Since coming to Russia, plenty of people have peppered me with the same questions.
A lot of friends and family back home have asked me if I feel safe moving to Moscow. "Isn't it dangerous?"
To my loved ones back home I want to seriously ask, do YOU feel safe? Do you feel safe walking alone at night? Sitting in a movie theater? Sending your children to school. or even to college? You don't worry that the next shooting will be your movie theater, school or place of work? Maybe not because, after all, we are all built to suffer from the "It won't happen to me" complex.
Maybe the answer is not as obvious as it seems. Maybe we are all more or less safe than we feel. And how "safe" we perceive a place to be is dictated by personal experience, media, stereo-types and misconceptions.
As feelings go, 23% more Americans fear crime (walking alone at night) than Russians, 34% Americans think crime has been on the rise in the last 3 years. As for incidents, American there are 10 times more guns-wielding persons, 8 times more rape incidents, and 4 times more overall crime than in Russia.
To Russian co-workers, students, and friends who have asked similar questions... Please read above.