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The Scoop - A 7-year-old is using a knife?
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What has happened to our sleepy little town?

It's like Rambo and Dirty Harry have wandered into the Nursery Capital and we're living scenes straight out of "Die Hard."

Today's top headline is shocking, an absolute stunner. The story tells how a 7-year-old sees his sister get pushed down while playing outside at a local apartment complex. His idea to take care of the situation is to go inside, grab a knife, and stab the kid who pushed his sister in the stomach. Now that's a violent leap.

At 7 years old, I was still watching "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood," playing with Legos, and rolling Hot Wheel cars around the living room floor. It never occurred to me to grab a kitchen knife and stab someone in the stomach at about the same time I was learning to read. 

See Jane.

See Jane run.

See Jane's brother stab another boy in the stomach.

One local police detective told the Standard on Thursday that a 7-year-old is the youngest child he's ever had to deal with. To me, 7 just seems ridiculously young for this type of thing.

That incident on Wednesday comes just a few days after a man was shot and killed by an AR-15 on Fair Street. The two men involved in the shooting, both 30, were reportedly longtime buddies going all the way back to their days at Warren County High School. On the night in question, they had been drinking in Murfreesboro.

On the trip back to McMinnville they had a disagreement so they stopped, got out of the car, and fought on the side of the highway. It's not the smartest thing to do, and obviously sober minds did not prevail, but a physical altercation reportedly happened there on the Woodbury four-lane.

But it didn't stop there. The two men reportedly got back in the same vehicle and continued arguing all the way to Fair Street. That's when one of the men walked into his home, retrieved an assault rifle, and stepped outside. The guy without the AR-15 then got shot and killed. It's a tragically sad situation and a story that was troubling for me to write.

That incident was just a few days after two fugitives sped into McMinnville and past our high school at over 100 mph. At one point they traveled on the wrong side of Highway 55, creating the very real possibility of a head-on collision.

During the police chase, the two fugitives tossed two guns out the window and were eventually arrested thanks to two armed citizens in Newtown.

All this has been unsettling for me, especially with two sons who call Warren County home. Is TV violence to blame? The finger always seems to point toward video games. Or how about rap music that glorifies drive-by shootings?

I'm not going to speculate on the reasons, but I can comment on the end result. Violence isn't just part of our society. It's beginning to define our society.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.