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(NBC News)   Psychiatrist of the Colorado shooter warned his university about his murderous fantasies weeks before the shooting. University's response: "oh well we don't need to do anything cuz he's dropping out anyway"   (usnews.nbcnews.com) divider line 251
    More: Asinine, Colorado, Columbine High School, gag orders, magic, psychiatrists  
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10933 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Aug 2012 at 10:00 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-02 11:27:10 AM  

GORDON: We need to just divide the country in half. This half is "the government," and the other half are "the citizens." "The government" half is above the law. A person from "the government" is paired off with a "citizen." The government person watches the citizen 24/7.

Then things like that shooting could never, ever happen.... if a person from "the government" shoots a place up, they are above the law and it isn't newsworthy.

Bigger government... is there anything it can't fix?


In a thread filled with idiocy yours stands out as possible the stupidest thing typed by anyone except the roomfull of monkeys trying to re-create Shakespeare. This kid was under psychiatric care. The psychiatrist, as she was required to by law, reported to a University -run "threat assessment committee" (more or less specifically set up to try to prevent another Va Tech massacre) that he'd made threats and was in her professional opinion, a danger to himself or others.

Their response was essentially "meh" since he was dropping out, and they never thought, "hey we should Aurora PD a heads up that maybe they should keep an eye on this guy"
 
2012-08-02 11:28:10 AM  

ShadowLAnCeR: It wasn't the university's responsibility to keep watching the nut job after he dropped out.


Right, and it wasn't the university's responsibility to pair him with an advisor who'd look out for him. It wasn't his department's responsibility to see that he devoted his career hopes to the field and help him deal when he learns late in the game that it was an unwise choice, that he isn't really cut out for it or isn't welcome in the cut-throat field of science. And it sure wasn't his high school's or family's responsibility to help him find his passion, even if it happens to be "menial" - nothing makes them happier than sending their cute little output to major universities to study multisyllabic majors.

/two MS degrees
//hope it made somebody happy
///should have been a trucker
 
2012-08-02 11:28:11 AM  

WienerButt: That sucks but what can they really do?? I mean its kind of like that asshole that shot the lobster salesman. Cops were called on him before and they couldn't just arrest him for being a lunatic asshole. Just told kids to stay away from his lawn.

I'm not saying I agree with the inaction but really what is the protocol here short of possibly baker acting this kid?


I would like there to be a way for this shiat to show up on gun background checks.

The Virginia tech shooter was involuntarily hospitalized for mental health issues... how the hell is he able to buy a gun!!!!
 
2012-08-02 11:28:26 AM  

McDougal: bluefelix: drjekel_mrhyde: Can your psychiatrist really do this? Doesn't it goes against their oath?

My understanding is that mental health professionals are not sworn to a legally protected oath like lawyers. If a patient is abusing someone or is threatening to hurt someone the psychiatrist/psychologist is legally required to notify the authorities. It's a felony to not inform. My guess is that the shooter didn't make solid threats in his sessions.

I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the psychologist involved. She was probably concerned, but there wasn't enough evidence to put legal action into motion. Remember, people can be sued for these things. Maybe the shooter just said something like, "Sometimes I think it would be great if other people suffered like me" or something really vague like that. Nothing that would rise to the level of worst mass shooting in U.S. history. As a few people have already said, hindsight is 20/20, right?

Not even close.


Virginia Tech had more dead, but the theater had more wounded in addition to the dead. We are excluding the Civil War, right? :p
 
2012-08-02 11:28:32 AM  

sprawl15: Clearly the best way to have this shooter entered into our mental health system would have been to ban high capacity magazines.


Tell you what buddy, how about we let the government track ammo and large mag sales but let you have as many SAWs, MP5s, P-90s, whatever your particular fancy as you want.

Oh what, that's compromose SOSHULIZM

On topic: I'm curious just what this university could have done, other than call the cops, who really could not do much unless they had actual evidence etc. Maybe they could have started monitoring him, but I doubt LE has resources to do that, and that does invite harassment lawsuits from non-crazy people. Even if the university had acted, this still might have happened.
 
