"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, April 20, 2007

Psychosis Control

It will be some time before it can be determined what lessons (if any) are to be learned from the V-Tech shootings. We remain in that period when the shouting of professional exploiters (politicians, the media, Dr. Phil) drowns out most sober reflection, as each of them insists that this tragedy should at last bring home to all Americans that the shouter's particular issue must be resolved as the screamer has always insisted.

But (as usual) Charles Krauthammer's views may be profitably considered:
If we are going to look for a political issue here, the more relevant is not gun control but psychosis control. We decided a half a century ago that our more eccentric and, indeed, crazy fellow citizens would not be easily locked in asylums. It was a humane decision, but with the inevitable consequence that some who really need quarantine are allowed to roam the streets.


In a previous age, such a troubled soul might have found himself at the state mental hospital rather than a state university. But in a trade-off that a decent and tolerant society makes with open eyes, we allow freedom from straitjackets to those on the psychic edge, knowing that such tolerance runs a very rare but very terrible risk.


Comments on "Psychosis Control"


Blogger Yeoman said ... (10:56 AM) : 

Quite correct, and a view I've been repeating recently myself.

Having said that, the one thing I'd disagree with here is the comment that the decision to allow the gravely mentally ill wonder the streets was "humane". It isn't. That view is based on the view of the well, who generally are of the view that they'd be personally miserable if they lost their freedom. They would be, but the gravely mentally ill are not happy anywhere, and are no more happy with their freedom than without it. Indeed, they tend to be very unhappy with it, as this instance demonstrates, as they do not do well with the pressures of actual life, and can lash out.


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