home

Getting Seung-Hui Cho's Parents to Talk

Journalist Dave Cullen, who is writing a book on the Columbine killers, and wrote a diary at TalkLeft on the Virginia Tech killings, The Myth of the School Shooter Profile, has an op-ed (free link) in today's New York Times, proposing a compromise solution to allow the parents of Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho to talk about his early years and psychiatric issues so that the public can glean some insight, without being exposed to lawsuits.

In Columbine, the federal court sealed the depositions of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's parents for 20 years, to protect their privacy.

Dave first explores the questions the public wants the answers to:

More....

Was Mr. Cho bullied or sneered at by the rich brats he railed against? Or was he responding to voices in his head? When did he first experience difficulty socializing? Did those troubles lead to withdrawal, or was he already a loner? How did his parents respond? Was anything successful?

We know Mr. Cho demonstrated symptoms consistent with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, but these can also be signs of schizophrenia. Experts are eager to interview the Cho family to tease out the differences. If Mr. Cho experienced outright psychotic episodes, they might have been mystifying to acquaintances but painfully obvious to his family. When did the Chos first observe such episodes, how often and with what intensity? How was he treated, and what were the results? A deeper understanding of Mr. Cho’s pathway to murder can help us predict dangerous behavior and respond better to warning signs.

Dave's solution to enable the public to get the answers:

The Chos’ lawyers should broker a deal with psychiatric experts before trust is eroded. The psychiatrists can offer medical privilege and the hope of authentic scientific advancement in exchange for openness from the family. They should promise to divulge their conclusions to the public, but to work with the Cho lawyers to withhold any details likely to land the family in court.

There are risks in this for the Cho family, but inaction presents the greater risk — of lawsuits and of never finding answers. The questions that plague the victims’ families weigh just as heavily on those who loved the perpetrators.

< The Democrats First Debate | "A Culture of Corruption" in Atlanta Police Department >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Display: Sort:
    In my opinion, neither the interests of the (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 01:11:25 AM EST
    public or that of the "experts" should outweigh the right of the family members to privacy.  

    I agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 01:32:43 AM EST
    But Dave, who is my friend, has spent the last 8 years investigating Columbine. He sees the need for the parents' information as important to discern why the various killers acted as they did.

    I approach it like a defense lawyer...viewed from the lens of the parents of the killers, they too have suffered, and should be under no obligation to further put their family under the public microscope.

    I suspect each of the school shootings are so different, whether it be Paducah, Jonesboro, Colubine or Va. Tech, that it's not possible to lump them into one or two groups with labels.

    Everyone wants to know the warning signs. That's like profiling. It's rarely accurate when put into real life.

    But, Dave knows more about this than I do, he's spoken to the top experts all over the countries, and I think his argument is worth reading and considering.

    Parent

    antidepressant drugs (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by diogenes on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 02:27:34 PM EST
    The problem with blaming antidepressant drugs for the shooting was that Mr. Cho either suffered from a personality disorder, a psychotic disorder, or both.  Antidepressant drugs don't help this, and the untreated illness led to the killings.  If he had taken some Haldolor zyprexa, maybe things would have turned out differently.

    I'm still wondering... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 04:15:45 PM EST
    Never got an answer to the question I posed in the diary...why don't these type of shootings happen with the same frequency in other countries that they do in the U.S.?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 06:57:09 PM EST
    The impression I get from your posts is that you're angry at the media for making too much of this story, and therefore you're going to deride anyone in the media who enters the conversation--whether psychiatrist or journalist or whatever--as profiteers.
    No, my only concern is that people with disabilities or eccentricities are not further stigmatized by generalizations from this unique case.

    It is natural for laypeople to want to understand something like this for various reasons ranging from self protection to plain old gawking. What seems to be the typical result of satisfying the public's thirst for a sensational murder is to stereotype.

    It is fine by me for knowledgeable experts to study and learn about human behavior in all its wondrous varieties. To think that something like this could have been prevented through examining other cases like this seems doubtful to me. Human behavior is unpredictable whether done by someone considered aberrant or someone considered normal.

    The idea of preempting unpredictable behavior in the name of the greater good would certainly cause more harm than good. Someone close to solving the world's energy problems could get swept up because they are acting weird or eccentric and when questioned act even weirder. Don't get me wrong, people that are having social or mental problems deserve to get the best help that they need. But intervening where help is neither  wanted nor needed can only be counter productive.

    So back to the parents. I believe that they should be left alone if that is what they want. I cannot see how they can contribute to preventing the next mass murderer from killing. There are plenty of weird people out there whose parents would love to talk about their children. Just because they are not made famous by a gruesome killing shouldn't make them less desirable by those truly seeking knowledge.

    I hope that your project works out well for you. It seems that you are more interested in dispelling stereotypes and myths than creating them.

    both are true (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by zun on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:13:13 PM EST

    any knowledge gained could do damage IF used to target individuals who might struggle with some of the same challenges Seung faced.

    if only the experts and the interested folks would begin asking the following - exactly how people respond to this human being over a lifetime?

    that is where the potential for constructive learning truly will be found.

    in many ways and situations, behavior IS predictable.  much learning could come if we knew more - but rather than about Seung per se, about how he was (mis)treated, (mis)understood, and shamed by the systems in which he participated (family, school, etc...).

    based on deviant or poorly understood behavior, if someone - a child or adult - is othered, misinterpreted, and treated as the problem in a family system or community where their deviance is a symptom of family or community unhealth, then such angry behavior might be absolutely predictable.

    so far, in hearing reports directly of how members of his family and communities responded to him on many occasions, I have found little compassion for him evident in the choices folks made at the time and much judgment in how people responded to him when they felt offended by him.

    their responses to him would have made me angry were they directed at me.

    clearly he, and of course our society, requires much more compassion - acknowledgment of the humanness in even those who offend us or those who carry angry.

    so interesting that some singled him out b/c they were offended or concerned by his anger but by virtue of their fear could not give him complete compassion and kindness in return.

    if only Seung had trusted someone enough to connect or let his guard down.  to share how hurt he felt.  that trust was likely precluded when anyone responded to him with shoulds, disappointment, or disapproval.

    what must be learned here is as much as possible about how family, teachers, and community responded to this individual over a lifetime and then how to respond differently to others in the future.  for this Seung's parents would be a good source.

    then we must learn a different response, as human behavior and emotion is usually predictable when an individual is othered or disrespected over a lifetime.

    even naming Seung's quiet as a child as a problem he had, is to blatantly other, label, and ignore that usually a child's symptom in a family or community system is evidence of something that in that system or environment to which this is a response.

    you bet that Seung as a child knew he was being named as a problem when he may have been responding adaptively or even most aptly to his circumstance.

    we must start looking at ourselves and how we as fellow humans responded to Seung and how we can respond differently to those who seem other or whose behavior we do not understand so that they remain connected to others and find trust rather than disconnect and distrust.

    if Seung found most people responded to him with distrust rather than compassion when he did communicate or speak (i.e. through writing or deviant action) - as most people were afraid of his anger that he communicated - then speaking was not helpful for him and acting out was the way he felt 'heard'.

    in order to constructively change our future response to the Seungs of the world we must most importantly understand not Seung per se but how folks and family responded to him and how those responses may create and predict (not create) the anger and actions Seung demonstrated - as behavior is predictable when human beings live a life of feeling othered and misunderstood when they communicate.

    Were you typical (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by squeaky on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:54:24 PM EST
    The world would be a much safer place. I agree with you 100% that many can be helped by compassionate and sensitive people like you who strive toward a non threatening approach.

    Sadly your obvious human evolvement is rare. Most these days are following the lead of our President who believes in preemptive attacks. That combined with profiling is the flavor of our time. The frenzy to understand Seung in order to prevent violence can only lead to tragedy as I see it. Once a profile is constructed its most likely use would be by law enforcement to preemptively harass and remove unusual people from society. Yes, this is somewhat of an exaggeration but we are moving more toward that approach than the one you suggest.

    I hope that your attitude is reflective of what we can expect in the future when humans evolve to realize that force is the weakest approach to dealing with people like Seung. The oddballs among us hold great benefit to society. Often they can see things that so called normal people miss, something often called talent. Marginalizing them, shunning them, caging them, etc, would be a great loss for all.

    Parent

    I wonder... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Edger on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:43:17 PM EST
    I wonder if it is not so much rare as it is that social pressures train zun's response, not out of people, but into the background where it becomes what we call 'conscience'?

    And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
    Clinical, intellectual, cynical.

    --link

    Parent

    Yeah, Rare (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by squeaky on Sat May 12, 2007 at 11:31:30 PM EST
    Life is cheap, from many' point of view. There are many that feel that certain other people's life is less valuable. So it is OK for those deemed 'other'  to be eliminated, put away and treated badly whenever a problem arises. zun seems rare in that s/he believes approaching 'difference' in a completely non violent way.

    There is a famous story where a 20 year top black belt Aikido student who had never gotten to test his ability in a real world fight, was finally faced with a chance to test his training.  While riding on a bus one hot summer's day,  he noticed a very large disheveled and unruly drunk get on. The foul smelling brute immediately started hurling insults at people while shoving his way toward the rear the bus.

    The 20 year student standing near the back of the bus secretly wished that the drunk would try to attack him. Since Aikido is a  defensive art he could never instigate a fight. In order to defeat his opponent he would have to be attacked first. In his dojo he was the top blackbelt but lamented that he had no real world experience. He envied the legendary stories all the great masters' extraordinary fights.

    The student was trying to stay calm with a non aggressive  posture in accordance with the principles of Aikido, but internally, he was seething. Watching the brute indiscriminately run roughshod over people on the bus was really pissing him off.

    Soon the drunk fixated on the Aikido student. The student anticipating a fight was excited to see if all those years of practice would pay off.  

    Just as the brute was upon the Aikido student there was a loud noise from the front of the bus. Everyone, including the drunk, turned their attention to a little old man. He was sitting in one of those seats reserved for the old and infirm. Right after the noise the old man shouted: 'Hey you! Come here'.

    The drunk started to walk to the front of the bus in response to the the old man's challenge. The drunk now in front of the old mad snarled threateningly. The old man said in a soft voice: 'looks like you have had a really tough day.'  Within 20 seconds the brute was sobbing, his head in the old man's lap, while telling his life's story.

    It turned out that the old man was Morihei Ueshiba

    Parent

    moments like this in life are all too rare (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by conchita on Sun May 13, 2007 at 12:14:05 AM EST
    thanks for sharing the story and the link, a much needed touchstone.

    Parent
    Squeaky, Edger - in case you check back (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by conchita on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:07:13 AM EST
    very interesting diary on dkos today.  my youngest brother has aspergers so it was particularly interesting to me, but thought of you both when i read it.  

    link

    Parent

    Thanks Conchita (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by squeaky on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:36:51 AM EST
    Three cheers for neuro-diversity. We would be lost as a civilization without it.

    Parent
    sorry (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by zun on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:18:26 PM EST
    about typos

    anti-depressants and the killings (3.00 / 2) (#6)
    by zaitzefftheunconvicted2 on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 09:32:17 AM EST
    David the more or less harmless "pedophile" who likes naturopaths more the allopaths notes:

    some people believe that anti-depressant use is a factor that predisposes many persons to violent acts and/or suicide.  Society might want to look into that.

    "You may not recall a lesser-known case in Washington state six years ago in which a high school student took a rifle to school and held classmates and a teacher hostage, probably because this incident wasn't associated with any deaths. What prompted the teen's aggression? An abrupt switchover from Paxil to a high dose of Effexor.

    Or, perhaps, consider the sad case of Andrea Yates who drowned her five small children in a Houston suburb, shortly after a revised antidepressant regimen that included Effexor and Remeron."

    A variety of news sources have reported that Cho Seung Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter who killed 32 students and faculty members in a shooting rampage, was taking antidepressant drugs.

    Antidepressants have also been used by the perpetrators of previous and similar acts of violence, including the shootings at Columbine High School eight years ago.

    There are known links between antidepressants and violent acts. Research on the drug Paxil found that more than twice as many people taking it experienced a serious "hostility event" as did those taking a placebo.


    Tom Cruise? (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by eric on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 03:53:40 PM EST
    I smell some Scientology.

    Judging by this other post at the blog, this is anti-psychiatric propaganda.

    Parent

    Some antidepressants raise violence risk (none / 0) (#13)
    by zaitzefftheunconvicted2 on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 04:53:32 PM EST
    FDA and Cruise in bed together? (none / 0) (#14)
    by zaitzefftheunconvicted2 on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 04:55:42 PM EST
    Public Interest (1.00 / 1) (#8)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 11:03:02 AM EST
    While there may be public interest along the lines of reality entertainment aka news, I do not see how public exposure of the parents can or will help prevent another incident like this one.

    Many others may share a similar profile to Cho Seung Hui that pose absolutely no threat to anyone. It seems that trying to put together a profile would only endanger the civil rights of others who share characteristics of Hui.

    If this sort of thing were a regular occurrence I could understand the argument that public safety trumps the right of privacy. Since it is such a rare occurrence it should not be used to generalize potential future events. To me that sounds too much like the Bush Doctrine of preemptive action to prevent imagined attacks.

    I think he's right that it would be good to have (none / 0) (#3)
    by jpete on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 06:44:44 AM EST
    the knowledge out in public.  I'm less sure that his reason is the right one.  Explanation is much easier than prediction, because it is often clearer what precipitated the action once it's occurred.  And just how bad off the perpetrator was.  But the explanation can still increase our knowledge of the people with whom we interact.

    I've tried to find help for two very troubled students recently.  There are huge obstacles.  One is the utter incompetence one can encounter at the mental health facilities they can get admitted to.  Another is that a school's mental health people hardly encourage professors to interfere in students' lives.  One is always told that nothing can be done by the authorities, so one should try to suggest to the students that they get help.  

    One of the students committed suicide.  The other appears to be on pretty heavy medication; he's in school and registered for courses, but not trying now to get a degree.  A state university can end up as a place where parents sort of put their chldren when they can't function in ordinary life.

    I'm ambivalent (none / 0) (#4)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 07:12:55 AM EST
      On the one hand, more knowledge CAN be (not is) helpful in devloping insight. Lack of information necessarily impedes understanding but knbowledge doesn't guarantee it.

      I'm  also not sure that PUBLIC disclosure of his family's observations is going to help experts gain any understanding of the mental health issues. These "experts" sound more eager to advance their careers and notoriety by using a famous event to get THEIR names publicity than they do to advance the "science" of the mind.

    I'm certainly unconvinced that the Cho's familycan "broker" private  deals to make their statements "privileged" communications. Doctors and psychotherapists do not get to decide the parameters of privileges. Courts do that and it would take a rather radical extension of the principle to encompass a medical experts communications with third parties about another person -- especially whe that other person is dead and the communications cannot possible be for the purposes of treatment. I question whether your friend has much knowlewdge of the law.

      I'm also unconvinced that of all the issues here the exposure of the Cho family to legal liability is anywhere near the middle of the list. Of all the potential defendants the family appears to be among the least attractive targets both in terms of liability and, perhaps more importantly, ability to pay. The school, the police, the seller of the gun, people who did treat Cho and perhaps failed to adhere to rules requiring breach of confidentiality when cognizant of imminene t risks of harm would all be far more likely targets both because there are existing legal theories that arguably might establish duties to those who werre lilled or harmed AND they are all far more likely to have assets and insurance.

      this piece pretty much lost me when it focused on "experts" disclosing anything rather than conducting research. I don't see the main argument "that the public wants to know" as coming close to being one of the paraamount considerations here, and frankly it sounds a lot more like "WE" want to be the people to tell the public because we want the glory than anything I consider legitimate public interest.

     

    Legal question (none / 0) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 09:06:05 AM EST
    I thought Cho was an adult.

    What legal liabilities can his parents have??

    Parent

    that is very significant (none / 0) (#7)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 10:00:47 AM EST
     but we don't haver all the facts yet -- even the kind of "facts" the to do not require "experts" on mental health issues interviewing the family.

      Unlike the Columbine killers who were minors residing with their parents and whose parents might arguably have been negligent in supervising the  minors  while they planned and prepared for the attacks and stored the "tools" in their houses, Cho was an adult and, at least at the time of his acts,  residing outside the family home. It is possible although not known to my knowledge that a court or commission established a guardianship or similar status in the parents due to mental competency or similar proceedings and that could be used to argue that the parents had a duty to others that would not otherwise exist.

      His age and residence at Tech, though, is one of the reasons why I said I felt the parents are a one of the least attractive targets here.

    Parent

    Thanks (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 08:38:09 PM EST
    various (none / 0) (#33)
    by davecullen on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 08:38:31 PM EST
    Families who want to sue will choose their targets based on what it is they want. Your assumptions are that they want money and they want their best chance to win. That's not at all what happened with Columbine--at least not the majority. Most of the lawsuits were brought by parents with little interest in the money--and the Harrises had little. Their main interest was not even winning, really, but getting to the discovery phase. They primarily wanted information. So they sued the parties that they thought had it: the sheriff, the school and the parents. And for the most part, they got it. The final holdouts were against the parents, who they did indeed force to talk, though not publicly.

    If V Tech families see the Cho family having information they want, and a lawsuit as leverage to get it, you can bet it will happen.

    Noted psychiatrists I talked to believed that the converstations they have with the Chos would be priveleged. And there are many ways to handle it. It would be very easy for the therapist to actually counsel the Chos on their grief, for example, in addition to interviewing them. Medical privelege varies by state, meaning that the parties have 50 options, and can easily fly to the one with the best fit.

    I think you're missing the main point, though. After Columbine, the lawsuits only came because the families were frustrated and felt significant information was being kept from them. This would be best for everyone if it does not come to court. If the Chos provide the other families with what they feel they need, they may well escape the whole nonsense.

    Hmmmmm. More disparaging of experts. I'm curious as to why some people here feel the experts are trying to advance their own careers? You say, "These "experts" sound more eager to advance their careers and notoriety by using a famous event to get THEIR names publicity than they do to advance the "science" of the mind."" What led you to feel that way? TV "experts"?

    Parent

    davecullen (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 06:07:04 PM EST
    Again - Cho was an adult. Assuming that what Decon noted did not happen:

    it is possible although not known to my knowledge that a court or commission established a guardianship or similar status in the parents due to mental competency or similar proceedings

    I see no way a law suit doesn't get dismissed out of hand.

    Parent

    It's one logical outcome (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 04:29:47 PM EST
    of such a premium being placed on your fellow man as a means to an end.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#15)
    by roy on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 05:40:00 PM EST
    What are you referring to?

    Your comment is catchy, but reminds me only of Ayn Rand, which makes me think I misunderstand you.

    Parent

    Other countries (none / 0) (#16)
    by diogenes on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 07:27:39 PM EST
    In a number of other countries this guy would have been recruited as a suicide bomber, thus letting his troubles out in a "socially acceptable" way which would only disturb Americans in that they would blame the government (Iraq, Algeria, Israel, etc)  which he attacked.

    heh (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 08:41:21 PM EST
    i was surprised (none / 0) (#19)
    by davecullen on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 12:34:43 AM EST
    by how much resistance i've gotten to the idea that the parents should speak.

    i'm kind of heartened by that sentiment, actually. it's nice to see people not wanting to string them up.

    but i also think that as a practical matter, the press is just not going to leave them alone. and i will lay money that some of the other families will demand answers. (there are dozens of them.)

    with that starting point that they're going to be pressured, i (naively?) think it would be in their own interest to come to some arrangement where they can avoid the spotlight directly, yet get the info out.

    and i also think they have some obligation to the rest of us. not as punishment for raising a killer, just that they have info that the culture needs.

    when any person commits a murder--or any violent crime--we, as a society, demand that people who know anything relevant cooperate with police to solve it. we already have this principle that people have this obligation. i think that in a major national case like this, that principle extends--so that anyone who knows anything significant has a duty to the collective society to share that knowledge and insight.

    i don't think they need to go on national tv to do it, or to be grilled by any nasty interrogator, or that they have to do it this week or even this month. but i think they have to do something. and the experts i'm suggesting also happen to be therapists, who understand how to deal sympathetically with grieving people. the experts i have been talking to this week would only want to approach this family humanely. i know it won't be easy for them. but there are 300 million people and hundreds of millions around the world who are invested in this.

    Obligation? (1.00 / 1) (#20)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 08:33:46 AM EST
    If there is some kind of cultural ritual that the parents are obligated to fulfull then they should hire a scriptwriter and an actor to make up something so that the hundreds of million investors get what they deserve.

    What do you think collective society can really gain from the parents story? Apart from the entertainment value, I can only see damage from stereotyping at best and a witch hunt at worst.

    If there are in fact hundred of millions eagerly awainting further news and insight about this case I would imagine many see this as an opportunity to make some really big bucks.

    A movie? Stay tuned,

    Parent

    Oh and (1.00 / 1) (#21)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 08:46:26 AM EST
    After reading just your diary I am really confused. Do you really think that there is a way for anything that the parents would say to not be absorbed into a myth that contradicts the fact that there is no way to generalize on these sorts of things?

    I did not think so before I read your diary and after reading it I am even more sure that whatever they say will be reduced into  entertainment. Not just from greed but also by the collective instinct to reduce the unexplainable into a easy to comprehend myth or common denominator so to speak.

    Parent

    cynical (none / 0) (#22)
    by davecullen on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 11:29:48 AM EST
    well, that's a really cynical view. i laid out a whole raft of questions experts want to ask the parents in the Times piece. and i went through these questions with some of those experts on thursday and that's just the tip of the iceberg. dr. dwayne fuselier, who led the FBI's columbine investigation has been telling me for years how badly he would love to interview the columbine parents, every time a puzzling item comes up. and he has great compassion for all four of those parents (and cho's)--he doesn't want to hurt them, just learn from them. most experts i have spoken to do. they would like to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.

    of course you are right that some in hollywood would probably love to get their hands on the story and make money off it, too. but what a falacious argument to conflate hollywood money moguls with experts who want to advance scientific understanding and help the public learn.

    the implication that the existence of conscience-free hollywood types implies that all parties expressing interest are conscience-free is . . . let's say incredibly lacking in logic.

    Parent

    Really? (1.00 / 1) (#24)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 12:23:30 PM EST
    I was responding to the gist of both your post and diary at TL. The gist of both, as far as I read it was that the parents have a responsibility to the millions of people who want to know more about the case. Had this case not been a media frenzied affair the millions of invested onlookers would not know about this case.

    Experts can study the case as much as they want although I do not see how they would be able to use the information in a positive way. It seems more about advancing in their own academic or professional agendas.

    I am 100% behind your point in the diary. I understand that this is a personal and professional interest of yours. What I have a problem with is grandiose talk about how society will benefit from details revealed by the parents or that they have some sort of obligation.

    When it comes to sensationalization of a tragedy like this I am not being cynical I am being realistic as you were in your diary. When it comes to law enforcement or politicians reacting to what  I see as an isolated incident not a trend I get worried about profiling. We saw the horror of the patriot act come into being  because of 9/11. That law has only done harm to America and no good.

    I do not understand the specific laws that prevented the school from stopping the tragedy before it happened but given the choice of living with the danger of something like this happening versus trampling the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities or eccentricities that are similar to the late Cho Seung Hui I would prefer to live with the danger.

     I will go and read the NYT piece if it is still available to read for free.

    Parent

    Dave (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 06:09:08 PM EST
    and i also think they have some obligation to the rest of us. not as punishment for raising a killer, just that they have info that the culture needs.

    I think they raised a child.

    Parent

    Devaluing and negating (none / 0) (#27)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 01:33:15 PM EST
    the inherent value of the present in the persuit of some "American dream" or any number of other private or public utopias.

    Rand wouldnt admit that capitalists do this as much as commies.

    Heh (none / 0) (#28)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 01:34:47 PM EST
    Blackwater is only sorry they didnt get that kid  earlier on.

    Let's not make it personal (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 01:50:13 PM EST
    Please don't engage in personal attacks. A few comments doing so have been deleted.

    The theory being (none / 0) (#30)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 02:27:50 PM EST
    that it's not a "personal attack" if you make disparaging generalizations about "the Left" at a purportedly left-leaning site? Just asking.

    the comments I deleted (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 04:11:03 PM EST

    were between two posters who were getting into personal insults, not insulting the site or the left.

    Parent
    Failures of the mental health awareness in the US (none / 0) (#42)
    by Aaron on Sat May 12, 2007 at 11:51:24 PM EST
    Here's a guy who was crying out for help, and his cries went ignored.

    When a person like this isn't violent, they can be ignored and the effect on society at large are relatively negligible.  Only when such troubled people commit these type of acts, that's the only time anyone pays attention in this country.

    He should've received help when he was a child, or when he was a teenager, or as a young adult.  Apparently you didn't get any and these were the consequences.