The first step is to get over the belief that change isn't possible. People once viewed New York as a perpetually dangerous city. In 1990, its murder rate was 31 per 100,000 residents. Then murders began to plummet, and the murder rate in 2012 was 5 per 100,000 residents — 83 percent lower than its peak in 1990. Many other cities and communities have significantly reduced murders and shootings and did not have to cure all of what many consider to be the root causes of violence — poverty, unemployment, broken families and addiction.