Prepare for the Pattern

A graph about the US violent crime rate

Prepare for the Pattern!

Recently, violence erupted again after an officer involved shooting in Kenosha, WI.  Before any evidence was even released about the details of the shooting, violent protests took over the city.  Businesses were looted and burned while police were unable to keep the peace.  Things became so bad that business owners and counter-protesters began trying to protect the city on their own.  On Tuesday night the two factions clashed when a 17-year-old “armed protector” was chased down and forced to shoot to defend himself, leaving 2 “protesters” dead and 1 injured.   While protests and riots are not new (they have been happening since the birth of our country), this particular pattern of civil unrest, protesting, rioting and looting following a police action is becoming more frequent and violent. In fact, this current pattern is being compared by many to the civil unrest and riots in the 1960’s, particularly because both were and are centered around the treatment of minorities and police tactics.   If this is true, we need to begin now to prepare for the pattern that followed the civil unrest of the 60’s. 

During the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s violent crime in the U.S. shot up drastically from about 150 per 100,000 to about 800 per 100,000.  A 1987 New York Times article published the results of a 10-year Justice Department National Crime Survey.  The survey concluded that:

  • Eighty-three percent of 12-year-old children in the United States will be victims or intended victims of violent crimes at least once in their lifetimes.
  • Fifty-two percent will be victims of such crimes more than once.
  • One out of every 133 Americans will become a murder victim. Among black men, the estimate is dramatically higher: 1 out of 30.
  • One out of every 12 women will be the victim of a rape or attempted rape. The rate for black women is 1 out of 9.
  • Nearly everyone will be the victim of a personal theft at least once, and 87 percent will be personal theft victims three or more times. 

Violent crime continued to climb until it peaked in 1992. Since then violent crime has continued to fall.  There are many factors that contributed to this decline, but they most certainly include stricter police policies such as “Broken Window Policing” and the concealed carry movement where more law-abiding citizens were able to carry firearms to protect themselves.  A 2013 survey from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated there are between 2.5 to 3 million Defensive Gun Uses (DGU) a year (6,000 to 8,000 times a day) in the United States. The overwhelming majority of the time no shots were fired, the mere presence of a firearm was enough to deter the criminal.

In the wake of the 2014 Michael Brown shooting in Missouri,  we began to see what is now called “The Ferguson” effect. This is where an increased “distrust and hostility towards police can cause officers to engage in less proactive policing” which in turn leads to an increase in violent crime rates.  In addition, there has been a shortage of new police recruits and this will mean fewer officers and longer response times in the future.  The average police response time is about 11 minutes nationally, and with the current civil unrest, rioting and looting there may be no officer available to come help you at all if you are attacked.  Some pundits suggest that if “their” candidate wins in November, that all will be well and we can put an end to all the craziness.  However, I don’t think that is the case.  If Trump wins, those that don’t like Trump are likely to continue to protest, riot and loot.  If Biden wins, those that wish to “defund” the police may actually feel emboldened and use any incident to create more chaos in hopes of influencing the administration to make policy changes.

We are facing a familiar pattern.  Violent crime is likely to rise dramatically in the coming years.  The average citizen will face the brunt of the results and will suffer greatly until it gets so bad that politicians, decision makers, and the media (who often live in a bubble) are personally affected.  Only then will they start to invoke change to once again try and reduce crime.  Until then, YOU ARE YOUR OWN FIRST RESPONDER!  You must be able to protect yourself and your family until the Police arrive, if they are able to respond at all!