I live in a small rural area. Our "city" is roughly thirty minutes away, and is growing at a rapid rate of two fast food restraunts, one department store, and a better than average food dive every three or four months. The population is a cool 100,000 and growing. Not too big, not too small, even though Teen Two prays daily for the addition of a "TGIF." And although it is a small "booming" town, the crime rate has stayed relatively "low."
Yes, we have the usual city crimes: robbery, drug marketing, prostitution, violence, but for the most part the crime scale isn't on the ricktor scale. So, we live in blissful ignorance of big city living. Many people do.
Last week, one of my co-workers experienced what lax, blissful living can do. She was peacefully shopping at the local Wal-Mart. It's the super size one, so you can do all. It was one of the few times where she was able to escape home with only one of her three boys, the four year old. While she was shopping, with her son secured in the shopping buggy, some guy literally picked up her son out of the shopping cart. Just picked him up. She was fortunate enough to be able to grab onto his legs and pull him away from the man, screaming for help at the same time, however, the man was gone before she could get even a description of him. This story makes my blood run cold and hot at the same time. It scares the hell out of me, and at the same time, makes me mad enough to lay a hurtin on someone.
Of course, this story is the one that stays out of the limelight. No need to cause panic to the public. No need to cause undue stress to the masses. I understand all of that. There are no major details to provide. But I am on alert now because of the knowing. I'm on the "watch" when I have to be in a store. Where I might walk three steps away from the buggy to pick up a box of cereal, I am now pushing the cart along with me.
Before the addition of Abs (4), Gus (3), and V (1), I held my breath through the younger years and was on guard like a pit bull hungering for a pound O' manflesh. I thought that once they hit the teenage years, and could trust them enough to be aware of stranger danger, I find that danger is something that is everywhere and for every age. Remember just a few years ago when boyfriend kills girlfriend and chops her up to stuff her into the trunk of his car? That was someone she knew and should have been able to trust!
Is this a sign of times? No, I don't think so. Crimes against humanity have been happening since the dawn of time. Adults preying on children isn't a modern day past time, it has happened since cavemen knew they had something growing between the nethers. The main difference is modern inventions allow for more macabre tools to fall into the hands of monsters trying to pass as humans. Modern communication and the information highway allows for news to travel faster than the Pony Express could deliver. And the worms are coming out into the bright of day instead of staying hidden in the caves they deserve to be buried in.
What do you think?