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Understanding the Threat

I have probably mentioned before that The Belmont Club is one of my favorite blogs. Wretchard has been covering the Virginia Tech incident, which you can read here, here, here, and here. Read the comments too, because that’s often full of good material:

I know there is some debate over whether Cho’s craziness could have been fully anticipated. However, a university stands in loco parentis, in place of the parents. It is fully committed, by its own avowal, to creating a safe environment for its students.

Any parent understands that when you are hosting a group of children in your house, when you are in loco parentis one of the variables you control is the quality of the company. And when one of the kids acts in a menacing way like Cho, most parents would probably send him home. There was no need to lock Cho up, but is not reasonable to think that the University might have suspended him or expelled him for his behavior, which apparently stalking, voyeurism and setting fire to his dorm, by some accounts? After all they were willing to expel students who carried licensed guns to school, even when they could not be prosecuted; so it is established the university was perfectly willing to toss people out on their ear to create their environment of safety.

The intention may have been laudable, but they forgot one thing. The threat is the man, not the thing. The hijackers who killed 3,000 people accomplished their deed only with boxcutters. They were looking for guns, which is neither here nor there, but they were oblivious to the flaming psychopath who broadcast his existence continuously, like some dark beacon in their idyllic sea.

It may not be productive to indulge in recriminations, but surely it is reasonable to recall that in a creating any security screen, any safe environment it is the man above of all whom we must watch. Maybe they forgot that. I hope they remember it now.

Emphasis is mine. It’s still not clear yet what the impact of all this is going to be. Wretchard is a very good writer. He takes incidents and current events, and tries to put them into the broader context. You never see that in the media, and it’s great that we have bloggers who do it, and are talented at it. Read all the links. Hopefully it will keep you all busy for a while, because blogging might be a bit light today.

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