“Since the early 2000s, Americans have said in polls that crime has increased since the previous year, despite the fact that the national crime rate is about half of what it was in 1991, the peak year. There were, on average, 20,377 murders per year during the Reagan administration. In 2014 there were 14,249 murders. In the meantime, the population has increased 35 percent, driving the per capita rate of murder way down. The perception that crime is on the increase is likely fed by the media coverage, the entertainment industry, and by political rhetoric that plays on people’s fears.”

From the “Century Marks” column in the 17 August 2016 edition of Christian Century. The column cites New York Magazine, 19 July 2016 as their source.

This fall, beware of that last thing – politicians playing on (and stoking) fears.

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