Why we call the massacre “senseless”
coverage and commentary on the Virginia Tech massacre I see no signs that America has learned the lesson it needs to learn if such events are to be prevented in the future. Thus President Bush and many others call the crime “senseless.” But there was nothing senseless about it. A young man, deeply alienated and isolated and filled with hatred, was descending ever deeper into demonism and openly revealing his homicidal imaginings and impulses to the people around him. This is a well-known phenomenon. Something very similar happened just a few years ago at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. The pattern is understood. There was nothing senseless about the killer’s behavior. It was entirely intelligible
The horror crying out to be explained here is not the killer’s motives and actions, but society’s failure to stop him even though he had clearly and repeatedly manifested his sick and murderous thoughts. People don’t want to try to explain society’s failure to stop him, because that would require criticizing the ruling beliefs of society that precluded his being stopped: the belief that there is nothing higher than the self and its desires; the belief that everyone should be free to express himself; the belief that we should not judge people; the belief that institutions have no legitimate authority in themselves but exist only to serve the needs of individuals.
Thus, while several students and teachers were concerned about Cho Sueng Hui,—he was so scary that some students avoided coming to a writing class he attended—no one did anything beyond asking that he be “referred” for “counseling.” True, one teacher, according to Andrea Peyser in today’s New York Post, went so far as to try to have him “removed” (though Peyser, showing the outstanding reportorial and thinking skills so typical of today’s journalists, doesn’t make it clear whether she means removed from the class or removed from the school), but the administration refused to do so because that would violate Cho’s “freedom of speech.” Now if you were in that situation, with a student who you thought might be a school shooter, would you accept that answer? I know I wouldn’t. I would go back o the university administration, I would go to the university president, I would go to the local police, I would say, here is a young man who is a danger to society, you must do something about this. But no one did that. Because our liberal attitudes and laws militate against doing anything to restrain an obvious menace to society until he has actually committed a crime.
We call Cho’s act “senseless” because we don’t want to acknowledge that evil exists, and that society has a duty to take forceful action to prevent it. To see these truths would require that we give up our nonjudgmental belief system; so we choose not to see them. Instead we talk about the “senselessness” of the crime, thus giving ourselves a complete pass from thinking either about the reality of evil or about our liberal beliefs that make it impossible for us to oppose evil. The maintenance of the liberal order requires that people not think.
What would our society have done if it did not subscribe to its present liberal beliefs? Very simply, it would have isolated this person from the community by committing him to a mental institution, just as it would have done in, say, 1950—without hesitation, embarrassment, or apology. Pre-1960s America did not impotently call homicidal insanity “senseless”; it called it a danger to society, a danger from which society must protect itself by means of decisive and authoritative action.
The commonsensical, non-liberal measures I have pointed to are beyond the imaginings of modern people, including most conservatives. Unable to conceive of the only step that could have blocked the fiend Cho on his path to mass murder, mainstream opinion-makers in the wake of that atrocity are left tossing off and contentiously debating an endless series of nostrums and bromides, all of them absurd in themselves and irrelevant to the actual problem at hand. Recalling the insight that liberalism requires people to be irrational, we realize that this futile, distracting, and depressing discussion is nothing other than a core ritual of liberal society, by which it renews its very essence: every time some new atrocity is committed that was licenced by the liberal permissiveness that no one in liberal society dreams of challenging, liberals and conservatives alike begin running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
—end of initial entry—
Maureen C. writes:
Brilliant. It’s your basic message, but one can only hope that if it is repeated often enough in varied situations, perhaps its truth will utlimately break the spell of irrationality that has held this country in its grip since the crazed 70s.
The inability to contain Cho despite his stalking and verbal threats is a fractal version of 9-11. Just as the university could not put Cho in a mental asylum, after the 1993 bombing of the WTC, neither the Justice dept nor the FBI could expel the Islamic sheikh whose hate rhetoric and whose mosque ultimately organized the second bombing attempt on 9-11. Individuals whose acts are borderline criminal acts are consistently protected at the expense of the survival of college students—and ultimately the nation.
Your analysis is right on. At the core of what defines the difference between liberals and traditionalists is what one believes about man’s inherent nature. Does one accept the biblical view that man has an inherited sin nature, in need of redemption from God, and finally, a requirement to subordinate ourselves to his thinking (the word of God). Or, does one accept the belief that man is basically good and that man can evolve into a God-like state. Thus, we don’t need God or his teachings because we can deify ourselves and create our own “theology.”
This is why George Bush has no problem with the Hispanicization of the U.S. and the demise of our Judeo-Christian culture; that our enemy is terrorism rather than Islam; and that all mankind can be advanced to the good by introducing “good hearted” people to democracy (and, in the case of Mexico, an opportunity to feed their families). He is incapable of seeing human nature as IT IS rather than through his delusional belief system. Every issue boils down to this fundamental difference about man’s inherent nature.
M. Mason writes:
One of the other things that has irritated me during the last two days has been the insensitive, immoral, mind-numbing foolishness that’s been displayed by some toward the surviving victims most traumatized by the horror of this event. These absolutely broken people have been urged by university officials and mental health professionals to quickly “begin the healing process” and “get closure” for their immense grief and righteous anger, and the televised convocation that was quickly arranged for them seemed at times to resemble some sort of bizarre pep rally. It’s as though the institutionalized liberal culture expects their perfectly normal and completely justified feelings to be somehow either quickly suppressed or magically transformed soon into something more acceptable called “healing” so people don’t dwell on them too much. And to add insult to injury, we now have the major television networks falling all over themselves to air the psychopathic shooter’s own multi-media massacre porn, giving him a world-wide stage to rant even in death. More shameless indecency, more idiotic bilge thrown in our faces; every year it gets worse.
Steve R. writes:
“What would our society have done if it did not subscribe to its present liberal beliefs? Very simply, it would have isolated this person from the community by committing him to a mental institution, just as it would have done in, say, 1950….”
But, of course, the America of 1950 was indecribably oppressive to blacks, women, Mexicans, Native Americans, the mentally ill, homosexuals and everyone else except white heterosexual males. It was only a little bit better than Nazi Germany. A past that must be completely rejected.
I’d like to see someone actually defend the America of 1950 in a major public venue as being inevitably flawed (we’re talking about human institutions after all), but actually morally superior to what we have today. He or she would get the Imus treatment.
David B. writes:
On Tuesday night I was watching the coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre. At one point, a man identified as the VT student body president came on the screen. He said something like, “We don’t want to blame anyone. We just want to heal.”
What he’s saying is, “We don’t object to what was done to us, and we don’t want to do anything to prevent it from happening again to us or anyone else. As many times as it happens, we just want to heal. So, you Forces of Evil out there, you keep killing us, and we’ll keep ‘healing.’”
Charles T. writes:
Lawrence: This selection from your post is an excellent summary about the problem we face, “Instead we talk about the “senselessness” of the crime, thus giving ourselves a complete pass from thinking either about the reality of evil or about our liberal beliefs that make it impossible for us to oppose evil. The maintenance of the liberal order requires that people not think. ”
Most people I know do not want to admit the existence of evil. To do so means we have to respond to it. And, our liberal culture actually renders us incapable of responding to evil.
Randy: Your post is exact. The fallen nature of man is neglected as an explanation of the evil that humans are so prone to do. It is probably one of the most important doctrines in the Christian church………and also one of the most neglected. If we are not fallen, then why do we need to be redeemed and forgiven? Unfortunately, it is simply not taught very much anymore. As a result, even Christians are left shaking their heads and wonder why humans are so prone to evil. The neglect of this doctrine has left Christians incapable of understanding and responding properly to evil.
Here is a post on the meaning of Ismail Ax. The linked source in the Right Truth article is here.
Mark P. writes:
What would our society have done if it did not subscribe to its present liberal beliefs? Very simply, it would have isolated this person from the community by committing him to a mental institution, just as it would have done in, say, 1950—without confusion, embarrassment, or apology. Pre-1960s America did not impotently call homicidal insanity “senseless”; it called it a danger to society, a danger from which society must protect itself by means of decisive and authoritative action. Oddly enough, this is exactly what Michael Savage was saying on his radio show yesterday.
I’ve listened to Savage a total of maybe one hour, a year or two ago. I don’t like talk radio, though I’ve heard Savage has views similar to mine on some issues.
