Monday, January 10, 2011

It's the Dungeons and Dragons argument set on a Political Bluescreen

I was going to post about the similarities between the MSM/Democrat meme of violent images (only those images coming from the Right of course) being the cause of the Arizona shooting and the 1980's meme of Dungeons and Dragons causing people to go batshit insane and haunt the steam tunnels and sewers of cities in search of orcs.

But as I started looking at this a bit closer, it occurs to me that the MSM is putting its meme in the wrong basket.  There are more similarities between Loughner and Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter than anything else.  The only difference between the two is that Loughner took his psychosis to a political rally and Cho took his to the classroom.  The way that it's looking is that Loughner had an obsession with Gabby Giffords dating back to 2007 (he felt she had treated him badly).  Cho was obsessed with a female student who he felt treated him badly. 

Cho was directed by Virginia Tech to seek help after several documented cases of aberrant behavior, including stalking two female students.  Loughner was finally removed from Pima Community College due to disruptive behavior (including 5 times where the police were called to remove him from campus due to his behavior).  In fact, the college made his re-entry into Pima conditional upon his receiving counseling and treatment.

As far as what the news is saying today, he was never diagnosed for treatment and he was never charged with crime (either of which would have red-flagged him for legally purchasing a firearm).  Cho was never formally charged with a crime (including the stalking, which was handled in-house at Virginia Tech) and his juvenile records showing his behavior were sealed PLUS he did not seek counseling either so he was not red-flagged either.

What I'm seeing is the failure of educational institutions to follow-through with students who are clearly deranged.  They choose to handle issues, such as stalking, disruptive behavior, and the like in-house rather than contact outside authorities when this outside contact would flag the student as a possible danger to others.  This abrogation of responsibility on the part of higher education is probably due to two main causes:  the tying of hands via federal privacy laws and the absolute dedication to the avoidance of any possible negative publicity that could be associated with the institution in question.  From what I've seen in my experience, there is also a culture of 'not rocking the boat', not harming the self-esteem of the student, and an illusory sense that 'it can't happen here.'.

So if the press needs a meme, let them start with the failure of educational institutions to follow through when problems arise.  Just as they will pass a student just to make them go away, they will ignore or sweep under the rug clear issues and signs of danger in hopes that it too will go away.  That is how people like Cho and Loughner stay outside a system of safeguards that could otherwise prevent them (or make it much harder for them) to perpetuate the violence that is a similarity between both of them.


DirtCrashr said...

Too right, but the Press won't go there bbecause Education is a sacred cow they worship, and they already have their hatchet buried up to the hilt in their favorite target. They made their move instinctively and revealingly.

Midwest Chick said...

I don't think I made it clear enough that I blame the lack of follow through on the part of educational administrators to actually take a stand, press the necessary charges, etc. in order to get folks like Cho and Loughner into a 'hold' situation.

But the press I think made their move too strongly. They are being called out on every front for their clear, unified meme as well as their overreach to try to make a non-existent point.