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Two Massacres, Two days, One With a Gun, One with a Van


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On Sunday, April 22, Travis Reinking killed three people at the Waffle House, in the Nashville, Tennessee area. On Monday, April 23, Alek Minassian rented a van and plowed up a crowded Toronto sidewalk, killing nine or ten. In both cases, the alleged perpetrators were deeply  troubled, if not psychotic.

Travis Reinking - Nashville Gunman

Mr. Reinking jumped the White House fence less than a year ago, attempting to arrange a rendezvous with President Trump. Criminal charges were dismissed after completing criminal service at a Baptist Church link He previously expressed the thought that Taylor Swift was stalking him. And we have not yet heard from people who knew him from his past.

The focus has been on how Mr. Reinking was able to get his guns back. While that is important, it matters less than why he was at liberty in the first place. Jumping the White House fence is not the work of a normal person.

Alek Minassian - Toronto Van-man

According to the National Post Toronto van attack suspect Alek Minassian?s interest in ?incel? movement the latest sign of troubled life | National Post article, one of Mr. Minassian's classmates, Alexander Alexandrovitch, a former student at Thornlea Secondary School, which Minassian attended, reported that his former classmate stood out for his odd behavior. He stated: “I had classes with him. He was mentally unstable back then. He was known to meow like a cat and try to bite people, this is one sad and confusing story.”

What They and Others Like Him Have in Common

Add these two to the list, which includes:

  1. Dylan Roofe (Charleston church massacre);

  2. Devin Kelley (Texas Church Massacre);

  3. Esteban Santiago (killed six people at Fort Lauderdale International Airport);

  4. Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook massacre);

  5. Jared Lochner (tried to kill Representative Gifford, killed many others;

  6. James Holmes (Colorado movie theater massacre;

The people involved in all of these killings were well-known to authority. It was obvious to all that knew them that none could function in society. Devin Kelley and Esteban Santiago were discharged from the military because of mental illness and violence.

De-institutionalization was a well-intentioned program. It was supposed to convert inhumane and, for the patient ineffective confinement into treatment in the community. This April 2, 1972 article, which I remembered reading, The Patients Can Walk Out At Any Time at Bronx State Mental Hospital (link) made the case for de-institutionalization. Unfortunately few were as motivated as Israel Zwerling, and most looked at the process as a way of saving money.

We need to make it far easier to incarcerate or forcibly institutionalize people. Certainly the Nashville and Toronto slayers would not have been walking around before deinstitutionalization. The mental health system is not doing a good job of keeping these people under control. While the status quo ante before mass de-institutionalization was inhumane to the patients, it did keep the country safe from the lunatics. Perhaps the balance needs to be tipped more in favor of the public than the lunatics.

We can work at improving the humanity, and where appropriate the therapeutic nature of these centers. But we were safer with these people locked up than out loose.

Edited by jbg
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What on earth are you babbling about?????  What  "twisted morality" is added to the mix?   Are you talking in codes?  Why can't you be specific?

1 hour ago, jbg said:

We need to make it far easier to incarcerate or forcibly institutionalize people.

No we don't.  The persistence of medieval public attitudes around mental illness result in public institutions that invariably resemble something from medieval times.

Quote

We can work at improving the humanity, and where appropriate the therapeutic nature of these centers.

We can try but we'll fail because too many people in society prefer punishment to treatment and probably even more than when we de-institutionalized.  What would be better is to deal with this inhumanity in society.

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4 hours ago, eyeball said:

No we don't.  The persistence of medieval public attitudes around mental illness result in public institutions that invariably resemble something from medieval times.

We can try but we'll fail because too many people in society prefer punishment to treatment and probably even more than when we de-institutionalized.  What would be better is to deal with this inhumanity in society.

Surely, dangerous lunatics shouldn't be roaming around freely?  

 

Edited by betsy
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5 hours ago, eyeball said:

No we don't.  The persistence of medieval public attitudes around mental illness result in public institutions that invariably resemble something from medieval times.

We can try but we'll fail because too many people in society prefer punishment to treatment and probably even more than when we de-institutionalized.  What would be better is to deal with this inhumanity in society.