2012-08-02 11:29:05 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: Yeah they should have told the cops!....who would have said he hasn't done anything wrong and all of his weapons were legally purchased.


Yes, that is the standard police response to discovering a person has a small arsenal of weapons and has made threats to use them. You've hit is exactly on the head.
 
2012-08-02 11:29:15 AM  

ChipNASA:
Next time I go out with the wife for sushi, do you think I'd cause a commotion .....stay with me here.....(visualize this) .. If I stand up and then unzip and then pull out my wang and slap it on the table and grab a *huge* pinch of nice creamy wasabi....and while stroking my manhood to make the insertion easier....take my meat missile and then start stuffing great gobs of green spicy condiment in my stretched open pee hole..... Maybe if I brought an industrial Q-Tip to facilitate insertion.....much like loading black powder and shot in to a cannon and then ramming it home.

do you think I'd cause a commotion??


Oh gawd I did. I really did.

/help
 
2012-08-02 11:30:04 AM  
"Twenty-one Questions You Will Not Hear Asked About the Dark Knight Movie Massacre," by Kazi Kearse, a therapist from New York: Link
 
2012-08-02 11:30:53 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: And fark your 2nd Amendment when a nutter in treatment alarms a therapist who's heard all kinds of freaky things. Therapists have powerful incentives to be very conservative about reporting patients to law enforcement. If a drug dog's bark amounts to probable cause for a search and seizure, a psychiatrist's word is good enough too.


Someone from the government called. They were alarmed by some of your posts. Fark your 1st and 4th Amendment rights, they are going to come and seize your computer equipment, search your house for anything illegal without a warrant, and censor everything you say from now on. You are not allowed to protest this action either.

See how that works?

Rights are rights for a reason. They are protected by the highest law in our land for a reason. There are very specific and narrow circumstances that they can be taken away, and even then it is very hard to do so. (Theoretically anyway) You can't just infringe upon rights without a clear, credible threat. He wasn't committed, wasn't diagnosed with a serious mental disorder. He still had gun rights. This was tragic, yes, but sometimes people snap, and all the hindsight in the world will not prevent things like this from happening.
 
2012-08-02 11:31:09 AM  

Crotchrocket Slim: Tell you what buddy, how about we let the government track ammo and large mag sales but let you have as many SAWs, MP5s, P-90s, whatever your particular fancy as you want.

Oh what, that's compromose SOSHULIZM


wut
 
2012-08-02 11:31:10 AM  

MycroftHolmes: Are you really advocating that we 'flag' someone and restrict their rights based on the decisions of entirely fallible human beings?


She was worried enough to flag him for the University to watch, but not enough to concern the general community?
No I'm not saying you arrest the man or take his stuff without question. But if someone is that far gone then they should probably be committed or given a closer look. Especially when they lock themselves away for a month to make bombs.

HotWingConspiracy: He gets no say? No challenge? What about second 'mendments and such?


So you believe that a spontaneous and unwarranted restriction on the right to access, keep, and bear arms is both unreasonable and illegal even if it might be argued that it is in the temporary interest of public safety.
I get exactly what you're saying and I can respect that, man.
 
2012-08-02 11:31:30 AM  

drjekel_mrhyde: Can your psychiatrist really do this? Doesn't it goes against their oath?


In most states if a mental health or medical professional becomes convinced that, in their professional judgment, their patient is a danger to themselves or someone else, they are REQUIRED, by law, to report that to the person threatened or the local authorities.
 
2012-08-02 11:32:00 AM  

ChipNASA: Jon iz teh kewl: ChipNASA: Smoking GNU: ChipNASA: ATTENTION FARK:

I am giving notice that I plant to shoot the following in the face:

yada yada

/and by shoot in the face....i mean with my penis.....and baby batter as ammunition.....

As opposed to shooting her with your penis and using wasabi as the ammo?

You just made my urethra cringe.....

I'm sure there's a fetish for penile wasabi


This might be the exception to rule 34.

/Rule 34
//Wasabi exception!
 
2012-08-02 11:33:07 AM  

sprawl15: Crotchrocket Slim: Tell you what buddy, how about we let the government track ammo and large mag sales but let you have as many SAWs, MP5s, P-90s, whatever your particular fancy as you want.

