A Washington Times piece about Wal-Mart coming to Kilmarnock Virginia says fairly predictable things about the reactions for and against a big chain coming to a small town. But this town of 1,244 two hours south of Washington DC strikes me as far more interesting for another rreason: People in the town do not need to lock their cars on main street - what a luxury!
In this town of 1,244 about two hours south of the Beltway, folks are used to walking in the unlocked back door of a neighbor's home, sometimes without knocking.
The lower Northern Neck was largely inaccessible, except by ferry or a long drive north, until the Robert O. Norris Bridge connected it to Route 3 and the mainland in 1957. It slowly has grown as Northern Virginians discover the area, but even today only a few stoplights dot the streets of Kilmarnock.
A drive down Main Street after 7 p.m. is quiet. Most shops close two hours earlier and there's no traffic, let alone congestion. The few streetlights are shaded downward to preserve the view of the stars at night.
Sunday mornings are spent at church. Antique galleries are the few businesses in Kilmarnock with Sunday hours.
Most of the cars parked along Main Street are unlocked and the keys sit on the front seat -- unless, of course, the owner is a "come here" who can't break the habit.
"You can tell who has moved here because they press the button when they get out of the car," Mr. Gulbranson says.
"We're a small community," says Joe Hudnall, president of the Noblett Inc. appliance store on Main Street and a resident since 1978. "You go out to eat or go to church and you know everybody there. I could walk down the street and know 19 out of 20 people by name."
I am surprised this is still possible anywhere in America. Can you point to other towns where crime is so rare that you do not have to lock your car or your house?
Think about this: Your rights are violated because you have to lock your car or lock your house. You are being forced to do something by criminals. Never mind that they are not there in front of you. Their willingness to violate your rights forces you do to things to defend yourself and your property. That fact of being forced is itself a violation of your rights.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 October 22 06:15 PM Culture Compared|