April 18, 2007

Re-open the Insane Asylums of America

Shuttered Loony Bin
Here's a thought brought to mind by the revelation of just how crazy the Virginia Tech gunman, Cho Seung-Hui, actually was known to be before he started his rampage. It is time to reconsider our laws on involuntary commitment of the mentally ill, so we could put these cats safely away before they get to this point. Either that or we condemn them to a life spent in and out of jail. Not to mention that we condemn ourselves to suffer the damage and grief crazy folks cause.

So much of the 'law of the land' pertaining to involuntary commitment depends upon ephemeral (or penumbral) court-created 'privacy rights' for its Constitutional rationale. Rights like those that gave us Roe v. Wade. The very same rationale condemns thousands of mentally ill Americans to life on the streets or homeless shelters as they attempt to self-medicate with dope and booze.

Lets take the shutters off the old Funny Farm, reinvigorate our sense of service to those of us that are crazy. Asylums needn't be the Bedlams of old or the more recent 'human warehouses'. Are we not more civilized with each passing year?

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