Crime in America

National Review, June 10, 1988.


An excerpt from In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government in which Murray reflects on how different “the crime problem” looks when we ask just what constitutes “enough safety” to go about our daily lives.


Crime statistics are usually put in terms of crime rates. But how many homicides per year per 100,0000 people or how many muggings per year per 100,000 is low enough to make you feel safe enough to go about your daily business without taking precautions? It is unlikely that you can answer the question—that’s not the way one thinks about “feeling safe.”