The mental illness hysteria about Cho is a red herring. The law is sufficient as is to deal with perpetrators. The wingers are not calling to enforce the laws we have, but to make policy that targets people who who are tetched in the head and lead the sort of confounding, trippy lives they disapprove of.
Don`t help me I can save myself
If I’m incomplete don’t fill the gaps
Save me from the people who would save me from myself
They got muscle for brains
It’s the coercion, period. The right wing authoritarian wankosphere has a hard on for power and control, and this massacre has them slobbering for it:
First, obviously there are gradations of strange behavior and mental problems. You have to draw a line somewhere and wherever you draw it is going to create problems. But I think we have drawn the line way too far over in terms of tolerating aberrant behavior.
Second, I guess you can characterize any mental illness as “extreme creepiness” if you want.
…Virginia hasn’t caught up to other states that have begun to recover from the excesses of deinstitutionalization and have made it easier to compel treatment. But we need to re-adjust the line in terms of what behavior is tolerated, and then schools in the position of Virginia Tech will have more and better options.
It’s a simple fact that, for every deranged murderer like Mr. Cho there are thousands more oddballs just below the breaking point.
If we are going to look for a political issue here, the more relevant is not gun control but psychosis control. We decided a half a century ago that our more eccentric and, indeed, crazy fellow citizens would not be easily locked up in asylums. It was a very humane decision, but with the inevitable consequence that some who really need protection and quarantine are allowed to roam the streets freely. It turns out that Cho’s psychiatric impairment had been evident to many….In a previous age, such a troubled soul might have found himself at the state mental hospital rather than a state university. But in a trade-off that a decent and tolerant society makes with open eyes, we allow freedom from straitjackets to those on the psychic edge…
That Cho was free is an outrage.
But it’s not exactly news that American courts regularly elevate abstract personal rights above those of the public.
Teachers say his writings were dark and twisted, and students say he shunned eye contact and conversation.
The Virginia Tech Incident Is About Mental Health.
Something in the way we handle deranged people has gone badly wrong and the incident at Virginia Tech should be a wake-up call.
Woo-hoo, what a nutter.
Plainly Cho (a) was crazy as a coot, and (b) ought to have beeen in a secure institution somewhere.
Hold on, though. We no longer (a) acknowledge the category “crazy as a coot,” or (b) lock crazy people up in secure institutions.
Cho (a) had ISSUES, and (b) ought to have been given COUNSELING.
It is not a protection of civil liberties to redefine the mentally ill as if they were rational and able to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, even when they are obviously not. As we can see from the Virginia Tech massacre, it is not consistent with public safety to wait until a mentally ill person has committed a crime.
So even if all the good people at that university agreed that Something Should Be Done, they have been castrated by the lawyers. If they do the Right Thing they are guilty. It’s not just the problem Derb correctly identifies, it’s The Law.
Derb is right that altogether too many of us are too passive, when we should be active, even hyperactive.
What we need is a system of foresight and prevention, a system that identifies severe cases and has myriad treatment options, particularly one that is legal in many states but used far too seldom: a court order for involuntary commitment to fully determine and deliver care – inpatient or monitored outpatient care.
That may seem an overreaction, especially when no violent act has yet occurred. But waiting on a violent act is waiting too late, for both the violent and the victims.
We’ve been conditioned since infancy with thousands of morality plays that just because someone seems weird doesn’t mean they are weird. Or bad. Or dangerous.
The trouble is that weirdness has a pretty high correlation with badness and dangerousness. …That weird kid you knew in third grade who everyone thought was psycho? Well, there’s a pretty fair chance he was a psycho.
“Dead eyes” can’t be a criterion for involuntary commitment, I suppose—but if I were to design one, that would be it.