Oh what, that's compromose SOSHULIZM

wut


You started the off topic gun nuttery.
 
2012-08-02 11:34:03 AM  

PsiChi: "Twenty-one Questions You Will Not Hear Asked About the Dark Knight Movie Massacre," by Kazi Kearse, a therapist from New York: Link


What... what is this? I didn't get past #1, mind control. That guy is nuts. And he didn't even had the courtesy to put his rant into a TLDR format. :/
 
2012-08-02 11:34:10 AM  

PsiChi: "Twenty-one Questions You Will Not Hear Asked About the Dark Knight Movie Massacre," by Kazi Kearse, a therapist from New York: Link


#22. "Other than that, how was the movie?"
 
2012-08-02 11:37:07 AM  

Crotchrocket Slim: You started the off topic gun nuttery.


"We should try to get crazy people help before they become violent, as that would be better for society than mitigating the violence that erupts when you ignore them."
"OMSFGH YOU GUN NUT HAV A P90 LOL OMG COMPROMISE"
 
2012-08-02 11:38:25 AM  

PsiChi: "Twenty-one Questions You Will Not Hear Asked About the Dark Knight Movie Massacre," by Kazi Kearse, a therapist from New York: Link


First thing that came to mind:
i12.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-02 11:38:37 AM  

Happy Hours: DoBeDoBeDo: You do realize that in most states the mentally ill ARE barred from purchasing or owning firearms right?

Are the legal and medical definitions of "mentally ill" the same?

How long does the gun ban last? If someone suffered from it as a child and seems fine as an adult, do they not get to have a gun?

What about depression? A substance abuse problem?

And is the opinion of one psychiatrist enough too enter them into a no-gun-database? Or is simply seeking counseling enough to put them in there in the first place?


Way to cherry pick my post, if you read to the end I said the problems lie more with how to effectively report mentally ill people AND to determine just what exactly would get you on the exlusion list. The Laws however are already on the books.
 
2012-08-02 11:43:58 AM  

Trivia Jockey: They weren't wrong, really. Their job is to protect the university community, not the world at large. Who could they have told that would have done something? If they told the police, not much the police would likely have done.


If that's true, Joe Paterno would like his statue back.
 
2012-08-02 11:44:47 AM  

Aunt Crabby: I'm confused. How is a therapist's duty to protect discharged by referring the matter to the university instead of telling the police? If the threat assessment team was part of the clinical services offered to students, it shouldn't matter if the client was dropping out of the university. If the threat assessment was part of student conduct regulation, then the therapist should have told the police about the threat to public safety. Hall monitors and disciplinary committees are neither police nor mental health professionals. How is the university responsible for policing their students beyond keeping the campus reasonably safe and orderly? Can someone explain how the university became the middle man here?


By establishing a threat-assessment procedure and then deliberately deciding not to use it.
 
2012-08-02 11:45:15 AM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: starsrift: By the psychiatrist's own assessment to not call law enforcement themselves, the university had no additional burden of duty to do so. By telling the university, but NOT law enforcement, the psychiatrist was in fact signalling that in her opinion, the risk was not critically serious and did not warrant police intervention.

Scapegoating the university is a dumbfark move, though I suppose in a suit you might be able to squeeze them for some cash if they settle or have an incompetent lawyer. They could try and sue the psychiatrist, for.. incompetence? Malpractice? But good luck.

All of it is wharrrgarbling and wanting to blame someone other than Sideshow Bob, or just get cash.

So Penn State shouldn't face any sanctions, since it takes no special training to recognize when a kid is getting raped in a shower, and only Paterno's estate and other direct witnesses should pay any penalties, right?


Uh, wrong. The Penn State issue is a completely different set of liabilities and responsibilities. I'm a little concerned that you think the two are somehow comparable.
 
2012-08-02 11:47:41 AM  

starsrift: BraveNewCheneyWorld: starsrift: By the psychiatrist's own assessment to not call law enforcement themselves, the university had no additional burden of duty to do so. By telling the university, but NOT law enforcement, the psychiatrist was in fact signalling that in her opinion, the risk was not critically serious and did not warrant police intervention.

