Our Chinese teacher told us that he aspires to go to America to further his studies in English. He was thinking about the U.S. or Canada. Being Americans (citizens of the United States), we tried to convince him to come to the U.S. He did mention that it was very difficult to get a visa for the U.S. and mentioned that it takes considerable amount of money.
Then, he asked me if I owned a gun. This was right around the time that there were these string of shootings across the U.S. Apparently in China, many people see the movies with buildings exploding, car chases, and automatic weapons being wantonly discharged by ski-mask wearing villains. And then there’s the real stuff, too – like high school shootings, shootings at Jewish centers, immigration centers, post offices, etc. He thought that the U.S. might be too scary for him, and that his parents would worry too much.
I like to believe that the media portrayal of violence in the U.S. is a bit over-exaggerated. However, I should note that on the day of my father’s arrival to the U.S. (when he was fresh out of high school), he was mugged and beat up in Manhattan. He stayed in his hotel room for several days, scared to go outside.
With that said, I think the people I know that had first hand experience with a violence is far and few between. Unless you start counting video games…