Thursday, July 25, 2013


Apparently our urban hellholes are safer than God's Country:
Large cities in the U.S. are significantly safer than their rural counterparts, with the risk of injury death more than 20 percent higher in the country. A study to be published online tomorrow in Annals of Emergency Medicine upends a common perception that urban areas are more dangerous than small towns ("Safety in Numbers: Are Major Cities the Safest Places in the U.S.?")... 
Analyzing 1,295,919 injury deaths that occurred between 1999 and 2006, researchers determined that the risk of injury death was 22 percent higher in the most rural counties than in the most urban. The most common causes of injury death were motor vehicle crashes, leading to 27.61 deaths per 100,000 people in most rural areas and 10.58 per 100,000 in most urban areas.
Now it's time for Victor Davis Hanson, Rod Dreher, and their pals to tell us the blacks are driving their welfare Cadillacs out to the sticks to run over white people.

UPDATE. Hee hee -- Whet Moser at Chicago Magazine: "Welcome to Cook, One of America’s Safest Counties."


  1. Interesting that you bring this up. I just found out that there was a double homicide in my tiny rural hometown. Of course, the suspect was white so maybe it doesn't count for some people.

  2. hellslittlestangel10:49 PM

    So careening down dirt roads in a pickup truck while wasted on corn liquor and bathtub meth is a health risk? Are there any peer-reviewed scientific studies to back this contention up?

  3. mortimer11:24 PM

    Clearly, what dangerous rural areas need to do is import some of us city folks to make them safer. We urbanites could just as easily have our welfare checks sent to RPO boxes, and with the right incentives we'd be glad to clog up the roads to keep the high-speed accident rate down. Of course, we'd be more likely to kill some of the locals deliberately, but it seems a lot of them were gonna off themselves anyway (the suicide rate is also higher). The contracts would have to stipulate frequent visits back home, though. You can only take so much of East Bumfuck before you want to get liquored up and push the pickup to 90 on the wrong side of a two-lane blacktop.

    BTW, New York City comes in at #2, beating even Cook county for overall safety -- how's them big apples Mr. Moser!

  4. montag211:27 PM

    I think the CDC now has a reporting category titled "Hold Mah Beer an' Watch This!"

  5. hellslittlestangel11:42 PM

    Country folk everywhere are prone to misadventure:

  6. Oh, that Moser piece is nice, isn't it?

    "Yes, there are risks in Chicago, more so than in the collar counties. But it's no southwestern Illinois. Or central Wisconsin."

    Haw! What is central Wisconsin's problem, though? Forays launched by southern Wisconsinites finally fed up with northern Wisconsinites wearing shorts with their parkas in winter?

    And by the standards of major urban counties, Cook's not bad. Certainly safer than postapocalyptic nightmares like Phoenix, Tampa, and Las Vegas. Although it's not as safe here as it is in Oakland.

    Hee hee, indeed.

    It's also nice to see the map from the study Moser links to. Ahh, the decadent urban Northeast.

  7. Spaghetti Lee12:10 AM

    Other notable finishes:

    Fresno County, CA- highest incidence of chainsaw theft.
    Dane County, WI- Most assaults by drunken law professors
    Knox County, TN- Most robot-sex-related injuries
    Palm Beach County, FL- Most oxycontin-related deaths

  8. Gromet12:18 AM

    Chicago safe? My god, this proves what the NRA has been telling us all along! More guns = more safety!

  9. DocAmazing12:43 AM

    Had an old roommate who came from rural Kentucky. She reported that in her area, one had to leave at least one person home at all times as the local boys would find empty houses and clean them out & trash them. Oddly, that sort of thing never happened in the part of West Oakland where we were living.

  10. AGoodQuestion1:06 AM

    That's because the welfare state, affirmative action, et al had sapped Oaklanders of the initiative to ransack houses. Sad, really.

  11. Glock H. Palin, Esq.2:06 AM

    Yeah, but the ready access to meth and non-operational pickup trucks more than makes up for it, quality-of-life wise.

  12. Clearly, rural conservatives need to buy more guns to arm themselves – not only against the Kenyan usurper – but against cars.

  13. Halloween_Jack7:01 AM

    Just an old score to settle left over from the Roosevelt Administration. (Which one? Doesn't matter--what matters is country pride.)

  14. Halloween_Jack7:07 AM

    Reports of this are distressingly common, especially if parents go on vacation and leave a teenager at home. In fact, I remember reading about one such incident up in Wasilla, Alaska, possibly involving one of the kids of you-know-who.

  15. I almost feel like trying to talk about the safety level of Chicago, or Cook County, as an aggregate, is misleading. There are certain Chicago neighborhoods where crime is concentrated.

