We get so used to telling ourselves, and each other, that we live in the best place on Earth that it’s shocking when the worst thing imaginable happens in our own town.
Just as the beautiful Spring-like weather sets in, our communities were jolted this week by a murder in Ashcroft and a shooting in Spences Bridge.
I’m quite certain there are many people who wonder how such awful things can happen in such a great little town. My response would be: “Bad things happen everywhere.”
I’m the last one to suggest that we all become paranoid gun-packing survivalists like many of our neighbours to the South. That type of behaviour just breeds a world of conflict. But we can never let our guard down. We can’t expect people or events to take care of themselves. Every cruel or inexplainable act of greed or violence should spur us on to make our communities a better place for us all to live.
Keep an eye on your children and raise them to be good and decent people. Keep an eye on your neighbours and give them a hand if they need help.
It isn’t the first time that Ashcroft – or Cache Creek – or Spences Bridge – has faced unexpected violent crime. In that, we are no different that many other small towns in BC and the rest of Canada. What stands out like a glaring spotlight in a small town is just another unfortunate statistic in a big city. One thousand murders in a city of four million people would decimate us.
Murder is murder. Motives and reactions are the same whether you’re in a little town or a big city. What makes us different is how we deal with it. Unless it’s next door, you can ignore it in a big city because the solution may seem so far beyond your reach. In a small town, it’s always next door, and you have to find a way of dealing with it or live in fear for the rest of your life.
I suggest that the solution is in our sense of community. Be strong. Recognize our weaknesses and address them as a community. What makes a community strong is EVERYone looking out and caring for each other, young and old.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal