I have to rant here for a second. I need to grab a megaphone, stand on a soapbox and let everyone know this thing that has been weighing heavy on my mind. Are you ready? Please listen, people:
Crime is everywhere.
Sorry, it’s true. We all wish it wasn’t…but it is.
You are not excluded, exempt from the opportunity of crime; you are not living in a safe area. There is no such thing. Safe is a state of mind; it’s a feeling. It is not a measure of crime in an area; that is a crime rate.
My husband accidentally left his police radio on yesterday after he came home from his shift. He usually turns it off and puts it on the charger, but he must have forgotten. As I walked up the stairs and turned in to our room to make the bed with fresh sheets out of the dryer, I heard voices. I thought I must have left the television on from earlier, but it was the radio.
It was about 3:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday and man, things were hoppin’ on North District. incomplete 9-1-1 call with no answer on call-back, serving a warrant at a run down motel and a suspect that fled a domestic but was caught in the next jurisdiction. A traffic stop, an accident, an alarm at a business and then a call to check on the welfare of a person: a man wondering the street in red shorts who was disoriented.
Next, a dispatcher called out two cars to respond to a man pacing on the sidewalk waving a gun in response to a domestic disturbance. Cars were on their way, but soon dispatch reported the woman who called in had lost sight of him but confirmed he was armed. Shortly after, there was a call out for a K9 unit.
I recently saw a post on Facebook with a mother ranting about how sad she was because her son had worked so hard and saved up his money for so long only to have is truck stolen out of his own driveway. He was warming it up in the driveway on a cold morning and someone stole it. All the comments were about how terrible that was, how sad, what is this world teaching him, etc. My comment would have imply been, “dumbshit.”
I don’t care where you live. Did you know there are people who literally drive around looking for people who practically open the door to crime? Cars running, garage doors open, laptops in plain view on backseats. Get smart, people. Don’t give them the opportunity.
A few weeks ago, I saw someone on television talking about a recent rash of home invasions in their neighborhood. “This has always been a safe neighborhood,” she said. But the truth is, it hasn’t been. No place is safe. It means people felt safe until they were violated. Now they feel unsafe. Crime rates would indicate that neighborhood has always had crime; it just didn’t affect the people who had a perceived feeling of safety.
Crime is happening all around you—all the time. Sometimes it starts at one intersection and ends at another; crime bleeds. You perceive yourself safe, but trust me, sometimes just blocks away something bad is happening and you might never know about it (by design, which perpetuates your feeling of safety). When that happens, you just got lucky that it didn’t bleed to where you are. We are all vulnerable; no one place is safe but you may feel safer in one place or another.
Criminals can drive, walk, bike, take a bus, whatever to where there is something worth stealing. That means the criminal is mobile—looking for people who make mistakes because they believe they are exempt. People are vulnerable when they mistake safe for a measure instead of a feeling. The measure is a crime rate; safe is a feeling.
You need to know that random acts of violence are very rare. What is more common is random crime: theft, burglary, armed robbery. Do everything you can to avoid inviting those crimes in to your life. Check your surroundings, leave lights on, lock your doors even when you are home, don’t leave your car running, get an alarm or a dog, don’t leave your garage open and for the love of God, don’t walk to your single-white-female ass to your car alone on a dark street at 2:30AM.