Scapegoating the university is a dumbfark move, though I suppose in a suit you might be able to squeeze them for some cash if they settle or have an incompetent lawyer. They could try and sue the psychiatrist, for.. incompetence? Malpractice? But good luck.

All of it is wharrrgarbling and wanting to blame someone other than Sideshow Bob, or just get cash.

So Penn State shouldn't face any sanctions, since it takes no special training to recognize when a kid is getting raped in a shower, and only Paterno's estate and other direct witnesses should pay any penalties, right?

Uh, wrong. The Penn State issue is a completely different set of liabilities and responsibilities. I'm a little concerned that you think the two are somehow comparable.


I'll never understand why you people think saying "nuh uh it's different!" is a good response.
 
2012-08-02 11:50:32 AM  

cassanovascotian: I am utterly astounded by the kind of dialogue that is surrounding this incident.

1) The university is the problem, blame them
2) Costumes are the problem -don't let anyone wear costumes in movie theatres
3) Society is the problem... or something

And everyone is so cowed by the NRA lobby that it's completely unthinkable to suggest that maybe the second amendment is a farking retarded piece of outdated legislation that needs to be done away with, and that maybe it's not such a good idea for demonstrably mentally ill people with homicidal ideation to have a right to carry AR-15's.

but don't mind me... please, go back to talking about how costumes are the real problem.


I notice you didn't blame the criminal.
 
2012-08-02 11:51:00 AM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: starsrift: BraveNewCheneyWorld: starsrift: By the psychiatrist's own assessment to not call law enforcement themselves, the university had no additional burden of duty to do so. By telling the university, but NOT law enforcement, the psychiatrist was in fact signalling that in her opinion, the risk was not critically serious and did not warrant police intervention.

Scapegoating the university is a dumbfark move, though I suppose in a suit you might be able to squeeze them for some cash if they settle or have an incompetent lawyer. They could try and sue the psychiatrist, for.. incompetence? Malpractice? But good luck.

All of it is wharrrgarbling and wanting to blame someone other than Sideshow Bob, or just get cash.

So Penn State shouldn't face any sanctions, since it takes no special training to recognize when a kid is getting raped in a shower, and only Paterno's estate and other direct witnesses should pay any penalties, right?

Uh, wrong. The Penn State issue is a completely different set of liabilities and responsibilities. I'm a little concerned that you think the two are somehow comparable.

I'll never understand why you people think saying "nuh uh it's different!" is a good response.


Someone already outlined the differences above. He even used a weird Haiku format.

Basically, Sandusky was caught raping a child. The shooter hadn't done anything wrong. We're discussing what could have been done, if anything, to prevent the crime the shooter hadn't committed yet. See the difference?
 
2012-08-02 11:51:27 AM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: I'll never understand why you people think saying "nuh uh it's different!" is a good response.


It's different because there are laws requiring institutions to report child sex abuse. There are no such laws that obligate reporting from the university in this case (though perhaps there should).

So yeah, it's different.
 
2012-08-02 11:52:27 AM  

sprawl15: Crotchrocket Slim: You started the off topic gun nuttery.

"We should try to get crazy people help before they become violent, as that would be better for society than mitigating the violence that erupts when you ignore them."

"OMSFGH YOU GUN NUT HAV A P90 LOL OMG COMPROMISE"


So I read more into your initial comment than you intended, but you're an adult and you should have known mentioning something controversial like the large mag ban would only distract from anything else you were saying. Snark is a biatchy mistress, especially on a two second post like your original.
 
2012-08-02 11:53:20 AM  

DoBeDoBeDo: Happy Hours: DoBeDoBeDo: You do realize that in most states the mentally ill ARE barred from purchasing or owning firearms right?

Are the legal and medical definitions of "mentally ill" the same?

How long does the gun ban last? If someone suffered from it as a child and seems fine as an adult, do they not get to have a gun?

What about depression? A substance abuse problem?

And is the opinion of one psychiatrist enough too enter them into a no-gun-database? Or is simply seeking counseling enough to put them in there in the first place?