Mark P. replies:
Savage’s radio show is on for three hours a day, five days a week. He does have some filler segments that do kill time and you may have listened in on one of them.
I don’t know how much time you have, but I would suggest spending about a week listening to his show. I would even encourage you to call. Getting through is not that hard.
Savage is the third largest radio show in the country, after Limbaugh and Hannity. Savage is, however, far, far different from those two, whom I consider unlistenable. He is actually the closest to VFR thinking, though somewhat less cerebral and less systematic than you. Nevertheless, listening to Savage is very encouraging and hearing much of what you say spilling out on the airwaves is a very positive sign.
I actually discovered Savage only 8 months ago. Before that, I completely dismissed him as well.
Paul Cella writes:
Well said on how Liberalism abetted the whole unfolding of the slaughter prepetrated on Monday. I have a particular annoyance with the inevitable misuse of the term “tragedy,” as I wrote here: . A calculated massacre of strangers is the very farthest thing from a tragedy.
And have you noticed, even lots of “conservatives” on TV are now using the word “tragedy” as well? We need many more articles attacking this horrendous misuse of the language which is a major tool in the implantation of non-judgmental liberalism into the mind of our society.
Also, it’s a perfect example of the way liberalism works. People don’t come out and say on TV, “I don’t believe in right and wrong, I think we should be completely non-judgmental toward acts of evil.” If they said that, it would arouse a response and a debate. Instead, they simply refer to a mass murder as a “tragedy,” and by so doing, they destroy people’s ability to view an act of evil as an act of evil.
Alan Roebuck writes:
Larry: Your words here are a thing of beauty. I believe one of the poets said “truth is beauty and beauty truth”, or some such. I don’t know what he meant by it, but in a time of turmoil, especially emotional turmoil, words of truth have a healing beauty to them. And I recall hearing that Plato said “Whenever someone speaks the truth, the cosmos resonates.”
Just to add one point: another, lesser way society can defend itself from homicidal monsters is for more people to be armed. If Cho had had reason to believe that some of his intended victims would shoot back, he probably would never even have gone on his rampage. Ironically, this means that the situation of more people being armed would have had more compassion on Cho than the situation we actually have.
To M. Mason and others who may be tempted to despair: Take comfort!
This is a war of ideas, which can be fought with ideas. Write to blogs, newspaper editors, whomever. Express the false ideas, and correct them. I’m not sure of copyright issues, and he may need to correct me, but use Lawrence Auster’s words if necessary. Do battle with the enemy; his ideas are false so his armor is thin.
That’s John Keats, in the last stanza of “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” perhaps the most beautiful poem in the English language:
O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede [embroidery]I have a funny relationshp with that line. All through my life (and I first read the poem when I was about 13), I never understood what Keats meant by “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Then about ten years ago I finally “got” it. It was a great discovery. But then I forgot it again! I didn’t write my thoughts down at the time, and I can’t remember what my explanation was.
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
“Because our liberal attitudes and laws militate against doing anything to restrain an obvious menace to society until he has actually committed a crime.”
Isn’t that what innocent until proven guilty is all about?
It seems to me the best solution, that does the least damage, is also the simplest. Allow those who wish to, to be armed, and let Americans think and act like free men instead of government dependents. He would have been stopped at the first classroom, and nobody else’s freedom to act a little strange would be at risk.
(Even leaving out the guns, there is the question of mindset. I can’t imagine not throwing chairs, books, everything at him, and rushing him while he was distracted and his aim was off.)
Basing punishment on how people feel about how threatening or disturbing someone is seems to me to be a very dangerous road to travel—a lot of people, seemingly ever more of them, treat minor issues as far greater than they should be, so individual judgements are not always reliable.
Please. I’m not talking about a criminal indictment, trial, and conviction. I’m talking about institutionalizing a homicidally dangerous insane person. According to you, we have to wait until the maniac actually starts shooting, our only hope being that someone with a gun will be happen to be there just at the moment the fiend attacks.
Comments like these are what gives libertarianism a bad name, not that it needed any help in that department.
There are many issues here that you seem to be glossing over.
First of all, how does one decide that someone is homicidally dangerous? Is it a judgment call every time—“I know it when I see it”? Why is this not an unprincipled exception?
