The Isla Vista massacre is no different. Police had met with the killer, and a search would have stopped him in his tracks.
Deputies came after his mother reported his bizarre behavior, but Eliot Rodger, in a performance is film maker father would have been proud of, conned the deputies.
For a moment, though, he was terrified the police would search his
found all of my guns and weapons, along with my writings about what I
plan to do with them. I would have been thrown in jail, denied of the
chance to exact revenge on my enemies. I can't imagine a hell darker
than that.,” CNN reported from his “manifesto.”
The deputies did not view the videos that had drawn Rodger’s attention.
The same thing happened in 1999 in the Columbine murders. The killers
had been arrested for minor theft and it would have easy to get a search
warrant. Their friends had reported the boys had threatened they were
going to kill.
For some unknown reason plans for search of the homes of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were dropped. An investigation by Colorado’s attorney general cleared the officers.
In most recent massacres in the past 20 years the killers have given hints of their plans, often on the Internet.
Before assigning all the blame to cops, and mental health professionals, it must be remembered that laws protect the rights of suspects or patients.
Soumaya Akaaboune, the Moroccan-born actress stepmother of Elliott, asked cops to see if he was a threat.
Fifteen years after Columbine rumors persist that the killers’ parents
had threatened school officials, warning them against acting against
Though there is little doubt that existing
mental care in the US is not up to the task, it remains unclear that
existing laws would have allowed most of these killers to be stopped. In
most states they can be committed and then must be released if no major
problems are found.
Without formal action no word can sent to those who register guns.
As for the deputies’ actions, the rules can be even tougher. Plus law enforcement officers go into such situations knowing their could be a threat to their lives.
California legislators say they are working on a plan that would
prevent some people suffering from mental illnesses from getting guns or
other weapons, and taking weapons away from those who are later found
to be victims of dangerous mental health problems.
One idea is to let friends and families be allowed to report to police. However, Rodger’s wife had done that.
Psychiatrists say those identified with mental illnesses make up a very small fraction of those who later kill.
The late psychiatrist Carl Jung, in his “The Undiscovered Self,” wrote that for every psychopath who is identified there are 10 who go unnoticed.