Perspective: What I Didn't Do At 17

Sep 18, 2020

When I was 17, my goals were to turn 18, graduate from high school, attend the University of Illinois, and make my way in the world.

Like many of my friends, I owned a rifle.  It was stored safely on a rack in my bedroom, except when I was target shooting or small game hunting.

When I headed to college in the fall of 1969, that rifle remained 150 miles away, still on my bedroom wall. The thought of taking it to a protest or demonstration would have seemed ludicrous.

Now, two Wisconsin men are dead after a different 17-year-old Illinois youth decided to be a vigilante. He was not part of any deputized group, which would have had a command and control structure. Instead, he responded to -- what else -- a social media request for armed individuals to protect property.  "Well regulated" it was not.

Unfortunately, the youth is already a hero in some circles, complete with online contributors to his defense fund. If those contributors have money to spare, might I suggest some of it go to the families of his victims.

I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.