Thursday, June 21, 2007On today's shooting of an Illinois sheriff's deputy, followed by a car chase and hostage-taking incident at a bank in tiny Arcola, Illinois, population 2,500, home of Old Order Amish and hometown of the author who created Raggedy Ann and Andy - a modern day Mayberry -
"These things happen in big cities, not a little town like Arcola," said [an eyewitness]. "You don't think it will happen in your town."Unfortunately - oh, yes, they do. The Arcola incident fortunately has not yet claimed a life (although the deputy is in critical but stable condition). Crime may be such a common occurrence in large urban areas that we take it as a given hazard of city living until it happens to us, but awful things certainly do happen in the smallest of places. That's where some of the worst have taken place.
Delavan, WI: "This is a real big killing in a small town, and it's something that just doesn't happen here..."
There are many, many more. Like all bad things, it's always more comforting to think it will happen to someone else, somewhere else.
[For an interesting look at why multiple murders happen so frequently in small places, see "Mass Murder: What Causes It? Can It Be Stopped?" by Katherine S. Newman, available as an edoc and PDF file]