A Kinder, Gentler Nation
Just after headlines concerning the large American prison population and my slap-dash finding that Americans don’t like criminals and feel very safe comes an interesting editorial report from BBC North America Editor Justin Webb:
What surprises the British tourists is that, in areas of the US that look and feel like suburban Britain, there is simply less crime and much less violent crime.
Doors are left unlocked, public telephones unbroken.
One reason – perhaps the overriding reason – is that there is no public drunkenness in polite America, simply none.
I have never seen a group of drunk young people in the entire six years I have lived here. I travel a lot and not always to the better parts of town.
It is an odd fact that a nation we associate – quite properly – with violence is also so serene, so unscarred by petty crime, so innocent of brawling.
Glenn Reynolds credits our high level of gun ownership, but I’d suggest that the cause and effect relationships are more intricate.