The arrest of a graduate student for the gruesome murders of four Idaho college students attracted worldwide attention. Reports suggest a DNA match to that of the suspect, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, whose own attorney said the suspect was only “a little bit” shocked by his predawn arrest 2,500 miles from the crime scene. Kohberger should have been more closely vetted before he was accepted into a publicly funded Ph.D. program. Without the support of Higher Education and its pipeline to public funding, he would not have killed in Idaho.
A professor at his prior university described him as a “brilliant” student based on a course she taught him over Zoom. Kohberger also pursued studies under another professor known as a prominent expert on the notorious Dennis Lynn Rader, who confessed to committing 10 murders in Kansas and referred to himself as BTK for “bind, torture, kill.”
Liberals cannot blame guns for this crime, which the police believe was committed with a long, heavy hunting knife. People familiar with that type of knife say its blade quickly becomes dull with use, requiring the killer to use enormous force to bludgeon his victims. Kohberger was apparently supported by government subsidies common for most graduate students in Ph.D. fields of study, even useless ones. This able-bodied 28-year-old was embarked on a multi-year path of higher education that offered him plenty of idle time now and doubtful future employability.
Obviously, not every government-funded graduate student is going to turn into a serial killer, but this incident should cause us to give pause to the idea of creating a national system where we subsidize useless degrees rather than forcing students to pay their own way. The old saying “The idle mind is the devil’s workshop” may have more truth than we realize. We are actively doing a disservice to our youth by depriving them of the character and dignity that comes with paying their own way in life. Rather than funding their endless litany of degrees, we should be empowering them to work their way through college and experience the unmitigated satisfaction of independence. What better way to start their adult lives as productive American citizens?