Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Minimizing Crimes and Bad Behavior

This photo provided by the
Department of Homeland Security
shows Cho Seung-Hui , the gunman
suspected of carrying out the Virginia
Tech massacre that left 33 people dead.
(AP Photo/Department of Homeland Security)

Our country has gotten so desensitized to crime, violence, lying, bad language, public displays of sex, and other bad and dangerous behaviors that people minimize these actions when they occur. Our standards have sunk so low that we hardly blink an eye when even heinous behavior is exhibited. This minimization of bad behavior is one of the contributing factors to the horrible Virginia Tech massacre. Let’s look along a time line and how Cho ended up committing mass murder and how we citizens did little to stop it.

Cho goes through childhood displaying weirder and weirder behaviors. Probably not much was done about it because what he was doing and saying was weird, but his right.

Cho goes off to college and while at college starts creeping out his fellow students and teachers, being accused of stalking and acting scary enough to have one of his professors beg the administration to do something about him. While it is okay to be strange, it should not have been okay to frighten others with your behavior. An institution of learning ought to be responsible to make sure the environment is safe for all students and faculty. The student is a “guest” at the college and the college should have the right to expect proper behavior from him or he should be required to leave.

Cho goes and buys guns. While I personally believe in the right to own guns and the right to carry them to protect yourself, I also believe we have a responsibility as a society and as citizens to be serious about gun ownership. We should be required to have a background check, one which checks criminal, behavioral, and mental status. In other words, this should be a solid check so that people like Cho who exhibit frightening behavior and are on antidepressant meds aren’t considered citizens safe enough to be gun owners. The owner should also have to go through strong training in gun safety and sign a document that accepts full responsibility for the gun, that if the weapon is used by anyone other than the owner in a criminal act, the owner will also be liable for prosecution. Cho just walked in and was able to buy the guns he wanted simply because he was not a felon. His other frightening behaviors never were taken into account and he was never required to show even the slightest interest in responsible gun ownership.

Cho is given antidepressants, probably by a doctor who is not a psychiatrist and who does not have him under his care for his mental health problems. Depression and emotional problems are now considered something that can be magically whisked away with drugs. Pop a pill, problem solved.

There are two bomb threats on campus. This happens a lot these days. If they catch the guys who do such things, what kind of jail sentence do you think they would get? It might be labeled juvenile behavior that needs a little counseling instead of a horrific terrorist threat.

Two students are brutally murdered on the Virginia tech campus. The gunman is unknown and at large. Notification to the students of this extremely dangerous situation is delayed because the police and the administration minimized the danger by deciding the murders were just a domestic dispute and the gunman was probably just the female victim’s boyfriend and he was probably just going to go lay low. Shouldn’t such a heinous crime have horrified everyone, even the professionals? Shouldn’t the police and college administration have immediately gotten out the word out that two innocent people had been brutally murdered and there is an armed and extremely dangerous killer on the loose? Do we have to wait until thirty-two students are murdered to consider the killer a danger to the community?

It is becoming harder and harder for people to recognize concerning behaviors in individuals and dangerousness in our communities because so much rotten behavior is tolerated. When we raise our standards of acceptable behavior, bad behavior will be a whole lot easier to see and, perhaps, then we will stop ignoring it.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

1 comment:

Roscoe said...

Hello Pat,

After watching your appearance on CNN's Glen Beck, I must say that I couldn't agree with you more.

It is obvious that Corporate Greed has no concerns regarding those basic values that create civility and healthy lifestyles. There is just too much money to be made on the sexual, violent, deviant media that society calls entertainment.

I believe you're fighting a losing battle because you're just one voice among thousands. But, I thought it very refreshing to listen to your views. You clearly exposed the incubator of violent crime and social deterioration.

Good Luck in you future adventures.

Roscoe Bailey