It’s an unfortunate statement to make, but I’m used to violent crime.
Over the course of my life, I’ve lived in Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle. In each of these cases, I lived in what would be considered the “inner-city”, where violent crime was, sadly, a routine occurrence.
This being the case, I think that I should possibly be forgiven for being a bit jaded when it comes to random shootings, stabbings, and the like. It’s not that I take them lightly, it’s that I have always had to put them out of my mind, simply as a survival mechanism. Had I dwelled on them, I would have become an agoraphobic, homebound and afraid to walk the streets.
Instead, much like air and auto travel, I’ve always acknowledged the danger while keeping it in statistical perspective.
Now, all of that being said, Seattle’s current crime wave has begun to unnerve even yours truly.
For those who are unaware, Seattle has seen a rash of shootings over the past few weeks, culminating in today’s massacre in Roosevelt and First Hill that left five people dead. One of the victims was killed two blocks from my own home.
Frankly, I’m not sure that I’ve even seen a crime wave quite like this one. A wave of deaths that has cut across both racial, and socioeconomic lines.
Something’s happening in this city, but what it is, I’m not sure. It’s easy to say that it’s just bad people doing bad things, but there have always been bad people in Seattle, and this crime wave is unprecedented. Clearly something has changed.
Fortunately, statistics are still on all of our sides. Our odds of being killed or injured by an automobile are still greater than getting shot by some crazed gunman. 20 murders in a city of 600,000 people is tragic, but in the USA, it’s still fewer than average.
The randomness of the murders, however, is not quite normal. Such crimes used to be largely confined to rival gang members or drug dealers, but now … well, it seems like everyone is fair game.
I’ll probably think about this a bit more in the coming days, and while doing so, I’ll probably watch my back a little more closely.
If you live within 20 miles of where I am typing this, please consider doing the same.
Something weird is going on in the City of Seattle.
Be careful out there.