Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lucia Where have all the mental wards gone

It didn't take long after the Virginia Tech massacre for New Zealanders to starting pointing at America's lax gun control laws as the likely cause of the shooting. We like to think that nothing of that magnitude could ever happen here. Yet, NZ has pretty much similar conditions to the US that might very well have contributed to this deranged young man having access to freedom, when in days gone by his bizarre behaviour prior to the killings might very well have got him institutionalised.
Penning up and carefully scrutinizing the killer was never an option. Not in Virginia or California or any other state in the union. Because in our well-intentioned quest to maximize personal liberty, we've moved conceptual eons away from taking the concept of dangerousness seriously.
Related Link: Bedlam revisted - Why the Virginia Tech killer was not committed

2 comment(s):

Andrei said...

A tricky one Lucyna.

Do you lock people up just because they are different?

do you lock people up just because they may commit a crime?

Although not on the scale of Vtech this incident from 10 years ago is not too dissimilar and raises the same questions

The Raurimu Rampage - Stephen Anderson

Lucyna said...

I think there ought to be the option to lock people up if they become worryingly unstable. The guy that went on the rampage in the link you gave, was brought along because his parents were worried about leaving him at home. Far better that they could have temporarily committed him.

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