It’s late January and the usual “Homicides Are Up; run for your lives” or “Homicides Are Down: don’t be worried though, Springfield is still dangerous” article hasn’t yet appeared. The 5 year rolling average for murder is 15 and last year came in at 14 with the city being homicide free now for 3 months. It’s an increase of two over 2016.
I wonder if the storyline has become tiresome to the editors or if future advertisers MGM have suggested that they’re not too keen on supporting a publication which hypes violence in the community where they will need to attract hundreds of thousands of out-of-towners in order to make a profit. My wife thinks that my message is getting through. If so, I’m sure it’s indirectly. I somehow missed homicide 14 and was preparing to write this assuming 13 was the magic number for last year. On the WWLP “Springfield Homicide Tracker” (map included!)they listed 14. I did a search for the victim’s name on Masslive and, sure enough; 14. What also came up was an article about a person of the same name being arrested for possession of heroin with intent to distribute: coincidence, I’m sure.
Sarcasm aside, it isn’t at all that I want anyone to be murdered, but years and years of experience demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of victims are engaged in gang activity, drug activity, or were in a violent relationship. That doesn’t mean they deserve to be killed but it does mean that living in a city is less the danger than the behavior they engage in and the people with whom they interact, in a city or not.
Still conspicuous by its absence is any “Motor Vehicle Death Tracker” anywhere in the media. It’s a phenomenon which is: more causally connected to place than homicide; impacts more people in this region; and is more random in its distribution in terms of race, age, and gender.