SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Don't be too quick
By Evan Bolling


September 16, 2009

Let's play a quick session of Q&A. Question: Does Ketchikan have a major drug abuse problem? Answer:Yes. Question II: Is that drug abuse the major force behind the recent suicides? Answer: No.

Ketchikan, do not be so quick to judge. Firstly, in any case of suicide there is rarely if ever, ONE isolated reason that explains the actions of that individual. The taking of a life is such a complex scenario that there is always going to be a slew of reasons that accompany the tragedy.

It is all too easy in the shadow of such horrible circumstances to find someone, or in this case something to lay blame. Of course the notable bonus behind claiming the problem is drugs, is that it takes the weight off of the shoulder of the community; and drugs are widely regarded as a "social evil". What a perfect target. Society already hates them, and nobody gets offended when drugs are accused. But that does not make them guilty. But hell, it's way easier than taking responsibility ourselves, right?

A suicide is not a totally internal issue, inside the lives of Patrick Doherty and Jared Azure there were external variables that contributed to their actions. Yes, it was in the end, Pat and Jared that made the final decision. But it was also a community that failed to recognize the gravity of their situations. That is not to say that the deaths were the fault of this community, but does that even matter anyway? No, because whether it is the fault of the community or not, it is our responsibility to make sure our neighbors are safe.

It is similar to an argument made in favor of taking action against global warming. Whether climate change is human induced or not is irrelavent, it is in our best interest to reverse its course, even if it is not our impropriety it is our responsibility.

Now I am going to take this back a thought or two... It is ignorant, disrespectful, immature, and graceless to point your finger at Jared and Pat heartlessly screaming "ITS YOUR FAULT! AND NOBODY ELSES!!!" This was the message I got from reading Mkayla Martin's letter the other day. What a shame. The most upsetting thing about the letter was that Ms. Martin is sparsely if even at all aware of the details revolving either case. At 17 years old I am sure she has little experience in understanding suicides, and at 20 I am confident I am widely inexperienced too. But I do know that with the few that I have had to experience as a friend, I can tell you that it is never OK, reasonable or accurate to point your finger and say.."ITS YOU!! ITS ALL YOU!".

There is a famous quote, "If you truly get to know someone, you'd have no choice but to love them." This quote is based on the idea that we are all so alike, made up of the same components and parts, if put through the same life experiences as another, we would end up much the same. So if we could really, I mean REALLY understand what these two were going through, we as human beings would not have the heart to point such a cold finger.

Shape up Ketchikan and stop blaming the wrong things because they're easier and less upsetting to our fragile emotions.. BUCK UP


Evan Bolling
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Friend of Patrick Doherty and Jared Azure"

Received September 15, 2009 - Published September 16, 2009


Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

SitNews ©2009
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska