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Chief magistrate: ‘We condone violence’

By William Thomas Chief Magistrate Judge As a community, we mourn the loss of a highly valued hard working citizen. John Dixson was an asset to our town. As individuals, we mourn the loss of a precious friend and neighbor. John Dixson was that friend and neighbor. We ask, ‘How can such a thing happen? What could have been done to prevent such a tragedy?’ This cold, calculated, bloody, ruthless murder of a vulnerable, trusting old man with a little cash is just an escalation of the crime wave we’ve learned to accept. It’s just a raising of the ante in our poker game of tolerating crime; and we’re losing. I strongly suspect Mr. Dixson was a target of opportunity and an easy mark for a drug user/addict who wanted, needed, a ‘fix.’ Mr. Dixson paid a very high price for our toleration of the drug use and drug deals around us. Mr. Dixson paid a very high price for our toleration of the crime wave that funds the drug users and drug dealers among us. We tolerate too much! Most of us are law abiding citizens. Most of us have seen suspicious activity or observed illegal acts and failed to report it to the police. We always have good sounding, but invalid excuses, such as: ‘¢ ‘Boys will be boys, it’s just a part of growing up.’ ’¢ ‘Broken glass and graffiti, it’s no big deal.’ ’¢ ‘I don’t want to get involved.’ ‘¢ ‘He’s really a good boy.’ ‘¢ ‘He’s my friend’s child.’ ’¢ ‘I don’t want to get him in trouble.’ ’¢ ‘It’s just experimenting with marijuana.’ ‘¢ ‘It ought to be legalized, anyway.’ ’¢ ‘Doing drugs is a victimless crime.’ ‘¢ ‘Police don’t need to be involved; they’re corrupt anyway.’ ‘¢ ‘They should get the big dealers and not bother the little guy.’ ’¢ ‘I’m not ratting out my supplier.’ Whatever your excuse was, it didn’t work. Mr. Dixson paid a very high price for your excuses! We do not need excuses. We need to renew our social contract with each other for a crimefree community. The social contract we need to renew is the West Point cadet code of conduct, which is: ‘A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.’ The key here is ‘“ ‘or tolerate those who do.’ Most of us do not lie, cheat or steal but there are some who do and we tolerate too much! We must be vigilant in observing and putting a stop to illegal conduct before it escalates. Further, we must stamp out the escalated levels of criminal activity. This is a problem for all of us. As Mayor Dewaine Bell used to say, ‘We’re all in this together.’ We must all become intolerant of all criminal behavior.

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