Hey, Crime’s Getting Worse
Seattle has already surpassed its gun-related homicide total from all of last year. As of the end of May, the city had recorded 21 gun-related deaths; at the same point the previous year, the number was three. Add this to Chicago’s 35% increase in homicides in 2012—according to the now-famous factoid, more Americans in Chicago than in Afghanistan this year—and Philadelphia’s new average of one murder a day, and you get a trend.
The Stranger points out that despite the increase, Seattle still has an overall low homicide rate, which squares with the long data: we’ve seen a two-decade long decrease in crime in the United States, one that continued through 2010, despite the recession. Perhaps we bottomed out; perhaps the stagnant economy is finally being felt in the crime statistics. Whatever the explanation(s), violent crimes are starting to occur with greater frequency. Lax gun laws, of course, don’t help, and it should also be noted that gun sales have been enflamed in the last four years due to idiotic panic over Obama. It’s possible that there are simply more guns lying around to be fired.