America doesn't have a crime problem: a few zip codes do

San Jose Police Department via AP

Everybody knows this in their guts, but few people have the guts to say it.

For all the talk about a new crime wave sweeping the country, almost the entire country is safe from homicidal maniacs. In most neighborhoods in the country–or even in the counties where the murders are concentrated–people are perfectly safe. Crime is concentrated in remarkably few areas.


Those are the findings of the Crime Prevention Research Center. And of common sense, if you think about it. Unless you live in a bad part of town you don’t worry about taking a stroll through a neighborhood and are totally shocked if something does happen in otherwise safe areas.

Homicide rates have spiked, but most of America has remained untouched.

Only a tiny fraction of U.S. counties account for nearly all of the country’s homicides, according to research released Tuesday that showed a striking concentration where killings take place.

The worst 31 counties — generally urban jurisdictions — have about a fifth of the country’s population but accounted for 42% of the country’s homicides in 2020, said John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, which conducted the study.

Hmm. Twenty percent of the population, 40% of the murders.

But wait! There’s more!

The worst 5% of counties accounted for 73% of homicides. That ticked up slightly from 69% in 2014 and 70% in 2016.

Meanwhile, 52% of counties recorded no homicides in 2020, and another 16% recorded only a single killing.

There are vast swathes of the country where violent crime is very very rare, and small areas of the country where it is common. And what the MSM doesn’t tell you when they scream from the rooftops about how common “mass shootings” are is that they are almost always gang members shooting gang members. Not that this is acceptable, but it is a far different problem than random crazies picking up a gun and shooting a place up.


It ‘s criminals being criminals, and the way to deal with criminals being criminals is to arrest them and lock them up, instead of pat them on the back and tell them society made them do it.

Even in those higher-homicide counties, the crime is still concentrated, he said.

Mr. Lott crunched the data for Los Angeles County and found that 10% of the county’s ZIP codes accounted for 41% of the homicides. Another 10% accounted for 26% more.

“Murder isn’t a nationwide problem. It’s a problem in a small set of urban areas, and even in those counties murders are concentrated in small areas inside them, and any solution must reduce those murders,” he wrote in his report.

Mr. Lott relied on FBI data for his study, using the bureau’s Supplementary Homicide Report. For states that don’t report data to the FBI or where the data is believed to be a dramatic undercount, he relied on public uniform crime reports.

Cook County in Illinois — home to Chicago — led the country with 775 reported homicides in 2020. It was followed by Los Angeles County at 691, Houston home Harris County in Texas at 537, Philadelphia at 495 and New York’s five boroughs at 465.

Mr. Lott’s statistics show those five jurisdictions alone combined for about 15% of the year’s homicides.

They also generally had authorities who pursued less stringent approaches to crime. Mr. Lott said the correlation with the data is tough to avoid.

“It’s primarily in those heavily urban areas where you’re having the most lax approaches to crime on average, and that’s where we’re seeing the biggest increases,” he told The Times. “That’s why we’re seeing their share of murders and other violent crimes increased.”


What percentage of the people committing the murders in these jurisdictions weren’t known criminals on the police’s radar? How many of them had been arrested multiple times and let go by a “justice” system that treats repeat offenders like misbehaving children who just need a talking to?

If you want to solve a problem you first need to understand it, and the modern Left misdirects people away from the true causes. America doesn’t have a “school to prison pipeline,” it has a problem with ensuring there is an “arrest to prison” pipeline.

As long as we pretend that criminals are victims, we will get more real victims. And as long as liberals get away with claiming that guns shoot themselves, they will focus on disarming you and ensuring that you are passive victims when the criminals they enable come to get you.

Obviously, the ultimate problem is with values. As families have disappeared in urban areas kids seek out other authority figures, and commonly those are not fine, upstanding citizens. So yes, there is a root cause to address. But while buttressing the family is the ultimate solution–also something the Left doesn’t want to do–an interim solution has to be protecting the innocent.


That means criminal control, not gun control.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos