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Many people across the blogosphere in the last couple days have reported hearing others say that the shooter was evil, that he was in the service of the Devil, and that that's the explanation for what happened.

Sorry, but no. "Evil" is a cop-out.

"Evil" is just shorthand for "it's too complicated and upsetting to consider the possibility that there are no clear-cut, black-and-white, simple answers, so anything that might demand that consideration gets labeled 'evil' so we don't have to confront it or deal with it." It's intellectual laziness. Yes, what happened was horrifying. Yes, the shooter is to blame. But using that simplistic word "evil" to explain it is a cop-out. It denies nuance, it denies the possibility of multiple causes, and it lets everyone off the hook so we don't have to confront the reality of the American culture of violence (physical, symbolic, economic and otherwise).

Calling this event and the shooter "evil" means we don't have to consider the internal psychological pressures that might have driven him to do what he did.

Calling this event and the shooter "evil" means we don't have to consider the external social pressures that might have driven him to do what he did.

Calling this event and the shooter "evil" lets us all off the hook when it comes to confronting a culture that glorifies violence, worships guns, ignores mental health as a public health issue, and bows down to the almighty dollar's demands before we consider anything else. It lets us off the hook when it comes to demanding reasons for our neglect of the poor and the mentally ill, the sick and the homeless, the unemployed and the underclass.

And we don't deserve to be let off the hook.

Criminologists have often explored the issue of what causes people to commit crime. In the 1960s, Dr. Travis Hirschi turned that question on its head and asked "why don't more people commit crime?" After all, it's rational to commit crime if you can get away with it, so why don't more people do it? He came up with the idea of social bonds being the main reason why people don't commit crime. Those who are involved in their communities, attached to other people through personal connections, committed to the culture's expectations and holding strong beliefs in its laws tend to be low-risk for crime. An example of someone with strong social bonds in all these areas would be the man who volunteers his time for coaching Little League or at a soup kitchen (involvement); has strong and important relationships with his partner, his children, his colleagues and his friends (attachment); has committed to social expectations through his marriage, his job, his education, and (sometimes) his church (commitment); and believes that the laws are good, right, and proper and that he is governed by them (belief).

Conversely, those who have little to no involvement, aren't strongly connected to others, don't really give a flip about what the culture expects, and feel that the culture's laws are bogus are much more likely to commit crime. An example of this kind of person would be someone who has not volunteered his time to his community, who has few if any relationships with anyone (broken homes are common), who has no job, no partner, and no children; and who rejects the law because he thinks it shouldn't apply to him.

But do we talk about any of this? Of course not, because it would mean we couldn't just dismiss what happened as a force of "evil." It means we'd have to consider not just the shooter but the social environment. And just as I wrote after the Aurora shootings, we're not willing to do that, because that would mean we'd have to confront the messy, shades-of-grey, compromising, negotiating, and complicated issues that are the root causes, plural, of this disaster. We'd have to confront the American culture of violence, and we're just not willing to do that.

A two-pronged approach to fix this problem has been suggested over the last few weeks: gun control and mental health care reform. It's a good start, but it's not enough.

Will gun control alone stop things like this? No, but it can reduce them by putting guns out of the reach of people who shouldn't be using them.

Will mental health care reform stop things like this? No, but it can reduce them by making sure that people's mental health problems get addressed before they pick up a gun and shoot it at six-year-olds.

The problem is, those two prongs aren't enough to fix this problem. The problem is endemic. It's cultural. Controlling guns and reforming mental health are band-aids on a bleeding wound. What we need - what we must work on finding ways to encourage - are people who are strongly bonded to society. But that means we need to address all those things that get in the way - economic inequality, racism, unemployment, broken homes, poverty, socially disorganized and physically disorganized living environments, the lack of a social safety net. And that's just for starters. Are we willing to do that? I haven't seen evidence of it.

When we look at Hirschi's model, we can see that what we need to look for, in order to identify likely risks to a community, are the people with low social bonds - people who don't have a lot of involvement in their community, people who are not deeply connected to others, people who blow off social expectations, people who reject laws that they don't like. And sadly, we've created a culture where people like this exist not only in the socially disorganized areas of our nation's cities (the slums) but even in the middle class. We are more alienated, less connected, less involved, and more cynical than any group of Americans in history. And until we address the things that are making us more alienated, less connected, less involved and more cynical, we haven't a hope of stopping this from happening again.

But labeling people who are not well bonded to the community as "evil" solves nothing, except the need to feel morally superior and self-righteous to the shooter. Labeling the complicated stuff as "evil" also gives most people an automatic pass to label themselves as morally superior to evil, since they know they're not evil.

Well, anyone who feels morally superior to the shooter (for any reason other than that they didn't shoot twenty kids the other day), anyone who feels that they are morally superior to him because he was "evil" (or "damaged" or "sick"), needs a reality check.

It was and is horrifying, yes. It was and is awful, yes. It was shocking, and devastating, and incomprehensible, yes.

But calling it "evil" is too easy. It's a cop-out, and it's a disservice to the victims to use it as an explanation.

It's the culture, stupid. What are we going to do about it?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (124+ / 0-)

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:30:33 AM PST

  •  No (g,G)od or (d,D)evil makes the world this way. (6+ / 0-)

    We do.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:35:50 AM PST

    •  Da Debbil made me do it (Flip Wilson) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Kong, ginja, Smoh

      is a convenient excuse for folks who don't want to own up to their own responsibilities in events

      •  Psychotic individuals are neither "evil" nor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Killer of Sacred Cows

        "responsible" as rational humans.

        Are you "responsible" for what you do while you are asleep and in a nightmare ??? Fortunately you are in bed, thrashing around in your own private fantasies.

        Paranoid schizophrenic live such nightmares awake.

        -- 17 per 100,000 for Americans. CDC stats.

        -- 50,000 total for lifetime experience.

        -- So we go ahead and put guns in ready, wide open access for these individuals.

        Another 1,000,000+ Americans will experience psychotic breaks.

        The Talking Head psychologists on network television this morning spoke to "motivation" and "background." But where the shooter's behavior is bizarre, suggesting psychosis, that approach is dishonest.

        To me it seems absurd to think that the Sandy Hook shooter did this crime to get attention, or to carry out some form of revenge against his mother. What is this if not bizarre?

        Could he have thought that these children were demons, phantasms, ghouls ??? That their voices were speaking to him? That he was receiving orders to kill them all?

        I've seen crazier things. Less coherent than this. If you want intentional "evil" look to my sig line:

        "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

        by bontemps2012 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:42:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Americans are mainly interested in "othering" (3+ / 0-)

          the shooters; they want scape-goats, not understanding.

          If a "mental-illness" sweep of high schools is the response to these shootings, it will shake out large numbers of kids living in one hell or another to serve as scape-goats for the country. Mostly they will be vulnerable and marginalized groups like LGBT or Asperger kids, who have nothing to do with gun violence. But Americans just want people to blame and punish.

          •  American media do the "othering." (0+ / 0-)

            It's not like that in Canada, Germany, France.

            Consider a project to expand mental health services:

            1. Conduct a "sweep" at high schools.

            2. Test results would be private -- not public -- so there is no way a public "scape-goat" meat grinder would ensue.

            3. Any kid in "one hell or another" would then be offered a level of professional assistance that he or she would never have been able to afford otherwise.

            What you want to do with this is to short-circuit abuse situations. Put an end to them asap. And treat the project as Homeland Security and take the money out of that bloated budget.

            (Anybody think terrorists are a threat that rivals our own killers?)

            Also, any kid who develops adolescent-onset schizophrenia (the typical form) needs help immediately. The worst of it for these kids, paradoxically, is where they have forms that can go untreated for years and years. The hallucinations and sleep problems take them out for social development and academics.

            Doesn't have to be that way. It's treatable, often as not. A "sweep" would make life better for tens of thousands of these kids.

            LGBT kids are up against different problems. The vast majority are not mentally ill, period. It's bigotry.

            "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

            by bontemps2012 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:13:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  There's been a lot of evil going on since Friday (5+ / 0-)

      Something's rockin' the house.

      Saturday's shootings continued a violent several days in Alabama.

      ...Investigator Dennis Green of the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office told the newspaper that the three gunshot victims in the triple killing were males but authorities did not immediately identify them further. Green also said a child under the age of 2 also was hurt and had been taken to a hospital in Georgia.

      ...Hours earlier on Saturday, Jason Letts, 38, of Jemison opened fire before dawn at a hospital in Birmingham, wounding a police officer and two employees before being shot and killed by another officer, according to authorities.

      ...In the Alabama community of Homewood, police continue to investigate Friday's slayings of a 30-year-old woman and her two sons, ages 4 and 5, at the family's apartment.

      Is the entire country going collectively insane?  

      "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

      by Richard Cranium on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:51:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's a reaction to the election (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Killer of Sacred Cows

        The Kenyan Marxist Muslim Manchurian candidate won a second term against a candidate so personally flawed and incompetent that he had to have been sabotage.  Then Benghazi: something they've been told is proof positive of government apathy or complicity with the bad guys.

        I think that conservatives are just plain starting to snap.  The ones closest to the edge of panic, despair, etc. are going first: plunging into nihilism which is why they're killing more or less randomly.  You could argue that killing children is some kind of passive-aggressive strike against what they see as the death of the future.

        Unfortunately there's a lot of these types running around.

        To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

        by Visceral on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:55:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Real evil is those who pretend there's no problem. (27+ / 0-)

    We need MORE guns!  

    We need to demonize the mentally ill MORE!

    Keep doing what we're doing, and pretend there is no problem!

    Evil's pretty fricking lazy, after all.  It looks out for number one, and number one alone.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:36:51 AM PST

    •  A very good, poignant and devastatingly true point (8+ / 0-)

      We have learned so much in the last 30 years concerning the brain functions of "reward" and "inhibition" through the use of PET scans and fMRI - - we can now "see" that the problems we formally would call "evil" are physiological diseases that  actually have a rational physiological explanation.  And yet, we are still infants in terms of our understanding.

      But, from what we have learned, people that are so far off the scale in terms of empathy and suicidal nature, by definition, are diseased beyond the definitions of good and evil.

      Where we CAN lay evil at the door are for those that are FULLY aware that more guns are not the answer but have a vested interest, personal or fincancial in retaining the gun culture.  We can say the same thing about those who KNOW that mental health deserves very high priority investment but are unwilling to use their own (tax) money in pursuit of community health.

      But, b/c the evil perpetuated by these selfish actors is more attenuated and amorphous, the real discussion of where our "evil roots" lay never laps up at their door-step and will not do so anytime soon.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

      by 4CasandChlo on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:13:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Calling it a psychological disease is the same... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atana, amsterdam

        as calling it evil.

        Psychologists are still measuring psychopathy semantically  (It looks just like reading tea leaves in Ronson's "The Psychopath test").  We won't ever find an evil gene or virus or neuro-chemical to definitively isolate "those" people.  

        It's interesting that you lumped suicidal nature in with psychopathy.  Suicidal thoughts are the norm among early twenty-somethings (55% in a 2006 UT-Austin study).  Homicidal ideation is even harder to measure, but it is also normal.  The motivations of all these shooters is barely relevant if the thoughts occur to most people of that age group.

        Labeling Lanza as having a sickness pushes the problems under the rug just as much as labeling evil.  

        Everyone here is in agreement with the solutions.  I suspect every time we allow discussion to drift into either evil or sick, we're moving farther away from the solutions.

        •  When we label it as a sickness (7+ / 0-)

          and go no farther, I'd agree with you.

          But if we know it's a sickness, there are causes. What are some of the causes of psychological illnesses? Social problems. Social pressures. Social expectations that can't be met. Etc.

          Knowing what kind of sickness it is gives us clues to what caused it. That's not a cop-out. It's a starting point.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

          by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:16:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Which is what I was trying to get to: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Killer of Sacred Cows

            Maybe I am writing particularly poorly this morning - but, I find any sort of pathological root to be where on an individual basis we can actually start to help in accute situations - - in no way was I stating that a disease process is something to throw our hands up about, just the opposite.

            And the disease of the "actor" is meant to be set in opposition to the real evil of those that are acting in such self-interest as to advocate what they know to be wrong.  We never reach a question about these self-interested people's role in the way society is but I believe that it is within them that more traditional notions of "evil" lie.

            Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

            by 4CasandChlo on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:24:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I suppose I see the sickness label as more... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Killer of Sacred Cows

            likely to cause people to go no farther.  

            Sick is a pejorative.  It gives the listener the idea that  the individual was the broken one.  If I say that John Doe was sick with pneumonia, but then he died, most people would interpret that to mean that the sickness died with him.  

            I think the most helpful starting point would be to recognize that most Americans think it's morally acceptable to murder in situations when one is feeling attacked (war, self-defense, stand-your-ground laws - ick, etc).  Then to ask why Lanza and Holmes and Kinkel and all the other young white males felt like they were being attacked by society at large.  

            Obviously, their actions should be denigrated.  It's important to reaffirm social norms by saying that we view their actions as immoral.  But, if we categorize their exception to social morality as a sickness, we're saying that their personal morality was broken, and now that the perpetrator of the immorality is gone, the problem is gone.  That absolves us of asking the question of what's wrong with society (or middle class, suburban teenage male culture if we want to start narrowing the question).  

            Many of the comments to this diary give guesses to what the problem is.  That's a great start.  Thanks for the diary.  Eliminating evil as a potential answer certainly gets us closer to asking the right questions.

        •  It's about time someone called BS on the all-wise (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          shrinks as the solution to all problems in the culture.

          When I was a child, the all-wise shrinks electroshocked gender-variant kids like me to erase our memories of whatever it was that supposedly made us gender-variant.
          They are perfectly willing to apply "treatments" to things without the slightest political, scientific, or medical insight into what they are doing and this hasn't changed.

          Those electroshock machines were pushed by their manufacturers and today's psych drugs are pushed by their manufacturers. The people who work on DSM are taken on junkets by drug companies and payed hansom consulting fees by drug companies. From edition to edition, the DSM constantly expands markets for drug companies. And not one of those drug has an action that is really understood in terms of how it "treats" a supposed mental illness.

          Other areas of medicine understand the function of organs and can measure that function objectively. Psychiatry does not; instead the have a purely subjective "scale" of "function" called the GAF, according to which the "function" of someone like Virginia Woolf would be low as the scale goes (because she committed suicide). The "function" of someone like Mitt Romney would be through the roof. This is political BS posturing as medicine: something that has been rife throughout the history of psychiatry.

          •  Psychology is a science, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Killer of Sacred Cows

            and like all sciences, it is imperfect. It's very healthy to have skepticism and concern, but only as long as we avoid veering into scientology/anti-intellectualism.

            •  I assure you I'm neither a scientologist (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zootwoman, awhitestl

              not anti-intellectual. However, I don't agree that psychology is a science; it is a wannabe science at best. Neural science is a genuine science, but there is no neural science basis for DSM or GAF.

