I don't think you'd disagree with this logic?
That was my intent, AJ :)
Then you know the mentality of those who live in poverty, right? Well, there's still a lot of poverty in your country. (Not trying to dwarf or insult your country there, just airing a simple fact of life.) I've had the pleasure of meeting a lot of Polish people who left your country because they were living under extremely poor conditions there, and some of them seemed to want to do almost anything for a bit of money.
Yeah, cleaning toilets and picking strawberries 12 hours a day. For good money, in the situation.
Just yesterday I stumbled accidentally on the info that 37% of Poles live below the poverty line. This is true 'in a way', the way being that Western standards are being applied to Eastern reality. What in Poland is 'struggling along', in the West is 'utter poverty'. Those people will not risk imprisonment just to put more, or better, meat on their tables, or to get plasma instead of an old dad's TV.
It's been checked in practice, and I refer to the ridiculously easy access to firearms while our best-friends-in-the-world were leaving for home. You could get anything, starting with a sh1tty police handgun, through vintage Parabellum and up to AK47, all with with ammo, on your local market, for a surprisingly moderate price. Without dodgy contacts, all you needed was to look a sufficiently 'decent bloke', and to hint on a bit more serious interest in 'proper stuff'. People who had enough money to eat dumplings and cabbage everyday could easily afford it - yet they didn't. Those who had some cash to waste, and liked the idea, did it just for the sake of it, and then kept their guns cunningly hidden.
There was a meaningful increase in gun crime at this time, easy to predict. From zero to something. Surprisingly again, this something was like non-existent, actually. Except for the sudden rise of organised crime, but even they didn't use firearms much, while it was sufficient to smash the landlords windows now and then, or burn the door. Not too much, he was supposed to run the business and pay for protection, not to go bust overnight.
And the organised crime was due to corrupt police, rather, than anything else. The perfect example was in Katowice, where nearly all the small businesses had to pay racket money until a team of 'paratroopers' were sent from Warsaw and finished the grand mafia off in months. They didn't care much for drug dealing, different business, so the very centre of the city was a desert place after 10pm still, ordinary folks scurrying through now and then in haste to avoid half-sane potheads with dirty syringes in hand.
As you noticed yourself, people prefer to do ****** jobs than to rob tills in local shops. May seem strange, but it's true. And seems there's no tradition of gun-crime in Poland, it's, like, impractical. It's much more reasonable to hit the mark with a gas-pipe from behind and walk away with a wallet, than to risk noise and commotion with a gun. Small profit, good turnover, and you can live from balanga to balanga.
Long post, sorry, but it like wrote itself.