Second, why is institutionalizing someone not equivalent to a prison sentence? They are being locked up for something they have not done, but may do. I do not claim one should never do this, but what changes to the existing principles of when and how to do so would you advocate? The laws about making death threats and stalking and the like exist for precisely this reason; to handle cases where someone may become a threat before they actually act, and to do so on a principled basis. What improvements would you suggest?
There’s a letter from a VT professor posted at the Corner today. Based on what is said there, they did everything they should have—sent him to a mental health place, had the police look into him, and so on—and Cho cooperated fully. The doctors decided he was maybe suicidal but not murderous. Their judgment may well have been incorrect, but that is a separate issue. If we trust the mental health people—which is the entire purpose of institutionalizing someone—do we then second-guess them when they say someone is not a threat to others and lock them up anyway? What principle are you advocating here?
As for your last sentence, that’s unwarranted sneering. Please refrain. I’m not talking about libertarianism specifically, I’m talking about the founding principles of this country and whether they are indeed what we should be living by and to what extent they might need to be refined. Can you answer on that basis? Do you claim I have the principle wrong? Are there exceptions to it?
“First of all, how does one decide that someone is homicidally dangerous? Is it a judgment call every time—“I know it when I see it”? Why is this not an unprincipled exception?”
The plain implication of this statement is that no one could ever be judged as homicidally dangerous for the purpose of separating him from society. It’s a standard liberal-relativist argument: How can we know anything?
“why is institutionalizing someone not equivalent to a prison sentence? They are being locked up for something they have not done, but may do. I do not claim one should never do this … “
To me it sounds as though Rollory is saying that one should never do this. Rollory seems not to be aware that in the 1960 and ’70s, based on the principle that the state did not have the right to deprive individuals of their freedom, there was a vast “de-institutionalizing” of mentally ill people in America, in which people who had been kept in mental institutions were released on society. Were there some people who had been incorrectly or unfairly institutionalized? I’m sure there were. But the de-institutionalization had catastrophic effects on society. It was one of the major steps in the transforming of America from the orderly and safe society it had been up to the 1960s to what it became afterward. This is a huge subject about which much has been written.
“they did everything they should have—sent him to a mental health place, had the police look into him, and so on”
No they did not. They made their complaints, they made their referrals, and when NOTHING was done about it, they did nothing further. They gave up. As I wrote above, if I was in the position of one of those teachers or students, I would not have accepted the fact that this frightening, mentally ill, and obviously dangerous person was allowed to live among us. I would have raised high heaven to get something done. I would have gone to everyone in a position of authority I could think of, saying “This person does not belong here.” Maybe I wouldn’t have succeeded. But these people did not do that. They registered their complaints and concerns, but they didn’t follow through. They glanced off the problem; they didn’t wrestle to the ground.
“If we trust the mental health people—which is the entire purpose of institutionalizing someone—do we then second-guess them when they say someone is not a threat to others and lock them up anyway?”
A false choice. This is not about whether or not we have some metaphysical “trust” in mental health professionals. This is about seeing with our own eyes that a person in front of us is a danger, and doing everything we can to remove that danger.
“As for your last sentence, that’s unwarranted sneering. Please refrain. I’m not talking about libertarianism specifically, I’m talking about the founding principles of this country and whether they are indeed what we should be living by and to what extent they might need to be refined. Can you answer on that basis? Do you claim I have the principle wrong?”
Rollory has, as everyone does today, incorrectly equated the Founding principles of our country with some abstract liberty that is to be applied systematically and universally to all situations. In reality, the Founding principles of our country said that the states governed all their internal affairs, including the ordinary police powers, and that the federal government only dealt with issues beyond the natural purview of the states. There were mental hospitals or insane asylums in late 18th century America. Somehow Rollory has equated post 1960s America with the Founding principles, when in reality the post 1960s is when the Founding principles were perverted into radical liberalism.
James N. writes:
I’m not sure you realize how little can be (legally) done anymore about incipient killers.
In 30 years of medical (nonpsychiatric) practice, I’ve been in the situation half a dozen times of identifying an instantly potential killer. Despite all the “studies”, it’s surprisingly easy. Everyone who met this kid Cho was scared, right away. Just like really depressed people make you sad if you spend a few minutes with them, homicidal maniacs make you scared.
