The decades-long decline in crime rates may be over. Murders are up 180% in Milwaukee. Other cities are showing double digit increases in violent crime.
Some are blaming the “Ferguson effect,” claiming that as a result of the controversy over police who killed an unarmed suspect–a pattern replicated elsewhere–citizens no longer respect police officers, sometimes to the point of defying them, and police officers, sometimes mobbed when they go on routine patrols, can no longer enforce laws with the vigor they need to.
I’m not sure that fully explains why people are killing each other and stealing each others’ property. I would think the answer needs to deal with issues such as the loss of internal constraints, which in turn comes from family breakdown, radical individualism, instant gratification, the eclipse of the conscience, crime-glorifying pop culture, the dysfunctions of poverty, anemic churches, etc. What explanations can you offer? [Read more...]