This weekend shooting in Antigo has turned into a personal crusade for me. Not because of guns or violence or any of the reasons you might think. Once I started digging into this and my old criminal psych training kicked in from days gone by it became clear why.
The young man who was the shooter was 18 in a small town, his girlfriend was younger and he was somewhat left behind by his classmates..betwixt and between so to speak. Well, as it turns out as an 18yr old I was somewhat in the same place with some of those feelings, not to the degree of Jakob but I certainly can associate where he might have been coming from. I know for certain the anguish he must have felt the last few weeks.
Now I had some outs at that time that Jakob didn't have and frankly there is no excuse for any 18yr old man in this country to feel like he was. I felt compelled last night to intervene on this young mans instagram when I saw his ex girlfriend and family being victimized... for what ? A very talented and beautiful 17 yr old gets dumped on because she chooses to look at this young man from the outside not from his looks or what she heard ? It sickens me that we are so petty in our views of those who are labeled differently !
There are reports and after talking to some folks personally I confirm the young man wasn't bullied but victimized in school. Nobody cared and no one stopped it. But again we have hundreds of people who scream on their righteous soap box “it's not an excuse” ! Yes there is no excuse for his actions Saturday night. It doesn't mean you victimize his family and friends to feel better.
But alas, as a society we continue to turn our backs on children with special needs. We turn our backs on mental health because you know they all belong locked up. We turn our backs on anyone or anything that doesn't seem“the norm” because it's uncomfortable or we can't cope.
Ladies and gentleman we have a problem as a society in that we prefer to not want to face the reality that we have a mental health crisis and issues with our youth. Stop letting the mainstream media play with your train of thought. Let's start treating those people that are not “right” with dignity and compassion. Rather than shunning them with hatred.
Because at the end of the day it takes a village to raise a child... and that's the long and the short of it.
Good night and god bless.