Way to cherry pick my post, if you read to the end I said the problems lie more with how to effectively report mentally ill people AND to determine just what exactly would get you on the exlusion list. The Laws however are already on the books.


I wasn't arguing that you were wrong or that it's a bad idea. See the very first thing I asked. "Mentally ill" is a somewhat vague concept to a layperson. The medical community has their definition, lawyers probably have a different one for each state and another one at a federal level.

We see this problem all the time when people bring up the insanity defense. Holmes was clearly insane (at least from a layperson's point of view), but it's doubtful that he would meet the criteria for being found not guilty by reason of insanity.
 
2012-08-02 11:53:58 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: GoldSpider: But by all means, keep telling yourself it's the guns' fault.

It's actually the access to guns.


It's actually the desire to commit murder.
 
2012-08-02 11:56:04 AM  
Besides, if it were legal to track purchases of large amounts of ammo AND the police have a report from the psychologist, they have a lot more to act on than just a report from a psychologist.

Notice I'm not supporting anything that violates the 2nd Amendment, but still gives law enforcement more tools to do their job in a manner that won't affect responsible citizens.
 
2012-08-02 11:56:53 AM  

Crotchrocket Slim: So I read more into your initial comment than you intended, but you're an adult and you should have known mentioning something controversial like the large mag ban would only distract from anything else you were saying.


The point is that the large mag ban itself is a distraction. The fundamental issues that create the violence in the first place are where society should be looking. Once we have that under control, we could start worrying about things that have an absolutely minimal impact on the crimes committed. I'd rather he not kill anyone than have to reload while killing people.
 
2012-08-02 11:58:15 AM  

Happy Hours: DoBeDoBeDo: Happy Hours: DoBeDoBeDo: You do realize that in most states the mentally ill ARE barred from purchasing or owning firearms right?

We see this problem all the time when people bring up the insanity defense. Holmes was clearly insane (at least from a layperson's point of view), but it's doubtful that he would meet the criteria for being found not guilty by reason of insanity.



That's a good point. He was obviously mentally ill, but what has to happen for him to prove he was insane the whole time he planned this?
 
2012-08-02 12:01:15 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: starsrift: Uh, wrong. The Penn State issue is a completely different set of liabilities and responsibilities. I'm a little concerned that you think the two are somehow comparable.

I'll never understand why you people think saying "nuh uh it's different!" is a good response.


Well, there are some obvious differences. Like at Penn State, the perp committed a crime and the school is responsible for the child while they are there. Officials of the school knew what was going on The victim was a minor, which carries a set of special legal circumstances.
Sideshow Bob did not commit a crime on university grounds, and the university is NOT responsible for his behaviour while he is attending - just like a workplace. Like your workplace. There was no victim, obviously, because there was no crime.

So, that's just for starters...
/ and what the fark you mean, "you people"!?
 
2012-08-02 12:02:12 PM  

Crotchrocket Slim: Besides, if it were legal to track purchases of large amounts of ammo AND the police have a report from the psychologist, they have a lot more to act on than just a report from a psychologist.


Yes, because a crazy person with an amount of ammo under an arbitrary value running free is much less dangerous than someone with slightly more ammo.
 
2012-08-02 12:05:43 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: Yeah they should have told the cops!....who would have said he hasn't done anything wrong and all of his weapons were legally purchased.


This. Maybe the cops or psychiatrist could have Baker Acted him, but probably not if he wasn't acting unhinged at that moment.
 
2012-08-02 12:06:06 PM  

PsiChi: "Twenty-one Questions You Will Not Hear Asked About the Dark Knight Movie Massacre," by Kazi Kearse, a therapist from New York: Link


There were only four questions in that list.
 
2012-08-02 12:10:17 PM  

Andulamb: Will the public and news media crucify the psychiatrist for not doing more? Because, you know, Paterno told higher-ups about Sandusky, and those higher-ups did nothing, and Paterno was blamed for not doing more. This psychiatrist reported to higher-ups that Holmes was a dangerous lunatic, and those higher-ups did nothing, so of course she should also be blamed for not doing more. She could have gone to the police herself, right? And now a bunch of people are dead and injured. I think murder should trump sexual abuse.


