People always talk about how small towns are safer than big cities. I’m not sure I buy that. I’ve spent time in small towns and I’ve spent time in big cities, and I have to say, I think logic is on the side of the metropolis. Now I could just proclaim this to be the truth and leave it at that, but by god, I’ve got a blog, and I’ve got pseudoscience, so we are going to do this thing right!
We’ll start with raw statistics. Let’s say that someone in your town decides they are going to shoot somebody. If you live in a town with a population of 100, there is a 1% chance you are going to be shot. (That, of course, assumes that the shooter is a good sport and included himself on the list of potential targets.) Meanwhile, if you live in a city with a population of 7,000,000. The odds drop to 0.0000142857% repeating. Pff, that’s practically nothing! Everyone knows that nothing with a repeating decimal never actually happens. And that’s if it’s a random shooter! If this is a guy hellbent on shooting you specifically, then you’re really better off in the city. I mean, where’s this guy going to have to look before he finds you in a small town? Your house, the drug store, the swimmin’ hole, and ol’ man Jenkins’ apple orchard. He’ll track you down in five minutes, even if he stops for a sarsparilla. You just KNOW that ol’ man Jenkins is going to rat you out, ever since your Pa took the blue ribbon for biggest pumpkin at the last county fair! Meanwhile, in the big city even if the shooter knows you’re at a Starbucks, that only narrows it down to fifteen places! It is only a matter of time before he decides he’s going to pick up a Vente Decaf Soy Double Shot Mocha Latte with cinnamon and a scone, and it is scientifically proven that no one can shoot another person for at least 24 hours after eating a scone.
That’s enough math, let’s talk psychology. Sometimes, you just want to be a jerk. Let’s say you are having a bad day. Maybe a crazed gunman ate the last scone. For whatever reason, you are in a bad mood. Like any well adjusted human being, you know that the best way to relieve the anger is to pass it on, so you cut off the sucker behind you. Guess what? No consequences. A large population provides anonymity. You might get beeped at, you might even get into a fight, but you are never going to see that person again. In five minutes you’ll both be lost in the crowd, busily tracking down another person on which to spill off some anger. Try to pull that same stunt in the small town. That guy you cut off is probably your neighbor, and now you are going to have to deal with him being all passive aggressive. He’ll start raking his leaves onto your lawn. He won’t square dance with you at the harvest social. Pretty soon you’ll have a full blown Hatfield-McCoy thing going on. Generations of bloodshed, just because you couldn’t use your blinker.
What’s that you say? What about horror movies? Okay, granted. Godzilla never attacks a small town. But look at Freddy, Jason, Mike Myers, and more B-Grade horrors than you can shake a stick at. You don’t see them attacking a big city. At least, not at first. I’m pretty sure that Jason took a swing at New York once, but all that proves is that if you get attacked by a monster in a small town, he’s not a pro yet. That means it’ll be a slow, sloppy death for you, rather than the quick assassination of a seasoned veteran. Is that really what you want? A psycho-trainee taking practice swings on your jugular with a machete? No, give me the Predator any day. He went straight from the jungle to Los Angeles! That’s my kind of monster.
I hope I’ve made myself clear, small town America. You say you are safe and sound in your little community, but I know better. It doesn’t matter if it is a mad gunner, an angry motorist, or a supernatural serial killer monster. If you want piece of mind, get your butt to an urban center. And even if you don’t believe any of the 100% true facts that I made up, keep in mind my previously established prerequisite of a place worth living in. I can order a pizza and a cheese steak at 1AM and have it delivered to my house. Can you?