It always struck me as odd that DS9 was essentially a military instillation in a turbulent part of space yet they had a huge civillian population. Restaraunts, shops, families, etc were all over the station yet they were in the middle of a war zone where the station was in constant threat of being attacked. Did it really make sense that so many people would choose to live on the station?
Absolutely. The best example I can give you today is Kandahar airfield, Afghanistan. A sprawling complex of thousands of mutinationals, although there are no families, there are still thousands of civilians who work and live there. There are restaurants and shops galore. Basically, a Deep Space 9 on the ground. The airfield is not only under threat. but is constantly fired upon. Teams of people go forth from 'the station' to carry out missions. Deep Space 9 is a great parallel to this. Not necessarily safe, as per the thread title, but very real.