Longtime Citizen of Duncan, Oklahoma Reacts to Recent Acts of Violence
We can't escape the fact, as harsh as it may seem, that senseless acts of violence are not just for the big city anymore. My town, Duncan, Oklahoma has been cast into a national and international spotlight for a crime that did not have to be committed.
I grew up my entire life hearing about violence. It surrounds us all day, every day. Whether it be from a simple assault on the playground, two kids scrapping on a school bus, or all the way to the major league, a tragic terrorist act which takes hundreds to thousands of lives. I found out Friday that we (citizens of Duncan) are not immune. No one want this kind of publicity. Ever. Big cities have it all the time. Not small town USA.
Let me take you back close to 45 years ago.
My parents decided that even in a small town like Duncan they wanted to move out to the country to have quiet days and evenings. Where (at the time) the closest neighbors were 10-15 acres away. They wanted to have a place they could raise their family in safety without worrying.
Growing up in the country was unique. The biggest issue back then? Someone returning from a lake outing after too many adult beverages and running over our mailbox. No big deal, it was replaceable. Life moved on day to day with minimal worries or issues.
Oh how times have changed.
The senseless act of violence that occurred Friday not only included a man being shot no more than one mile from my house, it also included an animal shot no less than 150 feet from my back door. Yeah, I could have seen the whole thing unfold right before my eyes had I been at home at the time.
It could have just as easily been my son mowing our yard. It could have been my kids on the golf cart riding around on the property. It could have been my wife out tending her flower beds. It could have been me. It could have been anyone from anybody's family.
I could live in a major city (which I have) and not let this affect me the way it has. In big city life, you hear about violence of this magnitude day in and day out. It grows on you like a callous on your foot. After awhile, you know its there, but it doesn't really bother you.
But in Duncan? This one has set in like darkness surrounding the sunset. Just last night while driving home, we only saw one person out jogging. There would normally be several individuals out jogging or biking - with families attached - or just walking. I didn't even see many people out in their front yards conversing with their neighbors like they normally do.
Now people in Duncan are rethinking what they do and when they do it. Extra precautions are taken to ensure safety. People in Duncan are on edge, they're looking over their shoulder. And with good cause. Did it have to come to this point? No. But unfortunately it has.
I understand you can't turn back time, but if we could, there would not have been a senseless crime committed in Duncan on August 16th. If we could turn back time in Duncan, we could all go back to a time when my town was one that everyone envied because of its laid-back lifestyle and lack of crime to speak of.
I want my kids to have the good teen years that remain in front of them. There is still a great amount of good that comes from Duncan. It's a great place to live. And apart form this horrible event that has really put us on the map, it will be a great place to retire.
A college baseball player attending East Central University was shot and killed Friday afternoon in Duncan. The three teenage boys involved in the shooting have been named and officially charged.