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April 23, 2007 - 6:05 am

Here is a href=”http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009977″a terrific op-ed /aby Jonathan Kellerman that makes some great points about the problems within our mental health system (Hat Tip: a href=”http://proteinwisdom.com/index.php?/weblog/entry/22936/”Dan Collins, Protein Wisdom):/abr /br /blockquotebr /Talk to anyone who’s tried to commit a dangerously violent child or parent for even a few days: A stranger with a law degree will show up at the hearing and paint you as a fascist. So it’s far too much to expect anything resembling a decisive approach to those whose level of threat remains at the verbal level.br /br /Given the excesses of the past–husbands committing troublesome wives, involuntary sterilization of those judged defective–extreme caution is warranted. But like drunk drivers, we sway from one side of the legal road to the other and find the sensible center lane elusive.br /br /Unless we confront the unpleasant fact that the brains of a small percentage of our citizens incubate dark, disturbed thoughts that can blossom into vicious behavior, we can look forward to repeats of last week’s outrage./blockquotebr /br /It is these disturbed and dark thoughts that the majority of people do not want to think about. As one who in the past, has listened to countless hours of the most disturbing of thoughts, they no longer bother me except to understand what they mean and what I can do about it but my hands are often tied–by the system, by legalities and by denial. I think the words of Gavin De Becker, the author of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0440226198?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0440226198″emThe Gift of Fear/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0440226198″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / are warranted here: br /br /blockquoteWe don’t need to learn about violence, many feel, because the police will handle it, the criminal-justice system will handle it, experts will handle it. Though it touches us all and belongs to us all, and though we each have something profound to contribute to the solution, we have left this critical inquiry to people who tell us that violence cannot be predicted, that risk is a game of odds, and that anxiety is an unavoidable part of life. br /br /Not one of these conventional “wisdoms” is true./blockquotebr /br /Amen, Mr. De Becker, for if we all stick our heads in the sand and say that violence is not preventable, like so many are doing, then we are truly lost.

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