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Gun Murders Down Over Last Two Decades

Gun Murders Down Over Last Two Decades

If you listen to the media coverage about gun crimes, you might think it is the biggest problem facing the country. However, some new numbers tell a different story.

Gun control supporters like Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, made some strong statements outside the NRA convention last weekend.

"Homicide is the leading cause of death, second leading cause of death, ages 15 to 24,” Jackson Lee said.

Accidents are actually the leading cause, and a new study by the Pew Research Center says gun homicides are down drastically.

“The rate is down 49% from 1993 through 2010,” D’Vera Cohn of the Pew Research Center told KTRH.

Cohn has a theory as to why gun murders have slowed down over the years.

“The violence in the nineties, ebbed in part because of the decline in crack cocaine markets,” Cohn stated.

While those numbers are down, perception isn't.

“We found that 56% said they thought gun crime was up. Only 12% said gun crime was lower now,” Cohn said.

DePauw University's Jeff McCall says you can blame the media, or some in the media for the perception.

“We see it in news coverage. Every time you tune in to local news you see about shootings or holdups or other gun crimes,” McCall said.

McCall says it's not just because of news media.

“A lot of people who just watch primetime television just get the sense that gun crime is very rampant in society,” McCall explained.

 

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