Is America Serious About Mental Health?

By Mary Bissell and David Gray
The New America Foundation

The Virginia Tech massacre raises questions that may never be answered. Even in the insolubility of this week's events, however, one thing is clear: Cho Seung-Hui was a very sick young man.

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Posted by Michael Corones at 01:07 PM ET, 04/19/2007 | Permalink | Comments (5)
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Stopping the Va. Tech Shooter

By Tom Firey
The Cato Institute

The question has crossed our minds countless times since Monday's horrific events: How could we have prevented the tragedy at Virginia Tech?

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Posted by Michael Corones at 01:00 PM ET, 04/19/2007 | Permalink | Comments (9)
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Avoid the Trap of Self-Condemnation

By Ben Wattenberg
The American Enterprise Institute

The events at Virginia Tech were truly terrible. We grieve for the students, their friends and families. We don't know what forces drove the troubled student Che Seung Hui, but we should not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of self-condemnation.

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Posted by Michael Corones at 05:22 PM ET, 04/18/2007 | Permalink | Comments (59)
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Revisit Current Laws and Regulations

By Walter Olson
The Manhattan Institute

According to ABC News, writing professor Lucinda Roy was one who got a close look at the future killer's disturbed personality: "She said she notified authorities about Cho, but said she was told that there would be too many legal hurdles to intervene."

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Posted by Michael Corones at 02:55 PM ET, 04/18/2007 | Permalink | Comments (14)
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Laws Are No Substitute to Vigilance

An earlier version of this blog post stated thast the handgun ban in the District of Columbia was struck down by the Supreme Court. In fact, the ban was struck down by a federal appeals court.

By Greg Ridgeway
The RAND Corporation

The shootings at Virginia Tech have prompted a discussion of America's gun laws. But while Virginia's gun laws have been criticized by some as being lax, even the toughest gun restrictions in effect anywhere in the United States -- such as those in California and Massachusetts -- likely could not have prevented this tragedy.

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Posted by Michael Corones at 02:25 PM ET, 04/18/2007 | Permalink | Comments (36)
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Reexamine Involuntary Treatment Laws

By Sally Satel
The American Enterprise Institute

"I contacted the police, contacted counseling, student affairs, the college to try to sound the alarm, and they felt that their hands were tied legally for various reasons ... as you probably know until someone actually threatens to do something, it can be incredibly difficult to make something happen ..." - Lucinda Roy, English Dept.

We don't know all the facts but the tragedy should prompt a serious re-examination of Virginia's involuntary treatment laws.

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Posted by Michael Corones at 01:56 PM ET, 04/18/2007 | Permalink | Comments (6)
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The Real Problem Transcends Policy

By Kenneth R. Weinstein
The Hudson Institute

The unspeakable tragedy at Virginia Tech is not a public policy problem but something that greatly transcends it. Monday's carnage might possibly have been limited through a number of policy options: greater controls on the sale of semi-automatic weapons; better mental health laws that can help force obviously ill adults like the murderer -- whose own writings foreshadowed the attacks -- into counseling and therapy, even against their will; and improved methods of instantaneous emergency communication that in Blacksburg, as on 9/11, could well have saved many.

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Posted by Michael Corones at 01:51 PM ET, 04/18/2007 | Permalink | Comments (34)
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Gun Control Doesn't Fit This Crime

By Jim Copland
The Manhattan Instituite

It didn't take long for the European press, foreign and domestic politicians, and anti-gun lobbies to react to the horrific Virginia Tech massacre on Monday by condemning America's "gun culture" and calling for new gun control laws. The reaction is predictable, but it simply doesn't follow from the initial facts about this tragedy.

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Posted by Michael Corones at 01:47 PM ET, 04/18/2007 | Permalink | Comments (42)
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Not Every Tragedy Has a Solution

By Brian Michael Jenkins
The RAND Corporation

As shock gives way to blame, litigation and legislation are never far behind. The refrain is familiar: This must never happen again. But we too easily presume that we can prevent it.

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Posted by Michael Corones at 01:41 PM ET, 04/18/2007 | Permalink | Comments (12)
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Evil Is Always With Us

By Ted Frank
The American Enterprise Institute

Evil is always with us. Andrew Kehoe dynamited the Bath School in Michigan, killing 38 children and six adults -- in 1927. So is courage: look at Virginia Tech Professor Liviu Librescu, who sacrificed himself to save the lives of many of his students when Cho Seung Hui barged into his classroom shooting.

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Posted by Michael Corones at 01:30 PM ET, 04/18/2007 | Permalink | Comments (23)
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