Is Chicago Dangerous?

In my real life, I have a customer who is terrified of Chicago. I’m guessing he listened to Trump and Fox News as they have framed Chicago like a war zone. My customer would always warn me about staying away from Chicago. We love to visit the city, and have never felt in danger. Chicago is truly one of the great cities in the world. I finally told my customer in no uncertain terms about what a wonderful city Chicago is, and I haven’t heard anything about Chicago from him since then. Good! If I want to hear lies, I’ll tune in directly to Fox News.

Look, Chicago is a big city, and murders happen, mostly with guns coming from deep red Republican Indiana. Damn Hoosiers! Chicago has almost 2.7 million people within its city limits including my 2 oldest children. They live in a neighborhood that 30 years ago was dangerous. Now, that neighborhood is absolutely delightful … except for the rats. The rats chewed through wiring in my son’s car, and my daughter has seen rats in her apartment’s basement while doing laundry. I noticed this rat-related sign during our last visit to see our kids in Chicago.

That actually sounds like a very symbiotic relationship to me that can eliminate my carrying around bags of dog poop. The dogs poop, we leave it, and the rats clean up after the dogs. Sounds perfect to me.

I digress. About a month ago, CBS News released new per capita murder rates for big US cities. If you listen to Trump/Fox News, Chicago must be #1, right? What if I told you that Chicago (18.26 murders per 100,000) is about the same as deep red state city Chattanooga, Tennessee at 18.15 murders per 100,000? Chattanooga is at #29 & Chicago is at #28. What, just 28? What about the 27 more dangerous than Chicago? Well, 17 of those cities are in Republican red states with only 10 in blue states. And of those 17 cities in red states that are more killy than Chicago, 3 are in Louisiana and 3 in Alabama. Roll Damn Tide indeed.

Sitting at #1 with a whopping 64.54 murders per 100,000 is the city I visit most on business (ugh!) … St. Louis in red state Missouri. That’s 3.5 times the murder rate in Chicago (math sighting!). Ironically, my Chicago-wary customer lives in Republican Missouri, less than 90 minutes away from very murdery St. Louis.

But I’m burying the lead in this story. Is Chicago dangerous? Yes, especially now that women are back in the stands at White Sox baseball games. I was watching the White Sox beat the St. Louis (dangerous!) Cardinals last night on TV when I heard a huge uproar in the stands. I though nothing of it, until I saw this on Twitter.

Whoa, catfight! Just wait until full capacity crowds are admitted again. It’s good to have baseball back in not-so-murdery Chicago.