The Red Lake Massacre Essay

1842 words - 8 pages

School shootings have become more prevalent over the past few years in the United States. After the Columbine High School shooting that left 15 dead; another tragedy happened just 1,000 miles away six years later. This tragedy was soon to be known as the Red Lake Massacre that would later become one of the most deadly school shootings since the Columbine shooting. The shooting received major amounts of media coverage due to the findings that the tragedy was pre-planned, and the offender suffered from a lack social bonds. When I examined the findings from the Red Lake Massacre, I came to a conclusion that the offender lacked major social bonds in his life. Social bonds that included family attachment, community commitment, and even school involvement. It is hard for one to figure out an offender’s motive when he/or she is not present or alive to give explanations, but one can give explanations as to why the violent event may have occurred. In this paper, I will discuss in details the shooting of Red Lake Senior High School, discuss how Travis Hirschi’s social control theory explains the massacre, and the media and societal outlook of the tragedy.
On Monday, March 21, 2005, a 16-year old boy by the name Jeffrey Weise, opened fire on his grandfather, grandfather’s girlfriend, Red Lake Senior High School students and staff, and eventually killed himself. Weise’s rampage began with the killing of his grandfather, Daryl Lussier, 52, and grandfather’s companion, Michelle Signa, 32, early Monday morning before heading to Red Lake Senior High School. Lussier was “a veteran sergeant with the Red Lake police department” (Maag 2005: 4), who had a “.40-cal. handgun and 12-gauge shotgun” (Magg 2005: 4) located within the home. From previous encounters Weise knew his grandfather had different sorts of guns located in the family home that he could use, if only he could get his hands to them without his grandfather seeing. In order for Weise to fulfill his plan he needed some kind of ammunition to use. Weise shot both Lussier and Signa with a .22-cal weapon of his own, and stole his grandfather’s handgun, shotgun, bulletproof vest and patrol car. From there Weise was headed straight to Red Lake Senior High School to complete his mission.
Jeffrey Weise was a teenage boy that had experienced a very rough life growing up. He was not seen as an average sixteen year-old by some, but more of an outsider. Weise lost his parents at a very early age, and struggled to have a normal American life since then. Weise’s mother was an alcoholic, and his father was always in some sort of trouble with the law. By the age of twelve Jeffrey had already lost his father to a suicidal death, paternal grandmother, and had a mother suffering with brain damages due to a drunk driving accident. He suffered with depression, and suicidal thoughts for a long time, according to a timeline of Weise’s life by Peter Langman (2005). When news media interviewed some of Weise’s friends they...

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