Another University Screws Up: Colorado Killer Was Reported Dangerous By Psychiatrist

This is a discussion on Another University Screws Up: Colorado Killer Was Reported Dangerous By Psychiatrist within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I teach at a University and have long criticized it and universities in general from from within, I've written essays against my administration for publication ...

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Thread: Another University Screws Up: Colorado Killer Was Reported Dangerous By Psychiatrist

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Another University Screws Up: Colorado Killer Was Reported Dangerous By Psychiatrist

    I teach at a University and have long criticized it and universities in general from from within, I've written essays against my administration for publication in newspapers - and they were published, I filed Federal Complaints against them on behalf of others - and many other such things - that's the purpose of Tenure, to SPEAK - and these were all educational matters and the negatives students paid (a LOT) to suffer from. So, I'm not very popular with the boys on top - I never get raises or promotions - but they can't fire me.

    The insular and world-unto-itself of universities has been coming out lately, which is my main complaint: the disgust people feel at Penn State's administration for their cover-up. And now I learn here that Holmes was dutifully reported to be dangerous by his university psychiatrist internally, but it NEVER WAS REPORTED TO AUTHORITIES OUTSIDE. So, the refrain: "We need a way to spot these killers before they kill" actually worked - at the beginning of the chain - Homes was spotted and reported - but the ball seems to have dropped.

    Report: Holmes' psychiatrist reported behavior to colleagues - CNN.com
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    Member Array Ionracas's Avatar
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    If the sheep could only pay attention to the details, maybe they would see crimminals are crimminals with or without gun control. Yea so what he was working in a doctoral degree, it dosnt make him a good person. Guns certainly didnt make him bad either.

    I mentioned in another thread how creating new laws wont make a difference if the ones we already have arnt enforced. Granted this is a little different and beyond law enforcement, I cant help but wonder what if someone acted on this?

    Do some research on Columbine. Eric Harris and Dylan Keibold had several legal issues prior to the shooting.
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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ionracas View Post
    If the sheep could only pay attention to the details, maybe they would see crimminals are crimminals with or without gun control. Yea so what he was working in a doctoral degree, it dosnt make him a good person. Guns certainly didnt make him bad either.

    I mentioned in another thread how creating new laws wont make a difference if the ones we already have arnt enforced. Granted this is a little different and beyond law enforcement, I cant help but wonder what if someone acted on this?

    Do some research on Columbine. Eric Harris and Dylan Keibold had several legal issues prior to the shooting.
    Here's what I think would have happened if Holmes' violent and dangerous potential was reported to authorities.

    BUT FIRST, I want to dispense with something in the article: that the "committee of staff" that oversees violence in the university community didn't think there wasn't enough indication of actual danger to report it. Now I know there are strict guidelines about confidentiality between Doctor/Therapist and patient, or priest and catholic in the confessional etc, and I know that is good, we don't want the government to know our innermost thoughts and secrets: BUT, it's a BS excuse in this case. The actual Psychiatrist treating Holmes had already made the decision he was credible as a potential danger to the community, and SHE had determined it was of such a degree as to warrant breaking confidentiality by talking to these "experts in violence". So, she would know best, not them, if the guy was a threat and she did. She did her job. But they didn't and now they are coming out with the usual excuse used in this type of situation, BUT THEY DID NOT LISTEN AS SHE DID TO HOLMES. It is an excuse on their part that they didn't have enough reason.


    As to what would have happened, if Holmes was reported as a potential real danger, authorities would take a look at him and his past - and what would they find:
    recent purchases of ballistic armor, 6000 rounds of ammo and several guns. They undoubtedly would find more examples of irrational behavior (as that Gun Range Owner reported). They would have had him ordered by a court into a facility for disturbed people and put him under watch there.

    It was only a few weeks before the shootings this report would have come to authorities, and Holmes we know had been preparing by then for his shooting for a long time and had quite a stockpile already.

    So, I think a report would have saved a lot of lives.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    ... Holmes was dutifully reported to be dangerous by his university psychiatrist internally, but it NEVER WAS REPORTED TO AUTHORITIES OUTSIDE.
    Of course, dealing with things is better than sweeping them under the rug, but ...

    Unsure what the "reported as dangerous" details were. In the USA, technically a person isn't guilty if charged/accused, though it very often appears to work that way. Which is why most CHL statutes consider convictions and not reports or accusations. Short of psychiatric commission, it's unclear whether any of this would have precluded firearms purchase in his state, let alone acquiring them (or any other form of weapon) on the street. And while even ejection from a university would have ensured he was no longer a student there, it couldn't have kept him from enacting his violent fantasies either on that campus or anywhere else.
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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Of course, dealing with things is better than sweeping them under the rug, but ...

