Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Psychobabble and VTech; Clay Cramer's Prophesy

So the shooter was diagnosed as "imminent danger to self," but was 'voluntarily' committed, and then released by a pshrink who evidently thought he was "all better now."

Savage calls for the re-creation of mental hospitals.

Clay Cramer, much less bellicose, makes the case in a couple of spots--PRIOR to the shootings. (Scroll through the link, titled "Deinstitutionalization" for some perceptive comments on the mentally ill/homeless crowd. See particularly March 21, March 3, and October 11, which is particularly pertinent.)

Maybe these guys are right and the ACLU was wrong?

Nah. Couldn't be.

More very useful history on "involuntary committment" and the run-up to this non-treatment is available here, from Dr. Kellerman, a USC prof of psychology. (HT: McMahon.)

Excerpt:

Accepting the arguments of the liberationists and the libertarians [psychology practitioners] at face value led to the assertion that no matter how bizarre, disabling or life-threatening a person's hallucinations and delusions, involuntary treatment was never called for.

...Diagnosis from afar is the purview of talk-shows hosts and other charlatans, and I will not attempt to detail the psyche of the Virginia Tech slaughterer. But I will hazard that much of what has been reported about his pre-massacre behavior--prolonged periods of asocial mutism and withdrawal, irrational anger and hatred, bizarre writing and speech--is not at odds with the picture of a fulminating, serious mental disease. And his age falls squarely within the most common period when psychosis blossoms.

If there's going to be an adjustment in gun-purchase laws, I don't have a problem with including "voluntary" committment as a bar to purchase for 5 years following release (which is the law for "Involuntary committment" now.)

But the larger point of Cramer and Kellerman should be examined as well.

2 comments:

Peter said...

I'm getting this visual of the character played by John Astin in Night Court ... I think it was Judge Stone's father ... who would always end some wacky story by saying, "... but I'm feeling much better now," implying he had been in the nuthouse.

I've read liberals over this issue who are still unable to call evil what it is, rather resorting to words like "sociopathy," and saying he was mentally ill. As if to absolve him of all responsibility for what he did.

Amazing. These liberals can look into the face of evil and not recognize it. No wonder they can't be trusted to deal with jihadists.

Dad29 said...

Actually, there's an interesting question in your reaction, Peter--whether this guy was actually possessed by one of Satan's pals.