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The Falling Homicide Rate: It's Complicated

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Today's Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article (paywall) about gun violence and the homicide rate:

In Medical Triumph, Homicides Fall Despite Soaring Gun Violence

The number of U.S. homicides has been falling for two decades, but America has become no less violent. 

Crime experts who attribute the drop in killings to better policing or an aging population fail to square the image of a more tranquil nation with this statistic: The reported number of people treated for gunshot attacks from 2001 to 2011 has grown by nearly half.

"Did everybody become a lousy shot all of a sudden? No," said Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, a union that represents about 330,000 officers. 

"The potential for a victim to survive a wound is greater than it was 15 years ago." 

In other words, more people in the U.S. are getting shot, but doctors have gotten better at patching them up.  Improved medical care doesn't account for the entire decline in homicides but experts say it is a major factor.

Luckily, the overall crime rate continues to fall despite this curious development. 

[I see Kent also has a post up]

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