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The VT situation brings too many questions to mind that can be discussed in one sitting. But here’s something to consider: Are violent writings enough to toss someone in jail?

A town in Oklahoma thought so, with typically head-shaking results.

Sometimes there’s simply nothing you can do about this sort of thing. The kid in Oklahoma was the victim of emotional overreaction not long after Columbine. In his situation, there certainly should have been questions about what he wrote, but once it became clear he was not a threat, the persecution should have ended.

The reactions to Seung’s writings were, perhaps a bit ironically in this context, appropriate. And his stalking of women was noted and investigated, but there were no other reasons to take more drastic action.

I do not know what more could have been done. Seung was one sick fuck, and you can’t prevent a disaster like this any more than you can prevent a glass of water being bumped off the edge of a table.

“But you can prevent a glass of water being bumped off the edge of a table.” Sure, okay. You can move it away from the edge. You can make sure you stay away from the water. You can move the water to another, unused table. You can even take the glass to the sink, pour the water down the drain, and shut the glass in a cupboard.

Over absolutely nothing, the kid in Oklahoma had his water dumped out and his glass shut away. Seung’s glass was moved a tiny bit away from the edge of the table, but not much. A good bump to the table, and the glass still tips.

The tragedy of VT is magnified considering that, really, we probably did all we could have done. In this insane, crazy world, sometimes the cruel and lunatic take some of us with them. In America, where those who need help are considered weak and the strong are only meant to watch out for themselves, this kind of tragedy is inevitable.

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