Not the same. Paterno knew of a crime that had happened, the psychiatrist did not.
 
2012-08-02 12:18:20 PM  
Yay! Let's ruin more lives with the blame game! Lawyers to the rescue!
 
2012-08-02 12:20:10 PM  

mister aj: Expel all of the football players, remove their scholarships and fire the head coach. This university has to be PUNISHED.


Demonstrate to me that this happened because football, and I'll agree with you. As it stands, this seems to have happened because we don't do precrime arrests: a risk that I, personally, find acceptable.
 
2012-08-02 12:23:32 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Aunt Crabby: Can someone explain how the university became the middle man here?

By establishing a threat-assessment procedure and then deliberately deciding not to use it.


How is the university threat assessment process on campus extended to the duty to police all of their students in every situation? I haven't read their policies, but I would guess the threat assessment is limited to threats to the university and not the public at large. Protecting the word in general is beyond the scope of their authority. Since there was no illegal act on campus there was nothing for the university to report. It is the therapist who had a legal duty to protect, so she should have told the police and not just the university. I think the duty still lies with the therapist unless threat assessment was part of a clinical service.
 
2012-08-02 12:27:10 PM  
Fark me............isn't this what exit interviews are for? Finish up the details when someone leaves to either help them move along in a career or serve as a warning to others?

Jesus, so much to be said about not following policy or protocols.
 
2012-08-02 12:28:16 PM  

Happy Hours: Loreweaver: They can divulge the information if they have evidence their patient may be a danger to himself or the public.

Define "may be".

You may be outraged at something next week and harm someone.

We don't know the specifics of what the psychiatrist found disturbing. Maybe he only displayed certain characteristics which are common among murderers.

Maybe he said he understood how the Virginia Tech shooter felt.

I don't think either of those are specific enough to be actionable.


True, but i would expect that if she went to her department heads about, there was more to it than a few unusual and/or morbid comments. It's their job to figure what makes a patient tick, so if we can't trust their judgement in a case like this, who can we trust to recognize the warning signs?
 
2012-08-02 12:28:57 PM  

PsiChi: "Twenty-one Questions You Will Not Hear Asked About the Dark Knight Movie Massacre," by Kazi Kearse, a therapist from New York: Link


Wow.

{jakie_chan_wtf_am_i_reading.jpg}
 
2012-08-02 12:35:21 PM  

Andulamb: Will the public and news media crucify the psychiatrist for not doing more? Because, you know, Paterno told higher-ups about Sandusky, and those higher-ups did nothing, and Paterno was blamed for not doing more. This psychiatrist reported to higher-ups that Holmes was a dangerous lunatic, and those higher-ups did nothing, so of course she should also be blamed for not doing more. She could have gone to the police herself, right? And now a bunch of people are dead and injured. I think murder should trump sexual abuse.


Note that the difference here is that Paterno knew the guy had raped kids. This guy hadn't done anything illegal yet - just intended to. Had the guy come in and said, "I was the guy who shot up the theater," Paterno would have given him a ticket to the next showing.
 
2012-08-02 12:37:11 PM  

Crotchrocket Slim: sprawl15: Crotchrocket Slim: You started the off topic gun nuttery.

"We should try to get crazy people help before they become violent, as that would be better for society than mitigating the violence that erupts when you ignore them."
"OMSFGH YOU GUN NUT HAV A P90 LOL OMG COMPROMISE"

So I read more into your initial comment than you intended, but you're an adult and you should have known mentioning something controversial like the large mag ban would only distract from anything else you were saying. Snark is a biatchy mistress, especially on a two second post like your original.


Are you saying you're not an adult who can put aside tangential points and not put words into someone's mouth? Because it seems really disingenuous to find fault with the way someone else said something when you admit you were the one reading something else into it.
 
2012-08-02 12:40:50 PM  

WienerButt: This is also like those stories of people having a crazy ex and the most they can do is get a restraining order. Then the ex kills them and the outrage is, 'why wasn't more done?!?!'....what the hell CAN you do?


Pass more laws, you chowderhead.
 
2012-08-02 12:42:59 PM  

Aunt Crabby: BarkingUnicorn: Aunt Crabby: Can someone explain how the university became the middle man here?

