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Old 12-01-2016, 06:01 AM
Location: Brookhaven, Mississippi
135 posts, read 64,188 times
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Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
How are murder rates indicative of trends regarding the War on Drugs?

IMO the War on Drugs only primarily had an impact on incarceration rates, not necessarily murder rates as they were raising steadily even before the War on Drugs began in the 1970s.

Many people consider lead poisoning and the removal of leaded gasoline in the 1970s-1980s to be to blame for both high crime rates (lead in the air/lead poisoning) and the decrease in violent crime that occurred between 1990-2010 (removal of leaded gasoline and more knowledge/action regarding lead poisoning starting in the 1980s).

I personally believe that lead was a huge factor in violent crime and that it being recognized for the poison it was is the main reason why violent crime has decreased.

On the cities on the list, many of them had VERY high rates of lead poisoning, especially in the inner cities. I am much more familiar with Detroit and Detroit due to having lots of freeways going through its inner city neighborhoods for 30-50 years when leaded gasoline was used, would have had much higher concentrations of lead in the city. People do not realize that that lead residue is still in the soil and that this is still a huge issue in inner city communities in regards to soil and old homes with lead paint where young, poor children grow up being affected by the damaging qualities of this poison. The soil contamination especially is something that many people just don't want to pay to remedy as it will be billions of dollars.

I especially fear for the city of Flint, MI in that they already had high crime rates, higher than Detroit in regards to many violent crime rates, and now all the children have been lead poisoned. I wonder what groups are studying them right now and what the outcome will be in 10-15 years for those children.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:38 AM
15,449 posts, read 7,883,440 times
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Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Due to violent crime rates peaking in many cities during the Crack epidemic, which also hit inner city neighborhoods hard.

I think a lot of cities have a lead issue that just hasn't been discovered or dealt with in a way that is nationally known.
But if they were steadily rising from the 1970s forward, prior to the drug epidemic, it can be concluded that murder rates did not have anything to do with the drug war itself. It had something to do with what occured prior to the peak. I grew up in this era and unfortunatley my life was heavily affected by the crack epidemic. People are not as aware of the fact that a heroin epidemic occurred in black America starting in the late 1960s through the 1970s as well. Also that lead poisoning reached a peak in the 1970s (fwiw I was born in the late 1970s and I am black and grew up in the inner city and was lead poisoned, so was my brother). Those of us who were born in the 1970s and who later grew up being lead poisoned, and especially those who were not treated, would have contributed to the increase in murder rated even without the crack epidemic. Gangs were the primary reason for most violent crime in that era. Gangs would have found something to kill each other over regardless of the drugs/products being fought over.

On lead itself, I worked for a long time in the housing industry. The first comprehensive studies on the damaging effects of lead poisoning were performed by HUD and that was in the 1990s. Cities are very well aware of the damaging effect of lead poisoning. They just either don't have the money to remedy the issue or they don't care about doing so because it is primarily affecting poor people.

Here's a good article about lead and crime if you haven't ever read it. It is one of the best on this issues IMO even though I'm not paticularly a fan of Mother Jones

Lead: America's Real Criminal Element
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