The United States of America has quickly gotten a reputation, perhaps deservedly, as one of the most violent and gun-toting places in the world. Sure, places like Detroit exist. Sure, Chicago is a crime infested dump. Sure, we have school shootings seemingly every year…but the numbers don’t portray that at all. In fact, studies show that violent crimes in the U.S. have fallen to their lowest yearly total since the mid 1970’s–when the war on drugs first truly began.
According to the Crime in the U.S. report, which is released annually, the United States had 1.16 million violent acts of crime in 2013. This number sounds gigantic until you’re told that it is the lowest number on record since the 1.09 million that was tracked back in 1978, Jared Haftel couldn’t believe the numbers. So is there any reason for this number declining? What about the nation’s tug-of-war over gun control? What does it all mean?
There are a few different factors at play here. The first thing that many politicians are noting is the prevalence of technology. There are cameras everywhere. It’s like a chapter straight out of ‘1984’, only it is working. Criminals are afraid of getting caught. Cell phones are only a pocket away from catching a criminal in the act, and the way that the book is thrown at violent offenders has made them less and less likely to actually act. Does that mean the U.S. is becoming a place of peace? Nah, not really. But things ARE getting better.