              •  It is a science. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Killer of Sacred Cows

                It measures things and rejects hypotheses that are proven to be incorrect. It is a science about something that is very hard to measure, but to reject it as a science is to do a major disservice. It's done many bad things, but it has helped a greater number of people.

                •  There are no measurments in psychology (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Amayi, zootwoman, awhitestl

                  A measurement of a function is something like glomular filtration rate. You need ratio scales to do science. Measurement is not a bunch of self-declared "experts" making culture bound and politically constructed subjective judgements, not even if they use numerology to attach a number to their judgement.

                  DSM-V can't even pass minimal consistency checks. There is science in the same sense the Inquisition might have attempted to "diagnose" different forms of "sin".

                  •  Psychology measures brain activity, heartrate, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Killer of Sacred Cows

                    neurotransmitter release, and other various functions. You are one, confusing all psychology for psychoanalysis as far as I can tell, and two, confusing the modern state of most sciences with what it means to be a science. Alchemy, for all its mysticism, was a science. It only became unscientific when the old ways were clung to in the face of empirical evidence otherwise.

                    •  I am not confusing psychology with psychoanalysis (0+ / 0-)

                      Nor am confusing the modern state of the genuine sciences for something it is not -- not after spending a few years as a grad student in philosophy of science. Sciences measure with ratio scales. As early as the 1930s, this was understood to be a problem for the social science. It hasn't been resolved -- the social sciences have merely excused themselves from solving and used marketing to portray themselves as sciences.

                      There are no definitive laboratory tests for any of the conditions in DSM. Until there are, DSM is not medicine. It is wannabe medicine at best, but it is a culture-bound product of a particular culture and a particular economic regime. It is politics masquerading as science.

                      Neural science is making progress at a rate which encourages hope that we will have the beginning of science-based medical psychiatry in the not too distant future: a field that will be based on genuine measurements of gene expression in neurons, neural activity levels and other solid measurements. We are not there yet, and faking scientific understanding when you do not have it -- as psychologists are wont to do -- does not help us get it.

                      •  Dont confuse psychology with psychiatry. (2+ / 0-)

                        Psychologists do not go to medical school. Only rarely do they receive the training for anatomy and physiology. They cannot prescribe drugs.

                        Psychiatry is part of medicine.

                        Also, GAF is useful to establish disabilities on five major items. This work is applied for legal and insurance purposes. It also gives other practitioners a quick snap shot of what is happening.

                        "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

                        by bontemps2012 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:24:03 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yes, I'm aware of that (0+ / 0-)

                          I've have graduate certs in bioinformatics with supporting classes in cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, stem cell biology, immunology, dna sequencing, genomics, evolutionary biology, data mining, pattern recognition...

                        •  Also, as a transsexual (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bontemps2012

                          I've spent a life on the receiving end of "practitioners" whose attitudes and beliefs have been molded by the changing politics of the society around them -- not by any "advances" in their "science".

                          Whatever advances LGBT people have made, we have made by intense political activism, against the entrenched opposition of shrinkdom. And we trans people are still under your thumb in the DSM.

                          Pardon us, but we don't like you bastards at all.

                          •  I'm on the technology side of it. (0+ / 0-)

                            Haven't read the new DSM. But the older 4th edition clearly did not have anything in it to identify LGBT people as mentally ill, per se.

                            Meanwhile, whether you are talking to psychologists or psychiatrists, odds are that you will meet a variety of personality types. A few extra control-freak types.

                            The psychiatrists who try to do suicide prevention have a tough job. They are fighting Major Depression. It's like trying to move mountains.

                            No surprise, there are more than a few "bastards" in these professionals. It's a tough job for practitioners. "Shrinks" also have a nasty suicide rate -- they see problems that are hard to shake off.

                            "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

                            by bontemps2012 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:30:45 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  DSM-IV has Gender Identity Disorder (0+ / 0-)

                            and Transvestic Fetishism.

                            DSM-V is relabeling GID as Gender Dysphoria and still has Transvestic Fetishism.

                            We "GIDs" all seem encounter nothing but the "few" control freaks and bastards in the field, all our lives. And I lay most of my major depression at their feet, for not allowing me to transition when I was young (i.e. denying me hormones because I didn't make their shrinkly penises salute.)

                            What did allow most of us to transition was the invention of the Internet and the ability to buy hormones from offshore pharmacies without prescriptions from shrinks. Taking the power to deny us hormones away from the shrinks saved my life and thousands of other lives.

                  •  you are very wrong (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Killer of Sacred Cows

                    Psychology is a science and in fact is all about measurement and rigorously peer reviewed experimental studies. Modern Psychology incorporates neurobiology, brain imaging, etc, because those areas are really all part of the same field: understanding the brain. Even Clinical Psychology, which I suspect you mistakenly think is "Psychology", is for the most part evidence based and is heavily influenced by the research.

                    "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

                    by quill on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:14:16 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We are talking about clinical psychology here (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't have any problem with research psychology that is part of the overall neural science paradigm.

