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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Whack Job

I just saw parts of the video NBC received from the shooter, Cho Seung-Hui , at Virginia Tech. The first thing that came to my mind was a phrase I heard about 30 years ago on some weird HBO special... "Fucked up like a football bat", I think that describes him pretty well. (sorry for the naughty word)

That's about the only way to describe the guy. As Glenn Beck noted tonight, a guy like him would have found a way to kill folks, even if guns were tougher to get. He wanted people to die, and wanted it to be memorable. Without a gun he'd have just built a bomb, or used a chainsaw or figured out some other way to leave his mark.

I'm wondering how the doctors who didn't commit him in 2005, after the courts decided he was a danger to himself (links to PDF file) , are feeling right now. It's becoming more obvious how big a whack job this guy was, and how somehow he wasn't helped by the system, even though it's obvious someone in the system tried to help him.

You can talk about gun laws being the problem, but when someone is diagnosed as an imminent danger to himself and others but not put in the hospital it's not the gun law that's the problem. When that person doesn't get other treatment, it's not gun law that let him kill people.

Maybe, if anything good comes of this, folks who deal with this type of stuff will be more likely to err on the side of overtreatment, instead of the other way.

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