Here is what I think matters: 2015 will almost assuredly see (we don't the numbers for sure yet) a double digit in increase in homicide. See this Washington Post piece for a clue.
And yet, if you listen to Ames Grawert and James Cullen, there's no need to worry:
Rather than stoking unfounded fears of a new crime wave, always just beyond the horizon, we should take this opportunity to ask how we can expand on the public safety gains of the past 25 years.My favorite ideological statistical shenanigans: if you ignore places where crime is up, crime isn't up!
While there were 471 more murders in large cities in 2015 than 2014, more than half (260) of that increase occurred in just three cities: Baltimore, Washington and Chicago.
America has not seen a double digit increase in homicide since 1971. (1986 and 1990 came close.) Since 1971 is my entire lifetime. So, yeah, we probably saw the biggest annual increase in murder in my lifetime and perhaps ever. Seems like something to worry about.
But no. We who care about these dead people are just stoking public fear, as if police have anything to do with confronting murderers, and perhaps even preventing a few shootings.
In Baltimore, mayoral candidates are talking about how best to reform police. Very little on how to prevent shootings. They should be talking about how to get back to how they were exactly one year ago, before police were seen as the problem and violent crime doubled.
Just remember, no matter what happens, if it's not ideologically expedient to worry about rising homicide, just repeat this mantra: Remain Calm. All is well.
Related, at this is an interesting piece of the jigsaw puzzel. Homicides are down thirty-some percent in NYC this year, which seems to negate last year's increase in NYC. At least here in New York, the sky is not falling.
Mac Donald predicted in 2013 that if New York City ended its controversial stop-and-frisk program, crime would skyrocket back to pre-1990 levels.NYC is OK. But elsewhere, I'm not so sure.
Well, stop-and-frisk formally ended in 2014, and the lights still haven’t gone out on Broadway. In fact, as the number of stops by police tapered off, so did the city’s murder rate, hitting a historic low the same year the program ended. Despite a small increase, the murder rate remained low in 2015, while shootings, major crime and arrests all fell in tandem.
[Thanks to EyeRishPirate for bringing this to my attention.]