My youngest son and his girlfriend and puppy are here for the holidays. With rain pouring outside, we have been watching multiple episodes of "Sons of Anarchy." It's about a motorcycle gang in San Joaquin County, near Stockton, California, where I lived as a child, from 4th through 7th grade, before moving to San Jose.
Stockton was a great town back then, in the mid 1950's. It was a quiet, rural area, where we felt safe taking the bus downtown to see a movie, though we were not yet in our teens. Not so today, as Stockton is now a high crime area. My niece was robbed at gunpoint there some months ago, on the street.
Why is this true? I don't really know, but suspect our changing racial demographics have a lot to do with it -- fewer white people is not a good thing and it's time we admitted this non-PC fact of life. There were no drug-dealing gangs in Stockton when I was a kid -- or if there were, they kept out of sight.