Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rural community in the face of tragedy

News is just breaking of the deaths of 8 persons in a shooting this morning at a North Carolina nursing home. The facility is in Carthage, population 1,871. I was struck by how rurality and stereotypes of rural community are reflected in the following quotes from Carthage residents, as reported in the New York Times.
“This doesn’t happen in Carthage, this is brand new to us,” said Carol Sparks, the town manager. “Everybody right now is in a state of shock. I am too.”
* * *

“This is a tiny little town ... . Its 2,000 people. Everybody knows everybody. So we’re just running around, trying to figure out what we can do to help.”

* * *

“This is a small community built on faith and faith will get us through,” said Chris McKenzie, chief of Carthage police.
A report in the 30 March 2009 issue of the New York Times indicates that a sole police officer responded to an emergency call from the nursing home after the gunman entered and began firing. The officer, who was wounded, was the only officer on duty in Carthage that morning.

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