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A string of failures

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By Nicholas Provenzo from The Rule of Reason,cross-posted by MetaBlog

I just read a report saying that Cho had in fact been taken to a metal hospital by his parents on the grounds that he appeared to be suicidal.

The gunman blamed for the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history had previously been accused of stalking two female students and had been taken to a mental health facility in 2005 after his parents worried he might be suicidal, police said Wednesday. [
ADAM GELLER, AP National Writer

As I understand it, this hospitalization ought to have disqualified Cho from being able to legally purchase a firearm without a hearing under current law, so I can only imagine that somewhere there was a failure to keep the necessary records that would have made Cho fail his background test.

It also appears Cho was let off the stalking charge that had been made against him.

Cho Seung-Hui had concerned one woman enough with his calls and e-mail in 2005 that police were called in, said Police Chief Wendell Flinchum.

He said the woman declined to press charges and Cho was referred to the university disciplinary system. During one of those incidents, both in late 2005, the department received a call from Cho's parents who were concerned that he might be suicidal, and he was taken to a mental health facility, he said.

Like most disasters, it seems that the Cho massacre wasn't caused by just one failure, but by a string of failures. The root casue in my estimate remains


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