High U.S. Murder Rate The murder rate in the United States has seen a

The murder rate in the United States has seen a dramatic increase in recent years. By the mid-1980's, the growing number of murders had already become a cause for alarm. At that time, it was noted that "the years of life lost to homicide increased 44 percent from 1968 to 1985." Since then, the number of murders per year has continued to grow in America. By the early 1990's, the murder rate had reached epidemic proportions. In 1990, for example, the number of murders in the United States exceeded 23,000, the highest rate since the year 1980. This is a great increase from the mid-1980's, when the number of murders had been averaging about 16,000 per year.

The murder rate is higher in the United States than in most other developed nations of the world. European nations with strict gun-control laws, such as Great Britain, have a much lower rate than the United States. One of the lowest rates in the world can be found in the nation of Japan. Thus, according to one source, the homicide rate in America is more than four times higher than the rate in Scotland, and "more than 40 times higher than the rate in Japan." Because of the vast number of murders which take place each year, the United States has acquired a negative reputation in terms of its global perspective. In fact, an article in Newsweek magazine has gone so far as to claim that the United States has become "the murder capital of the civilized world." In addition to having a higher murder rate in general,



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