( I posted this a couple weeks ago but since the controversy of the University of Texas cancelling the boxing match at the Sun Bowl over "security threats" (still a mystery what those are) I thought the article had new relevance.  So, here it is again in case you missed it--Buzz)

Kudos to State Senator Jose Rodriguez. Somebody needs to call foul when other Texas politicians (always from somewhere other than El Paso) try to characterize our city as a "War Zone".

Sen. JoRod was responding to the latest histrionics from the Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, which you can read about here.

I have friends and family in Dallas and Houston and Tulsa. They are always expressing their concern over my safety. "Are you...doing o.k. down there?"

I hear the same kind of stories from people who have to defend El Paso's reputation to those who simply have the wrong idea of what daily life is like in El Paso.

It doesn't help that our own Governor has described El Paso as a war-zone and then not had the decency or the intellectual integrity to admit his mistake.

Here's something I think my fellow Defenders of the Pass might find useful. Actual statistics that show that El Paso is way, way, waaaay safer than just about any other comparable-sized city in America.

 

Yes, those are 2010 statistics, the year we had a total of 5 homicides for the entire year. We had 16 in 2011.  Just look at some of the cities on this list that have a much, much higher crime rating than us. Sure, you might expect big Metros like Washington, D.C. and Atlanta to have more crime. But nobody calls those cities "War Zones," least of all their own Governors.

And how about some of the other cities with far worse crime? Like Wichita Falls, Beaumont and, what a shock, Austin.

El Paso's not even on the first screen grab. You have to go all the way down to #275 to find us.

 

There we are. Right in the same area with other notorious War Zones like Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Bellingham, Washington. I don't know about you, but I sure wouldn't visit a war-torn hellscape like Bellingham without a Bradley Armored Vehicle!

I'm including the link to the crime statistics in case you want to have them handy to combat accusations that you live in the North American equivalent of Darfur. Also, I'm printing out a copy to send to my Aunt Tildie and one to send to Gov. Rick Perry. The poor old dears DO tend to worry so.