                      The classification of "mental illness" a la DSM is not neural science-based at the present time. It is not science. It is marketed as science, because it sells pharmaceuticals and brings wealth to clinical practitioners.

                      Psychology is not the only social science culpable of scamming society in this way; arguably economics is an even worse example.

          •  What does this have to do with psychosis ??? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Killer of Sacred Cows

            Individuals who experience psychotic breaks are dangers to themselves and others.

            It doesn't matter whether you are gay, or a Scientology member, or someone else with a beef against psychiatry. Treating psychotic breaks is part of the core business of psychiatry.

            Also, don't be too sure that Mitt Romney would do well if put through an evaluation. After all, he killed Leola Anderson driving head-on into a Mercedes-Benz in 1968. He then lied about it for decades, including inventing an imaginary priest "Albert Marie" to blame it on.

            Mitt also claimed to have been in a "three-day coma" out of that accident. We have photos of him awake and alert the next morning -- plus eye witness recollection of speaking with him.

            On what "scale" was Virginia worse off than Mitt is today ??? She was given to histrionics, not sociopathic narcissism.

            "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

            by bontemps2012 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:56:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Virginia Woolf committed suicide (0+ / 0-)

              The GAF score for that is presumably a 1.

              I was responding to a post which correctly pointed out that "suicidal ideation" (GAF 1-10) is very common, and that "psychologists measure psychopathy semantically". (Clinical) psychologists do not diagnose psychopathy (or anything else in DSM) by objective measurements (fMRI, SNPs, protein chemistry, RNA heat maps etc).

              •  Sorry, GAF 1-10 is suicidal "act" (0+ / 0-)

                not "ideation". Neverthess some of the most creative people who every lived would committed "suicidal acts", often successfully. Many LGBTs (including myself) have also done so.

                Shrinks used to sterilize "feebleminded" people to prevent their genes from polluting the noble American gene pool. After Hitler discredited that practice, they switched to electroshocking the gay out of children. After Stonewall, they switched to torturing trans kids with "behavior modifications" such as parental beatings. The champion of this latter method is Dr Kenneth Zucker, who is the current chairman of the Gender Dysphoria subcommittee for DSM-V

            •  Also, dismissing the human rights abuses (0+ / 0-)

              of psychiatry/psychology against LGBT people as a "beef" is why we call you people bastards.

              •  That is a legitimate beef. (0+ / 0-)

                I'm not disputing that terrible things have been done to gays. Not at all. Medical practice and technology -- I'm on the technology side -- developed slowly, over centuries.

                Still, today, that sad history has nothing whatsoever to do with trying to treat mentally ill individuals, particularly where hallucinations present. Those folks commit suicide far more often than they hurt anybody else.

                And in most cases the underlying schizophrenia can be ameliorated with drug treatment. That treatment results in a more or less normal life. Even happiness.

                Best of luck to you.

                "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

                by bontemps2012 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 03:42:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Do you have a reference to support this: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, Va1kyrie, atana
        We have learned so much in the last 30 years concerning the brain functions of "reward" and "inhibition" through the use of PET scans and fMRI - - we can now "see" that the problems we formally would call "evil" are physiological diseases that  actually have a rational physiological explanation.
        Because I read a lot on neuroscience and I've never seen this; what I have seen are a lot of articles written by laypeople in which experimental results are stretched to the point of absurdity, and I have trouble seeing a responsible scientist making this claim to his or her peers.

        Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

        by emidesu on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:39:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Would Real Evil also include those who believe... (3+ / 0-)

      ...that film and television culture don't precipitate violence, and therefore should not be more severely regulated?

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:18:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Consequenceless violence? (5+ / 0-)

        Oh hell yeah.  Sorry, but one of the things that bothers me about much of our "Entertainment" nowadays is that violence is completely devoid of all consequences.  It bugged me in the 80's growing up, and it bugs me now.

        Course there are exceptions... but that ain't what sells.

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:27:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  an examination of the theater through time (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, salamanderempress, Amayi

        show that blood and gore are staples of both Roman and Greek tragedy.  (Imagine "Oedipus" after the censors finished) while Elizabethan drama is at least as violent (such as actors using peeled grapes to simulate an individual having his eyes plucked from his head) or Faust being torn apart by demons on stage (Marlowe's version, not Goethe's)

        To blame violence in a society on its media seems to have the cart before the horse.  It seems the entertainment of a violent society is equally violent, so the culture begets the medium and not vice versa (as argued by a once and sometimes thespian)  

        •  The legitimate theater (5+ / 0-)

          was not poured into our homes 24/7 the way today's violent culture is.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

          by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:55:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  your media does not have an "off" switch? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            salamanderempress

            it seems to blame the media for its having 24/7 access to your home is putting the cart before the horse. Also you have to remember the legitimate theater was usually illegitimate in its own time

            •  Nowadays our culture tells us we neeeeeed to be (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              historys mysteries

              "informed." That means having the TV on all the time. It took me forever to break my partner of having it on as background noise; you'd be amazed at how many people just can't stand the idea of having it off for a while.

