Crime Is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America

Synopsis

In Crime is Not the Problem, Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins revolutionize the way we think about crime and violence--by forcing us to distinguish between crime and violence. The authors reveal that compared to other industrialized nations, in most categories of nonviolent crime, American crime rates are comparable--even lower, in some cases. Only when it comes to lethal violence does the United States outpace other Western nations, with homicide rates many, many times greater. London and New York City have nearly the same number of robberies and burglaries each year, but robbers and burglars kill 54 victims in New York for every victim death in London. Why are the risks so much greater that victims will be killed or maimed in the United States? And what can be done to bring the death rate from American violence down to tolerable levels? The authors show how the impact of television and movie violence on rates of homicide is wildly overrated, but emphasize the paramount importance of guns. By making the crucial distinction between lethal violence and crime in general, the authors clear the ground for a targeted, far more effective response to the real crisis in American society. Crime is Not the Problem will reshape the debate about crime control in the United States.

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