Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gun Crime Down By 69%

3 reasons Americans think gun homicide is rising... when it isn't

Two new studies show a sharp drop in gun crime. Why is that hard for most of us to believe?

As the nation remains locked in a bitter debate over reducing gun violence, two new studies released Tuesday found that shooting deaths and other gun crimes have already plunged since peaking in the 1990s. There were 18,253 gun-related killings in 1993, and 11,101 in 2011, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reported. With population growth, that meant that the rate of gun homicides dropped by nearly 50 percent — from seven per 100,000 people in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2010, Pew Research Center reported. And non-fatal gun crimes dropped even more sharply, by 69 percent.

Here's the twist: Only 12 percent of Americans said they thought there was less gun crime than two decades ago, according to a Pew survey. Twenty-six percent said the rate hadn't changed, and 56 percent said it had gone up. Women, people of color, and the elderly were particularly likely to believe gun crime was rising. "It's hard to know what's going on there," says D'Vera Cohn, senior writer at the Pew Research Center. Why the disconnect between perceptions of violence and reality? Three theories:

Read more at The Week on Yahoo

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US News & World Report

LA Times

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