If you live in the High Country you didn’t need to meet Chris Ward or Logan Fox to be shocked at the news of their deaths. And even if you don’t live in Watauga, Ashe or Avery counties, the concept of two small-town deputies being killed during a welfare check should come as a horrific realization — yet one that is sadly part of the fabric of towns and cities throughout our nation.

We certainly don’t want to lessen the pain such tragedies cause in larger communities, but in our rural and less populous areas, such deaths are closer to home. Chris and Logan weren’t just officers, they were the men who visited our children in classrooms, those we counted upon when our business alarms were ringing, the friends we saw in church on Sunday, the first-responders we called during an emergency, and yes, the protectors who would check on our loved ones when we were unable to do so ourselves.

We would like think that such tragedies can’t happen so near to where we live and work and worship. But they do. It’s been almost nine years since the death of Watauga County Deputy William Mast Jr., who was killed while responding to a call in Deep Gap on July 26, 2012, and for many of us that memory is still clear.

Such tragedies are our reality. Our prayer is that we need not face such adversity in the future; that this does not happen again in the High Country or anywhere else.

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(1) comment


"We would like think that such tragedies can’t happen so near to where we live and work and worship. But they do."

"Such tragedies are our reality"

FFS, stop trying to normalize this and do your job as journalists and push back (for once!) It does not have to be this way.

These types of incidents don't happen anywhere near as often in countries with saner gun laws. Don't get me wrong, they still happen, but when you start comparing it on a per-capita basis, the US leaves most all other "advanced"/developed nations in the dust. Takeaway? While we'll likely never fully solve the issue of violence between humans, we can make it a lot harder for these types of gun-related (including mass) killings to occur so often.



*Note* I own a gun. I have absolutely nothing against owning a firearm, esp. in a rural area like Watauga, and even more so if you're a hunter or a farmer. What I don't understand, however, is the vitriol of so many against the basic notion of increased controls on who can/can not purchase a gun, waiting times, background checks, and bans on military-grade weapons. Nor do I understand the continual desire to normalize these events. This should simply be common sense, and if one looks at the data, there's a strong correlation between increased controls, and reduced deaths. Again, I'm not saying it's an end-all-be-all solution, it's simply a mitigation tool, but one that has been shown to work in country after country after country.

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