But you've just said that public attitudes are Medeival - so how will "society" deal with them? I would suggest a multi-pronged treatment - that starts with mandatory treatment for those deemed "at risk". (having the potential for harming themselves or others). For now, let's put aside the issue of how we determine that. The treatment should involve living in an institutional setting with the ability to integrate in the community as treatment progresses. Contrary to what you're implying, I think we've learned enough to now have more informed aspirations to help those who clearly can't help themselves. A couple of pilot programs could help evaluate/validate various programs. Sure seems more humane than letting them fend for themselves out in the cruel world.

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2 hours ago, Centerpiece said:

But you've just said that public attitudes are Medeival - so how will "society" deal with them? I would suggest a multi-pronged treatment - that starts with mandatory treatment for those deemed "at risk". (having the potential for harming themselves or others). For now, let's put aside the issue of how we determine that. The treatment should involve living in an institutional setting with the ability to integrate in the community as treatment progresses. Contrary to what you're implying, I think we've learned enough to now have more informed aspirations to help those who clearly can't help themselves. A couple of pilot programs could help evaluate/validate various programs. Sure seems more humane than letting them fend for themselves out in the cruel world.

Every prisoner is 'at risk' for more criminal behavior, yet we make minimal efforts to reduce that risk.  Its been known for decades how best to rehabilitate criminals and reduce recidivism; we still prefer punishment first and rehabilitation as an afterthought.  Its also been studied and understood for decades that solitary confinement creates a whole host of psychological problems in people, yet that is still very much a part of the prison system.    I have no faith that there is any social or political will for real rehabilitation of at-risk individuals, either before or after their violence erupts.

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49 minutes ago, dialamah said:

    I have no faith that there is any social or political will for real rehabilitation of at-risk individuals, either before or after their violence erupts.

You can't force someone to rehabilitate just as you can't force someone to quit smoking.   It doesn't work that way.

The criminal must have remorse and a sincere desire to rehabilitate.

Edited by betsy
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3 hours ago, Centerpiece said:

But you've just said that public attitudes are Medeival - so how will "society" deal with them? I would suggest a multi-pronged treatment - that starts with mandatory treatment for those deemed "at risk". 

To me that would mean rounding up social conservatives and re-educating them. Is that really where you want to go with this?

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4 minutes ago, eyeball said:

Dangerous ideologues shouldn't be in charge of determining what a lunatic is.

EH?

 

2 minutes ago, eyeball said:

To me that would mean rounding up social conservatives and re-educating them. Is that really where you want to go with this?

EH?  

What's eating you?   What triggered that?  :lol:

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55 minutes ago, dialamah said:

I have no faith that there is any social or political will for real rehabilitation of at-risk individuals, either before or after their violence erupts.

No, not with the abundance of social conservatism we have in the world.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, eyeball said:

Dangerous ideologues shouldn't be in charge of determining what a lunatic is.

Our justice system usually have a perpetrator of a heinous crime psychologically evaluated. 

Are you saying a lunatic like that guy who beheaded a greyhound passenger..........shouldn't have been incarcerated in a mental institution?

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1 minute ago, betsy said:

EH?

Yeah you heard me right.

Quote

 

EH?  

What's eating you? 


 

The many many many times I've locked horns with people who insist on believing the mentally ill should be punished instead of treated

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1 minute ago, eyeball said:

Yeah you heard me right.

The many many many times I've locked horns with people who insist on believing the mentally ill should be punished instead of treated

Why didn't you answer this?

Are you saying a lunatic like that guy who beheaded a greyhound passenger..........shouldn't have been incarcerated in a mental institution?

Edited by betsy
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1 minute ago, betsy said:

Our justice system usually have a perpetrator of a heinous crime psychologically evaluated. 

Are you saying a lunatic like that guy who beheaded a greyhound passenger..........shouldn't have been incarcerated in a mental institution?

No, he should have been treated in a mental institution.  I.E. we don't incarcerate patients with heart conditions we admit them . See the difference?

No, of course you don't. 

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1 hour ago, dialamah said:

Every prisoner is 'at risk' for more criminal behavior, yet we make minimal efforts to reduce that risk.  Its been known for decades how best to rehabilitate criminals and reduce recidivism; we still prefer punishment first and rehabilitation as an afterthought.  Its also been studied and understood for decades that solitary confinement creates a whole host of psychological problems in people, yet that is still very much a part of the prison system.    I have no faith that there is any social or political will for real rehabilitation of at-risk individuals, either before or after their violence erupts.

So do nothing?

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18 minutes ago, eyeball said:

To me that would mean rounding up social conservatives and re-educating them. Is that really where you want to go with this?

