Readers Debate Mental Health & Guns
The official report on the Virginia Tech shootings was released last night and has generated a discussion by our readers about who and what to blame. The report, from a panel appointed by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), said lives could have been saved if officials had issued an alert sooner that a gunman was on campus and that the counseling center to which Cho was ordered by court a did not treat him. Kaine said nobody should lose their job, which some have demanded. Many of our readers who comment see this as a system failure, others criticize Virginia's mental health system in general and psychiatrists in particular, and some renew the argument that students should be permitted to carry guns into classrooms to defend themselves. Debate will certainly continue on this tragic event, which claimed 33 lives including Cho's.
Vunderlutz wrote that, "The brunt of the criticism should be directed at the lack of follow-through by the courts and the mental health professionals. But, all in all, this was a system failure and the blame, guilt and remorse are shared among many."
And jamalnasir_2000 said, "...this article makes it seem like VA Tech should have had a anti crime force of its own... This school just ended up being a victim of a screwed up/insane person. That can happen anywhere....example Columbine."
UncleWillie concurred, saying that "...the actions of a 1-in-a-million nut like this one remains unpredictable. As a result thousands will be subjected to more stringent rules and procedures which erode our freedoms and will fail to circumvent anything."
terryeo said "It is psychiatry that should be criticized...Treating someone so they kill people is simply not good medical practice... This idea of a psychiatrist using our tax dollars, treating Cho, prescribing Cho psychotropic drugs, and then not being held accountable for Cho's behaviour is beyond good sense."
edout2605 was among those who suggested that "...What would work is to allow those students and faculty that are trained and cleared to carry concealed fire arms. I know this won't happen but that has the greatest potential to help this situation."
RustNeverSleeps said, "Va Tech did nothing wrong! College students believe they are invincible and would not have listened to any warnings to stay inside behind locked doors? This commission was another waste of taxpayer dollars."
Last word goes to DardenCavalcade1, who wrote, "In ALL of these tragedies, institutional failures abound and are a principle contributing cause... Commonwealth institutions failed serially and repeatedly to do their damn jobs. Virginia government constantly fails to exercise due diligence in governance: drivers licensing of the 9/11 terrorists, gun laws that provide a statistically significant number of firearms to professional criminals in the Atlantic states, failure to build and repair critical infrastructures, failure to educate, and now the slaughter at Virginia Tech."
All comments on the Virginia Tech report are here.
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