Miami-Dade murder rate drops, bucking national trend

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The violence surge we’ve all watched since 2020 hasn’t been a crime surge, just a violence surge. While property crimes remained relatively stable, murder rates have skyrocketed something fierce. As a result, 2020 was just an awful, terrible, no-good, very bad year for most of us.

2021 didn’t exactly stand out for awesomeness, either. While the pandemic and the government response weren’t nearly as involved, violent crime was still high.

However, some places have bucked the trend. One was Dallas.

They weren’t the only place, though. Miami is seeing a drop in murders.

The year 2021 started out with two mass shootings just outside musical venues that left four people dead and 26 injured — a foreboding start that seemed to continue a troubling violent trend from the year before.

Then something unexpected happened. Homicides in Miami-Dade County plummeted. Law enforcement leaders attributed it to stepped-up enforcement, a focused effort to get guns off the street and prosecutions. Others pointed to an array of social factors.

Whatever the reason, murders throughout Miami-Dade County, with its 2.7 million residents, declined by more than 15 percent compared to the previous year, bucking a national trend in which more than a dozen cities across the U.S. set all-time high murder rates.

“We had more resources to investigate. We shared information. We seized tons of firearms off the streets and the state attorney helped by giving additional attorneys to close cases,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez.

In 2021, the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office recorded 245 homicides. That’s 45 less than the previous year — a year in which law enforcement attributed much of a 15 percent uptick in homicides to the frustrations of being locked down during the pandemic. The ME’s records show that 188 of last year’s murders were from gunfire. Others came from stabbings, drownings, assault, even arson.

And this is in the Gunshine State of Florida?

Oh, now, this simply cannot be. I’ve been told that the only way to deal with this surge in murders and other violent crimes was through gun control. We simply needed to ban 30-round magazines (who needs more than 29, anyway) and then all our problems would go away. If not, then clearly the problem is purple firearms. If we ban them…and so on.

Yet while Florida didn’t become constitutional carry like Texas did, they also didn’t pass any new gun control laws in 2020 or 2021, either.

If gun control is the only reasonable way to drop the murder rate, then why did it happen in Miami?

Meanwhile, we saw the murder rate in Chicago and Los Angeles go even higher last year, higher than they had been in ages. So, anti-gun states are seeing their major cities have higher and higher murder rates, but it’s dropping in a couple of cities in pro-gun states.

Fascinating, don’t you think?

Of course, this isn’t overly surprising. In cities like Dallas and Miami, bad guys have to be concerned as to whether their targets can shoot back. In Chicago and Los Angeles, they’re likely far less concerned.

Frankly, this should put the nail in gun control’s coffin. It’s only too bad that it won’t.

Jul 03, 2022 8:30 AM ET