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Believing lies about murder rates and causes

(KIRO 7 image)

A new Marist Poll shows more than two-thirds of Americans think the gun murder rate has gone up in America since 1994. In truth, the rate of gun homicides has been cut nearly in half — from 6.2 to 3.4 per 100,000.

The public gets the wrong idea because demagogues of left and right deliberately mislead us. Progressives claim that more guns in private hands are to blame for more murders, but the truth is that murder went down while gun ownership went up.

Meanwhile, some on the right blame illegal immigrants for soaring crime, when all studies show immigrants — both legal and illegal — commit less violent crime than the native born.

The safest big cities — San Diego, El Paso, San Jose — are full of immigrants, while the most dangerous communities — Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis — have relatively low foreign-born populations.

False narratives distort our perceptions of real problems.

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