Later in the evening, Jett said, the two men returned. The one who had asked for the dollar went to the driver’s side window and tried to stab the man with a knife. The driver got a gun from his console and shot the knife-wielding man in the chest.
Up until about eight to ten years ago, there were no homeless people in my area to speak of. I don't live in Stafford, but I spend a lot of time there, and the amount of panhandlers and homeless camps here and in surrounding counties like Spotsylvania (Really? There's a place called Spotsylvania? Creeeeeepy!) has spiked dramatically. The cops have been arresting them right and left, and my guess is because they've been getting more aggressive, but I can't confirm that. It's just my opinion.
I think that as more and more people fill the homeless camps and more people are panhandling on the side of the highways outside shopping centers, things get very competitive and the natural tendency is for aggression to go UP. The more desperate people get, the more likely it is that they will resort to violence. On the flipside of this powder keg is Joe and Jan Schmucketelli who just want to shop for discounted bulk diapers at Costco without getting knifed in the ribs over forty three dollars (Why do I suddenly hear Hank Jr?). In this day and age, a quality reliable pistol with highly advanced ammunition can be had for less than a good DVD player, and they can be readily carried or stowed in the console of your Tahoe. In the end you don't know who to trust these days, and any friendly window-side encounter over a few bucks can transform into something else entirely, so be cautious.
Stafford county, Virginia is not a "dangerous" or violent place, but bitter people are everywhere. This thread is not for bashing the homeless -- indeed, it wasn't very long ago when a homeless man close to here did a very honorable thing, and that should be commended. I'm more or less pointing out that there is danger in both camps. The tightwad guy with no patience or tact who's loading azaleas into the back of his Honda -- he may be armed, so don't come back waving a kitchen knife in his face because he didn't hook you up with a five-spot.