One of the mysteries of life is why people in urban areas and throughout most industrial societies insist they need guns to protect themselves against criminals. In the 1970s there were over 2,000 murders a year in New York City, but today the figure is under 700. However, talk to people on Long Island and they will mumble fears about “going into the city” because they might be mugged or killed. The just released British Crime Survey reveals the number of murders is at a 20 year low. Thefts and domestic burglaries are slightly up, but the overall crime rate is down b y 5%. However, most surveys of public opinion reveal the population believes crime rates are going up.
As a teacher of a history of crime course which ordinarily contains several police officers, I am amused how by the end of the course they shake their heads and mumble they never realized how greater crime was in the past than today. It would help if schools offered courses in the history of crime in order to make people aware they live in the safest time period in human history in terms of crime.
Of course, proponents of guns insist that crime is everywhere although there is no statistical evidence to support this view. Open a book on the history of crime and you will discover how crime in the past was more prevalent in the daily lives of people and more dangerous.