives), reducing the number of unwanted births.
Yes, I'm trying to play nice, here. Because I really need to avoid getting sucked into this discussion. Homework is pounding me in the testicular region. Urgh.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BJS; MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2002 202/307-0703
NATION'S VIOLENT CRIME VICTIMIZATION RATE FALLS 10 PERCENT; 50 Percent Drop Since Survey Began in 1973
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nation's violent crime rate fell 10 percent last year, continuing a trend observed since 1994, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. During the last 7 years the annual violent crime rate decreased about 50 percent – from 52 violent victimizations per 1,000 U.S. residents age 12 or older in 1994 to 25 per thousand in 2001. Violent victimization and property crime rates in 2001 are the lowest recorded since the National Crime Victimization Survey's inception in 1973. The number of criminal victimizations in 2001 was almost half that measured when the BJS survey commenced in 1973. There were an estimated 44 million personal and household crimes that year, compared to 24.2 million during 2001. In 2001 there were approximately 18.3 million property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft and household theft) and 5.7 million violent personal crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery and simple and aggravated assault). Last year's decline in violent crimes was primarily attributable to a drop in simple assaults. According to victim self-reports, most male victims of violence were victimized by strangers, whereas the majority of females were victimized by someone they knew ... About 1 in 3 victims of violence faced an offender armed with a weapon; 1 in 11 victims of violence said the offender had a firearm. Firearm use in crime has significantly declined - it accounted for 12 percent of all violent crime in 1994 and 9 percent in 2001. In 2001, victims reported that about 49 percent of violent crimes and 37 percent of property crimes they experienced were reported to police, a reporting rate similar to that in 2000 for both categories of crime. Violent victimizations against women were more likely to be brought to the attention of police than those against males. The data, from BJS' National Criminal Victimization Survey, a continuing survey of the U.S. public on their exposure to crime, also showed that between 1993 and 2001, a period in which the per capita rate of violence declined 50 percent and property crime fell 47 percent, specific crime categories showed the following declines: Rape/sexual assault - 56%; Robbery - 53; Aggravated assault - 56; Simple assault - 46; Household burglary - 51; Motor vehicle theft - 52; Household theft - 47. Between 1993 and 2000, FBI murder data show a decrease of 42 percent in the per capita rate of murder – a drop from 9.5 murders per 100,000 U.S. residents to 5.5 per 100,000 residents. The report, "Criminal Victimization 2001, Changes 2000-2001 with Trends 1993-2001" (NCJ-194610), was written by BJS statistician Callie Rennison. Single copies may be obtained by calling the BJS Clearinghouse at 1-800-732-3277. In addition, this document can be accessed at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/cv01.htm. For further information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics and other OJP programs, please see the OJP website at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov; Media calls should be directed to David Hess in OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-307-0703. After hours: 877-859-8704.