Sunday, April 22, 2007

Once Again

With the tragedy at Virginia Tech, there are once again calls for making it easier to commit persons who are seen as having mental illnesses to institutions, along with forced drugging. Over the course of my adult life, I have seen this scenario play out, driven by stigma, constrained by economics.

Though seen by the participants as a serious policy discussion, it is really a reflex, the automatic blaming of some "other" group for whatever seems senseless.

I remember when I first came back from Vietnam in late 1969. If a veteran was nabbed for a felony, the local paper would use the word "Veteran" in the headline, as though the fact of being a veteran explained why the person had committed the crime.

Here we go again....

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