The Mystery of the Missing Crime Data

Many corporate media outlets have been reporting on the new Department of Justice (DOJ) report titled “Firearm Violence, 1993-2011 [1],” which reports that shooting homicides have declined dramatically during the last two decades.

Many outlets published an Associated Press [2] report that drew attention away from the possibility that firearms ownership might reduce crime:

Though researchers differ over all the reasons why gun violence has declined, many attribute it to the aging of the baby boomers. The crime rate was higher in the 1960s and 1970s when many in that large generation were teenagers, an age when higher proportions of people commit crimes.

Crime rates dropped in the early 1980s as that generation aged, rose in the latter part of that decade as the use of crack cocaine grew, then dropped again in the 1990s as the nation’s economy improved, analysts say.

But they never explain why violent crime hasn’t surged in recent years due to the faltering economy, but instead continued declining. Baby boomers [3] grew up to parent the Echo Boom [4], estimated to be a similar-sized generation. This group is now old enough to behave dangerously, but violent crime continued decreasing. Drug addiction trended from crack cocaine to methamphetamine [5], but violent crime continued dropping.

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