Unstable Student Committed for Evaluation Casts Doubt on Need for More ‘Red-Flag’ Laws

‘He told police he would not be an outcast anymore and, if he was not accepted into a fraternity but his roommate was, then he would kill his roommate and then himself…’

High Point U. ex-Student Involuntarily Committed for Mental Evaluation

High Point University / IMAGE: Fox 8 WGHP via Youtube

(Dan E. Way, Liberty Headlines) A disturbed student who confessed to plotting a campus shooting at North Carolina‘s High Point University has been involuntarily committed to Central Regional Hospital in Butner, FOX8-TV reported.

The action is another in a series of cases in which potential threats were thwarted without the need for more expansive federal intervention known as red flag gun-confiscation laws, which raise due process concerns.

In the High Point case, Paul Arnold Steber, 19, of Boston, Mass., was ordered to be held without bond for 10 days, during which time he must undergo psychiatric evaluation, Guilford County District Court Judge Marcus Shields ruled during Steber’s first court appearance on Monday.

After that time, bond will be set at $250,000 secured, and Steber will be returned to Guilford County Jail.

If Steber makes bond, he cannot have contact with anyone related to the case, enter High Point University property or go to any other educational facility. He also is prohibited from using the Internet.

He is charged with one count of communicating threats, and two felony counts of having weapons on school grounds. His next court date is set for Nov. 1.

The situation came to light Aug. 27. The university issued a statement describing how events unfolded, leading to Steber’s arrest and eventual expulsion from school.

“Due to the diligence of the students who reported this and the swift response of HPU Security the firearms were confiscated and the matter was turned over to the High Point Police Department,” the statement said. “HPU encourages students to follow the rule of ‘If you see something, say something.’ ”

Local law enforcement have arrested dozens of people in the weeks since the mass shootings at El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have have adopted red flag laws, also called extreme risk protection orders. President Donald Trump has previously voiced support for a federal version.

Many civil libertarians oppose the infringement on Second Amendment rights, and presupposing that a person might commit a homicide before an illegal act was committed. The libertarian Reason magazine is among those that have made that argument.

The Greensboro News & Record reported prosecutor Lori Wickline told the judge that Steber plotted his shooting for months and watched videos of mass shootings online.

“He told police he would not be an outcast anymore and, if he was not accepted into a fraternity but his roommate was, then he would kill his roommate and then himself,” Wickline said.