Thursday, December 27, 2012

A society where sociopaths feel empowered

Christina Hoff Sommers says it is hard to argue with people who want better mental health oversight of unstable persons, but she asks, how workable is that? She points out that "sociopaths are good at beating the system." I would add that some sociopaths even rise to positions of great power in our government and society! I agree with Sommers that there is a need to provide frightened parents with more treatment options and support.

Sommers quotes from a 1999 F.B.I. study entitled "School Shooters:"

At this time, there is no research that has identified traits and characteristics that can reliably distinguish school shooters from other students. Many students appear to have traits and characteristics similar to those observed in students who were involved in school shootings.

Sommers concludes,

It is natural and human to demand solutions in the face of moral catastrophe. Still, we have to be careful that whatever we do, we don’t create a civil-liberties nightmare that ensnares millions of innocent people.

Why killers like the Columbine and Newtown shooters do what they do is as mysterious as the problem of evil in general. There will be no easy solution. But here are the hard questions no one has answered: Why now? Why us? Americans have always had easy access to guns. But, until fairly recently, no one thought to go to a school to slaughter first-graders. There have always been sociopaths among us. But we seem to have created a society where they feel empowered to act.

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