Most people believe that “somebody” is empowered to do “something” when a homicidal patient is referred. Within certain strictly defined parameters, that’s true. If the threat is immediate and confirmed by 2 physicians, a person can be detained for “treatment”. Within 48 hours, they get a court hearing—which almost certainly results in their release.
In the unusual circumstance when they are detained for 28 days, they are given some drugs which they stop immediately when discharged.
If they are really, really delusional (as opposed to bad), and can’t cover it up because of low IQ, there is a chance that they will be kept longer. Almost always, however, they must have committed an horrific crime first, which “proves” dangerousness to a skeptical therapeutic community.
This is all, of course, backwards (or better, inverted). The proper order of business in a healthy society is 1) Found to be crazy, 2) Locked up, and then 3) Let the psychiatrists get to work—but don’t let the helping doctors decide if or when you get out.
Psychiatrists are out of that business, and have no interest in getting back into it.
Most of the VT defenses about privacy, accommodation to handicap, and lack of police power are absolutely true. Of course, those laws and regulations are much more inhibitory to liberals, who believe that reality is constructed out of words rather than imbedded in the flesh and in the world.
During my lifetime, with a much smaller (and much more stable) population, we had hundreds of thousands of crazy people in State mental hospitals, most for long-term involuntary commitment. Since 1960, over 90% of state mental hospital beds have been closed.
Despite rhetoric about treatment in the community (as if we know what to do with these poor souls), most of them wander the streets. Some starve, some freeze, and some kill.
Long term detention of the next killer like Cho will require a judgmentalism which liberal society cannot and will not provide.
What else could the VT administrators do, except kvetch?
“I’m not sure you realize how little can be (legally) done anymore about incipient killers.”
I know that. That was my point. That’s why people want to say it’s “senseless,” because the liberal rules of our society made this atrocity possible, and no one wants that fact to be exposed.
At the same time, I would not have accepted that, I would have said that this person must be institutionalized and at the very least should be suspended from the school and prevented from entering the campus.
Which brings up a key point that hasn’t been discussed here yet. Even if the university had failed (which it didn’t really try to do) to get Cho committed, they still had the power to expel him from the school, as a person who did not belong in the university environment. Did anyone demand that he be expelled? I’m not aware of it. So, getting back to Rollory, let’s drop this idea that “everything was done that could have been done.”
James N. replies:
It’s good that you would have done that. However, it’s not good that your doing that would have accomplished nothing.
It would have shown that people were alive!
Instead of Eloi, or (since they did try to do some things before giving up) half-Eloi.
Alan Levine writes:
Despite my criticisms of your earlier remarks, I agree with those in the present thread.
I might add, that, at the risk of shocking you, I happen to favor handgun control—as a crime control measure, not because I “don’t like guns.” I am simply not a second amendment absolutist, just as I am not a first amendment absolutist.
That said, it is obvious to me, as it no doubt is to you, that many of the gun control fanatics are phonies. When it is clear that people oppose all conceivable anti-crime measures, or even the right of self-defense, and then harp on gun control as the way to stop crime, we have a right to doubt their motives.
M. Mason writes:
I thank Alan Roebuck for his encouragement; of course one must keep trying to get through to others about these important issues. Let me expand just a bit on what prompted my exasperation above. I have been both perplexed and very disappointed over the years with the responses of many conservatives and moderate liberals when a simple, cogent line of questioning is put to them in a cordial manner about the logical implications of what they write and say when some terrible and defining event like this occurs. Again and again I have seen that as soon as one begins to uncover the relativism that’s really at the core of their beliefs and how destructive and irrational it is, he is met with either a blank, glassy-eyed stare, some sort of flippant evasion, an abrupt petulance or a sullen, defensive silence calculated to let the questioner know that such a probing interrogation is not welcome.
In a different way, it’s quite apt (and somewhat amusing) that the 1950s have been brought up here, because I’m sometimes reminded of the classic sci-fi movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” from that era. Though, admittedly, referring to that film and its underlying political message has been over-used, it’s still a nice allegory about the strange transformation that comes over otherwise intelligent, normal individuals who, at a certain point, are “taken over” and then mentally shut down—in this case, precisely because “the maintenance of the liberal order requires that people not think.”
