I am happy when some lists exclude Columbus — like this list of the 15 most dangerous cities in America. The list itself is interesting because it doesn’t include any cities in Ohio, nor does it include New York City, or Boston, or Chicago. Although some of the cities always seem to make this kind of list (like Detroit, Miami, Baltimore, and New Orleans), some come as a surprise to me. I would not expect Memphis, Charlotte, Nashville, Orlando, and Charleston, S.C. to be in the top 15. Las Vegas, I suppose, should be expected; after all, it is where CSI is set.
Crime statistics are always a bit abstract and remote, but the facts reflected on this list are somewhat shocking. The authors counted only the truly heinous crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. In Detroit, which is number 1 on the list, there were 1,220 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in 2008. In short, 1 out of every 100 people in Detroit was killed, raped, or physically assaulted in a traumatizing way! No rational person who is economically capable of moving will live for long in that kind of environment. What do you think that means for Detroit’s future?