The cliches that ran through our minds when we decided to move here continue to resonate:
- It's a great place to raise kids.
- We don't have the same problems as big, bad cities like Detroit.
- The things that happen there just don't happen here.
By now, many of you may have read about the discovery of eight bodies in and around four abandoned cars parked by a farmer's field in a tiny burg called Shedden. It's being called one of Canada's worst mass murders in a decade, and Ontario's worst ever. Media worldwide are running this story on their front pages. Rumors are now flying about organized crime and biker gangs. As I write this, police are laying siege to a suspected biker's home a mere few kilometers away from the murder scene.
The crime scene is about a half hour's drive southwest of my house. I have cycled past there on many occasions, racing through the rolling countryside and wondering why more people don't choose this lifestyle. The discovery brings home the sad reality that crime of all kinds can happen anywhere. No one region is immune. Ignoring reality doesn't change this stark fact.
In the days, weeks and months to come, we'll learn more about the intricacies of this case. We'll learn who the victims were, and why - and by whose hand - they met their end. We'll hopefully witness the deliverance of some semblance of justice, and we'll all go back to our lives as this case - for everyone but the victims' families, that is - gradually fades into history.
However it plays out, we can safely consider the illusion shattered. Wherever we live, there is no such thing as sanctuary.
Your turn: Is society losing its innocence or is this simply media spin at its finest?