Day in and day out reports on the news contain many violent acts, most notably those crimes that involve guns and murder in one form or another. Today for instance there was a shooting reported in Aurora, Colorado where three people were found dead inside a home. It seems as if most of us, particularly our government appears to be numb to the carnage and accept it. I say accept it because nothing substantial is being done to stop the violence. I am going to admit that I don’t know the answer or claim to have a solution but the numbers say – ENOUGH!
A very recent report by the government says the violent crime rates fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2011 in the US. But in urban areas like Detroit the homicide rate rose to a level higher than nearly 40 years ago when the city was known as the Murder Capital according to the Detroit News. The same day the city’s official crime statistics were announced, a Detroit woman was charged with fatally stabbing her 8-year-old daughter and a cab driver was killed in a double shooting on the city’s northwest side. I am sure there were others as well.
At the same time homicides have declined nationwide for years, most notably in New York, where in 2012 there were 414 homicides and a rate of one per 19,915 people. New Orleans reported a small drop from 199 to 193 in 2012. With a population 360,740, the rate was one per 1,869 residents and in Washington, DC there were 88 homicides in 2012, the lowest total since 1961. With a population of 617,966, that puts the rate at one per 7,023 people. All of this is good.
It was also reported that elsewhere across the country, homicide rates made only slight jumps compared to Detroit.
- In Los Angeles, the homicide rate increased from 291 to 294 last year, with a population of nearly 3.8 million.
- The homicide rate in Chicago went up nearly 17 percent in 2012, topping 500 for the first time in four years. Last year’s total was 505, up from 433 in 2011.
- Homicides in Cleveland, Ohio, spiked in 2012 with 97 and a rate of one per 4,060 people.
- Philadelphia homicides increased from 324 to 331 in 2012. With a population of 1.54 million, that amounts to one per 4,642.
- In St. Louis, which has a population of 318,169 people, the rate stayed the same at between 2011 and 2012 at one per 2,815 people. There were 113 homicides last year, well below the average of 141 for the five previous years.
So ladies and gentlemen I would like to suggest that we look at ourselves because these people are our people, family, and friends more often than not. Let me also suggest that we change the dialog from “Hood” to “Community” that will induce inclusiveness. So my advice is to reach one teach one and empower our youth to do better than we did. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Knowledge is the gift that keeps on giving.