We certainly live in changing, challenging times. Hendersonville is no longer the "Currier and Ives" Christmas card, cozy, neighborly, safe and secure small town many of us grew up in. And that's ok....change and challenge is part of life...and we can deal with that. What we can't deal with, what we should refuse to deal with, is senseless, brutal crime....and predators on our street corners.
The murders of Connie and Ricky Sparks is a shocking, sobering, frightening reminder that some people are around, and some things are happening that shouldn't be. The Sparks were the epitomy of innocent victims....good neighbors, solid citizens, a family that cared about and for each other, who had every right to live in and enjoy their home...and to feel safe and secure in it. Instead....their home was invaded and they were murdered in cold-blood in their bedrooms. Not for money, because they didn't have much...by predators who place no value on human life....who value only their worthless, selfish, evil whims of the moment.
It's bad enough that we have as many as 18 thousand illegal immigrants now in our county that no one knows what to do with...growing numbers of them rape and rob, steal and murder....and not just among each other.
But it's much worse that we obviously have now our own home-grown variety of predators...who kill neighbors as innocent and vulnerable as Connie and Ricky Sparks. The suspects in that case have been caught...good police work all across the state ade that happen. Folks are saying that if convicted, lock them away....and throw away the key.
But that's no good. There's always a chance some prison may be over-crowded, some bureaucrat may lose them in the shuffle, or some bleeding heart may turn them loose. No sir. forget the plea bargains,forget the leniency, forget the mercy....the Sparks surely were shown none...let "Due Process" take its course...but then let happen to these predators what ought to happen to cold-blooded killers, to those who threaten us all, and rob us of the ability to feel safe and secure in the iddle of town, in the quietest neighborhoods....even in our homes, even in our own bedrooms. The only thing, "Cruel and unsusual" in a case like this is what happened to the Sparks....no punishment is "Cruel" enough for those guilty of such a heinous crime...and the only thing that seems "unusual" in a case like this is that the guilty ones are entitled to any decency at all.
And if that's not enough...we're now told John and Irene Bryant were murdered, her from a blow to the head...his body still hasn't been found...while enjoying the sunshine and the Fall olor in the National Forest.
Folks, lock your doors.....even during the day. Don't stop for or pick up strangers. Don't let anyone flag you down on the road. Watch your children closely. Be careful in all public places...even in broad daylight. Lock your cars. If you live alone or are handicapped in any way, take extra-ordinary precautions for your safety.
And let's every one....for the Sparks and for ourselves...demand justice, swift and sure. The Sparks deserved it and so do we all...it's past time we renew our ommitment to it....and settle for nothing less.
This has been a WHKP station editorial....we invite your comments.