Op-ed writer considering leaving US because of violent crime

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

I don’t think anyone is content with our violent crime rate. The truth is that no one should be. Even if it were low, there are always things we can do to try and reduce it, and right now, it isn’t low.

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The problem is that many people don’t understand the rates as they currently stand. They see the problem as bigger and more pervasive than it is.

People like this op-ed writer who is considering moving out of the United States out of fear for their child’s safety.

Titled, “If the US won’t protect children from gun violence, should I protect mine by leaving?” op-ed writer Richelle Carey writes:

You’ll often hear a variation on that theme from those same people: “If you don’t like it here, you can leave.”

Well, as the mother of a 2-year-old boy growing up in an especially violent state within an increasingly violent country, I don’t like it at all – and some days I think I just might.

My son has only been in preschool since January, and I’ve already attended a meeting about safety in case of an active shooter. The school director made it clear to us: Our children’s safety was her top priority. As I looked at her, hearing the emotion in her voice, I thought about what kind of country puts teachers in a position where they may take a bullet for a child – teachers who have families they want to go home to at the end of the day.

It’s depraved.

Even with all this, it might be worth it to give it all up and run away from this place. I know there’s a lot of privilege in saying all of that.

Gun violence is so insidious. At least once a day, it comes across my mind that somebody could cut my son’s life short. Out in public, I’m always calculating: “Where are the exits? Where can we hide? Where could we go? Is that fence around my son’s preschool high enough to prevent someone from getting through?” A mother shouldn’t have to do this kind of recon – as if there weren’t enough things to think about raising a Black son.

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Well…bye.

Look, I get the fear. However, as the writer here is a journalist, she should understand how the media works. People don’t click links or buy newspapers for good news. They say that’s what they want, but what they respond to are stories about doom and gloom…and, of course, violent crime.

She should know that.

As such, she should also know that no one wins a Pulitzer for stating that most people don’t really need to be concerned and that the odds of being the victim of a mass shooting, which the author explicitly talks about, are ridiculously low. For ordinary violent crime, it’s higher, of course, but that also includes a lot of violent crimes that don’t involve a firearm.

Living in what the author describes as a good neighborhood and going to a good school tells us that the odds are even better for her kid than for a lot of others.

See, whether we like it or not, geography plays a role. We all know those neighborhoods in our towns that you don’t want to go to at night. They’re the “wrong side of town.” That’s where violent crime tends to be focused. If you don’t live there, your odds of being directly impacted go way, way down.

But again, as a journalist, she should be aware of that, at least in theory.

If she wants to leave the United States, then I say she should go. In fact, she should take all the other gun control fans with her.

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See, I don’t mind people voting with their feet and going to countries with the laws they prefer. On the issue of guns, though, there is no fallback position for us. We have nowhere to go where we’ll find the gun laws to our liking.

So if people like the author leave, so much the better. With them gone and hopefully becoming citizens of their new home nations, we won’t have to deal with their constant calls for restricting our rights. They can be comfortable in their new home nations and we can remain comfortable in ours.

“I’ll leave if you don’t pass gun control” isn’t a threat, it’s a promise.

Don’t you dare tease us.

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