One need never apologize for using the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” to make a point. It is a great movie with a theme that goes to the heart of our time, though of course liberals claim it for their own as well, imagining it’s about McCarthyism (though perhaps it could be seen as being about Bushism, given what I’ve said about Bushism reducing the conservative movement and the Republican party to a mindless phalanx).
Josh has a different angle on this: He says Cho’s behavior was not threatening and that Cho was discriminated against by the liberal university environment. This doesn’t make sense to me but I’ll let others react.
Here is a link to the two plays that are causing so much second-guessing. Frankly, I don’t read “psychotic plays filled with murderous violence” that “invoked insane homicidal rage.” These plays pale in comparison to what is seen on a daily basis on TV and movie screens across the nation. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it if one is to view these plays outside the events that followed. Secondly, of all the people I’ve actually seen interviewed, none that I can recall has said they thought he was scary or dangerous. All said the same thing which was he barely spoke and walked with his head down. That’s it. Even the teacher Giovanni that had him expelled only said he was “mean,” but that was mainly due to his non-communication and provides almost no detail of his actual behavior. Not one person has come forward to say this kid was threatening or violent in anyway. Even the “stalking” incident in 2005 seems exaggerated as the first girl that complained claimed his contact was “annoying” while the police said his contact with the second girl was non-threatening. After these incidents that included only one personal contact and an unknown series of IMs and phone calls, Cho never contacted the girls again which leads one to ask why were law enforcement officials even contacted in the first place? And was this really a case of stalking as is being widely reported? Again, I am not defending this killer, but it seems to me that a lot CYA is going on amongst many officials, teachers and students at the school who are trying to claim both a foreknowledge of the potential actions of Cho while claiming to have never imagined the eventual outcome.
Like others I am merely trying to make sense of what many others are calling “senseless.” When commentators talk of this kid’s evilness and sickness they me be correct in their analysis, but I think his alienation and isolation are far more important factors to be considered when trying to assess why he committed this massacre. After all, how does one become so alienated and isolated in an atmosphere lauded for its openness and inclusion? You say that, “the liberal rules of our society made this atrocity possible, and no one wants that fact to be exposed.” I read this as the liberal rules of our society enables and compels the potential murderers amongst us. But how does it do such a thing? You seem to claim it’s because those rules are nonjudgmental and nondiscriminatory and such an inclined murderer feels no compunction to act out his will and desire in this type of atmosphere. I don’t think this is entirely correct in this particular situation. I think this killer acted out his revenge because the atmosphere he was in WAS entirely discriminatory and judgmental and to his perception unfairly and diabolically so. He didn’t mass murder because he was treated liberally. He mass murdered because he was treated aggressively and discriminately for things that were perhaps nothing more than a young alienated and isolated kid trying his best to reach out and find acceptance by those that preached the liberal dogma, showed compassion for strangers on the other side of the world and seemed to accept all kinds of perverse and strange behavior. This is what I see. I see a kid that was fed the lie of liberal nondiscrimination and inclusion. A lie that seems to be glaring in the invocation by the very teacher that had him expelled for his “mean” behavior.
“The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds” (my emphasis).
How exactly did the Hokie Nation (an Indian sounding phrase) reach out with “open heart and hands” to this killer? Expulsion from class…? Calls to police over exaggerated stalking claims…? Referrals to mental hospitals…?
Here’s just one tiny detail from a story in the New York Times, telling the account of a female fellow student of Cho’s:
Beyond that, he simply acted strange. On the first day of class the teacher asked everyone to stand up and introduce themselves.Now, maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that that is not acceptable behavior for someone who is in a university. In fact it strikes me as the behavior of a person who is at least deeply disturbed and who in any case is incapable of participating in a learning community.. In the pre-1960s world, a student who behaved like that would have been brought into speak to a Dean. If the disturbing and frightening behavior persisted, I think he would have been suspended from the school. I’ve yet to see any indication that any of the people who were alarmed by Cho sought to have him suspended.
“When it was his turn, he didn’t stand up and he said his name was Question Mark,” she said.
