A Deputy Sheriff (we’ll call him Deputy Prepper) sent me a link via the blog to a very interesting article. Take a moment to read and absorb it. Then ponder its main points:
- Gang related crime has grown as much as 25% in 2011 in Tennessee – much of it in rural areas.
- Gang related crime has tripled in Tennessee since 2005
- From 2005 to 2011, cities with fewer than 50,000 residents saw gang crimes rise 232%
This quote grabbed my attention: “But rural towns often have small and sometimes ill-equipped police departments, which can make the communities vulnerable and attractive to young criminals trying to dodge larger cities with more sophisticated gang units. Also, gangs find rural areas to be full of eager, new drug customers and devoid of competition from other gangs.”
I’ve stated before I believe that the first real and credible threat after SHTF to rural communities will be from gangs roaming outside of the cities and towns after they have either been picked clean or when the challenge to their dominance becomes unfavorable. Given the fact that they already have their own tribe assembled NOW time will not be on the rural communities side. I did a bit more digging and found some rather startling facts from the latest unbiased* report published in 2010.
- In one year (2009-2010) Gang related homicides in rural areas increased 12.4% nationally despite the overall gang related homicide statistic decreasing 3%. Rural areas are making up for the larger cities.
- Small cities (under 50k) and rural areas account for over 36% of gang related activity in 2010
Rather startling when you think about it. But the article above and the statistics reinforce one idea – If you fail to pay attention and collect Intel on gang activity in your area you’re probably ignoring a credible threat.
* The 2011 FBI report has been criticized as being lenient on a lot of the traditional militant black gangs and separatists as well as understating the threat from radical Muslims and their presence in the Narco-Cartels. It has also been criticized for overplaying the “homegrown extremist” threat posed by Constitutionalists and Libertarians. It’s statistics in regards to rural communities has been shown to be flawed.
Now my second point. Remember I said a Deputy Sheriff sent this in via the blog. I see a lot of blogosphere types mouthing off about how Law Enforcement is a tool of the machine and they’re going to target them all, etc. I’m drawn to a conclusion about quite a few of these types of folks. I’m pretty convinced they don’t live in a rural area and their comments show their lack of understanding in what rural law enforcement is and how it works. Sure you read about “Sheriff’s Deputy shoots family dog” but how often is that in a rural area? And folks – Austin isn’t rural. If your house is 20 feet from your neighbors you aren’t rural. Just because you have a backyard garden doesn’t make you rural. Around these parts the Sheriff’s Office (SO) has been pretty aggressive busting the meth trade. I have no doubt it’s an uphill battle but they have yet to conduct a mistaken raid, point a firearm at anyone that wasn’t armed and breaking the law, shoot someone that wasn’t shooting at them first, or kill a dog that wasn’t foaming at the mouth with Rabies. YMMV.
And here’s my point. Just because someone in the blogosphere has an experience or story in Bugtussle WV don’t take it for granted it applies to your area as well when it comes to LEOs unless you live in that area. Get to know them, use them for intel, and form your own opinion as to whether they are “nefarious actors” or not. Have and use some common sense. You focus should be local.