    Unsure what the "reported as dangerous" details were. In the USA, technically a person isn't guilty if charged/accused, though it very often appears to work that way. Which is why most CHL statutes consider convictions and not reports or accusations. Short of psychiatric commission, it's unclear whether any of this would have precluded firearms purchase in his state, let alone acquiring them (or any other form of weapon) on the street. And while even ejection from a university would have ensured he was no longer a student there, it couldn't have kept him from enacting his violent fantasies either on that campus or anywhere else.
    No, I didn't mean authorities would arrest and charge him with anything, he broke no laws. But a person can be committed to a mental facility if there is evidence he is a threat to himself and others. And I think, with the report and diagnosis of his own psychiatrist and a stockpile of weapons he would have been remanded for reason of protection of others initially and for further evaluation by mental health staff. The letter he wrote to the University and was in the mail-holding area when he shot people would have come to light, which I think may have contained specific intent to kill many - after that I don't know what happens to such a person, but his plan at the Movie Theater would have passed acting on - and he would now be "starred" by police as someone to watch at the very least. Plus with a diagnosis of schizophrenia - which he sounds like he has - and a commitment to a Mental facility, he would be "Negative" on background checks for weapons he wanted (meaning "negative" - no FBI release for gun purchases).

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    There were also many warning signs/signals that were ignored by the authorities with respect to Jared Loughner (2011 Tucson shootings).
    The question is how to establish reasonable criteria that will bring police involvement...and doing so in a way that protect the innocent/harmless from those with an 'agenda'.
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    There is a fine line between genius and madness, it seems he crossed it.

    The one fairly good thing that has come out of this is the beginning of talk about the mental health problem in this country. Whether we do anything about it remains to be seen... Most of those with mental illness end up in prisons after committing some crime, and the prison system is not set up to deal with them.

    But our government chooses instead to start talking about regulating inanimate objects rather than deal with the real people who use them (for both good and evil).
    It could be worse.
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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass63 View Post
    There were also many warning signs/signals that were ignored by the authorities with respect to Jared Loughner (2011 Tucson shootings).
    The question is how to establish reasonable criteria that will bring police involvement...and doing so in a way that protect the innocent/harmless from those with an 'agenda'.
    Yes, it's difficult - and like you said it borders a very dangerous area politically - a way to treat anyone odd like a crazy person about to blow someone up. The Soviet Union used to use charges so-and-so is crazy against political dissidents who were imprisoned in State Psychiatric Hospitals and given crude shock treatments and horrible drugs to shut them up and also punish them. China now does the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    Here's what I think would have happened if Holmes' violent and dangerous potential was reported to authorities.

    BUT FIRST, I want to dispense with something in the article: that the "committee of staff" that oversees violence in the university community didn't think there wasn't enough indication of actual danger to report it. Now I know there are strict guidelines about confidentiality between Doctor/Therapist and patient, or priest and catholic in the confessional etc, and I know that is good, we don't want the government to know our innermost thoughts and secrets: BUT, it's a BS excuse in this case. The actual Psychiatrist treating Holmes had already made the decision he was credible as a potential danger to the community, and SHE had determined it was of such a degree as to warrant breaking confidentiality by talking to these "experts in violence". So, she would know best, not them, if the guy was a threat and she did. She did her job. But they didn't and now they are coming out with the usual excuse used in this type of situation, BUT THEY DID NOT LISTEN AS SHE DID TO HOLMES. It is an excuse on their part that they didn't have enough reason.


    As to what would have happened, if Holmes was reported as a potential real danger, authorities would take a look at him and his past - and what would they find:
    recent purchases of ballistic armor, 6000 rounds of ammo and several guns. They undoubtedly would find more examples of irrational behavior (as that Gun Range Owner reported). They would have had him ordered by a court into a facility for disturbed people and put him under watch there.

    It was only a few weeks before the shootings this report would have come to authorities, and Holmes we know had been preparing by then for his shooting for a long time and had quite a stockpile already.

    So, I think a report would have saved a lot of lives.
    He did nothing illegal prior to the shooting. Sure, when you look at all of his acts together leading up to the shooting it's easy, after the fact, to say we should have known, however; the gun club guy only knew about the phone call, the school only knew him from school (and he was dropping out), etc.etc.
    Talk of a psychiatric commission, or perhaps having some sort of psychiatric "police" scares me more than the nutcase that did the shooting.
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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    There is a fine line between genius and madness, it seems he crossed it.

    The one fairly good thing that has come out of this is the beginning of talk about the mental health problem in this country. Whether we do anything about it remains to be seen... Most of those with mental illness end up in prisons after committing some crime, and the prison system is not set up to deal with them.

