From National Review Online:
There are many horrific stories to be told about the implosion of Detroit, once the nation’s most prosperous city, today its poorest. There is the story of its corrupt public institutions, its feckless leaders, its poisonous racial politics, its practically nonexistent economy, the riots that have led to its thrice being occupied by federal troops. The most horrific story may be that of the death of its children.
Detroit has the highest child-mortality rate of any American city, exceeding that of many parts of what we used to call the Third World. The rate of death before the age of 18 in Detroit is nearly three times New York City’s, and its infant-mortality rate exceeds that of Botswana. The main cause of premature death among the children of Detroit is premature birth — the second is murder. While the city’s murder rate among adults is nothing to be proud of, more horrifying is the fact that between 30 and 40 children are murdered in Detroit in a typical year. Some of those children are nine-month-olds killed by rifle fire in their beds; some are budding criminals in their late teens — and each of those situations offers its own unique horrors. So dangerous is the city that children are being armed by their parents, which has predictable consequences. “I work in the Wayne County Juvenile Court, and these children are obtaining guns from adults,” children’s-law attorney Lynda White told the Detroit News, which has been conducting an in-depth investigation of how Detroit’s children are dying. “They’re obtaining guns illegally from people who are supposed to be responsible and people who are supposed to protect them. And if that person who has a huge influence in your life is giving you a gun, some of them tend to think it’s okay to carry it. And they’re being told, ‘You need this for your protection, you live in Detroit.’” Read more.