2017 is a year that will be remembered for its mass shootings — but newly released statistics portray a very different picture.
From the January 2017 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting that started the year to the Las Vegas massacre in October and the Texas church shootout in November, many people understandably have the impression that gun violence is escalating.
However, from January to June of last year, that actually wasn’t true according to the FBI in its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report.
This is a report the FBI produces to track crime statistics like aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder. In this context, rape has become a broader term, as the FBI has omitted the “forcible” element from the crime.
When assessing the periods of 2014 and 2015 as well as 2015 and 2016, violent crimes such as aggravated assault, robbery, and rape were at their lowest in three years, according to the report. In the 2015 to 2016 period, murder was +5.2, rape was +3.5, robbery was +3.2, and aggravated assault was +6.5.
For the most recent period, the statistics are much more uplifting. Murder was +1.5, rape was -2.4, robbery was -2.2, and aggravated assault was -0.1. In all, the violent crimes total for the most recent data was -0.8, whereas it was +5.3 for 2015 to 2016.
Gun violence could be included in categories like aggravated assault, robbery, and of course, murder. It may also be included in motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, burglary, and property crime. The statistics on those violent crimes are not as encouraging, but still better than the period of 2015 to 2016.
In that period, property crime was -0.6, burglary was -3.4, larceny-theft was -0.8, and motor vehicle theft was +6.6. From 2016 to 2017, burglary was -6.1, larceny-theft was -3.0, and motor vehicle theft was +4.1. According to the NRA, in the drop in property crimes, the above crimes comprise only 2.9 percent of the total.
Those numbers are certainly better than the last period reported by the FBI, but they can afford to improve even more. Still, with the year of gun violence that plagued America in 2017, these aren’t bad numbers.
Do keep in mind though that these stats would have only included the Ford Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting, as the Las Vegas shooting was in October and the Texas shooting in November. It would be interesting to review stats from the FBI for the second half of the year to see if violent crimes escalated and by how much.
When it comes to these dropping numbers, many credit President Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General, who have actively worked to curb violent crime. Sessions in particular has partnered with the Federal Department of Justice to make improvements in crime rates in states across the country.
~ 1776 Christian