A rash of kidnappings and murders of children has the nation understandably alarmed. But perhaps it really hit home when the latest tragedy struck near St. Louis. It just illustrates that these kinds of sick acts can occur anywhere at any time. And that should be enough to make any parent extremely cautious.
The two recent disappearances in the west were somewhat different than the St. Louis case. For starters, the kidnapper in St. Louis had actually spent the night in the child's home and abducted her in the early morning the following day. In both cases out west, an intruder entered the home and kidnapped the young girls. Each of the three incidents however ended in tragedy.
A kidnapping in Philadelphia ended happily when the young girl freed herself and alerted police. But that case was different because the young girl was apparently being held for ransom. And if there is anything positive to any of these cases it's that, in each case, the kidnapper(s) were caught quickly and each will have their day in court.
In the St. Louis case, I strongly suspect there is more that will surface to put this tragedy into perspective. We know little of the family involved but we do know that the kidnapper - a homeless man - had been drinking and partying with some members of the family the night before and then fell asleep on the family's couch. The following morning he abducted the young girl and returned to the home within 30 minutes. Unfortunately that was enough time to kill the girl.
Parents can take precautions such as knowing where your child is at all times and by assuring that your home is as safe and secure as possible. Know your neighbors and stay alert at all times. And recognize that some members of the human race are just a minor step above animals. It's these predators that must be removed from this earth.
We collectively mourn the loss of a young life. But at the same time we recognize that some aspects of society are ugly and brutal and prone to violent and senseless acts. We can safeguard only so much. The rest is left up to a higher power.
But you know - it makes you wonder if that higher power shouldn't be Smith and Wesson.