Map of world with countries’ murder rates flood filled. Number of murders per year, per 100,000 inhabitants. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to a deeply worrying article from the NYT, more than 30 cities across the country have seen a startling rise in murders so far this year from a year ago, oftentimes ending decades of decline.
Source: Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities – The New York Times
As I reflected on this article, two points were resounding in my brain.
Firstly, there was the police chief in the US city with the most shootings arguing that for criminals, ‘It was safer to be caught with a gun than without’. This meant that the fear of other criminals was greater than the fear of being apprehended by the police.
Secondly, police officers are increasingly blaming the steep rise in homicides this year on the Ferguson effect, namely the increasing political need for softer, less interventionist policing.
As an international observer, I would like to toss in some observations in the form of open questions:
- Surely America’s rising homicide rate is also to do with a society that accepts gun ownership as a citizen’s basic right?
- Shootings which are often gang-related also reflect the absence of equality of opportunity in US society?