Baxter Black: They hang horse thieves
What is the mentality of a thief? Is it a complete lack of the concept that “it belongs to someone else?” Or is it envy that someone else has something you would like? Is it resentment against the victim? Do they think it can be justified by explaining to themselves, “Nobody is using it? It must be junk? I need it more than they do? They can buy another one? I need the money for drugs, to pay my rent, to get a new car?”
Stealing comes in different forms. To some it is a business, or a lifestyle, a sport, an obsession or a hobby.
Seems like every farm has a boneyard that includes pieces of farm implements, pipe, boards, tubing, fence, telephone poles, rolls of wire, old water tanks, railroad ties, scrap iron, tire rims and, at least one old vehicle. A boneyard is a used-parts store!
Recently I had the sheriff’s office come and inspect an ongoing thievery in my old bone yard. It’s difficult to get into with a vehicle but that hasn’t stopped them. Over a period of months they’ve taken metal pipe, iron canisters, solar panels, engine blocks, wheel rims and other rustables. They used a 4-wheeler usually, but they’ve also left truck tracks in gaining access. They have cut through heavy chain, stout locks, pulled out posts and cut fences to get in.
When I noticed they had hooked up to an overhead 600 gallon iron gasoline tank and tried to drag it, I called the sheriff.
But my boneyard theft pales in contrast to what goes on in heavily farmed parts of the country. California suffers mightily. Stealing is a business. They use scouts, spotters, truck drivers, buyers and, I’m sure lawyers. Machinery, iron, copper wire, plastic pipe and products like avocados are high on the list.
Victims in California’s Central Valley have organized, involving local law enforcement, neighborhood watch, and private security. It has helped recover some of their losses. But the violated victims must have a wish down deep to just catch them in the act and shoot’em like any other predator.
In certain countries they cut the hands off of thieves. In our own Old Wild West they hung horse thieves. As for me, I think I’d enjoy putting a load of buckshot in their hip pocket. It wouldn’t be legal, or the Christian way, but it would sure be fair, and I think I could live with it.