By Aaron Brogan

The good guys (and women) are winning. We should use that knowledge as fuel, so that in 2014 we will do more, and do better.

Is Chicago still the murder capital of America? 507 murders in 2012. New York City, which is more than twice Chicago’s size had 419 over the same time period. Bells were tolled, frantic articles were written, and through all of that the simple fact that Chicago was not the most murderous place in America, was largely forgotten. Actually, Chicago’s murder rate was 18.5 per 100,000, placing it in modest 13th place. Detroit and New Orleans both had rates above 50, but perhaps those cities, given their exception strife, are unfair. Take St. Louis, once Chicago’s competitor in the Midwest, now that city has a murder rate 35.5 per 100,000. Leave the United States; go over the border in El Paso, Texas. You will find Juarez, Mexico, with a murder rate of 147.7 per 100,000.

And Chicago, in 2013? If we make it to January 1 with fewer than seven addition murders, we will have the lowest murder number in our city since 1965. This is consistent with the trend in Chicago and across the United States since the early 1990’s of fewer murders and reduced crime. This doesn’t diminish the weight of murder on our communities. This doesn’t mean we should stop trying to get better. We must do better. We must do more. But it serves as a reminder that we are on the right track. That now, moving into 2014, we live in an exceptionally safe time in a very safe country. We are out of Iraq, leaving Afghanistan, talking to Iran and not going into Syria. The economy is improving. For all the doom and gloom around us, we should remember that the times are good. In eighteen states and the District of Columbia gay marriage is legalized. Ted Cruz has shown the world what we already knew, that he is a fool. The good guys (and women) are winning. We are winning. We should use that knowledge as fuel, so that in 2014 we will do more, do better.

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