Only a determined recluse could escape the realization that Forks has a junkie problem. We see it every day. We are by far from being unique. No matter where you go in America right now, it is the same. The country is flooded with cheap heroin and as many as half a million addicts.
It is a national tragedy that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. Junkie parents and neglected children descending down into a heartbreaking abyss.
The side effect of this is lots of theft in our community. I have been a victim as well. I too, feel the pain of my neighbors. I miss my beloved Stihl Farm Boss that allowed me to gather wood to heat my home. It sucks big time. I miss that saw.
I suppose my fantasies about confronting the thief and getting mid-evil on them are pretty normal. As much as I would love to have all of them sent out to Destruction Island along with all the heroin they could possibly want, it is not feasible or legal. When I was elected to city council I swore an oath to uphold the laws and defend the constitution.
Rationally, it is dangerous to cross the line to violence over a chainsaw. The laws that define what I can do to protect my personal property can get really muddy when a confrontation with a thief gets out of hand. There are other things I can do to protect my property that would mitigate these unpredictable and risky situations.
My time in the Navy involved lots of study. Many of those lessons involved power projection. When you have a nasty adversary you have some options. One of those is costly and violent and is only used when all the other options have been tried.
One of the options is a blockade. This makes it more difficult for the adversary to obtain the resources they need, (your stuff) to get what they want (drugs). If everyone in the community would make improvements to secure their property, it would do a lot to starve them out of town.
Create fear in the adversary. When somebody looking suspicious cruises through my neighborhood, I trust my gut and say, “Hey, you live around here? I know my neighbors and I don’t recognize you.” That is legal and really powerful. It takes a little courage and reasonable judgment, but it goes a long way toward making them uncomfortable. What in the heck is he doing out at midnight on a bike, wearing a backpack, smoking a cigarette under a dark hoodie? Then I call 9-1-1 to report a suspicious person.
Get a security camera that covers those places out of clear view. This requires some expertise that isn’t that hard to learn. Just go to YouTube. These days a couple of cameras and software to run them run under $200. A sundown to sunrise fast forward are a real eye opener on what goes down in Forks after dark. It is very educational.
It is not comfortable having to run in a defensive posture. Will we ever be able to leave our doors unlocked again? I don’t have that crystal ball. What I do know is this:
There are limits to what the police and judicial system can do. “Perps” get caught, they go to court and they get released. The system that defers them to treatment is bankrupt and ineffective. It is a universal problem all over the country. Small cities all over are in the same situation. We could double taxes and put a dent in the troubles. I sure don’t want that, nor do any of the people I represent. So as a community we have to do our part to help and look out for each other. The community I love and call home is really good at that.