That comment does nothing to advance the discussion.......or are you an advocate of basically doing nothing - which by the way, is always an option....sometimes even a good one. It's a tough subject because of the "Law of unintended consequences". To that point, we are continuing to pay the price for closing all the institutions and just dumping people on the street. That's why I suggested some pilot tests - which would take at least 5 years to get some evaluative baseline as to whether a program is working. 

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15 minutes ago, Centerpiece said:

So do nothing?

We already do "something": we warehouse at-risk individuals after they've committed violence, usually in prisons and sometimes in mental institutions.  Mental institutions might be slightly better at rehab, but effective rehabilitation in prisons would be a far more effective strategy to reduce risk to the public.  However, our Abrahamic religious tradition says "punish the misbehaving people" and that is where our society languishes.  The knowledge for improving rehabilitation and reducing or.managing mental illness is pretty well known already, its the lack of society's will to implement this knowledge that is the issue.  As far as politicians/people are concerned, effectively addressing mental health issues is too expensive and effectively rehabilitating criminals isn't punishing enough and is "soft on crime".  

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10 hours ago, eyeball said:

No we don't.  The persistence of medieval public attitudes around mental illness result in public institutions that invariably resemble something from medieval times.

We can try but we'll fail because too many people in society prefer punishment to treatment and probably even more than when we de-institutionalized.  What would be better is to deal with this inhumanity in society.

The question is how many of those could really use help? These people and society would be benefited if they could be made into happy, productive citizens. That's the kind of liberalism I believe in.

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So this thread is interesting considering JBGs now deleted other thread hoping the perp was Muslim. Jumped to conclusions before any information was put forth.

13 hours ago, jbg said:

The people involved in all of these killings were well-known to authority.

Wrong in this case the authorities was not aware of Alex Minassian. However if the authorities knew about all the other people before they went on killing sprees why were non of them prevented?

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1 hour ago, jbg said:

The question is how many of those could really use help? These people and society would be benefited if they could be made into happy, productive citizens. That's the kind of liberalism I believe in.

Question for you,  if he was Muslim, but showed the same signs of being mentally deranged,  would you then call it terrorism, all because he is Muslim?

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16 minutes ago, GostHacked said:

Question for you,  if he was Muslim, but showed the same signs of being mentally deranged,  would you then call it terrorism, all because he is Muslim?

I would call it terrorism rather than mental illness if he was a functioning member of the Muslim or Islamist subgroup of society. If not, then I'd call it mental illness. If he is a coping member of such a group he made a conscious decision to butcher people to promote a cause. If his level of social functioning was limited to meowing, barking or biting then I would consider it mental illness.

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54 minutes ago, GostHacked said:

So this thread is interesting considering JBGs now deleted other thread hoping the perp was Muslim. Jumped to conclusions before any information was put forth.

Wrong in this case the authorities was not aware of Alex Minassian. However if the authorities knew about all the other people before they went on killing sprees why were non of them prevented?

There obviously was a chance that militant Islamism was not part of this attack. It turned out that way but the odds are strong in the other direction.

Mr. Minassian's classmate, Alexander Alexandrovitch, a former student at Thornlea Secondary School, which Minassian attended, should have reported or expressed concern about Minassian.

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Actually right-wing militarism appears to have resumed its place as the most likely culprit in a given terrorist attack. It seems to be part of an overall pattern in the last few years  where racists/misogynists are increasingly speaking/acting out.

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3 hours ago, eyeball said:

No, he should have been treated in a mental institution.  I.E. we don't incarcerate patients with heart conditions we admit them . See the difference?

No, of course you don't. 

:rolleyes:  Because, you mistakenly think there's a big difference. :)

If you're not allowed to get out, and you're confined to an enclosure - you're incarcerated!   It doesn't have to be a place with a big sign that says:  JAIL  or, PRISON.

 

here, from Merriam:

 

Incarcerate:

1 : to put in prison
2 : to subject to confinement
Edited by betsy
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19 minutes ago, betsy said:

:rolleyes:  Because, you mistakenly think there's a big difference. :)

If you're not allowed to get out, and you're confined to an enclosure - you're incarcerated!   It doesn't have to be a place with a big sign that says:  JAIL  or, PRISON.

 

here, from Merriam:

 

Incarcerate:

1 : to put in prison
2 : to subject to confinement

People in hospitals are free to leave if they want, even against medical advice.  People in prisons are not.  

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