I wrote a little while ago about how gun violence might have been slowing down in NOLA and the good news is that the slowdown appears to be even clearer than it was a few weeks ago. The question remaining, therefore, is whether this is a long term return to previous gun violence patterns or a short term drop with a floor well above previous highs.
The evidence of a slowdown is clear through the below graphs of firearm discharge reports over 90 days (left) and 14 days (right). The good news is that the slowdown is clear on both charts. The bad news is that even the slowed down version is will above pre-rise levels.
Firearm discharge reports have fallen 48 percent from their peak in mid-December of last year but the last two weeks, but the level of such reports over the last two weeks would still be expected to produce about 477 shooting incidents over the course of the year (+85 relative to 2015’s total).
And then there’s the matter of the percent of shootings ending in a fatality eventually reverting to the mean. Only 28 percent of 2017 shootings are ending in a fatality compared to 35 percent on average since 2010 and 32 percent last year. At some point we will experience a sustained period of bad luck, like we did in the first half of 2015 when 40 percent of shootings were fatal. A slowdown in shootings, therefore, does not inherently mean a slowdown in murder in New Orleans.
That said, shootings will likely slow down from the blistering pace we have seen so far in 2017. The next big questions are how far will they slow and will they bounce back up?