"You can talk all you want about [falling] crime rates, but the fact is that 99,000 people have been murdered in this country since September 11, " says Gene Voegtlin, the legislative counsel for the International Organization of Chiefs of Police.
So why isn't crime a bigger national issue?
Ashby Jones of The Wall Street Journal explains why:
Dismayed local politicians, frustrated police chiefs and bewildered academics trot out a host of reasons, from media myopia to the fallout from 9/11 to a narrowing in differences between Democrats and Republicans. Some think the problem owes, at least in part, to the fact that crime has fallen so precipitously in the nation's media centers, namely Los Angeles and New York. "It's true," says George Tita, a professor of criminology at the University of California, Irvine. "If what's happening in Philadelphia were happening in L.A. and New York, we'd be hearing a lot more about it."
Others say crime has simply been overshadowed by other issues, including national security. "All eyes, all attention at the federal level, are on Al Qaeda and the war on terror," says Michael Nutter, Philadelphia's mayor. "Fact is, al Qaeda wouldn't last a day in parts of Philadelphia. I've got gangsters with .45s that would run them outta town."
On the political front, crime has fallen way behind issues such as Iraq, health care and gas prices, not to mention the meltdown of our financial system.