No harm in being prepared

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2021

It is easy to get comfortable in a bad routine until something bad happens as a result.

An example of this, as we’ve seen in the last few weeks, is leaving cars and houses unlocked with and making yourself a soft target for petty theft.

Another example, as we unfortunately witnessed last weekend, is walking or running alone without any means of protection.

A young woman who was abducted and whipped with a pistol in her own neighborhood near Parkway Baptist Church on Friday evening did nothing wrong and did everything right, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said.

That didn’t stop someone from trying to do her harm. She kept distance between her and her attacker only to be swept up from behind with a gun to her back and shoved into a truck, reportedly stashed with zip ties and duct tape.

She fought for her life and, luckily, she won. Perhaps luck had little to do with it. Perhaps it was divine intervention. She escaped, but was not completely unscathed.

In hindsight, having a can of pepper spray, a Taser or a friend to walk with could have prevented her from being hurt. Looking back, how many of us, our friends or our loved ones have walked those same streets alone? This is a neighborhood where kids regularly play outside unsupervised and elderly or vulnerable people walk or jog. As the sheriff noted, had this attacker picked anyone with less fight in them as this woman had, they might not have survived to tell anyone about what happened. Thank God this woman lived and could go home to her husband and children.

Many of us are rattled by this incident, whether we knew the victim personally or not. The event has us questioning whether it is enough to rely on physical strength and self-defense training to ward off an attacker. How many of us actually know and have those skills and are capable of withstanding such an attack?

Our thoughts and prayers are with her as she recovers. We are grateful that local law enforcement agencies and neighborhood residents worked hand in hand to capture a suspect.

While we cannot let this rare incident disrupt our day to day lives and cause us to live in fear, we can arm ourselves so we can be less afraid.