Tuesday, February 15, 2011

America is Safer but Worries More

First, the facts:
Between 1990 and 2009, the national violent-crime rate was halved, while property crime dropped to 60 percent of its previous rate.
Then, the perception:
almost every year since 1989, most Americans have told pollsters they believe crime is getting worse.
This need to fear is one of the most annoying things about my fellow Americans. The fear of dangerous dark-skinned thugs who roost in scary neighborhoods as become a major part of the suburban identity. We get off on seeing ourselves under siege by faceless enemies -- criminals, terrorists -- and we see every reported crime and every attempt to blow up a plane as proof that things are constantly getting worse. The reality that we are the safest people who ever lived somehow offends us.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

In addition to terrorists and criminals, you might mention zombies. It's quite amazing what a basic part of our culture zombie apocalypse has become.

I admit I do like zombie movies.

Of course this will all go out the window once we start getting teen zombie romance novels.

On the safety front, I and many folks I know, including my neighbors, actually feel quite safe these days. Maybe it's a red state/blue state thing. Then again, I lived in New Haven in the late eighties, and it's hard NOT to feel more secure than that.