You say that you are all for this, but how do you think you would feel if someone targetted you for
their threats? What if you were living with a guy who had pages of text reading, "I want to kill
everyone." Fuck, I'd be scared, and, yes, I'd call the police. Quickly.
Actually, when I went to college, I did live with a roomate who started sliding further and further into depression, and frequently started saying and writing things like that. I tried to spend as much time with them as possible, trying to help them work through their problems, but it eventually got to the stage where I was afraid he would kill himself and/or hurt me in my sleep.
So I just temporarily moved out of the apartment to let the dude stew in his own juices for a while. After a month of sleeping in under library tables, in computer labs, and eating at all night Denny's, I heard that he ended up committing himself to a mental institution -- so I moved back to my apartment.
Note, I never called the cops or the guys with the white jackets, or anyone for that matter.
Again, I argue that you are taking a very non-sympathetic approach. I know you would sing a
different tune if anything remotely similar to this happened to you, personally.
Oh, you know, do you? You don't know me at all.
If you are frightened by someone, then remove yourself from their sphere of influence. Problem solved.
Note, I put my money where my mouth is, because that is exactly what I did in the situation described.
By removing yourself from the range at which someone else can adversely effect you, you have done what is necessary to prevent violence against your person.
The next issue you might raise is: "Well, it's all well and good for me to protect myself, but what about the other people he could hurt? What about them? What about the children?" <NOTE: strawman alert> <NOTE on NOTE: argument self-criticism alert>
To which my answer is this: You are free to go tell "other people" what you think about someone -- but they are just as welcome to do the same about you. Unfounded assertions go both ways -- if you can make the funny farm guys come for someone else, someone else can make the funny farm guys come for you (noting, of course, that the "funny farm guys" are a way to exert unilateral force by proxy against someone else).
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker
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