What's Up With Atlanta and Shootings

I had to visit Atlanta for the first time last week and my friend there says "Oh yeah we have tons of shootings. Now he lives in central Georgia and is a “country boy” and he gets Atlanta TV on Cable (he’s actually between Macon and Augusta)

Anyway after watching Atlanta News I was shocked there ARE indeed a LOT of shootings, more than Chicago.

Now I was wondering is it more than Chicago or other cities or is it just that the Atlanta TV stations report the shootings whereas Chicago and NYC don’t report them?

Well, it’s been really hot lately …

Parts of Atlanta are really pretty frightening places to be. I don’t know what would possess anyone to live there, honestly.*

*It’s almost certain that I’m moving there in a year. Hold me.

I bet it doesn’t have more shootings than Chicago, but the rate is probably higher.

For large cities, it’s still behind Detroit and Baltimore in terms of murder rate.

I wouldn’t worry about moving there, though. The murders in Baltimore are almost all drug-related, or associated with other crazies. It affects my daily life about as much as a murder in Iowa does.

Nothing special about Atlanta. It’s just that since CNN is based there, local crime stories become “national” – on an otherwise slow news day. The biggest reason you hear more about New York and LA and Atlanta is that there is so much more media there to shovel the shit.

Why yes, that is a gun in my pocket.

(But I am happy to see you.)

Been in the Atlanta area 20 years now, and travel a lot on business, meaning I see the local news in plenty of places. I’d like to think it’s just that the Atlanta media make more of it than in other cities. Unfortunately, “if it bleeds, it leads” seems to be alive and well as the motto of newsrooms everywhere.

Of course, one week is a pretty small sample size, so you might have hit a bad week. And if your friend isn’t from a city originally, the number of shootings that happen in Atlanta will seem large by comparison. But lets take it as valid that there are more in Atlanta than in most other places. Some things to consider:

[li]It’s the tenth largest metro area in the country[/li][li]The metro area covers a whole lot of territory[/li][li]The shootings tend to be concentrated in particular sub-areas within the city.[/li][li]The vast majority of Atlantans are never anywhere near where most of the shootings take place.[/li][/ul]

Atlanta has no natural geographic boundaries to its expansion, so the nearly 5 million people here are spread across a vast area, all of which is covered by the local media. Small pockets within that area probably account for the majority of shootings, while large areas see almost none. For the typical Atlantan (and at a 10-to-1 ratio between suburban and urban areas, the typical Atlantan is very much a suburban creature), the odds are actually pretty low of being anywhere a shooting – perhaps lower than in other areas that are more concentrated. Sure, there are occasional murders in the 'burbs, but they tend not to be random stranger-on-stranger violence but domestic disputes, etc. They’re especially low if you’re at all careful about where you go. I may worry about having the car broken into in some of the areas I go to on occasion, but for the most part my day-to-day existence doesn’t involve any areas where I worry at all.

Eh, I’ve lived right in town for years with no worries about being shot. With the murder rate something like 21 per 100,000, it’s hard to get worked up about it.