In the last year or so I’ve listened to governmental officials including President Obama and some criminologists saying that violent crime is substantially down in America and those Americans who think we are less safe than we were a decade or so ago are dimwits, uninformed or have been bamboozled by fear mongers.
In an article published by The New York Times in September of 2016 authors Haeyoun Park and Josh Katz report that, “Murder rates rose significantly in 25 of the nation’s 100 largest cities last year, according to an analysis by The New York Times of new data compiled from individual police departments. The findings confirm a trend that was tracked recently in a study published by the National Institute of Justice, ‘The homicide increase in the nation’s large cities was real and nearly unprecedented’, wrote the study’s author, Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who explored homicide data in 56 large American cities. ‘The F.B.I. released its 2015 crime data for the entire country on Sept. 26. It showed that the murder rate rose 11 percent across the United States in 2015, jumping more last year than it had in nearly half a century.’”
Moreover, another New York Times article reported that during the 2016 Memorial weekend in Chicago, 64 people were shot, six of them fatally.
A graphic from the Major Cities Chiefs Association crystallizes further:
The New York Times analysis shows that cities with homicide gains like Cleveland, Nashville, Washington D.C. and others not shown on the graphic, boost the National homicide rate up greatly.
So where do President Obama and others come off saying things like violent crime is low and dropping in America? That crime is lower than a decade or so ago? And that America is safe—safer than years past? Well, first, America IS a safe country. When taking the entire expanse of the United States as a whole, she is a safe country. Even with the phenomenal increases of violent crime in many areas, America is a safe country, as a whole.
Now, let’s talk about statistics. Statistics say many things and can be utilized different ways depending on how you want to use them. Some criminologists and President Obama are being accurate when they speak of many lower crime trends, as an example compared to the 1970’s and they are also accurate saying that America is a safe country. But are they really being accurate and genuine as to the violent crime in America?
What always bothered me when I’d hear National governmental officials talk about how safe the streets are in America without mentioning the huge problem areas was that they were either telling lies so we wouldn’t see their leadership incompetence or they were simply blind to what was happening around them. And when they dismissed those many areas that have ballooned in violent crime increases, it effects the good people in those areas. Everyone ignores the people ‘locked’ in those areas—other than local officials because they’re dealing with nightmares in their own front yards. But nothing really is done in Cleveland. In Orlando. Detroit. Washington D.C. etc. etc. When you choose to ignore the problem or skew statistics it does nothing to help the good people in those troubled neighborhoods.
The majority percentage of people affected in the high murder areas across America are people of color. I’m surprised that President Obama did not or could not help the people in these areas who held out so much hope for the first African American president. Race has nothing to do with the vast majority of killings across America. Out of about 1200 people killed by police in 2015 (the Federal government does not keep records on how many people are killed by police, however other sources do and are used to come up with accurate stats) 574 were minorities (black, Asian and Hispanic), 511 were white, and 107 undetermined. According to The Wall Street Journal, there were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014 (last year with complete figures)—over 90% of them were killed by other blacks.
So what has anyone done to help these high murder areas out? Black Lives Matter? Nah. Are they marching or helping these communities day in and day out helping with the huge problem of blacks killing other blacks? No, they are constantly talking about cops killing black people. Approximately 500 minorities which includes African Americans, Hispanics and Asians were killed by cops in 2015 compared to about 6,000 blacks killed mostly by other blacks. Any death is terrible and any wrongful death by the government is horrible but where’s the huge problem here? 6,000 people killed in their own communities by civilians!
So, who’s doing anything about it? Really, think about it. The government? Are they getting government jobs to these communities? Are they working with companies offering tax free zones to motivate them to come to these communities? Are they helping to mentor youth in these areas? Has President Obama or people from his administration had weekly mentoring meetings with youth who are hopeless in these communities? How about any training for hopeful careers? Nah. Nothing.
Solutions are tough. Bitching is easy, especially about small issues compared to working to solve huge ones. Skewing stats is also easy. Easy to make things look as if they’re not as bad as they really are but skewing does no one any good in the long run. It will never get better until real solutions are utilized.
There are several actions you can utilize to survive in or around the violent areas of America. As much as possible, avoid areas and people who are likely to bite you. Learn avoidance behaviors on how to keep away from those who will kill you for monetary or emotional gain. Don’t go to clubs late at night. Associate with people of good moral character. Do you know what one of the best ways is to tell which child will become a victim of crime? It’s by looking at his or her friends. If they’re hoodlums or trouble makers or thug-like, that child has a MUCH greater chance of being a victim of crime himself or herself. This is a fact. Just by who they hang with. Now, who do YOU hang with? Make it with good people who are much more apt to avoid the bad and the dangerous and gravitate toward the light of peace and civilization.
In addition, consider learning real street self-defense from those who can help you survive. And last, but certainly not least, buy a firearm, get trained in its use and get licensed to carry it.
And finally, get involved and hop on the bandwagon to any group such as The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America or any leader who is doing good for communities and people. Good people who are truly helping, need our backing and help.
Hopefully our government and leaders will turn the page one day and help make changes that will truly help our troubled areas. I’m not holding my breath but perhaps it will happen. Perhaps.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
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