Recent news sources have questioned why gun ownership continues to spread as violent crime in America goes down. But the impression of an inexorable march toward a safer country seems to be crumbling before our eyes, especially in big cities. In Baltimore we’re seeing a 60 percent rise in shootings over last year. This phenomenon seems to be the result of what has been dubbed the “Ferguson Effect,” in which widespread hostility toward law enforcement results in less proactive policing and a bolder criminal element.
And it’s much bigger than Baltimore. Chicago is experiencing a rash of murders, and other major cities—New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Milwaukee and more—are experiencing significant increases in violent crime. The Ferguson Effect has seemingly enveloped many of the nation’s big cities, and in many of the cities affected, restrictive gun-control laws mean that the law-abiding are nearly powerless to defend themselves.