In what can only be described as a shocker, Oklahoma City has been named the 5th most gang infested city in the United States. Can it be true?

As much as us Okies like to say we're all just a bunch of 'good ol boys,' there is a darker side to The Sooner State.

I, for one, used to live in a really nice neighborhood in North Bricktown years ago, but hearing gun-shots after dark was nothing new. Still, I never thought of OKC as a violent place to live. Even though there are areas of that city I've never so much as driven through, the reputations in parts of the vast city almost warn people to stay out.

While the numbers of violent crime seem low in our state, it's the census "per capita" statistics that really drive our crime rates up. Now, that's not to say there's not much crime in our capital. Take for instance, Lawton is named in the top ten most violent cities in the US when you limit the statistics for size and population.

Apparently, in this particular list, OKC's gang problem stems from a few national gangs. The Crips, Bloods, and Latin Kings... Turf wars seem to be brewing all the time, and watching the news never seems to detour you of that thought. The way any violent crime is sensationalized in the media should be a crime itself.

Drive-by shootings and drug rings are mostly to blame for the bulk of Oklahoma's gang problems, being the "Intersection of America" doesn't help anything. Drugs fly up our highways as fast as they can sell em, and the sex-slave trade is quickly becoming the new industry for these thug entrepreneurs.

It seems the only way to avoid such things traveling to 'the city' is keeping your wits about you. Knowing not to put yourself in a situation, being aware of what is happening around you. Not that the likelihood of something happening is high... it's just a good practice.

So the next time you're in OKC, keep calm and carry on.