Something is completely fubared here.

Lucinda Roy, a long-time member of the English faculty at Virginia Tech had Cho as a student in a creative writing class. She said Cho seemed so depressed and angry that she contacted the police, student affairs and other university officials, and eventually referred him to counseling.

“All my alarms went off,” Roy told NPR. She said she felt a personal responsibility to reach out but that the authorities she contacted believed their hands were legally tied unless the student made threats.

Nothing to be Done

Legally tied against what — talking to the boy? Offering him counseling? Stopping in at his room to see how he is? If the only plan you have is to shoot back then all you can do is sit and wait, locked and loaded. If on the other hand, health access — mental and physical — were available and it were known widely to be available, and it was easy to get to, if it were as easy to get as , say guns, don’t you think at least some of these obsessed injured would go try it?

My recommendation: a nationwide campaign –we could start in California– modeled on AIDS awareness for the next ten years with fine graphics, wonderful persuasive speakers, spots on TV and radio, saying: If you have obsessive thoughts about killing, destruction, blood, knives, bullets; if you want to hurt yourself or others; if you are sexually obsessing over children; if you get pleasure from the terror of others, you are ill. You have an illness that will kill you. There is help available.

There is no crime in finding the desires floating inside you. Don’t let them become crimes by letting them grow to a cancer. Obsessions, like cancer, will alter your mind and behavior until you bring ruin and havoc to others.

You can’t cure cancer without help. You can’t cure obsessions without others.

Reach out and ask for help. It’s your life and the lives of those you love.

Call 1-800-IAmHelp

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Of course I think something has to be done about access to guns. I am one of the enormous majority in the KOS poll who doesn’t own one and most likely never will, though I’ve shot them and even earned, a couple of times, the Expert ribbon for pistol shooting in the Navy. But I don’t think banning guns solves the problem — witness Rwanda: massacre by machete. Nor do I share the fantastical belief of the gun pornographers that arming everyone makes us all safer. They of course don’t read the news coming from Iraq or Afghanistan. I sort of think that to own a gun one should be part of a “militia” per the Second Amendment, and that said “militia” is part of the accessory to any crime committed by a member. This enables people to organize to caress their weapons but strongly encourages social oversight and control of them. Meanwhile, people whose brains are bursting need to know there is help available, how to get it, and not to be ashamed to treat their illness.