Lay blame on drugs, says longtime observer

Wayne Nelson has been in Coquille for more than 60 years. As a barber he meets a lot of people. He contends that drugs and idle hands are the main causes of the recent increase in crime. When people are working hard all day, they’re too tired to commit crimes, he said.

From the Coos Bay World, April 24, 2011

A Coquille resident for 64 years, Wayne Nelson said he has watched as the county slowly went to pot – literally – as he cut hair in his barber shop.

“They’ve always had crime around here, but it has picked up in the last 10 years,” Nelson said.

“I think it’s the drugs.”

Nelson said drug use began seeping into the community in the ’70s and has slowly escalated ever since. And with heavier drug use came altered mindsets.

“Idle minds are the devil’s workshop, my Granddaddy always used to say,” Nelson said smiling. Then this tone turned more serious.

“It’s all in the mindset,” he said.

“If people don’t respect themselves, they won’t respect others.”

Drugs beget violence

Furthermore, drug use leads to any number of rash or irrational actions, some violent and some not, Nelson thinks. Even when an addict is not under the influence, drug use can define their existence as they seek their next fix.

Nelson believes parents are partly to blame. Likewise, the steady increase in the drug use in the community.

Parents don’t always raise their children with good values and a work ethic, he said. Children grow up to adopt their parents’ bad behavior, sometimes drug use and violence. And as generations turn over, the situation escalates.

The result in Coos County: higher rates of violent crime.

“People like to blame all the crime around here on the economy,” Nelson said.

“The economy doesn’t have anything to do with it. A person would kill their own grandmother to get these drugs. It makes them crazy.”

OUR COMMENT – This is the lamest news story we’ve ever read.