Would You Turn In Your Neighbor

Would you turn in your neighbor, your friend, co-worker, classmate if you thought he or she was a threat to public safety?

In light of the Tucson tragedy this past weekend, this has been on my mind. As the horrors un-folded in the media, and the more than is learned about the shooter, Jared Lee Laughner, the more I think of this.

By all accounts he is a very disturbed young man and it seems that many have known this for sometime. He has been described as "troubled, disruptive, odd and a loner." Many of the people, including one of his teachers at the community college he went to have described outbursts by him and fear of him. He had as many as five run ins with the campus Police and eventually he was kicked out of this college until he "got a psychiatric evaluation." Same for his postings on You-Tube, Facebook and Myspace. Anyone with half a clue could read these and tell this young man was indeed spiraling down and fast. Did his parents know, did they try to help?

While I realize that it is very hard to force an adult into any sort of psychiatric care and it is even harder to get them to adhere to any sort of therapeutic medication or treatment, did anyone try? Did anyone get involved or did they just turn away and chalk it up to his being "crazy?"

I don't pretend to know all of the answers, nor do I pretend to be an expert on psychiatric disorders, I'm only a mom, a citizen and someone who along with the rest of the nation feels sorrow for all of the families that have lost loved one. For the families who will never be the same. For the families who will soon bury their dead and for those who sit vigil at the bedsides of those still in hospital.

Also, I'm one person who is wondering and asking myself,  would I turn in someone I thought was a public threat? Would you?

 * Please know that I am in no way trying to assign blame, nor am I trying to excuse what this young man did. I'm not. Im just trying to understand how and why this happened, and what if anything could have been done before this happened.


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