I delivered newspapers for two years in my home town when I went to high school. I did so-alone-in all sorts of weather, except when it was raining heavily, and then, I got my father to help out. Except in the summertime, it was still before sunrise. I never feared for my life.
Apparently, sadly, and disturbingly, times have changed.
In Clarksburg last Friday, a boy and his father were killed while delivering newspapers before dawn. They weren't doing anything wrong. They, very tragicly, were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were shot during what was described as a "drug deal gone wrong".
News reports from Clarksburg say the only reason they may have been shot is that the suspect arrested in the shootings feared they may be potential witnesses to the obviously illegal drug activity.
The same reports say this all took place at 4:30 A.M. Apparently, drug activity truly knows no particular time of day.
I've trained myself to be objective, even on stories like this. But I'm sure I share the opinion of many others that this was a senseless, needless, and tragic turn of events.
I don't want to make a "Mayberry" comparison about my growing up years to today. By the time I was a teenager, people had long become used to locking their doors and staying inside at night out of fear of crime. I would not have been outside before dawn unless I had to be. But no one I remember ever feared something like this.
As I get older, I have become more and more grateful I grew up in the era in which I did. This latest incident is just one more addition to the list.
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