Prior to 1965....for a five-year period....there were between 600 and 700 murders a year in California. In 1965...the numbers jumped 10-percent. By 1970, they were up to 1,376 murders per year. By 1980....3,411 murders per year. By 1990, there were just over 3,500 murders per year. In 1993, they finally peaked out just over 4,000 murders a year. In 2016, they finally slipped back down to around 1,930 murders per year.
Why? No one really discusses much on the trend line going up, or the trend line going down. There's a fifty-year trend at work.
Part of the 1965 story could be GI's returning from Vietnam with drug issues and simply more prevalent drug use in California.
Why did the 1993 number peak out and drop by half in a twenty-year period? Again, no one says much. My humble guess is that prison sentences went to the extent that you took a fair number of guys and removed them from the system. Yes, oddly....the three-strikes rule started in 1994. Journalists probably hate to admit that the law had that much affect but it does appear to represent part of the trend.
I came to this one odd topic in my reading today....a fair number of journalists want to use the term 'gun-death' when talking about individual states. They often want to put out low gun-death in states like California and New York....attributing their low numbers to strong gun laws.
But you sit there and start to ponder.....if you had five-hundred assault-minded or threat-mined criminals who approached some house....attempted to enter or threaten harm.....and the five-hundred were shot dead....they fall onto this gun-death routine. But obviously, they pretty much eliminated their desire to live by attempting a threat or harm to the innocent home-owner. Does the gun-death statistic take that into consideration? No. That's an odd feature of this statistic.
In the words of my brother on one moment of farm logic....some folks are just destined to die because of stupidity or bad behavior. I would offer to that logic....we ought not be collecting statistics over such folks because it really won't lead to anything.