There are so many preventable murders that take place, and yet my call for The Peace Law that would do the job is still being ignored. Yesterday two television news media people were shot and killed by a former employee who had been fired from that TV station about two years earlier.
How would The Peace Law prevent these murders, whether on school campuses, military bases or other military facilities, in churches, in parking lots, or anywhere else?
The Peace Law would allow anyone who believes that a person represents a serious threat of violence, to report that to local law enforcement so that preventive action can be taken before anyone is harmed or killed. It would make the serious intent to commit murder or acts of violence illegal. Of course, the accused is entitled to legal defense, as is anyone accused of any crime.
When the Professor and Dean of Virginia Tech, who was the English teacher of the student who killed 32 people on campus a year later, read a paper that student had written, she realized that this student was seriously dangerous to the lives of others. She called the police, who asked her, “Has he killed anyone yet?” When the Professor and Dean replied, “No”, she was told that the police could do nothing until after he killed someone. He later killed 32 people on campus.
Under the Peace Law, as explained in my book, The Peace Prescription, the complaint filed by any citizen would be followed by arrest and questioning, if the accused would not voluntarily cooperate. The accuser reporting the violent criminal intent or threat would, when filing the complaint, provide all pertinent information, to the police or sheriff personnel, that led the accuser to file the complaint. The Peace Law would provide that anyone intentionally filing a false complaint would be committing a punishable crime, as is true for the filing of any false complaints. If the accused would agree to a three-day medical and psychological evaluation as a confined patient at a mental health facility, a court hearing could be deferred pending the findings of that evaluation. If the accused refuses to cooperatedo voluntarily, then that person should be held jailed pending a Court hearing. The judge would then have the authority to order the 3-day evaluation, and would have the authority to extend the detention of the accused indefinitely in a mental facility until such time as that person, or his/her attorney, can present credible evidence that the person no longer represents a serious, potentially imminent, threat of violence to anyone. The Peace Law could permit a trial by jury to extend the detention beyond the intial 3-day evaluation.
California has a similar, but inadequate law, under which only a psychiatrist can bring the matter to Court, and the Court cannot extend the confinement beyond a total of 14 days, regardless of any continung imminent threat of violence that would exist by releasing the potentially violent person. To me, the confinement should be a life sentence with parole that can be granted by the Court without any delay, based on a reasonable claim by the confined person or an attorney that the threat no longer exists. We want to prevent killing. We want to help the dangerous person to get well and have a normal life.
Think of all the murders and massacres just in the United States that could have been prevented because the murderer was absolutely known to be a serious threat to the lives of others, but there was, and still is, no adequate law to allow intervention to prevent murders and massacres.
Get word to your State legislators and to your US Senators and Congressional Representative that you want The Peace Law to be enacted in your State, or better yet, as a Federal Law. The way the situation stands, seriously intending and planning to kill is not strictly against the law, which, in my opinion, is an insane situation.
We don’t need just gun control. We do have an important right to bear arms if we are not a serious threat to innocent others. We need to be able to access, detain as necessary, and try to help people who are dangerous to themselves and others. It’s a people issue, not just a weapons issue.
Thank you for your attention to this blog post.
Your friendly problem solver,
Dr. Ed Marshall