Be sad — but not scared

When our newscasts and social media are inundated with reports of violent crime, we become not only fearful but forgetful.

From the round-the-clock news updates and frightening true-crime TV shows, it’s easy to think violent crime is worse than ever.

No. Violent crime in America is half what it was 20 years ago, according to the FBI Crime in the United States report.

Murders are down by half since 1994, from 9 to 4.5 per 100,000 in the U.S. population. The total number of murders is down 9,000.

Rapes are down by one-third. Robberies are down by more than half.

The yearly rate continues to decline. Attacks on Hispanics and African-Americans also declined, according to the Office of Justice Programs Criminal Victimization report.

As we watch repeated heartbreaking reports on deadly mass shootings both near and far, read social-media posts on each crime and hear politicians debate immigration’s impact on public safety, it would be easy to grow frightened and imagine America as violent and crime-riddled.

That is not fact.