Is Your Hometown’s Facebook Group Full Of Psychopaths Like Mine?

Are you a part of your small hometown’s Facebook group? If its anything like the one I’m in, you’ve probably seen the psychotic fringe of what your childhood place of residence has to offer.

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They usually come with nonsense names, “*insert town name here* people who actually care about *insert town name here*,” or “real *insert town name here* people only.” 

A closed Facebook community group for your old hometown seems to be a nice idea on paper - letting you look back on a place you lived in and loved for so long, and watching a group of residents band together for the betterment of it. 

The reality, for mine at least, is something rather different - with the most highly engaged users being a bunch of downright racist, xenophobic psychopaths with murderous dreams of so-called self defence that would make even the hardest deep south, second amendment-supporting gun nut blush.

I could go on for thousands upon thousands of words, deconstructing every facet of this group’s activity from the mundane complaints about the bins, to their tendency to always blame brown or polish people for small store robberies.

But instead, I will focus on one particular post that practically gave me a heart attack.

For transparency, this is found “Kirkby-in-Ashfield people” Facebook group - a group which started from small but heartfelt beginnings of sharing pictures of the Kirkby of old that I remember before the countless years of urban redevelopment.

Shared from a redneck clothing Facebook page, the question is simple - should you be allowed to shoot a criminal that has broken into your house?

Luckily, the UK has this crazy thing called gun control, which has practically ceased and serious or regular gun crime (don’t even try to pettifog the issue with “what about illegally obtaining a gun.” With a country where firearms in public are 100% against the law, but do understand that in less than 1% of situations, a gun is going to fall through the cracks. That doesn’t mean everybody should have one).

But I digress, back to the post. Unsurprisingly, after a year of watching this group deteriorate into being suspicious of people with different origins and threatening violence against people who had the nerve to throw their empty pack of Rolos in your wheelie bin, I was unsurprised by the response at first.

Overwhelming agreement and plenty of people screaming “yes” in the comments. “The real question is "how many times can I shoot a criminal that has broken into house?”” Wayne commented.

Tumbling down the rabbit hole that is this toxic comments section, things turned more violent, more terrifying and (in a couple situations) more sadistic.

“I’m in the uk so no gun but iv kept a big ass knife beside my bed and maybe another one somewhere and I would use them unconditionally,” Sherri Snee piped up in the comments, confirming that I will never ever return to live in Kirkby, as the population seems to have started sleeping with weapons prepared to use.*

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This led to another member, Ryan, tagging Sherri’s daughter and rather humorously quipping “your mum’s basically Jason Vorhees.”

Let’s continue…

“It's OK for them to crack u on head with what ever.... U do it u get done 😠😠😠😠,” Ann posted, clearly not understanding the definition of “self-defence,” or the spelling of the word “you.”

“British law is shut surposeto be the best .yes for the criminal,” Rita bafflingly commented.

“And all the while the law is on the side of the criminal,and there lies the problem.not so many years ago you would be hung for stealing a man's horse.little shit's steal your car,” Richard begins typing, reminding us of a …better time? “And let's face it it is'nt Twok its theft and they don't even get punnished.same thing in my eyes”

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“Yes but not really a valid question for people who live in the UK,” Amanda finally introduces a fact into the situation, to which Peter inhales another creatine shake and responds. “Delete Shoot in this case and insert Stab, batter or plain stomp their asses into the ground.” (p.s. Are you okay, Peter?)

Then it takes a slightly strange turn…

“I'm hoping to, unfortunately my dogs will eat him first 😂😂,” Kev adds, suggesting that his dogs may love the taste of humans…

“Just what I say to them break into my house make my day coz dog will go hungry,” Selina says on the same topic.

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All in all, a pretty horrific comment stream and one that I can fortunately say does not represent Kirkby at all.

Just to establish my personal thoughts on the question posed here, I’m not questioning anybody’s right to defend themselves in the case of a home intrusion and the law supports any act of self defence in your home. But after a diet of domestic terror news, propaganda and general paranoia incited by a newfound plight of sheer selfishness and isolation (see: Brexit), it’s easy to see how this community has lost control. 

Yes, there are robberies. Sometimes they happen when people are in the house. But let’s add some context… Last checked stats in 2017 show that there 127 robberies per 100,000 people… That’s right, 100,000. Really not as terrifying as the narrative sown around this story by the likes of The Mirror. It’s easy to cherry pick facts to encourage greater clicks and make your audience feel scared into reading more, but at the end of the day, it’s only the half of the story that was guaranteed to create more social chatter.

That fact, to me, doesn’t necessitate Sherri down t’road keeping a “big ass knife” by her bed, and if you’re that paralysed by fear you immediately resort to violence, then that’s a big check in the column of me losing faith in humanity.

But now it’s time for me to turn things over to you, dear reader… If you know of or are a member of one of these groups, please get in touch. I’d love to see if it’s just me or not.

Also, if you find yourself in Kirkby, let me know. I’ll see if I can stop by for a pint in The Dog House.

*Screenshots of this comment have been sent to the police. It’s not illegal to have a knife in a private property (your bread knife for example), but to have one stored for the sole purpose of using as an offensive weapon is illegal.