              "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

              by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:01:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How would having the TV on (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Killer of Sacred Cows

                result in a person being informed? Or, perhaps I should ask what "informed" means?

                Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

                by emidesu on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:42:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It doesn't, but that's the lie our culture tells. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  emidesu

                  And then the person is listening to that automatic invective and violence, subconsciously, constantly, because they're worried about not being "informed."

                  "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

                  by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:01:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  While being afraid that the violence (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Killer of Sacred Cows

                    will penetrate his own world, causing the person to watch more TV in an attempt to self-soothe and also to buy Stuff...

                    I know what you mean but I wanted to make sure. The constant stream of propaganda in our society is driving me to distraction.

                    Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

                    by emidesu on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:10:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  And yet our society is less violent now (10+ / 0-)

            than it was in the Elizabethan era. Or even in 1970.

            Violent crime victimization rates are declining for all age, socioeconomic, and ethnic groups. When crime does occur, a firearm is less likely to be involved than it was 30 years ago. Murder rates in the U.S. are actually near historical lows.

            There is no violent crime epidemic in the U.S. There was one, but it peaked in the late '80s/early '90s (driven by the children of the late '60s and early '70s) and rates have been sharply declining ever since.

            There are absolutely no data whatsoever to suggest that, in the aggregate, children/young adults exposed to violent entertainment commit more violent crime than those who aren't. In fact, there's more evidence to suggest the opposite. The decline in violent crime tracks rather neatly with the lifetime exposure of 16-25yo males to video games.

            Is there evidence to suggest that young children exposed to violent media express more violent thoughts/aggressive behaviours in the short term? Yes. Do there seem to be any more serious or long-term effects in the aggregate population of children exposed to such media? No.

            As for mass murders, while they're too rare to really say for sure, they seem to be tracking more-or-less with other violent crime: 32 in the '80s, 42 in the '90s, and 26 in the '00s. (link)

            That doesn't make them any less horrible when they do happen. I think it's very important to try to figure out what causes certain young men to go on murderous rampages. Critically important. The first step in the process of intellectually-honest inquiry into the causes of mass murders: Letting go of your preconceived notions and media-conditioned ideas about what's wrong with today's youth.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:33:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The violence (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Killer of Sacred Cows

          in those various classical/Elizabethan examples was meaningful. It had consequences. The final scene of Hamlet is one of the bloodiest things ever, but all those deaths happened for a reason. There's no Violence Porn in any of them.

          Also, all the Shakespearean deaths happened by sword, or poison (with the odd "pursued by a bear", of course). So, not only wasn't there Violence Porn, there also was not Big Shiny Killing Machine Porn.

          "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

          by ChurchofBruce on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:54:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  being minced by a Claymore was hardly less (0+ / 0-)

            bloody than modern adventure genre's mgs and actors wore bladders of pig blood under their clothes to make sure there was enough gore in addition to the previously mentioned peeled grapes.  As far as being meaningful, Lear is a nihilist's dream where the good the bad and the indifferent all ended up destroyed with only a few lesser actors left to pick up the pieces.  Ditto for Hamlet.  The good guys rarely won in those plays as they mostly not only ended up dead themselves but also managed to destroy their entire universe in the process  

          •  Have you ever read Titus Andronicus? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            entlord

            Hamlet was atypical. Most Elizabethan revenge plays were nonstop carnage.

        •  I couldn't read the Arthurian Legends for the gore (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Killer of Sacred Cows

          and violence that seemed to be the whole rational for the stories.

          There are theories that violent stories allow us to mentally practice what we would do if we found ourselves in similar situations in real life.

          And not that many decades ago, life could be very violent & bloody very suddenly, so there may have been a more rational need for those stories.

          Too many men have been recruited to violence by a culture expecting participation in violence & war as the way to be acknowledged as adult males in society.

          Our brains & cultures can't change as quickly as our technology.

          Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

          by CA wildwoman on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:06:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed. (11+ / 0-)
    It's the culture, stupid.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:42:58 AM PST

  •  Absolutely. Not evil. Not anything to do with God. (9+ / 0-)

    This is what we, collectively, have created. We are the only answer.

    Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

    by teresahill on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:00:36 AM PST

  •  Calling him "evil" also makes it difficult to spot (15+ / 0-)

    and identify the next human being who is going to act this way.

    We have to stop talking about these people as anything other than human, we are not looking for evil horned monsters, we are looking for human beings who have issues and see violence as an answer to them.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:04:46 AM PST

    •  Do we want to go there? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrismorgan, ranger995

      Because there are startups working on such software..

      You will commit a crime in the future

      Inside the new science of predicting violence

      http://www.boston.com/...

      Even harder questions may lie ahead. Berk, the University of Pennsylvania professor, said that as the data available to researchers get better, and the algorithms that are used to analyze it improve, we may find ourselves staring at uncomfortable predictions that leave us at a loss as to what to do with them. Berk’s method is to take into account as much data about people as is available — even if there’s no reason to think it would correlate with crime — and let massively powerful computers figure out what’s useful and what isn’t. Conceivably, these computers could discover that predictions could be made using someone’s shoe size and the kind of car their parents drove when they were kids.

