Tar Heel Voices: Mad as you-know-what and not going to take it

Tar Heel Voices: Mad as you-know-what and not going to take it

Tar Heel Voices Maybe you remember the classic 1975 film, Network, where the anchor Howard Beale, throws open a window and shouts, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Perhaps that’s an explanation for the 2020 statistics on violent crime. The good news-bad revelation is that the overall crime rate in our state declined again in 2020, however violent crime increased by 31 percent year over year. Philip Cook, a professor of public policy at Duke, said it was the largest increase since experts started keeping stats in the early ’30s. “2020 became the most violent year of the 21st Century,” Cook said. “It looks like that is also true for North Carolina.” A crime is considered violent if it involves rape, robbery, aggravated assault or murder. Our state reported 44,452 violent crimes and 852 homicides, ranking us 21st in the nation — ahead of New York, Georgia and most southeastern states, with the exception of South Carolina. We experienced 670 gun deaths, up from 2019’s 511, and there were 20 mass shootings. Preliminary evidence indicates these numbers will increase again this year. After years of decline in violent crimes how can we explain last year’s large increase, especially since most of us were cooped up in our homes for much of last year? Perhaps our pandemic frustrations morphed into anger. The hyper charged political climate could also have spawned violence and hatred. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that North Carolina has 29 […]

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