I am reading a book at the moment about crime in America. It is a fiction book which is set in a lower socioeconomic area on the outskirts of Hollywood. Not having been to Hollywood since I was a child, I can't comment on how accurate the book is, but it talks about residents hearing gun-shots at least twice a week. That shocked me.
It got me thinking about how lucky I am to live where I do. We are so sheltered from crime here and I'm not sure that we appreciate it enough. I have never heard a gunshot. Not in my whole life. I don't imagine that I ever will. I expect most kids that grew up on farms will have, but I'm a city girl. The closest I've come is playing paintball.
If someone is murdered in this country it is front page news. There are 40-50 murders a year, with the majority of those being the result of domestic violence. We are outraged when we are victims of graffiti.
There is other crime. I have been the victim of a really bad burglary. I have had my car stolen a couple of times. The increase in the use of P (pure methamphetamine or crack) here is scary, and there is a corresponding increase in violent crimes, but you can still walk around at night by yourself in any part of the city without being afraid. It has never occurred to me not too.
Every New Zealander knows that this is a wonderful place to live. We are strongly patriotic, but I'm not sure that any of us really stop and think about how lucky we are, faced with the alternatives.