Chapel Hill Murders: The Enemy Within

The shooting deaths in Chapel Hill, NC of two married Jordanian Muslim graduate students and the sister of the husband is bad enough without the exploitation and sensationalism surrounding the tragedy. William Barber, the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, immediately parasitized the event to feed his cause in a convoluted comparison to alleged “hate crimes” against blacks. The regional daily paper, based in nearby Raleigh where I live, dutifully covered Barber’s transparent exploitation, along with 72- point headlines rolled out when they sniff a Pulitzer. Yet, the editors missed the significance of a small item in the same issue: the hospitals in the area had no beds available in their mental-health wards.  

There is the story. The man who killed the young Muslims was quite obviously unbalanced, if not completely deranged, one of the 42.5 million Americans diagnosed with mental illness. He had no history of race or religious hatred but he did have a large cache of weapons in his rented condominium. He openly argued with his neighbors in the condo complex about parking their cars in the wrong spaces. The Muslim graduate students, it was reported, were quite aware of his sometimes intimidating complaints.

As strenuously as the media, the family and friends of the deceased victims, Barack Obama and the NAACP’s Barber try, the killings were not a hate crime against Muslims. Rather, the incident was another example of a terrifying danger lurking in everyday life in America: the thousands of potentially homicidal mentally-ill adults roaming around the country hearing voices or receiving radio signals from outer space through fillings in their teeth. Yet, even if the Chapel Hill killer or his family or friends sought help, the process is too daunting to try. And due to the volume of incidents occurring in the mentally ill community, there was no room to treat him

Even if the mental wards were not full, the process for involuntary commitment in North Carolina (and most states) requires an elaborate procedure that includes contacting the clerk of court or a magistrate. If that process is completed, a law enforcement officer is brought in to take the allegedly mentally ill subject into custody for examination by a “qualified professional”, which could mean a social worker. If this person agrees, the patient is taken to a hospital, where the hospital physician determines whether or not to admit the subject. If admitted, the subject is called in for a hearing, which could take place in the hospital. The next step is for the doctor to decide if the subject stays in the hospital or is assigned to a group home in the community. Of course, if there are no beds, the option is jail or the subject returning home.

The sad and undeniable truth is that the biggest danger to Americans is not Muslim terrorists. It’s other Americans living in your community. In the 1970s, the mental health industry adopted the radical doctrine that society is to blame for mental illness, that it is a violation of human rights to incarcerate the insane. The result caused the closing down of mental hospitals across America, creating the “homeless problem” in the early 1980s. Disingenuously, the radical doctors and the MSM blamed the sudden homelessness on President Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. Concomitantly, the activists in the legal community succeeded in striking down vagrancy and loitering laws and statutes so that the “street people” molested and sometimes assaulted citizens on the street.

But alongside deinstitutionalization, the mental health profession became dominated by social workers serving the role of psychiatrists, who receded from direct treatment of the mentally ill, and more and more relied on medicines rather than therapy. Coincidentally, it was a case in Chapel Hill that brought public recognition to the new paradigm. UNC law student Wendell Williamson opened fire in the downtown business district, killing two bystanders. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity but caused a sensation by suing his psychiatrist for allowing him to be unconfined. I recommend Williamson’s book Nightmare for insights into the nature of the walking time bombs who make murderous news far too frequently.

The mental health problem is a scandal, as evidenced by the death toll of 480 killed in the U.S. by unstable shooters from 2000 to 2013. The guilty parties -- radical psychiatrists, social workers, activist attorneys, and compliant state and federal agencies -- have yet to step forward and take the blame for unleashing a failed radical theory with unintended consequences of grievous magnitude. Due to their policies, forced upon an unsuspecting public -- with the complicity of the lame MSM that toadies to every left-wing scheme or theory without examination -- the real enemy within is living down the street,  often armed, usually dangerous and free to go where the voices say.