Okay, Sure, We're the Most Dangerous State in the Nation, but We Have a Good Reason



In a public relations coup, Tennessee has been named by 247 Wall St. the most Dangerous State in the Nation. I hope we get a trophy of some sort. Ha, I guess we could just say "Give us a trophy or else!" and our "or else" would carry great weight.

1. Tennessee
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 643.6
> Poverty rate: 17.9%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 24.3%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,371.4 (10th highest)

Tennessee has the dubious distinction of having the worst violent crime rate in the country. The state was among the top 10 in the country for murders and robberies and was first for aggravated assaults, with an estimated 479.6 for every 100,000 residents. Tennessee’s 41,550 violent crimes in 2012 were up 6.8% from 2011 but down 10% from 2007, when there were 46,380 violent crimes. There were 388 murders in the state in 2012, up for a second straight year. To be fair, Tennessee’s violent streak is concentrated in some of the major metropolitan areas. Memphis’s violent crime rate was the nation’s fifth worst, while Nashville’s was the 18th worst. Like many states with high violent crime, poverty in Tennessee is acute, and high school and college graduation rates are lower than most of the country.

I think Memphis and Nashville are being unduly maligned here. I'm sure people from the rural areas are just as violent in their hearts. It's just harder to get motivated to assault or murder someone when you have to get in your car and drive for a half and hour through beautiful scenery to get to your victim. I mean, sure, you're mad at first, but then you go outside and the weather is beautiful and the sunset breathtaking and it just doesn't seem so important, whatever felony you were about to commit.

Anyway, there's no great mystery why Tennessee is so dangerous. We abuse a lot — I mean a lot — of drugs and we all have guns.

You know who's not well known for restraint? Armed drug abusers who need more drugs.

So, that's depressing, but it is what it is. I don't see us changing any time soon. So, we should try to make the most of it, turn it into a tourist attraction—Looking for excitement and danger? Don't have the money to go to war-torn regions overseas? Come to Tennessee. Our people are friendly, until they're not.

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