Paul Lachine

¿El derecho a la masacre?

NUEVA YORK – Los disparos contra la congresista estadounidense Gabrielle Giffords y otros en Arizona el mes pasado son apenas el último episodio en una serie de balaceras masivas en Estados Unidos en las que el (presunto) perpetrador sufría de un aparente trastorno mental. Como era de esperarse, la tragedia de Arizona generó reclamos de cambios de políticas. ¿Pero qué es lo que se debería hacer de manera diferente, si es que hay algo que se puede hacer?

La gran mayoría de los individuos que padecen trastornos mentales agudos no son violentos. Predecir cuáles de ellos sin una historia previa de violencia se volverán violentos es casi imposible. Al mismo tiempo, las propuestas para proteger a la sociedad de los enfermos mentales peligrosos plantean cuestiones básicas vinculadas a las libertades civiles.

Un periodista ruso, Andrei Sitov, planteó esta cuestión cuando afirmó en una conferencia de prensa en la Casa Blanca que la libertad estadounidense era cómplice de los disparos en Arizona: "Con respecto al motivo, no parece tan incomprensible, al menos desde afuera. Es la contracara de la libertad. A menos que uno quiera restricciones, a menos que uno quiera un papel más importante para el gobierno… Esto es Estados Unidos, democracia, libertad de expresión, libertad de asamblea, libertad para elevar una petición al gobierno. Y mucha gente de afuera también diría la "libertad" de una mente trastornada para reaccionar de una manera violenta también es Estados Unidos".

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