The Obamacare Effect
That sharp dip starting in 2010 was produced by the Affordable Care Act, as many more people secured healthcare coverage. What will this chart will look like in the future?
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Murder Weapon Trends
The most striking—though not surprising—thing about this graph is the much higher rate of homicides that involve a firearm, and also the dramatic variation in gun homicides since the mid-1970s. Guns are quite lethal, of course, but they also appear to be sensitive to other factors. For example, during the crack epidemic years of 1984-1989, homicides more than doubled among young black men, which may be a partial explanation for the spike during those years shown here.
The only other weapon that shows any degree of variation is the decline in popularity of cutting/stabbing. Today this weapon is responsible for fewer than half the number homicides as in 1980.
(Posted March 14, 2016. Additional text added on March 27, 2016.)