Editorial: Violating Privacy Won’t Prevent Tragedies

The world’s hearts and prayers go out to the families of the students and professors who were slain at Virginia Tech. Their deaths are a great tragedy for the entire nation. We need to understand the failures that led to this disaster.
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and others recommend that college students’ sensitive psychiatric and medical records be shared with parents, universities, and the police. Such a move would do more harm than good. This group believes that access to more information could have prevented the tragedy in Blacksburg.
Yet there was no lack of information about the gunman. Seung-Hui Cho’s doctors, the police, and the courts all had adequate information to ensure his treatment (or at least restrain him as a stalker) and to ensure public safety. Those who needed the information had it, but they failed to exercise the good judgment or use the common sense necessary to act appropriately.
Eliminating privacy laws is not the cure for the massacre in Blacksburg.

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