Friday, September 14, 2007

Vigilante Nation

Having lived in a rural area for almost two years I can see a sad pattern. Most of the kids that grow up here don’t have much in the way of opportunities in their future unless they move into more urban areas of the country. Unfortunately it is getting more difficult to do so as our economy shrivels and dribbles away.

For young adults who face a future with little promise of jobs with decent pay many turn to drugs. In my area the drug of choice for kids is meth and crack cocaine and once addicted they need money to pay for their habits. Of course being on drugs makes it even more difficult to find a job in the limited job market of rural areas and these kids turn to burglary.

Last week a woman came to my house and told me that she was trying to organize a neighborhood watch and invited me to come to a meeting with other people in the neighborhood and a representative from the sheriff department. So I went to the meeting to see what it was all about and to meet people in the neighborhood. A lot of people at the meeting were fairly upset, some had been burglarized twice in the span of a few months so rather than discussing how we could help each other the first half of the meeting turned into a bitch session. One middle aged man stood up and introduced himself and apologized that his wife “his childhood sweetheart” could not make it which I thought was a strange opening but it got even stranger. “If anyone comes on my property they are in mortal danger” he said. Another man piped up and wanted to know if he could shoot the burglar which brought some sporadic laughter. Another person said “don’t shoot the burglar in the back and if you shoot him outside drag the body into the house.” Oh great, I thought, I hope this doesn’t turn into a lynch mob and I was not interested in some kind of vigilante group. Fortunately most of the people there were more level headed and the conversation soon turned to a more reasonable tone after the nut-balls had spouted their fear and let us all know how manly they were.

Good grief, young Wild West is getting real old as far as I am concerned. As we continue in the direction we are going, shipping jobs overseas, murdering brown people because they have the bad luck of having oil on their land so that a few wealthy Americans and Brits can get even more of what they don’t need and already have too much of, I don’t see a bright future for this country. Unfortunately the young Wild West syndrome seems to be all too engrained in American culture which allows Americans to be manipulated by our government and the corporations that own our government. Sometimes I wish people would just grow the hell up.