Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


This WaPo article describes some of Cho Seung Hui’s behavior at Virginia Tech. You can read more about his creepy creative writing here, with some general perspective from those who teach creative writing here. There were people who tried to reach out to him and help him:

[Virginia Tech creative writing professor Lucinda] Roy, 51, said in a telephone interview that she also urged Cho to seek counseling and told him that she would walk to the counseling center with him. He said he would think about it.

Roy said she warned school officials. "I was determined that people were going to take notice," Roy said. "I felt I’d said to so many people, ’Please, will you look at this young man?’ "

Roy, now the alumni distinguished professor of English and co-director of the creative writing program, said university officials were responsive and sympathetic to her warnings but indicated that because Cho had made no direct threats, there was little they could do.

"I don’t want to be accusatory or blaming other people," Roy said. "I do just want to say, though, it’s such a shame if people don’t listen very carefully and if the law constricts them so that they can’t do what is best for the student."

The law apparently limits what we can do and, as noted in this WSJ editorial, is itself limited in what it can do.

Discussions - 4 Comments

I must be getting jaded. I ranted and raved after Katrina, when people all over this country blamed the victims, even as they pulled out their favorite political issue: gun control, immigration, intrusive laws, family values.

I nearly imploded when "experts" on Fox news suggested that survivors at the Twin Towers must have had a greater "will to live" than those who had been weak enough to die.

Now, I just shake my head when "experts" like this professor, or like the WSJ writers claim to have the answer.

If everyone is so certain, if the answers are so clear, why don't they write their articles before people die? Bloggers land on truth after truth, like flies at on a picnic table: race, then politics, then immigration, then "insanity."

I fully understand a need to ask questions. But, I would think people would get sick of the easy answers.

Because of what happened at Columbine High School, our elementary, jr high and sr high schools take these verbal and written kinds of threats more seriously. Suggestions of violence and kids who brag to their friends about wanting to hurt someone or do something stupid or who obsess over violence and trouble are no longer taken lightly, and are viewed AS a threat, even before action takes place. How many of these intended tragedies have now been avoided because the hint of violence is taken more seriously? It may be that this tragedy at a university campus may be the impetus for change on that level.

Deb, That is a very good point. A student was arrested yesterday at RIT in Rochester, NY, because a nieghboring student heard "strange noises." Security found two automatic weapons, and a bunch of ammunition.

At another time (like when I was an RA in the 70's) we would never have infringed on the student's privacy for such little cause. Perhaps a number of families are NOT in mourning because of that change.

You ranted and raved, Fung? I can scarcely imagine such a thing.

We live in a society which puts a premium on individual freedom. We have to accept the fact that on some occasions people will abuse that freedom.

Freedom, after all, includes the ability to do evil as well as to do good. Christians used to understand this.

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