With the Joyal and Safronov incidents in Washington and Moscow occurring so close together, it presents a chance to put in perspective an issue of concern to the average citizen of any country: How safe are you?
The comparison is apt as both cities consistently win their respective continent's Murder Capital titles. Using census data from 2005 and rates of homicide given by Russian and American government sources, Moscow's rate of homicide is 9.13 per 100,000 inhabitants, whereas Washington D.C.'s comes in at a whopping 35.42 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Knowing this, perhaps it is understandable why some aspects of emulating America can be troubling to foreigners who grow weary of the "rule of law"-mantra when these invectives are lobbed from a glass house.
Setting aside that the rate of political murders has decreased every year that Putin has been in power and ignoring the fact that these recent murders harm rather than advance Putin's agenda, let's pose a question for the unrepentant conspiracy fans out there: If Russia's president is responsible for every murder in his capital, does that mean America's leader is culpable for the same in his own backyard?
Meanwhile, only time will tell if the D.C.-area security forces prove to be any better at solving these sorts of incidents than their Moscow counterparts.
UPDATE - March 18, 2007Sean's Russki Blog has more info from the Washington Post on the Paul Joyal shooting case, suggesting that the attack was the work of common criminals.