It's a common refrain when I tell people that I live in Colombia:
"Really? Isn't it really dangerous there? Is it safe?"
And last year, when my husband and I told people we were joining the Foreign Service and were going to be posted anywhere in the world, many people responded with concern. Weren't we afraid for our safety in other countries?!
Isn't it a horrible irony then, to have a triple-homicide (with two more in critical care as I write this) in a cafe just four blocks from our family house in Seattle as we were getting ready to leave for a day of appointments. Followed by the same gunman taking the life of a women 30 minutes later as he stole her car to escape. This scene, coincidentally, was just blocks from my appointments. He later killed himself miles away as the police surrounded him.
These deaths bring the count to 20 murders in Seattle this year, where the yearly average is 26. It's only May.
And they say that Colombia is a danger post...
So, are we really safer inside our own borders?