Some nasty business involving a drug overdose and murder came to Madison County out of St. Louis. Sheriff John Lakin lamented a trend.
"Madison County is now starting to feel the effects of being in close proximity to one of the most dangerous cities in the United States," Lakin said. He said they didn't have a wall to keep residents safe from Missouri criminals, but that "we are going to fight this and fight this hard."
Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons echoed the sentiment: "If you come to Madison County you will get Madison County justice."
It's rational and noble to protect the home, but there's something numbing and naive about the idea of evil outsiders and innocent locals. Stranger don't let the sun set on you. Walls protect against "bad hombres." Ice cold beer and law east of the Mississippi.
First, some very nasty grandma killers, baby murderers, child torturers and killer rapists came out of Madison County. Second, staying safe has little to do with walls and divisions or with identifying masses of people as a blanket threat.
It's doubtful "Madison County justice" alone solved this case. More likely there was an assist from the St. Louis good guys.
Building up that regional cooperation seems much more constructive that erecting barriers, real or imagined. If you take a potshot at that stranger approaching your cabin door, he won't be able to tell you the back porch is on fire because Junior played with matches.