David B. writes:
Last night I watched a little of Hannity & Colmes. Mark Fuhrman was one of the guests. Hannity mentioned the stalking by the VT killer as well as his anti-social behavior. Hannity said, “It raises the question of why he wasn’t kicked out of school.” Fuhrman then said, “That’s a great question. Just what does it take to get kicked out of school? Do you have to bring guns and just miss a few people?”
A former NYPD detective then started talking about Berkowitz (Son of Sam). Colmes then said, “How do you know what to do?” The NYPD detective felt you “can’t blame anyone in law enforcement or the university.” Colmes then said, “I don’t think you can blame the university either, for not shutting down the campus.”
I have heard no one but Hannity and Fuhrman say that the killer should have been expelled.
David L. writes:
Contrary to actor Kevin McCarthy’s remark in an interview a few years ago that he felt that Invasion Of The Body Snatchers was not about Communism but about Americans’ apathy about their future and the world and the “soullessness” of America’s society, I believe the film was describing precisely the taking over of the power structure of the society by the Communist ghouls, where everyone is a zombie, where everyone is alike, where there is no love, no feelings, no religion, no freedom of expression, no individuality, just the desire to survive and the need to spread this Communism across the land. I felt McCarthy (who of course is a liberal) was completely mistaken when he stated this wasn’t the case. It’s one of my favorite films. I’ve seen it hundreds of times. There is no doubt in my mind what it’s about. Of course, the presumptive interviewer didn’t do McCarthy or the film justice and he was clearly a leftist, at the very least.
Anyone, especially any traditionalist, who has not seen this great movie should see it.
Has David ever researched the making of the movie, and what the screenwriters said was their intention and so forth?
Ken Hechtman writes from Canada:
Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.
You’re talking about a non-liberal regime that locks people up, not for anything they did but simply for what they are, not because they’re proven dangerous as individuals but because they’re members of a group statistically more likely to be dangerous than the average.
Think about it … How sure are you this kind of profiling couldn’t be used to preventively lock people up for potential “hate crimes”? How sure are you that the first-order profile of the “violent racist” couldn’t be broad enough to include you?
For what it’s worth, many American high schools did bring in a profiling scheme after Columbine. We called it “geek profiling.”
W.A.V.E., a profit-making program ramping up in the southern U.S. and soon to go national, will use Web sites, toll-free numbers, T-shirts and cash to encourage students to anonymously turn in classmates they consider depressed, dangerous or potentially violent. This horrifically stupid Geek Profiling would be blatantly unconstitutional if applied to adults.I imagine the school shrinks called it something else. It had all the same problems as other profiling schemes and those go beyond the simple “it’s discrimination.”
1. Is “fitting the profile” used as probable cause to look for actual evidence of an actual crime or is it taken as if it were evidence itself?
2. How many false positives does the profile alone generate? Most hijackers are Arabs. Most Arab passengers are not hijackers. If airport security assumes every Arab is a hijacker, they’ll be wrong a lot more often than they’re right. Same way, most mass murderers express violent fantasies. Most writers of violent fiction do not commit mass murder.
3. How much inconvenience are the false positives put to? If every English Lit major who’s seen Reservoir Dogs once too often has to spend an hour talking to the school shrink to prove that’s all he is, that’s a small problem. If he has to spend the rest of his life in a locked ward, that’s a big problem.
The basic problem you’re pointing to is that America no longer has upright, decent, law-abiding men running its institutions. It now has a mixture of immoral lawless leftists and brainless quasi-totalitarian bureaucrats running its institutions. Consider Waco and Ruby Ridge. Consider the persecution of Richard Jewell. Consider the way the VT administration jumped to the wholly baseless conclusion that boyfriend and gun enthusiast Karl Thornhill was the murderer of Emily Hilscher. Therefore your concerns about abuses resulting from expanded police powers have validity.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 18, 2007 09:38 PM | Send
All I can say is: the reform of society that is needed to make it possible to remove dangerous maniacs from society—something which is absolutely essential—is the same reform that is needed to remove the leftists and quasi-totalitarian bureaucrats running our institutions. In short, as with all my issues, since liberalism controls modern society, true reform in a traditionalist direction assumes the overthrow of liberalism.