  16. coozledad8:08 AM

    There's a lot of unemployed kids around here who'll do murder for hire. Not too long ago, the ex-wife of the sheriff in Halifax lured a guy into the woods with an offer of sex, and she and a hired teenage accomplice bludgeoned him to death, weighted him down and dumped him in one of our beautiful recreational lakes. It triggered a feud on one of the local redneck websites. The comments section says more about this area than a ten year sociological study.

    Anyone with scuba/ river/lake body recovery experience will never go hungry around here.

  17. redoubt8:23 AM

    New rule--don't eat catfish from the lakes around there.

  18. Derelict8:23 AM

    As someone who lives in the sticks (my zip code is e-i-e-i-o), I can tell it is a dangerous place. Aside from the drunken car crashes, the farmer's divorces (generally finalized with a shotgun blast to the chest of one spouse or the other), and the local yahoos beating one another senseless on the first and 15th of the month, we also have this astonishingly high rates of sex crimes.

    The little town I live in (population less than 15,000) has its own local daily newspaper, and it's a rare day indeed that there is not at least one article about some guy being arrested or sentenced for diddling little girls, diddling little boys, taking advantage of mentally disabled children or adults, exposing himself to passing women and children, and so on.

    If any of these conservatives think that flyover country like this represents "Real America," then their vision of the country is mighty warped.

  19. redoubt8:27 AM

    This is the way they want "Real America"--a place where money buys soundproofing; out in the sticks no one can hear you scream.

  20. I've been to Tampa. It appears that their principal industry is parking.

  21. My stepdad is one of those white men who constantly says that he'd never walk around in an urban area without his gun. I'm far more afraid of white men like him with guns than I am of any of the dangers of urban life.

  22. BigHank539:20 AM

    No comment thread comparing the safety of Chicago with rural areas is complete without mention of the 1989 epic Next of Kin, starring the late Patrick Swayze.

  23. edroso9:49 AM

    Oh, for sure. But conservatives prefer to talk about "Obama's Chicago way" rather than "Obama's Fuller Park way," because with the latter the guilt by association is harder to pull off.

  24. montag210:01 AM

    I used to live in a village (pop. 770) in Michigan, and I visited the local tavern just twice, once in the middle of the week, and once on payday. The latter time, a bar fight broke out and I tried to stop it. The perpetrator picked the biggest guy in the bar, and as I got the big guy calmed down, the perp came at us with a table over his head, but a kick in the nuts slowed him down. The perp's friend saw this, came at us with a knife and I, having a family to provide for and favoring discretion over valor, bolted for the back door. By the time the door slammed behind me, the perp's friend had drawn a .38 and shot a hole in the ceiling.

    I still don't know how the perp's friend found out that I was a mechanic, but, the next morning, he was at my door with a pickup and two Honda 305s in the bed, wanting me to make one good one between them. He gave no indication that he remembered anything from the evening before, or how he came to know who I was. I think it was one of my co-workers who put him on to me, because I'd told the co-worker to help me break up the fight, and he'd frozen.

    There are no Marquis of Queensbury rules in rural America....

  25. I'm far more afraid of white men like him with guns than I am of any of the dangers of urban life.

    I dunno, urban life can be pretty dangerous. Just look at all the white guys from rural areas carrying firearms.

  26. Kurzleg10:28 AM

    I've no doubt a lot of dumb stuff happens in the sticks, but a higher rate of death resulting from injury strikes me as a case where medical/surgical resources are not as readily available in rural areas as in urban ones. In other words, the levels of violence may be similar, but the outcomes of that violence diverge due to the relative lack of medical care.

  27. The guy that took a knife

    And monogrammed his wife,

    Then dropped her in the pond and watched her drown.

    Oh, yes indeed, the people there are just plain folks

    In my home town.

    Thanks to Tom Lehrer

  28. sammybaby11:21 AM

    Way to go, Philly! I sense a tourism opportunity here.

    "Come to Philadelphia, where your odds of death by injury are as low as they are in most of rural Alaska!"

    Huh. Maybe I need a Don Draper to help me out with this.

  29. XeckyGilchrist11:51 AM

    Right, and people in the country just have to drive more to get things done, and on possibly worse-lit, less-maintained streets. The study also showed "that rural middle class areas with lots of college-educated residents and average income had significantly increased risk of injury death compared to rural counties with the lowest levels of each"; I bet that the poorer counties had fewer people who could afford to drive.

    But the gun deaths, yeah. Not surprised kids in the sticks are at higher risk, and I'd bet it's mostly from accidents involving carelessly stored firearms.

  30. gocart mozart12:29 PM

    Fuller Park is for effete Ivy League Harvard types not gangsters

  31. realinterrobang5:21 PM

    Not to mention that grisly farming accidents are almost the norm rather than the exception. I don't know too many farmers, but I used to be more or less rural, and I actually knew one person who was killed when his pant leg got caught in a grain auger. (Note to city folks: *Not* the way you want to check out.)

