Been in the Atlanta area 20 years now, and travel a lot on business, meaning I see the local news in plenty of places. I’d like to think it’s just that the Atlanta media make more of it than in other cities. Unfortunately, “if it bleeds, it leads” seems to be alive and well as the motto of newsrooms everywhere.
Of course, one week is a pretty small sample size, so you might have hit a bad week. And if your friend isn’t from a city originally, the number of shootings that happen in Atlanta will seem large by comparison. But lets take it as valid that there are more in Atlanta than in most other places. Some things to consider:
[li]It’s the tenth largest metro area in the country[/li][li]The metro area covers a whole lot of territory[/li][li]The shootings tend to be concentrated in particular sub-areas within the city.[/li][li]The vast majority of Atlantans are never anywhere near where most of the shootings take place.[/li][/ul]
Atlanta has no natural geographic boundaries to its expansion, so the nearly 5 million people here are spread across a vast area, all of which is covered by the local media. Small pockets within that area probably account for the majority of shootings, while large areas see almost none. For the typical Atlantan (and at a 10-to-1 ratio between suburban and urban areas, the typical Atlantan is very much a suburban creature), the odds are actually pretty low of being anywhere a shooting – perhaps lower than in other areas that are more concentrated. Sure, there are occasional murders in the 'burbs, but they tend not to be random stranger-on-stranger violence but domestic disputes, etc. They’re especially low if you’re at all careful about where you go. I may worry about having the car broken into in some of the areas I go to on occasion, but for the most part my day-to-day existence doesn’t involve any areas where I worry at all.