It has been a while since my last post here and for that I apologize. Personal developments combined with a slowdown in crime and gun violence and a series of national articles for FiveThirtyEight led to less stuff to write about in NOLA.
A few months ago I wrote my pessimist’s murder forecast which concluded doom and gloom absent a slowdown in gun violence. Fortunately gun violence slowed down in August and September as happens most years, but October and November have seen an increase in gun violence.
As of today New Orleans is on pace for 166 murders and 610 shooting victims in 2017. Since 2010 New Orleans has averaged 173 murders and 544 shooting victims per year with 593 being the most people shot in any one year (2011). So while murder may be down slightly, the number of people shot in New Orleans this year has skyrocketed, largely driven by a brutal first half of the year. This can be seen in the below chart of shooting victims over 365 days.
Finally, murder has started to increase over the last few weeks. There have been 20 murders in the last 29 days with the previous 20 murders having taken 78 days to occur. Shootings have increased over the last couple of weeks but the biggest culprit is a shift in “luck” as over half of all shooting incidents have been fatal over that span. The below chart measures this shifting ratio over time with the red line representing the average percent of shootings which are fatal.
26.67 percent of citywide shootings had been fatal in 2017 on October 20th but today that figure has risen to 29 percent.
There are 40 days left in 2017 so some preliminary conclusions can be drawn about gun violence counts here this year. The city will probably end with more people shot but fewer people murdered in 2017 relative to 2016. Measuring firearm discharge reports over 180 days suggests the worst of the rise in violence may be over though it’s too soon to say for sure.
Comparing to the three years before the 2016 rise in gun violence though shows a city with considerably more violence this year than in the years immediately after NOLA for Life’s initial implementation.
What’s in store in 2018 is anybody’s guess though there’s no reason gun violence can’t fall again next year.