    OSHA will tell you that the most dangerous occupations are mining, forestry, commercial fishing, and farming, and *none* of those are really urban pursuits.

  32. Yeah, you're right. The point is the absolute hatred some folk have for urban areas.

  33. BG, ribbons in my hair5:23 PM

    Please ask him to stay out of my urban hellhole. I don't need some paranoid person like him overreacting to a situation that most of us urbanites would just brush off.

  34. LutherQBlissett9:12 PM

    The number of high schoolers that get killed on country roads in the rural South is pretty horrific. Going out for a drive is just something you do, because there's nothing else to do, and every couple of months you'll hear in the local paper or TV news about four or five kids dead in one accident.

  35. XeckyGilchrist9:58 PM

    Aha, OK. Thanks. That extremely sucks.

  36. Carmen Wilson10:54 PM

    Very interesting topic.


    how to start a recruitment agency

  37. montag27:30 AM

    No question about it--which is why there's always someone trying to limit child labor on farms--the accident/death rate is particularly high for kids if part of their farmwork includes machinery. If you tangle with a tractor PTO, the PTO wins every time.

  38. geraldfnord12:55 PM

    Given how we tend to behave abroad, maybe not that warped. We have good intentions, but have a tendency to slug people who aren't happy enough and to forget that war is war, and a certain large level of Bad Shit will be done by _anyone_, be they ever so good (at first), doing it.

  39. geraldfnord12:57 PM

    Barely relevant, but remembering that Groucho Marx once almost got fired from a vaudeville theatre for announcing a song as "How are You Going to Keep them Down on the Farm, Once They've Seen the Farm?".

  40. geraldfnord12:58 PM

    'Knox County, TN-Most {robot-on-robot sex}-related injuries.'


  41. geraldfnord1:07 PM

    Since I prefer to think well of my fellow hu-man when I can, I'm taken with the idea (often stated in the context of marriage rights) that conservatism can be one reaction to a bad environment that looks to only get worse, so conserving what property and (very importantly in small towns) status one may have becomes the order of the century.

    (Note: Marx's 'idiocy of rural life' is a mistranslation, 'isolation' or 'blinkeredness' being better rendering of Idiotismus as he used it, derived from the same greek as 'idiot', meaning one who did not concern themself [sic] with any but their own affairs.)

  42. geraldfnord1:13 PM

    Very good point, which I mean in the usual sense of 'Damn you for beating me with it to the thread!'

    _Iff_ the initial injury rates are roughly comparable, there is a weird parallel (discovered by a Mom!: with the rates of incarceration of black men for drugs: initial conditions are not functionally identical unless their likely consequences are so.

    Oh, and while I'm at it, 'Curse you!, Merciful Poseidon!!!'

  43. de stijl5:18 AM

    I grew up on a small dairy farm - I know the power of the PTO.

    My older brother got a second chance at life at 12 - 13 when his jeans got caught in the PTO to a silo blower (or whatever you call the thingy that blows the silage up the silo). He got slammed to ground and got pulled up almost under the back of the tractor under the PTO. Luckily he only lost a pair of jeans when they ripped off his body at the belt seam and crotch seam. No cuts, no bleeding - he was bruised to hell and had pissed himself, but he was alive and still had his legs.

    My classmate lost his right leg above the knee (they amputated almost up to the hip because the femur was - I really don't know what to call it: twisted, torqued, rotationally shattered and generally FUBAR) in a feed auger accident. He was in the fourth grade at the time.

    When I was 14 I was forty feet up an enclosed silo ladder / chute helping my dad work on whatever you call the machine that rotates around and picks up the silage to shoot it down to the bottom. Obviously it's electrically operated and it had this big ass cord (3/4" or so) and a plug in contraption the size of a boxer's fist. I was leaning back against the back of the chute enclosure with a bucket of tools hanging off my belt. My dad was inside the silo itself working on the machine and accidentally knocked the cord and it came unplugged. Forty feet of gravity working on that heavy wire pulled that boxer's fist directly at my head at highway speed.

    Before I could blink that boxer's fist bounced off the bottom lip of the opening, flew over my head, cracked into the back of the chute and plummeted down.

    I came thisclose to dying and it took my autonomous nervous system a second or two to kick in and dump a gallon of adrenaline into my body and I almost died again by falling off the ladder because of the shakes.

    There is no one who grew up on a working farm that doesn't have an experience like this, or who doesn't know someone who was hurt, killed, or had Death sigh a soft breath in their ear, but walked away this time.

  44. edroso1:37 PM

    I thought that was Steve Allen!