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FBI: Violent Crime Falls for 3rd Straight Year

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By Jason Beahm on September 15, 2010 11:55 AM

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. Violent crime is up. Playgrounds aren't safe. People are being beheaded in Arizona. It's clear--things are getting worse.

Or is it?

According to an FBI report, violent crime fell for the third consecutive year. In fact murders have dropped to their lowest level in over 40 years. In addition, just in the last year, robberies have dropped by 8 percent, property crimes by 4.6 percent, motor vehicles thefts by 17.1 percent, aggravated assaults by 4.2 percent, burglary by 1.3 percent and rapes by 2.6 percent, Reuters reports.

Further Reuters notes that violent crime dropped in Arizona by almost 14 percent, despite the perception that illegal immigrants have contributed to a massive wave of crime.

So the message in this is not that the world is a perfectly safe place and that there is no need to be vigilant. But it is true that the perception of out of control crime, often perpetuated by the media, is far more myth than reality. When I come across encouraging figures like those in the FBI study, I can't help but think of a line from the "Wear Sunscreen" speech published by Mary Schmich in the Chicago Tribune and made into a hit song by Baz Lurhmann in 1999:

"The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday."

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