Originally posted by wmatisticJust hate the bastard and feel that the only explanation you're going to get for "what made him tick" is that he's a nutjob and the only knowledge to be taken from him is that some people just have a screw loose.
And maybe we can see this in other people before it is too late to help them out.
People around him could see it in him before he was all over the TV screen. It's not seeing it, it's what can you do about it. We don't need to see his picture, read his words or watch his videos to figure that out. Which brings up the only question that I care about in this thing...when can you do what to someone that everyone can see is a threat but who hasn't done anything illegal?
To me the rest of this is like trying to study the mind of Charles Manson. He's a crazy fuck who makes no sense. That's all I need to know. Again, others want to know and I'm not in any way saying they should be denied that information. Just don't care to hear it myself and don't like him getting his way, that's all I mean to say here.
Originally posted by ges7184Um, he wasn't exactly being subtle in his strangeness. And it appears a good many people picked up on the fact that he needed help. I doubt you are going to see something in the video that will prove helpful, because the fact that he needed help is so obvious that anyone could see it with or without 'video training'. But it's hard to help somebody that doesn't want help, and it is not a crime to be strange.
I actually agree that it shouldn't be a problem that this is available. But it is one thing to make it available, it is quite another to sensationalize the materials. I think the main purpose this has served so far is to draw ratings for the news networks and to allow people to gawk, not as an educational tool. That said, it's a free country.
(edited by ges7184 on 19.4.07 2227)
When 9-11 happened, our daughter was in sixth grade (middle school). They wheeled in a tv set and let them watch the carnage unfold. I had a very troubled 12 year old for a good chunk of time. The school had no right to do that without my knowledge. They provided no context except that it was awful and we are under attack. If I and/or my wife had been with her we could have provided better input and limited what she saw.
I bring this up to simply say I want these materials available to all who want to see them but it is incumbent on responsible adults/parents to act as a filter.
Personally, I choose not to watch, he was a sick, disturbed individual. As others have said, people knew and tried within the laws to do what was right. I am not sure what we learn from him but I know this is worth studing as this doesn't happen often.
One of the psychology professionals, Gali Saltz -- CNN has been talking to her extensively -- has been doing her very best to use every pportunity to communicate one very strong take-away message:
"If there were less stigma & shame surrounding mental illness, then ..." 1) those needing help might be more likely to seek it; 2) help could be more readily available to those who need it; & 3) the general public would have a better understanding of mental illness & know better how to recognise, react & help.
(At one point, she rolled right over Paula Zahn's moronic question to state her message. You go, Gail!)
This is so very much the take-away from the shooter-side of the event. It is extremely difficult for people who have no clear exposure to severe mental illness to grok what mental illness is all about. (It's difficult enough for people without personal experience or direct contact with something as simple as clinical depression to "get it". Much less the high-end stuff.)
Unfortunately, it is increasingly essential that the general public be adequately educated & informed about mental illness. As the population grows, the number of mentally ill persons increases, & the severity at the tails of the bell curve increases. Throw in the intrinsic complexity of contemporary society, & overall population density, & the problem just compounds. Then, toss on top of that the "one world" clash of intersecting cultural issues (both directly regarding mental illness, as well as philosophy in general), & things get really, actively ugly.
Yes, he was "a nutjob" -- no doubt. But it's foolish to dismissively write off all consideration of the shooter's situation at that. There are lots of nutjobs out there -- probably many who are considerably more ill than this guy was. And there is absolutely no way to predict when one of them will disinhibit & act out. And even less prediction of how many others that acting out will affect.
"If there were less stigma & shame surrounding mental illness, then people would understand more of what's going on, & have a better shot , at least, of recognising & potentially helping an individual, even like this, who could have been treated." -- Dr. Gail Saltz, on CNN
I promise I'm not intending to pick on anybody. That said...
Immediately following one of Dr. Saltz' statements of "less stigma & shame", CNN jumped back to a field correspondent, who leapt into his own vitriolic rhetoric* about "reaching out from the grave", "slap in the face to those who died & their families...", etc. He stated his own version of "we shouldn't let this guy get his way", etc. That's that individual's own reaction to the pain & the offence to humanity -- I get that. You feel what you feel, & far be it for me to judge somebody else's feelings. At the same time, I see that reaction as demonstration that he doesn't begin to grok the mental illness involved.
Someone that mentally ill doesn't have rational expectations of the effect of his behaviour. Classical conditioning concepts are completely irrelevant to someone that ill. Does "I'll show them!" thinking really make rational sense posthumously? Any more sense from us,than it did to the severely ill shooter, who did exactly that same thing? And the canonical question: If he had any other kind of illness, would it make sense to be *angry* with him?
