This is SO not a surprise

Well, now we know what Cho Seyung-Hui did between killing two in the dorm and then shooting up an academic building: he went to the post office to Express Mail his “multi-media manifesto” to NBC News in New York City.

And the contents would seem to confirm what we all already figured out: he was one sick puppy.

The shame here? That he took others with him.

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4 thoughts on “This is SO not a surprise

  1. darcyjavanne

    I think the greater shame is that this young man, who was mentally ill, did not get the help he so clearly needed. It might have saved some lives if he had.

    Reply
    1. autojim Post author

      See, the thing is, you have to ask for it to get it. When he was temporarily committed in late 2005 by a magistrate who deemed him a danger to himself or others, he was able — as sociopaths often are — to snow the court-appointed clinical psychologist, who deemed him not suicidal and not a danger. With that, the court had no basis to continue to confine him and “recommended” outpatient counseling — but could not force it. And asking a male of east Asian heritage to seek counseling voluntarily? Ha! Never gonna happen. About the only thing that can lead to involuntary committment now is the commission of some heinous act… like shooting up a school. Realistically, the only thing that might have stopped this once it started was a responsible, armed person who could take out the shooter before he was able to rack up the body count. Oh, wait, it’s ILLEGAL to carry a firearm onto a school campus, even if you have a concealed carry permit. Well, there goes THAT idea. Wouldn’t want you to break the law in the course of defending your fellow man…

      Reply
      1. darcyjavanne

        Well, I’m in mental health and therefore have a different view. I see two major areas of breakdown: First, the signals were there. People who saw the signals weren’t communicating with the people who could have made a difference. Second, no one was following up to make sure that he pursued counseling, which should have been done. It’s not a matter of involuntary committment or nothing. Asian males are as amenable to counseling as anyone – if you approach them in a culturally appropriate manner. But we can agree to disagree. 🙂

      2. autojim Post author

        Well, I’m in mental health and therefore have a different view. I see two major areas of breakdown: First, the signals were there. People who saw the signals weren’t communicating with the people who could have made a difference. I don’t know what else the teachers and fellow students could’ve done aside from what they did: report him to the authorities. Second, no one was following up to make sure that he pursued counseling, which should have been done. It’s not a matter of involuntary commitment or nothing. Asian males are as amenable to counseling as anyone – if you approach them in a culturally appropriate manner. Well, if you look at the law, there’s nothing they could do to compel compliance with the magistrate’s recommendation — it does not carry force majure. Where things fell apart, IMO, is that the court-appointed psychologist didn’t take the time to do more than a cursory “examination” that consisted basically of a brief interview during the 3 days he was “voluntarily confined”. If the pshrink had bothered to do a work-up on the guy, they’d have found out he “jest ain’t raght in th’ haid” (I’m from Oklahoma. I have distant step-cousins who make it a matter of pride to wear their Sunday-go-to-meetin’ overalls to the family reunions. They really do talk like this when they’re not pickin’ bluegrass tunes) and either continued his confinement and treatment or been able to force outpatient counseling with some sort of legal penalty for non-compliance. But aside from the never-formally-charged stalking accusations, Cho had no criminal history — as far as the law was concerned, he was a complete non-entity in 2005, and he gave them no reason to change that opinion at that time. Hey, I was a young geek myself once, socially-awkward, unsure of how to approach the sweet young things who attracted my eye — I’m sure I came across as borderline creepy to one or two. I can relate. The main difference is that I didn’t blame others if I got rejected — the fault was mine. One of the problems with sociopaths is that they can flummox you when it suits them — hide what they’re up to. By all indications, Cho fit that pattern. If, in late 2005, he’d gotten more in-depth examination, maybe he would’ve cracked just enough for someone to notice. But hindsight is always 20/20. It’s also how I reached the conclusion that a trained, armed person could’ve greatly reduced the carnage factor once the shooting started. The dude was gonna die that day — he’d already made that decision — the only question was how many of his “oppressors” he’d take with him. Triple-tapping every single victim tells me he was more interested in number of confirmed dead than number of wounded (and that he watched a lot of Stephen Segal movies). Fortunately for many, it’s hard to get dead from a .22 unless it severs an artery — I suspect most of the fatal wounds were from the 9mm. But we can agree to disagree. 🙂 With my lovely and extremely talented wife, K, starting her graduate studies in psychology in the fall, I’ve been “forcibly” immersed into the subject. I’m not a trained expert any more than someone with a… substantial… IQ would be after several years of regular couch time myself, but I think I have a reasonable grasp on the basics. I don’t think we’re that far apart on opinion. 🙂

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