A friend down at the dog park asked about my wife the other day. She and her girlfriend had taken a long weekend trip to visit a former roommate. My friend wondered if I thought she’d be safe from crime in Chicago. Isn’t that a terribly dangerous place?

This is a common, media-driven perception here in Little Rock, where our per capita homicide rate is actually worse than Chicago’s. And yet our view, his and mine, as white men of a certain age who go around accompanied by large dogs, is that local crime is more a nuisance than a threat.

Arkansas Times columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of “The Hunting of the President” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). You can email Lyons at eugenelyons2@yahoo.com.

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