---------------- * Yeah, "vitriolic rhetoric". I also have a very distinct opinion about what level of editorialising is acceptable from a "news reporter" during factual coverage of an event. But that's a completely different topic.
Originally posted by emmaImmediately following one of Dr. Saltz' statements of "less stigma & shame", CNN jumped back to a field correspondent, who leapt into his own vitriolic rhetoric* about "reaching out from the grave", "slap in the face to those who died & their families...", etc. He stated his own version of "we shouldn't let this guy get his way", etc. That's that individual's own reaction to the pain & the offence to humanity -- I get that. You feel what you feel, & far be it for me to judge somebody else's feelings. At the same time, I see that reaction as demonstration that he doesn't begin to grok the mental illness involved.
It's just another example of the complete and total failure of the media in their duty to inform the general public of the scope and level of mental illness involved. One of the most appalling things I heard was on NPR, where a interviewee declared this as a "road map" for those seeking "this kind of notoriety". Such a simple minded view, in my opinion.
As someone who works on a college campus that experienced a similar tragedy six years ago, I've learned from the VT shooting that I can do everything in my power to get a troubled student into treatment, and it still might not be enough to stop a tragedy.
This should, IMO, be discussed as a colossal failure of our society to effectively deal with issues of mental health, especially considering that Cho was already in the system. I don't know if it's stigma, but clearly something has to change in how we deal with these kinds of health problems.
(edited by Leroy on 20.4.07 1714) "Oh my God! They have a shit-load of Cockapoo stuff!" -Jennifer's greatest quote... ever.
I ran across this article which deals with one concern I have, that there may be the idea that you can profile potential school shooters. One expert says that any such attempt would not only be unproductive but also invalid. Other experts say that such attempts tend to be biased, and that once the profile was created, it would be so wide reaching that you would have a ton of false positives.
I think we have to be careful not to think that all bad things in life can be prevented. I am afraid that such attempts to prevent every bad thing that could possibly happen could have unintended consequences (these concerns would go beyond trying to profile school shooters). While this was a horrible event, I think we need to keep things in perspective and not overreact. The chances of any individual dying due to mass shooting would still be something like a one in a billion.
(edited by ges7184 on 21.4.07 1055) The Bored are already here. Idle hands are the devil's workshop. And no... we won't kill dolphins. But koalas are fair game.
There is way too many things we can say in hindsight, including my own opinion. Oh he was a nut job, he's mentally ill, etc, etc.
I think the cold truth is, he's a lot more normal than we believe. There's a reason nobody saw this coming. You ask anyone, and NOBODY that knew him expected him to EVER even pick up a gun. Sure they'd joke about it, but thats a normal thing to joke about. He just came off as a REALLY shy, maybe even depressed kid. I see those a dime a dozen at school.
I know this sounds weird, but I don't look at a mass shooting as an "mentally ill" event. To me thats a sign of a MAJOR snap, even if it was planned. Did something build up to finally make him calculate all this? I don't know. I could be wrong, but he didn't seem mentally ill. If anything, he seemed more like a guy who felt like life looked very ill upon him, as if he was gettin thrown one curveball to the next and therefore he had nothing to lose. But the hell do I know either? I don't know the guy.
As for the opinion of news sites putting up the video and everything. I guess there is a moral concern, and perhaps indecency in airing his videos at this time. But in no way do I agree that he "got" what he wants. To me, this is not a "HEY GUYS LOOK AT ME I DID IT!" message. It was more like it was him trying to have us understand why he did it. To unglorify the deaths that he was going to take.
If you ask me, he didn't get ANYTHING he wanted. His own sister he even mentioned, now has to suffer for his actions. People across the nation think he's either mentally ill or insane. And then there's people like me, who think he's rather normal, just a big whiny crybaby who didn't know how to cry over spilt milk. I was extremely depressed about his video. I watched it to hope we would get a TRUE reason why to do it, and not some crybaby watermark. So life sucks, whatever. Cry me a river.
He didn't get what he wanted, cuz now he's more persecuted than he would've been if he stayed in his shy little shell.
Originally posted by lost_my_testesI could be wrong, but he didn't seem mentally ill.
Um, perhaps you didn't get the memo, but he WAS mentally ill. He had already been treated for mental illness. People aren't throwing around the term "mentally ill" the same way you'd throw around "crazy" or "nutjob." He was actually put in the system, diagnosed, and treated by professionals. Unfortunately, all he got was outpatient treatment because the doctors that saw him didn't think he was a danger to society.
Life would be so much easier if the signs of mental illness were that apparent. They aren't in most cases. Let's hope we as a society learn from this. However, the answer isn't deny civil liberties without due cause and process.