    But our government chooses instead to start talking about regulating inanimate objects rather than deal with the real people who use them (for both good and evil).
    I don't think mental illness usually does lead to serious crime - in fact, I think it's rare, but I may be confusing the homeless with mental illness, homeless people have a low rate of any serious crime, but many homeless are mentally ill or have gotten seriously disturbed from a life on the streets. I think the crimes that may be committed are more local administrative violations: sleeping in parks, public intoxication that kind of thing. The mentally ill who are under care, including supportive families don't usually show much violence. There was a huge social error, late 60s and 70s of releasing most psychiatric in-facility patients because it was thought half way houses with professional staff could do just as well treating these patients and getting some into the world - even on a minimal basis. This was a very good idea initially. It was also the time major drug therapy became possible so locking people away no longer necessary. So, they released them all but funding was pulled from the half-way house plans and these people turned into the homeless, living on the streets, no longer on medication. Especially in New York, there were veritable camps of these poor souls living in PennStation, Grand Central Station, on Subways - because of this failure.

    Holmes is a young man, I think the AZ shooter was pretty young too. Well, the teens and 20s, especially first half of 20s is often the age mental illness manifests. I once had a student who was odd a bit as an undergraduate but together mentally; he graduated and came back for an advanced degree about 3 years later. He was by then a schizophrenic, and was in treatment but he was very delusional, believed rocks talked to him with messages from God, pretty actively psychotic. And of course, he was too disintegrated to handle school anymore, and just drifted away, I don't know what became of him. So Holmes may have had a psychotic-break not too too long ago and was not in treatment, not on major psychiatric drugs - the psychiatrist he went to may have been the first professional to pick this up and she may not have gotten the chance to begin drug therapy, I believe she had seen him but a few times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    There is a fine line between genius and madness, it seems he crossed it.
    Gaping chasm between academic brilliance and deadly criminality, though. He crossed it in spades. Must've strained his hamstrings having to jump so far across that puppy.

    The one fairly good thing that has come out of this is the beginning of talk about the mental health problem in this country.
    So long as it remains in the realm of the rationally justifiable and doesn't cross into being the Psychiatric Police as some fear, then we should do fine.

    The really "fine line" in all of this is where it becomes justifiable to haul a person in for questioning and evaluation on the basis of opinions and fears about potential future behavior.
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    Having someone committed for observation as a "danger to themselves or others" is a fairly high standard in most states, and it should be.

    Also, someone mentioned that if the authorities were notified about Holmes' mental health issues, they could have found out about his firearm/ammo purchases. I'm not sure how. Maybe by looking at credit card records, etc., but again, I think it would take some hefty court orders to get access to that information.

    Of course, if the subject makes an actionable threat, then a search of his dwelling might follow, like this guy:Police: Md. man made threat, 'joker' reference | SeacoastOnline.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    Yes, it's difficult - and like you said it borders a very dangerous area politically - a way to treat anyone odd like a crazy person about to blow someone up. The Soviet Union used to use charges so-and-so is crazy against political dissidents who were imprisoned in State Psychiatric Hospitals and given crude shock treatments and horrible drugs to shut them up and also punish them. China now does the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Gaping chasm between academic brilliance and deadly criminality, though. He crossed it in spades. Must've strained his hamstrings having to jump so far across that puppy.



    So long as it remains in the realm of the rationally justifiable and doesn't cross into being the Psychiatric Police as some fear, then we should do fine.

    The really "fine line" in all of this is where it becomes justifiable to haul a person in for questioning and evaluation on the basis of opinions and fears about potential future behavior.
    Agree and sure don't want to see any "Pre-crime" law enforcement either.... But mental illness is not getting enough attention.... except on TV in the advertising for anti-depressants and anti-depressant boosters...

    Ya know, if we just medicate everybody... we won't need to ban guns or anything else...the people just won't care anymore... /sarcasm
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Gaping chasm between academic brilliance and deadly criminality, though. He crossed it in spades. Must've strained his hamstrings having to jump so far across that puppy.



    So long as it remains in the realm of the rationally justifiable and doesn't cross into being the Psychiatric Police as some fear, then we should do fine.

    The really "fine line" in all of this is where it becomes justifiable to haul a person in for questioning and evaluation on the basis of opinions and fears about potential future behavior.
    There is a great danger of violation of civil liberties. To help safeguard against that, what's ideal is private decision by a private mental health worker that a line had been crossed. After that decision, the local authorities are told so they can investigate what they've been told thoroughly, then commitment should stay with the courts, not the government. I think the classification of active danger to the community should be based on things like evidence of plans, or actions that indicate a general feeling of rage being turned into a real ACTION of violence - e.g. Holmes apparently, from the letter he wrote that was not read til after the shooting by his psychiatrist, if sent before would have been a trigger because it included I think a general plan to act, and a report to local authorities then should have been made by the University and before it really should been made because the psychiatrist had reports she gave that she likely was hearing the same things privately in session. The authorities in turn would have discovered the actions of Holmes in buying stockpiles of weapons and that also would be the actions that differentiate thoughts of rage into evidence of possible actions of killing. And then it goes to a court with a judge deciding the validity of the evidence of acts of violence being probable. That is what the system now is supposed to do, if no one drops the ball.

    But the government has got to stay out of it, that is where the danger to freedom lies, any government (see above my mentions of the Soviet Union and China).

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