Monday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Approaching the Nativity and the seasonal liturgical practices of the East.
  2. An upcoming discussion.
  3. Does that exhaust the choices?
  4. So … it has to end? What? Now, do you figure we’ll see the liberal/progressive press and thinkers all figuring out how to revamp mental healthcare in America? Or will they stupidly and mindlessly go after things that won’t make a difference? Or how to organize fast (armed?) responses to violence in public places? Or will they use this as an opportunity to steal more liberties from the people?
  5. Foot votes.
  6. Very pretty.
  7. Negative to vastly outweigh the positive. Which describes most of what Washington does these days. Which is why gridlock is the voters choice.
  8. Metrics.
  9. What the modern progressives seek … uniformity trumps all else?
  10. One progressive argues for legalizing automatic guns and good body armor for civilians.
  11. Small government conservatism begins here.
  12. Minding Midgley … is it detecting mental health problems … or just locating actual evil in our midst?
  13. Why?

6 Responses to Monday Highlights

  1. Not sure we can get much better with ‘fast and armed’ responses in public places. I think we had something like all of just ten minutes between 1st 911 call and first responders showing up. One possible easy fix might be to establish locked doors as a norm in public schools with a video type ‘buzz in’. Likewise you might get some simple steps to slow down an attacker. If schools have a panic button type set up to quickly summon police and if individual classrooms can be locked from the inside by teachers, you can make it easier to lock shooters out buying additional time. Perhaps internal cameras in schools could be tapped by the local police department it would be easier for first responders to know exactly where a shooter is when they arrive rather than having to enter the school slowly.

    But with all of these, I think the thing to keep in mind is the problem with ‘fighting the last war’. In other words, avoid solutions that might address this particular type of shooting but create other problems in different contexts. For example, secure classroom doors that can be internally locked may keep out an invading attacker but may be a huge problem dealing with a teacher or student taking the class hostage. Encouraging armed staff might also encourage staff-student confrontations to get out of hand, or encourage students to try to grab weapons from staff….

    It also occurs to me that this sort of thing probably would happen more often if not for rather random conditions. Consider the fact that he shot his mother first then left for the school. Suppose someone heard the shot and called the police who arrive in time to arrest him? It would make the local papers as a shocking crime but probably no one would have realized the carnage that was averted. How many rampages didn’t happen because lots of random things just ‘got in the way’ of the disturbed person?

    I think improving mental health is probably the best way to address things like this doing little or no harm elsewhere. (The profiling here seems pretty simple, most of these problems are caused by young men…in fact many problems are caused by young men so if you targetted them with anger management, counseling and screening for more serious conditions like schizophrenia you can probably head off a lot of trouble). It might be, though, that it’s simply a fact that a certain portion of people will just ‘snap’ in modern society and that combined with technology means we will have to periodically experience things like this.

  2. Boonton,

    But with all of these, I think the thing to keep in mind is the problem with ‘fighting the last war’.

    Advice you might have been pushing in economic matters, e.g., Dodd-Frank.

    I think out and out schizophrenia is less an issue than the various types of mood disorders, depression and manic/depression. But that might just because I’ve a daughter who suffers with the former.

  3. Advice you might have been pushing in economic matters, e.g., Dodd-Frank.

    Bubbles and excessive risk taking by the financial system? That sounds like a maco-feature of the system we’d expect to see on a regular basis, not an unusual occurance. A better analogy might be if you had a law specially made to contain bubbles in Tulip bulbs by tightly regulating their futures trading. That would be an example of fighting a war that previously happened and is highly unlikely to ever happen again in just that way.

    I think out and out schizophrenia is less an issue than the various types of mood disorders, depression and manic/depression. But that might just because I’ve a daughter who suffers with the former.

    In terms of danger I think schizophrenia is more potent….those I know suffering from depression and manic-depression tend to veer towards self-destructive impulses…I suppose with a woman childcare is something to worry about but while many schizophrenics are not violent, when schizophrenics go bad they can really go bad. To make matters worse, the disorder often appears in latter teen years or young adult years, just at the time many people are transitioning out of their parent’s health care and into being ‘on their own.’

  4. Boonton,
    So … was schizophrenia a diagnoses for any of the recent shootings/shooters?

  5. Boonton,
    In Chicago, Brandon Marshall (Bears receiver) has been raising awareness of his particular mood disorder, which resulted in various brushes with the law and violence. Mood disorders can lead to violence.

    The first link on mental illness makes the claim that the Nicholson film badly damaged the mental health industry and it hasn’t recovered. I was considering making the claim that all the ventilation and blather about guns and gun control by left and right in the absence of talk about mental illness is a sign of unseriousness … and was willing to tar with some label like opportunistic morons of those who talk about guns (which are clearly not the cause … but hey, it’s easier and more comfortable to talk about that) and not the real causes and cures.

    What label would you give those people?

  6. So … was schizophrenia a diagnoses for any of the recent shootings/shooters?

    I believe it was the Arizona Congresswoman shooter as well as the Batman movie shooter. The most famous link to mental illness was probably much more objective, Charles Whitmann left a note asking them to look at his brain. Turned out he had a tumor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman#Autopsy

    What I’m wondering about is what proportion of these things can be described as spontaneous and what portion are planned out over the long term. Minor ‘road blocks’ may prevent spontaneous attacks but ones where the killer methodically plans it out for a long period of time will not be as effectively prevented (unless they give away their intentions when getting around roadblocks)

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