Sunday, October 4, 2015

Oregon shooting: gun control, mental illness, and anonymity

A school shooting occurred in a college in Oregon.

It happened on October 1st at Umpqua Community College. A man equipping a handgun intruded the classroom and shot several persons. At least eight students and one teacher were killed.

The New York Times: Oregon Shooting at Umpqua College Kills 10, Sheriff Says

The gunman was 26-year-old and a student of this college. He asked the religion of a victim, according to a survivor. But it is unsure if this fact has some meanings. 10 dead, 9 injured in mass shooting at Oregon college

The gunman finally took his own life, according to the officer. His family said that he had had some mental problems.

ABC Net: Oregon shooting: Gunman 'neutralised' after two-minute shootout with police, authorities say

After this tragedy, President Obama called for gun legislation. It is a quite rational idea that limiting the possibility of possessing guns could reduce the risk of such a tragedy. However, American society has fallen in the Nash equilibrium of gun control. Also considering the terminating term as the president, it seems impossible for Obama to take a leadership among this issue, unfortunately.

The Wall Street Journal: A Shooting in Oregon: How about a debate over common-sense mental-health laws?

My past entry: Gun control and Nash equilibrium
My past entry: Gun debate continue in college

On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal made a comment about forensic mental health. WSJ claims the necessity of concerning of specialists to detect potential serial killers. I think it is not realistic. Indeed, the majority of criminals suffer from mental disorders. But they include psychopathy, which is hardly cured with modern psychiatric practice. In addition, a considerable amount of crimes in the US occurs due to inequality rather than mental disorder. In other words, some mental disorders are remained untreated due to poverty. Forensic mental health specialists can not be responsible for this complex issue.

By the way, there is a movement that such criminal's name should be kept anonymous to prevent. Otherwise, other people who want to be known by many people would choose similar improper means.

Los Angeles Times: 'Don't say his name': Oregon community wants to make shooter anonymous

I agree with this opinion. In Japan, when a serious crime occurred, the media tend to publish the personal history of the criminal in detail. It would encourage another potential perpetrator to commit the same offence. Furthermore, excessive reporting will do critical damage to the subject if the case is a misrepresentation.

Actually, citizens are curious in the crime reports. Nonetheless, the media should be more cautious, I think.

I pray for the victims.

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