Friday, June 18, 2010

Family Feuds

When we were considering moving here, I asked my brother what the level of crime was. I was told that there was 'some', but not bad. He told me that family feuds were about the worst we'd hear of. In our little country community and the small ones near by, there seems to be little in the way of criminal activity that makes the news.

However, if you listen to the news out of Greenville and Spartanburg cities every day, you'd think you were in a war zone. I often wonder why anyone lives there, if they've a choice, and also how there is any population left! The news reports are filled with murders,shootings, domestic violence, vigilante vengence and drug activity. Had I listened to all of that before I moved here, not knowing the distance from here to there, I'd have probably moved to some secluded island far north of here!

We are fortunate in this area to hear of few violent crimes. I cannot say that there have not been horrifying events, but those, as my brother said, were families settling their disputes in a negative way. The one that I heard of that was most awful involved the family of a deacon in our church. His daughter was married to, but separated from, a young man who was stressed over the loss of his job and other issues. He went to his wife's house and then shot her a number of times, and his six year old son in the leg and abdomen. Thinking that he'd killed them, he turned the gun on himself, ending his life. The sad part of this is, he is said to be a fine young man who 'snapped'. The end of the story will be a far-distant one, as the wife and child will carry the emotional scars long after their surgical and physical ones have healed.

There is no way to stop crime but here in the south, penalties are stiffer than they were in my former state. I would think that might deter anyone from their choice of criminal activities, but it has not seemed to do so. High unemployment rates make people turn to things to 'soothe' their hurts. Alcohol and drugs have become easily accessible to anyone who wants them, regardless of age and social status. The use of those types of 'pain killers' turns rational minds to mush and causes people to do things which they'd never think to do if they were 'uninfluenced'.

Domestic violence and child abuse is rampant. I can only pray that as local officials and organizations work to inform people of the help available to them when they are suffering from anger, loss and other stresses of life, that people will become more informed and take advantage of the aid that is available to them.

Life in all areas of this country is far different from the way it was when I grew up. Wishing it would go away does not do much, but perhaps if we all wished it hard enough, it would make us determined to worked toward that end. It's not just for 'them' to's for 'us' to join in with them. Or, am I just dreaming?