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TIMES EDITORIAL: We aren’t shielded from evil anymore

Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 11:02 am

It’s hard to ignore the trend – murder, violence, horrific accidents.

The type of news this paper has been forced to report over the past few years seems to be documenting the end of Manchester – the quaint little southern town, while ushering in a hell that will make this place no better than any other.

Manchester has always been comfortable. Nashville and Murfreesboro are fun to visit, but Manchester is home. It’s where we go to church, know our neighbors, enjoy our small-town style, see someone we know at every store, eat hometown cookin’, sip on sweet tea and leave our doors unlocked at night.

At least it used to be. Growth and modernization seems to have come at a price.

It was just a little over two years ago when this community grieved together at the horrific triple murder of the Hershman family. The recent murder of Megan Sharpton may not have been in Manchester, but it was too close for comfort. In November someone went into a rural Maple Springs Rd. home surrounded by beautiful farmland and shot Thomas Colucci to death.

Saturday police found a woman murdered by gunshot, dumped like yesterday’s trash and set ablaze in Summitville. A mom in Tullahoma is accused of trying to pimp her daughter for drugs. Jeffrey Smithson was convicted of beating and strangling his elderly aunt to death in her home in 2011 after she took him in to help him straighten up his life.

We fear that rural, small-town America has packed its bags and is now isolated in only the smallest corners of the south. Does Manchester (and rural Coffee County) still have access to that unique club?

Maybe that assumption is premature. But ask yourself – do I feel as safe here as I did 10 years ago?

It’s hard to ignore what seems like an ever-present news cycle of murder and evil. Leaving the doors unlocked seems unthinkable. In a country where gun control is the rally cry after 20 children were slain in their school building, it’s hard to blame anyone for packing heat. That may not be the answer but it’s sure understandable.

We can’t control everyone’s actions. But maybe everyone should be the change they wish to see in our small parcel of land.

It would be nice to see the good beat the evil that seems to have settled over us like the death grip of July humidity.

Maybe one bought cup of coffee, one held door, one random compliment to a stranger, one roadside assist, one neighborly act at a time, we can turn things around.

Maybe good can beat evil. But we better start now if we want to make the next news cycle a good one.

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