VA Tech, April 16, 2007
I can't stay away from all the news about the massacre. Now it turns out that the shooter, Cho Seung Hui, was questioned by campus police about harrassing women students and had even admitted to a mental health facility for evaluation. It's not clear whether he accepted a plea, from a professor who reached out to tutor him one-on-one in writing poetry, to seek counseling. Apparently university officials felt there was nothing they could do legally to prevent Cho from being on campus because he hadn't made direct threats. Would restraining orders even have worked with someone so troubled? Would intensive therapy have helped? There's no way to know.
What I do know is that it was remarkably easy, in the state of Virginia, for Cho to buy the weapons he used in the shooting, because he passed a criminal background check: I think this means he hadn't been convicted of a felony, an awfully high bar.