An analysis of nearly two centuries of homicide data that stretch back to the Mexican period for the city and county of Los Angeles reveal a long history of violence in the region, one in which the homicide rate has consistently been higher than that of other major cities. Such factors as national culture, regional differences, demographics, economics, and political structure help to account for the persistence of this pattern. Does this traditional tolerance for violence and homicide in Los Angeles signify a local articulation of what is deemed normal, and could long-term efforts be devised to counter it?

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