Son of Hope

Red Lake Aftermath

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A Statement of Facts




It's been a couple of weeks since the Red Lake tragedy. 

Of no surprise, as the world and the media move on to other

things, this even will probably fade from the memories of most



     The experts and professionals, however, will be quietly

digging through the life of Jeff Weise for awhile longer.  But

I don't believe there will ever be clear-cut answers as to why

this sixteen year old went on his shooting spree.


     I certanly don't know all the reasons.  Yet what I do know

is that Jeff was a lonely, angry, depressed and troubled boy

who probably thought the whole world was against him and that

fate had cursed him.


     His father's suicide must have devastated him.  But I

could not find any articles that gave Jeff's age when his dad

took his own life.


     I am certain, however, that Jeff needed a close friend. 

He did have family living on the reservation. But having kin

nearby doesn't mean there's a deep bond.  Nowadays many family

members are more like strangers to one another.


     Jeff Weise needed someone to show him love and a healthy

dose of attention.  He needed affirmation that someone cared

about him.  Perhaps, too, that if he had one individual to tell

him "I value you" and you are a "worthwhile" person, this

disaster could have been averted.


     He was on medication for his depression, and he was

interviewed by a professional after his suicide attempt.

Nevertheless, as is often the case, his cries of despair went

unheeded; he didn't seem to know whom to ask for help or where

to find it.


     Obviously there were many factors which came into play for

this to happen, and many negative events in Jeff Weise's life

converged to produce an explosive mix.


     Choosing to murder someone, though, is always the wrong choice.


     In our culture where young men are taught to act tough and hide their emotions, and where it is thought to be childish to ask for help, it's improbable to think that troubled

adolescents will open up and talk freely about their difficulties, or about the seeming meaninglessness of their lives without lots of coaxing and encouragement.


     Men are taught to keep a straight face and to be rugged. 

Guns, too, can sometimes be a part of this.  In the movies and

in books such weapons are seen as problem solvers.  It's

easier, young minds may reason, to dispatch a person with a

firearm than to work hard at trying to have a good relationship with that individual.


     Like Adolf Hitler's "Final Solution" to get rid of

"undesireables", a gun or knife seems to provide a quick remedy.


     Unfortunately Jeff Weise was ready for this.  He was open

to violence.  He felt he had run out of options.   His cries

for help went unanswered.  No one loved him, so he thought, and

he saw no hope of things changing for the better.  Thus he

would take as many as he could with him to a dark grave.


     What a waste!  I am convinced that this did not have to

happen.  The Red Lake High School shootings were preventable.


     Jeff needed real friends.



                               David Berkowitz

                               April 1, 2005



(c) 2005  David Berkowitz 

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