THUNDER BAY – Duane “Dog” Chapman pulled no punches sharing his message with the crowd at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Thursday night.
I had the enjoyable experience of taking 11 young people to the event courtesy of the Chapman family who supplied tickets for the kids.
The famous bounty hunter, who has brought thousands of criminals to justice brought humour, emotion, and his view of the world. It was a powerful and interesting talk.
One of the strongest messages that Chapman told the audience was to not be an enabler, not to turn away from people who are headed down the wrong path. Sharing how five years ago, as he and his wife Beth were getting married, his daughter was killed in a car accident, Dog offered up a full dose of the real emotion that the tough bounty hunter offers.
Chapman shared how he had “Loved my daughter to death”, as he let her off the hook too many times when she was struggling against drug addiction.
The message from Beth Chapman and Duane Chapman to Thunder Bay was that having heard his words, people know now better and should not serve as enablers for others weaknesses.
One of Chapman’s goals is fighting against drugs, and drug dealers.
Beth Chapman shared with the audience that it is possible to fight against drug dealers in your own neighbourhood with pictures, video, and going to the police. In some areas of Thunder Bay addiction to drugs and alcohol is a problem.
Often the people living in those areas feel helpless to solve the problem. Chapman’s solution of having people gather the needed information and turn it over to the authorities is a good start toward sending a message to drug dealers that those activities are not welcome in our Thunder Bay.
The reaction from the young people was encouraging. One young boy relayed that “Dog is awesome”.
What I found interesting was that even after the 90 minute talk, all the kids were still wanting to stick around for the question and answer period, and hoped to get a chance to meet the Chapman family afterwards.
Sometimes people lament that young people have short attention spans. Watching how Duane “Dog” Chapman could hold the audience for over an hour and a half tells me that maybe the reason for those short attention spans are that kids are not getting an important enough message to hold them.
Last night, I hope that Dogs words went from his lips to their hearts and minds.