Originally Posted by Numbernine
United States: Homicide Rate Has Collapsed Since the 1970s
Naturally, we should take a look at the US to get a sense of what is happening there during this time period. According to the WHO data, murder rates increased significantly in the United States during the 1960, hitting a peak of 10.5 homicides per 100,000 in 1974. After a series of ups and downs during the 1980s and early 90s, homicides began a significant decline:
Not to get all victim-blamey, but the overall homicide rate is not really as relevant here.
I know that these kinds of major shootings are a very small part of the overall homicide rate, but a large number of actual homicides involve specific targets. Gang violence sucks for the bystanders who get caught by it...but I don't feel to bad when they shoot each other. And for things like jilted lovers, revenge killings, domestic violence...sad to say it, but those killers who really want their individual victim dead are going to be able to do it with or without guns.
What is terrifying about these sorts of shootings is that they seem to be growing more prevalent, and the victims are often random or only tangentially related. That's scary (even though the odds of it happening to you are very low), and it is enabled by access to firearms and a pile of bullets.
If you had to kill 50 people with a knife, it would be difficult. If you had to kill 50 people with a bomb, you could do it...but the authorities actually seem to be pretty good at catching bomb builders (maybe because nobody cares about their right to bear explosive arms, and thus the feds have a decent amount of tools to limit access to bomb making materials).