By establishing a threat-assessment procedure and then deliberately deciding not to use it.

How is the university threat assessment process on campus extended to the duty to police all of their students in every situation? I haven't read their policies, but I would guess the threat assessment is limited to threats to the university and not the public at large. Protecting the word in general is beyond the scope of their authority. Since there was no illegal act on campus there was nothing for the university to report. It is the therapist who had a legal duty to protect, so she should have told the police and not just the university. I think the duty still lies with the therapist unless threat assessment was part of a clinical service.


The school has a duty to do what it says it's going to do: assemble the threat-assessment team and assess the threat.

Colorado law required Fenton to report to law enforcement "a serious threat of imminent physical violence against a specific third party." I assume whatever "alarmed" Fenton did not meet that standard.

I also believe that standard is too high.
 
2012-08-02 12:52:33 PM  

Blowmonkey: This is the same sort of discussion people had after the Virginia Tech shooting. It's so weird, we have so many mass shootings to draw upon for examples, but anyway. There's only so much that people can do to prevent things like this. Crazy will always find a way. Always.


The school that Jared Lee attended basically booted his crazy ass out for multiple disruptions and incidents. Sideshow Bob might not have alluded to any specific plans, but was obviously not playing with a full deck.

I really want to know the circumstances of his withdrawl. Dropping out or a leave of absence is normal for an undergrad, but a PHD student would raise some eyebrows. Guess the Ass Covering Assestment Team figured the problem solved itself.
 
2012-08-02 12:54:42 PM  
It's rather frustrating that none of the reporting on this seems to think it's relevant to state exactly what Colorado law says about exceptions to confidentiality and duty to protect. From C.R.S § 13-21-117:

A physician, social worker, psychiatric nurse, psychologist, or other mental health professional and a mental health hospital, community mental health center or clinic, institution, or their staff shall not be liable for damages in any civil action for failure to warn or protect any person against a mental health patient's violent behavior, and any such person shall not be held civilly liable for failure to predict such violent behavior, except where the patient has communicated to the mental health care provider a serious threat of imminent physical violence against a specific person or persons. When there is a duty to warn and protect under the circumstances specified above, the duty shall be discharged by the mental health care provider making reasonable and timely efforts to notify any person or persons specifically threatened, as well as notifying an appropriate law enforcement agency or by taking other appropriate action including, but not limited to, hospitalizing the patient..

So, duty to protect kicks in when there's a 1) serious threat of 2) imminent harm to 3) a specific identifiable person or group of people. The Colorado case Fredericks v. Jonsson, 609 F.3d 1096 (10th Cir. 2010) interprets this to mean that "the mental health provider has a duty to warn only when the patient himself predicts his violent behavior (by communicating-that is, expressing-his threat to the mental health provider)." In other words "my client's a possibly dangerous whackjob and I think he might hurt people" isn't enough.

We don't know exactly what the psychiatrist knew, so we can't know whether her concerns rose to that level. Yes, she warned the university's threat team (it would be interesting to know whether that team is structured in such a way that no potential breaches of confidentiality occur at that step - for example, if the members of the team are other mental health professionals who would already have access to charts under the terms of agreements signed by clients when they begin counselling) But that doesn't mean she had enough for duty to protect to kick in. Possibly the psychiatrist and/or university dropped the ball, but it's also possible that they reviewed what they knew in light of the law and concluded that this wasn't one of the narrow circumstances where confidentiality could or must be breached.

In hindsight it's easy to say she should have warned people. But the flip side is that if psychiatrists are too quick to report people who talk about less clear threats - general fantasies of violence without a specific plan, for example - it can deter people with such fantasies from talking about them with a professional and getting the help they need before they get to the point where they make concrete decisions to put plans in place.
 
2012-08-02 01:06:13 PM  

tgambitg: vpb:
1. "A well regulated militia"

10 USC § 311 - Militia: composition and classes
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are-
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

This regulation defines militia.


so by citing this section of the USC, what you're saying here is, if you're over 45 and not in the organized militia (national guard, naval militia), you have no constitutional right to own a gun?
 
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