Are you crazy?
No, I'm not. After 3 days of an intense psych evaluation at Ridgeview Pavillion they determined that *shock* I'm not mentally ill, nor am I a threat to myself or others.
Are you an alcoholic?
Did alcohol have anything to do with this incident?
No. So quit muckraking.
Have you ever been involuntarily committed?
But Commonwealth Attorney Marcus McClung said that?
He was given mistaken information from the school (violating FERPA btw) and was not looking at my medical records. I'm in the process of retrieving those now, but the truth is also in the timeline. I was issued a temporary detention order on Feb 29 where the crisis counselor/magistrate found probable cause that I was mentally ill and a threat to myself and/or others. At my first and only hearing to determine if an IC was necessary, the judge found that I was not mentally ill, nor a threat to others based on the aforementioned intense psychological scrutiny. I was released that Monday. It's impossible for a TDO and an IC to go down where I'm released after such a short period of time.
You were violating school policy--what gives?
It is my contention that the school policy is illegal. Under the Dillon Rule and because the college is a public college, they lacked the statutory power to prohibit firearms. Also, as a governmental entity they are prohibited from limiteding the possession of firearms under Virginia's Preemption law. Also the Code of Conduct states: "It [the college] is committed to preserving the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution." Also, an attorney general opinion found "It is my opinion that the governing boards of Virginia’s public colleges and universities may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals." In other words the blanket ban on guns that UVA-Wise has is unconstitutional in the opinion of the Attorney General, the school policy needs to be changed, not the student thrown out.
Have you had problems with the professor in question before?
No, he's an outstanding guy.
Have you had problems with the Vice Chancellor that ruled to expell you?
Yes. He had censored my underground newspaper in the past, and I was looking forward to mentioning that he was illegally employing "prior restraint" the next time he submitted an application to be Chancellor.
Have you had problems with your classmates in the creative writing class?
No. I had written very positive reviews of their short stories--encouraging some of them to publish. I didn't know them outside of class, but our relations in class were friendly IMO.
Do you think being on probation with the school for the alcohol incident was a factor in expelling you?
It shouldn't be. I violated school policy and more importantly the Code of Conduct back then. I took full responsibility for it. I was wrong. But the only 'rule' I violated this time was illegally employeed by the college--not a reason to expell me. An anologous example would be the Virginia law against flag burning. It's on the books, but it has been ruled to be unconstitutional. If I burn a flag (which I'm against btw) then I shouldn't be arrested despite it STILL being on the books.
Are they out to 'get you'?
[Edit: Re-reading this on Feb 21 2009, I disagree with the below assessment.]
There isn't some conspiracy to bring me down and stifle the potentional lawsuit, no. There are some students who don't like me, never have, and are definatly making their case known. Good sources say that the Residential Hall Director sent out a mass email to some students he was friends with claiming I had a hit list, etc. That started a lot of the rumors and hype on campus. Someone with an obvious grudge has started rumors that I'm a gay rapist or something at opencarry.org. That's BS.
How do you get along with your other professors?
[Edit: Feb 21 2009, Kiersey and I soured after this was posted.]
Great. Dr. Sheldon, Dr. Michael, even Professor Kiersey and I get along (our politial views are pretty much opposite and I gave him a hard time in the paper once).
There have been many comparisons to Cho--are you anti-social?
HA! Hardly. I have lots of friends and most of them are supporting me now. I also find it humorous that people who think I'm crazy/antisocial like Cho ALSO think I caused this whole thing as a desperate plea for attention. Mike Allen at the Roanoke Times (the first reporter with the story) called me, I didn't call him. After that broke, Mike Owens from the Bristol Courier called me--they have a reputation of sensational journalism so I called the Kingsport Times to guarantee that at least my side was heard somewhere.
As of today, who has your guns?
[Edit: Feb 29 2009, my wife.]
What were you like in highschool?
Very quiet. I was a good student. I was a lot closer to my teachers than I was my fellow students--but I still had a few tight knit friends.
If you could go back knowing what you know now, would you write the shortstory?
No. I had no idea it would cause students or the professor to feel threatened. I would never do that intentionally.
If you could go back knowing what you know now, would you still have the guns in your car?
Yes. [edit: I change my mind on this one pretty often, so don't hold me to that answer]
What would Thomas Jefferson say about you having guns at Mr. Jefferson's College at Wise?
He would say: "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
What was your goal in writing an essay about a character who considers homicide then decides on suicide--especially with the character being a student?
I wanted to write about something cuturally relevent to the readers--a professor and english students. My intent was to show how, at least in my imagination, it's like inside of the minds of one of these lunatics that people think I am now because they can't seperate the author from the character.
I have heard rumors that you had a stockpile of weapons--but not firearms--in your room, is there any truth to that?
In September when the police went into my room to see how much I had drunk, they discovered some martial arts weapons (tonfa and foam/plastic nunchuku) that I had in storage. I haven't practiced or trained with those for about six years.
Did police discover any from this incident?
They discovered the SAME foam/plastic nunchuku that THEY left in my bag from September. Because that was their mistake, they didn't bring that to the attention of the school administration.
Did anyone read the paper before you submitted it to your classmates?
Yes. My girlfriend, Shamerine.
And she wasn't concerned?
If she was, she didn't tell me.