Currently, commentators are criticizing people who came in close (and regular) contact with the Arizona gunman for not reporting him to authorities. I’m not sure their criticisms are fair because some confusing variables come into play here.
One of his former college instructors said he kept a close eye on the him during class because he wasn’t “sure what he would do next”. Additionally, a classmate went so far as to say she would sit near the door because she feared him. She even emailed her concerns to a friend.
He even had several run-ins with trained professionals and campus security.
So, the question is: should someone have reported him to city police also? Hindsight is 20/20. But would that have been excessive based on the behavioral indicators exhibited at the time?
For example, how do you know when to excuse eccentricity and when to report it? What is the litmus test?
We all come in contact with people- at work, church and even in our families- that seem mentally disturbed. Should we just “turn in” all those that “weird us out” or make us uncomfortable? I’m still on the “fence”.
What do you think?