I am glad to see the information is being provided by such an excellent source such as the Vancouver Sun which if I recall has never been said to sensationalize stories just a bit for the benefit of selling papers.
And of course, I am a big fan of statistics so for comparison I thought I should mention Chicago, which to the best of my knowledge has never been referred to as a "one of the most dangerous places to visit" in recent years. However, Chicago logged something like 508 murders in 2008 and if one uses the same proportion as previous years for those that were perpetrated with firearms (75-80%) that leaves about 380-405 shooting deaths.
Of course one could say that these are not necessarily happening in public areas but given the following newspaper article from April, it would suggest that walking the streets in Chicago is also a concern:An outburst of gunfire rattled the city during the weekend, with at least nine people killed in 36 separate acts of violence.
The shootings were reported from Friday until Monday morning, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Monday. They included gang shootings, drive-by attacks, and even one case in which someone used an AK-47 to shoot up a plumbing supply store.
Then on Monday evening, a man was shot to death and three other people were wounded in a robbery attempt at a McDonald's, police said.
So, it would appear to me that Vancouver still has a ways to go before we reach the stature of Bean Town which itself has yet to receive a "most dangerous" designation.
This is not to downplay the obviously serious situation which is facing Vancouver now but I really think things must be kept in perspective. As mentioned earlier, travelers need to be aware of current crime conditions but until reports of tourists being specifically targeted occur, I would just enjoy your visit
By the way, isn't Vancouver due for a big earthquake soon?