Even before coming to U.S.A, we knew that the public security here would be very different from our daily life in China. One can not deny that Shanghai is a very safe city, perhaps the safest big city in the world. People tend to take it for granted. You can wander there at midnight without any problem. Certainly there are more policemen in the street.
Here, we were constantly astonished at all the gun violence covered by the news. Although in China, we had heard a lot about gun tragedies, yet highlighted by several national TV chains, we didn’t feel the real fear. But now, it became our first concern. My husband Peng checked different areas before renting a house. It was very important to know which area had more problems, especially in a city near the border. More information he got, more he became worried. When he noticed that the back door of our condo was just made of glass, he could not sleep at night. We moved a table to block the door and asked the home owner to install an iron-steel door outside.
We were constantly astonished with all the gun violence covered by the news. It seemed that gun violence was a normal here. But for us, it could never be normal. Obviously, it’s a vicious circle. Since more people are killed by gun shooting, more and more people desire to buy guns in the name of protecting themselves. I think Arizona is in a worse situation, because people here can carry guns even in their car. I’m a new driver and my husband was always furious about that. On road, when I did something wrong, he shouted at me and reminded me that I was likely to be shot, even in the presence of our daughter. “The road rage ! The road rage !” He could not control himself to be less dramatic.
Such kind of thoughts became a very common topic in our daily life. “Be nice”, asserts Peng, “you even don’t know whom you are talking to. One day, we happened to see our neighbor carrying a gun when he got out of his car. It’s normal, because he is a safe guard and works at night. He wears a guard costume. But we never had a long talk with him beside some greeting words. Every time when Claire made so much noise, laughter or crying, Peng could not forget to tell her that she might make our neighbor angry, because he needs to sleep at daytime. “He does carry a gun !!!” Our daughter got terrified at these words. Now even a four-year-old girl is conscious of this big danger around her and draws many superheros to protect the little kids.
Recently, there was a shooting at the parking of a big mall, where we used to go shopping at the weekend. But now, it got into the list of the places where my husband would never go again. The shooting in ULCA and the even worse one in Orlando made Peng desperate.
After all, we should live with the fear and limit the impact of our anxious on our daily life. I’m not a optimist, but sometimes I wish to be so naive to turn off all the news reports.