A lot has been said about a classroom disagreement that Reynolds High gunman, Jared Michael Padgett, had with his classmates during a discussion about The Holocaust and Hitler. Some media outlets have tried to make it seem like Padgett was a Nazi sympathizer. That wouldn’t be too far of a stretch because there have been previous school shooters who have identified with the Nazis, Jeff Weise jumps immediately to mind.
However the teacher involved with the discussion contacted the local media to put the discussion into perspective. Basically the teacher said that Padgett more identified with the Holocaust victims and others who have been persecuted for their beliefs.
While that doesn’t make him a Nazi it may make him paranoid with the belief that he was part of a persecuted group. Padgett was Mormon but I think the persecuted group that he was really referring to are gun enthusiasts. It seems that Padgett leaned toward the right in his political beliefs and belonged to some pro-2nd Amendment groups on Facebook. Do I think that means that every conservative gun owner is a killer waiting to happen? No, not at all. What I’m getting at is that Padgett may have had a delusional persecution complex and prior studies have shown that a lot of school shooters react out of some form of paranoia.
Kids Padgett’s age have a tough time distinguishing the signal from the noise when it comes to certain political influences no matter if they lean left or right. If he was being fed some kind conspiracy B.S. by some he held in high regard it probably led to and fueled his persecution complex.
This is in no way to excuse what he did. What he did was an act of cowardice and should be looked upon as such.