Dangerous intersection absent a signal
Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:46am

A conservative approach is do nothing until there is an accident, or enough accidents to spark public demand. The old demand and supply theory. A liberal approach is intervention to prevent a tragic accident. That may begin with study of the intersection to determine the best intervention that will be effective. A sign, a signal, a reconstruction, followed by solicitation or acquisition of funds to implement it. All during this process, cons argue the liberals are wasting money on studies when it's obvious a signal will solve the issue. In their approach, it took cost of an accident or series of accidents, possibly costing innocent lives to justify the sign. The liberal method required cost of a study, perhaps to reach the same conclusion.

People aren't intersections. Psychology isn't absolute enough to go beyond tendency. Counseling may see a tendency that can't be measured. If they document the tendency and the subject never acts out, then there's no concern. But if the subject acts out and people are hurt or killed, was the psychology and documentation including tendency enough? Who is accountable? In a free democratic society, at what point are pre-emptive interventions unnecessary and unjustifiable encroachments on freedom? Should the subject drive a car? Should they own a gun? Should they own another kind of weapon? Do they need additional counseling? Behavior control medicine? Do they need institutionalization? Answers are seldom clear.

  • An interesting question. Sprout, Mon Sep 18 9:40am
    One of the challenges of pre-crime concepts... Even if we are strongly confident that an individual is dangerous, what CAN we do under our existing legal systems? While hindsight is 20/20, what could ... more
    • It's a very difficult situation, isn't it?Poppet, Mon Sep 18 3:48pm
      In this particular case, there were multiple warning signs...but was even the combination of them enough to legally justify some sort of intervention (and if so, of what degree)? It would seem that... more
      • for at least a discussion with the counselor. Frankly I think this jumping to 'rights' is a distraction to the basic point of ignoring the signs.
        • I shouldn't think it woudl be too difficult.Poppet, Mon Sep 18 9:55pm
          That seems to be within the scope of what a school could do in a situation where a student was exhibiting "indicator" behavior...although I have precisely zero expertise in this sort of matter.
          • And apparently that DID happen...Sprout, Tue Sep 19 9:01am
            And the student was even suspended pending a psych eval... But those steps STILL did not prevent the act... Taking me back to my original question of what steps COULD the school theoretically have... more
            • Metal detectors at the doors. (nm)Sia☺giah, Wed Sep 20 7:46pm
              • Finally an answer.....Sprout, Thu Sep 21 9:43am
                While it probably isn't feasible from a case by case basis, in that it probably isn't possible to get metal detectors put in RAPIDLY based on a single potential threat like the note from the kid in... more
                • Thoroughly studiedPikes, Fri Sep 22 11:19pm
                  School administrators correctly conclude metal detectors won't work. Too many entrances, and too many people entering and leaving during the day. During breaks, and lunch virtually the whole... more
      • Agreed....Sprout, Mon Sep 18 4:03pm
        IMO there are some things that don't involve much of a legal requirement. Things like a conversation with the student's parent/guardian. The counselor could call the student in to talk. But even... more
        • I think we're on the same page here.Poppet, Mon Sep 18 10:06pm
          It really is an interesting balancing act: the sort of signal sent in this case aren't unequivocal. The kid wasn't scribbling unhinged rants on the walls of his room or something similarly... more