Friday, March 27, 2009

Unnecessary Flak

The Monterey Herald has taken a lot of flak this week for a headline in last Monday's paper. It read "Cop killer was depressed, struggling."

Apparently several people read this and thought the Herald was somehow justifying or excusing the actions of that guy in Oakland who killed four police officers last week. I didn't see it that way at all.

Making an observation is not the same as making a judgment. Making note of the killer's mental health hardly constitutes an endorsement of his behavior.

What I saw in that headline was not an excuse, but a warning that mentally ill people aren't getting the help they need. An ounce of prevention or intervention might have kept four Oakland police officers alive.

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