Trust And Misplaced Blame On Violence

Trust And Misplaced Blame On Violence

By Elizabeth McGuigan

A recent article published on The Conversation draws a correlation between the psychological impact of so called “gun violence” on Americans and reduced trust. Victims of violent crime can, understandably so, be psychologically affected by the choices of a criminal’s intent on inflicting harm. However, the article uses outdated data to try and connect victims of violence with reduced levels of trust. The author cites obsolete information from the U.S. General Social Survey which covers data collected from 1973 to 1994.

Unsurprisingly, there is also a false assertion that violent crime has been rising in recent years. Violent crime peaked in the United States in the early 1990s which would have strongly influenced the responses collected by the U.S. General Social Survey the article relies upon. Violent crime rates, however, have dropped steadily since the early 1990s. This is apparent not only in the historic data reported by the FBI but also in recent data released by the U.S. Department of Justice which reports a 15% drop in violent crime from 2018 to 2019.  Furthermore, according to the Preliminary Uniform Crime Report, January-June 2020, violent crime rates are lower in the first six months of 2020 when compared to the same timeframe

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