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April 24, 2007

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Fiendish

Mrs. P, You are certainly correct about the students and faculty who were shot last week. As to the killer's family, it is worth noting that in the United States it is extremely difficult to get mental health treatment for a person unless that person volunarily elects to accept such treatment. Even assuming that the family "knew" on a gut level that the Virginia Tech killer was a danger to others, establishing this gut level knowledge as a "fact" in a court of law is something they would have been discouraged from even attempting. Taking myself away from the specifics of this particular family--about which one can learn almost nothing yet from the news media--there was a decision made in the United States about involuntary treament decades before this family ever arrived here. There was a good description of the change in our laws during the 1960s and 1970s on the subject of involuntary treatment in an op-ed article in yesterday's Wall St Journal. The article, "Bedlam Revisited: Why the Virginia Tech shooter was not committed," by Dr. Jonathan Kellerman of USC's Keck School of Medicine, can be found here: http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009977

Mrs. Peperium

Oh, don't worry Fiendish, I'm getting to the libs.

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