I live in a moderately-sized city located in north-central North Dakota.
We’ve never really worried about crime all that much here, because there are still a lot of people from other states who say “North Dakota? Where’s that? Isn’t that part of Canada?” So many people don’t even know that we exist here, much less that there are actual people living in this state – and it’s not just a grass-covered prairie full of buffalo and prairie dogs.
Life here has always been lived rather quietly. Living and progressing at a slower pace than many places, there’s actually a joke that since North Dakota’s so far behind other states, when the “Big Bomb drops” we’ll have another 20 years to ride out normalcy before we get “hit”.
There aren’t a lot of touristy-type attractions, unless you like the outdoor life. Hunting, fishing, camping, etc. We have part of the Badlands, and Medora, which are lovely and striking, but for the most part, it’s not a big vacation destination for people.
And that’s always been ok for me, and many of North Dakota’s residents.
It’s a great place to raise kids. We never really had to worry, as kids, about getting “snatched” off the streets of our tiny, 300-person population town. And once I moved to the city, I still didn’t really worry about my kids playing outside. Our neighborhood was quiet, calm, and you hardly ever heard sirens of any sort – well, maybe on weekends, and the odd one here or there.
Not so much anymore.
The Oil Boom hit our state, as well as parts of Montana and Saskatchewan, really hard last year. A few years back, they discovered that they could now reach a very large reserve of oil underneath our land called The Bakken Formation. They’re going for it, full speed ahead, guns a’blazin, and dudes a’drillin’.
And suddenly, I’m feeling a little like we’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of changes.
Not so much the laid-back farmland anymore, North Dakota is swiftly changing to feel a little more like a cross between The Beverly Hillbillies and the Hatfields vs. the McCoys.
Big companies have invaded our lands, drilling holes in the ground, pulling out barrels and barrels of money. It’s good for the economy, I know.
There’s something you lose with all this progress.
A certain sense of security.
A co-worker of mine recently got herself a concealed-carry weapons permit, and I’m thinking about getting one for myself.
And I don’t like guns.
So, I’m researching the possibility of getting myself a concealed-carry permit.
Because having the DEA and Border Patrol stop on my little 2-block street… both within the last year; after 12 years of quiet….. is enough of a sign.
It’s time for this Witch to stop relying on luck and magick, and get used to the idea that North Dakota just isn’t what it used to be. It’s catching up to the rest of the world… both good and bad.