Friday, July 20, 2012

Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting

One of the issues that will invariably come up from the Colorado massacre is how to recognize the signs of someone who is very troubled and would act on their troubles.  It is very difficult because there are so many anti-social loners and depressed individuals in our society.  I used to work in group homes and psychiatric hospitals, and I saw the gambit of mental and social disorders, including a lot of borderline personalities, which can seem very aggressive and anti-social on their surface. The question is how would someone like the shooter in the Colorado event both be recognized before hand, and then how would action by health care workers or law enforcement actually be taken in a preventive way? Picking someone out and acting on signs could potentially be a violation of individual rights.  I'm fine with just about anything that could potentially save lives that would be done in a legal way.  But how do you do this without misidentifying a lot of people who don't really pose a societal threat?  It is a very tricky issue once you drill down.