Henry, we cannot tell you how strongly we support this column. We are assuming you read Madness In the Streets, which was denounced as a loathsome right wing diatribe but clearly described how we abandoned the mentally ill to live and die on the streets because that was "their decision." (If you haven't read it, go to Amazon. com and buy it pronto.) Anyway, we know we are responsible for our actions, and that someone, somewhere should sue the bureaucratic dopes at Virginia Tech who knew they had a problem but left this terribly ill child to his (and every one else's) doom. Or maybe we could just fire them all. Thank you for your outrage.
This is a wonderful article, Henry. Thank you.Two comments come immediately to mind. You write, " 'Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.' Why don’t the anti-gun forces think up some powerful slogans?" Well, one angry and sarcastic one is, "How difficult would it be to stab 32 people to death before you're overpowered?" And perhaps we should put in a good word for his college professors and lecturers who recognised the danger, if not specifically of course, but in general terms, and tried hard but successfully to get offical remedies from the college administrators. They did what little they could without having the authority to expel the young man from the college. Some colleges have indeed expelled students for bizarre behaviour that pales in comparison to the weirdness that was seen in Cho's actions. Thank you again for the article. Margaret
Maybe one in a thousand mentally ill people hurt somebody else. Shrinks notoriously cannot predict which will. Would you hospitalize them all?
Starquest- as a member of the mental health professionwho has worked in an HHC facility on an acuteinpatient psychiatric unit with adults, I had mixedreactions to your article today. On the one hand, Iam outraged that this guy was allowed to do what hedid. At the same time, I don't think that we canjudge what the mental health practitioners did ordidn't do. I can say that it is a lot more difficultto keep someone even if they may seem "dangerous" ifthey don't demonstrate that behavior and refusetreatment. The legal system is set up to protectindividuals from being wrongfully committed. Thus, aperson like this young man can slip through thecracks; I could envision him refusing medication,refusing treatment, denying that he is ill in any wayand then being released by a judge's order because heis not demonstrating harmful behavior at that time(I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the laws, simplytelling you what my experience has been). With thissaid, I don't know all the details of the attempts toengage him (against his will no doubt) in treatment onan inpatient or outpatient basis. I just wanted toclarify that although he was considered dangerous tohis peers and instructors, if he is not willing toengage in treatment even well-intentioned andcompetent professionals are not going to be able to domuch, let alone incompetent ones.
Mr. Stern, You are right all the way. Thanks for voicing what I was thinking. Keep on writing the truth.
This is a very strong follow-up to your original piece. We can fool around with gun control for the next 25 years -- but reordering the way we 'see and treat' those who are clearly living in disorder can be done now with small steps and especially in such closed societies as a college campus. I think the next steps -- will bring nothing new because this public today is inured to violence, to madness, ignorance, stupidity and any other malady or public event that causes us to stop and think. We do not want to stop and anybody under 45 simply does not know how to think.
Your analysis is on-point. University presidents and administrators seem to feel they can do no wrong. Just look at Duke and its President. He cancelled the lacrosse season, fired the team coach, and suspended 2 students--based only on allegations. A committee of 88 professors spoke out against the defendants without ever hearing from them. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? Now the N.C. State Attorney General says that the defendants are innocent. Brodhead should resign, as should Steger. The students deserve better.