      “This is the nightmare that I have,” Berk said. “Supposing I am able to tell a mother that her 8-year-old has a one in three chance of committing a homicide by age 18. What the hell do I do with that information? What do the various social services do with that information? I don’t know.”

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:30:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent point. I have been so tired of hearing (4+ / 0-)

      new interviews with neighbors and friends of murderers who say, "He seemed like a totally normal dude."

      usually what you get is, "He was quiet, kept to himself, never bothered anyone," ....until he went on a murderous rampage.

      If we could learn to see the signs, and teach ourselves to reach out to people, we might be better off.

      Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

      by mungley on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:48:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  problem is that many of the neighbors' description (7+ / 0-)

        could easily apply to me and to many others on this site

        •  You're both involved and attached (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mungley, historys mysteries, emidesu

          by participating here.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

          by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:56:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. I was thnking the same thing as I wrote that, (3+ / 0-)

          but it would not hurt your neighbors to reach out to you.

          Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

          by mungley on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:07:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, but it might hurt us (3+ / 0-)

            I don't particularly want to be reached out to. I don't want to talk to random strangers with whom, for all I know, I have nothing in common other than sharing an apartment building.

            It's likely that some of that might come across if they 'reach out' to me. No matter how politely and gently I decline their dinner invitations, the fact will remain that I'm not engaging with them. And then what they initially suspected is now confirmed: I'm a potential mass-murdering psycho.

            Except...well, I'm not.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:48:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Uh..... golly. (2+ / 0-)

              I was just thinking it might be nice to say, "Hi," to you, and maybe offer you a hand if you need to move any furniture.

              The thing is, that they are not "random strangers," they are your neighbors.
              They are the people who will wake you if there's a fire, and the people who will help you if you drop something on the stairs.

              You do not need to be friends, you just need to be neighborly.

              And conversely if you live next to people who are going to freak out because you decline a dinner invitation, you might want to know that.

              Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

              by mungley on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:08:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sure my neighbours are perfectly lovely people (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mungley

                but they are, in fact, random strangers. The only thing we have in common is that we all happen to have ended up on the same generic floor of the same generic urban apartment building.

                I don't share any more with them than I do with the random strangers who happen to end up on the same bus as I'm on in the morning (who, coincidentally, will happen to be the ones who will help me out of the bus in case of an accident or help me pick up my belongings if I drop them.) Nice people, I'm sure, and I'd do the same for them, but that's as far as it goes.

                Do I think they would freak out? No. Would I rule out the possibility in a world where it was commonly believed that quiet loners like me are dangerous and need to be de-isolated for everyone's safety? No.

                "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                by kyril on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:27:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I love my neighbors! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril, mungley

                It's weird, I know, but I've always enjoyed getting to know my neighbors. We have absolutely nothing in common. But it's good because when I go on trips, I can ask them to feed the cat or water the plants. And also, it's just reassuring. Like if the house catches fire, I feel like they would care. Plus, I am terrible about things like changing the light bulbs or jump starting the car and whatnot. The neighbors have always been helpful with this stuff. One of my neighbors decided to help me move once! My whole apartment. It was too damned sweet. Another helped my break into the house when I locked myself out.

                I don't socialize with them much, but I like to know them. Even the quirky ones. And I've had some seriously quirky neighbors. I had a group who lived downstairs who were all bartenders who would come home late and play loud music, and we were close enough that I could pound on the floor to shut them up.

                Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:44:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  That's the DOD's take on problem..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mungley
        TASK FORCE REPORT:

        Predicting Violent Behavior

        www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/PredictingViolentBehavior.pdf

        1.8.3 Science and Technology

        Neuroscience, genetics, and behavioral relationships are very active areas of research. The Task Force conducted an exhaustive inquiry into current tools including various prediction systems, none of which withstood intense scrutiny on reliability, practicality, and maturity. While there are promising indicators that might predict aberrant behavior, severe personality disorders, addiction, and other anti-social behaviors, the current state of the science is such that the false positives and false negatives are very high. In addition, developing a practical means to observe any useful indicators may present a significant challenge.

        Nevertheless, the existing biomarker/behavioral field represent an important near term area for research into the determinants of violence, and may have long-term applications in identification and prediction. Consequently, DoD should monitor the ongoing research in these and other related areas.

        In the near-term the S&T community should conduct in-depth case studies to inform assessment of behavioral risk factors, evaluate Army merger of personnel databases (trend analysis, data correlations), assess outcome of resiliency training, and initiate physiological biomarker-based measurement program. The overall goal would be to quantify the variance in the performance of individuals.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:02:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  will we ever reach the state where we can (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril, Louise

      identify mass murderers, spree killers or serial killers and interdict their actions before they can act?  Despite many media touting the efficacy of psychological profilers in identifying potential threats, I remain a skeptic of their effectiveness

      •  Is this a black and white question? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Killer of Sacred Cows

        Do you think it reasonable to suppose that occasionally a parent notices that his or her teenage child has become preoccupied with death while exhibiting odd behavior, become concerned and taken the child for help which becomes the deciding factor in that child not shooting up a school?
        The whole point of this diary is that we shouldn't oversimplify the factors that lead to violence, that we should consider as many as possible and try to address all of them. If an intervention resulted in 20% fewer dead people, would it not likely be worthwhile?

        Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

        by emidesu on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:54:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  which was the point I was reaching towards (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emidesu

          as some of the discussion centered around what the mother did or did not or should or should not have done or what factors would indicate you have a nascent mass murderer on your hands to parsing mass murderer/spree killers/ serial killers/rampage killers vs your garden variety killers and vs each category to each other

    •  "Evil" or "insane" - it's all a cop-out (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995, sunbro

      "He would have to be truly evil to do this" or "Only an insane person would do this" are ex post facto explanations. They are neither predictive nor dispositive. They cannot tell us how to avoid  the killings, or how to deal with such people.

      We know that there are evil people, and insane people,. But usually we end up finding out about them after they have murdered others.

      It is the guns that make it easy for them to kill on impulse. It is assault weapons,, with high capacity clips and magazines, and Teflon-coated rounds, that make the body counts so high. We can regulate these implements of mass killing; we can tax them until they are unaffordable; we can make them illegal.

      But if we want to guarantee more of these horrors, all we have to do is  nothing. All we have to do is blame "evil" and "insanity," instead of our own failure to act.

      They say "cut back" - we say "fight back"!

      by Louise on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:36:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's happening is (3+ / 0-)

    this is just what it looks like when a society commits suicide.  The scale is too large to see clearly and it takes a while.

  •  others are saying that he was carrying out (7+ / 0-)

    GOD'S will.

    Killing six-year-olds = God's will.

    Excuse me while I vomit.


    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:09:45 AM PST

    •  Has anyone said that in so amny words (2+ / 0-)

      other than the Topeka inbreds?

      •  oh yes they have (2+ / 0-)

        However, former Primary Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee (R) has completely bypassed the matter of gun control; in fact, it's a non-issue in his eyes.

        Huckabee weighed in on the massacre during his program on the Fox News Channel this weekend. He concluded, "Ultimately, we don't have a crime problem or a gun problem, or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem."

        He went on to say that the assault on religion in this country, specifically Christianity, is to blame for these reoccurring mass murders. He explained, "Since we've ordered God out of our schools, communities, the military and public conversations, you know, we really shouldn't act so surprised when all hell breaks loose."

        Sandy Hook massacre happened because we've 'systematically removed God' from our schools, claims Fox commentator Huckabee

        Ergo, the shooter was carrying out God's will by punishing us for being godless.

    •  Obama will be here tonight and the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Killer of Sacred Cows

      Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest.

      "Several members of the church took to Twitter to broadcast their intentions, including one who posted that she will “sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment,”

      Then another group has plans to come and block them.

      http://blog.ctnews.com/...

  •  I see this meme all over the Right Wing blogs too (5+ / 0-)

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:14:32 AM PST

  •  The real solution requires us to look into (3+ / 0-)

    our own souls. Look at our value system for what it really is. And take a revolutionary approach to our fellow man. It means questioning everything. Does capitalism make the situation worse? Are we really what we believe we are, both as individuals and as a nation. Does this nation even work anymore and should it be split up into smaller parts? Does the first amendment work anymore? These are questions that need to be discussed and through that discussion find some answers. But as long as we are distracted by shiny objects like reality TV celebrity gossip, new gadgets we are not going to have this discussion. I suggest no answers here. I do not propose anything but a discussion.

    Culturally in the recent past we have had a few media moments that inspired real discussion. The miniseries Roots and the documentary The Civil War inspired real discussion. As did TV shows about the Holocaust and a possible nuclear war. We do not have those national moments anymore because of the massive numbers of TV channels available today. Local radio is dying. As is local TV. Narrow interest programming is what we have today. And the internet is no better. We are a fragmented people. And there is real doubt about whether we can survive as a people unified in one country. Look at how polarized our politics have become.

  •  IMO, this diary is an excellent first step (5+ / 0-)

    toward having a realistic and productive discussion of solutions.  Thank you for a well thought out and informative diary.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:25:40 AM PST

  •  Hey, but !! (5+ / 0-)
    Conversely, those who have little to no involvement, aren't strongly connected to others, don't really give a flip about what the culture expects, and feel that the culture's laws are bogus are much more likely to commit crime. An example of this kind of person would be someone who has not volunteered his time to his community, who has few if any relationships with anyone (broken homes are common), who has no job, no partner, and no children; and who rejects the law because he thinks it shouldn't apply to him.
    since most (luckily not all) of that applies to me too, I´d like to point out that that merely increases the risk of criminal behaviour. One´s behaviours is not yet dictated by such circumstances :)
  •  There are psychopaths (8+ / 0-)

    Evil is a word that describes some of the worst of their behavior. Going Godwin and all..

    That said - Throwing the latest massacre into a nice, neat "evil pile" and then washing or tossing up your hands is simpleton stupid. And probably evil too,  if a person is in a position to help prevent the next massacre.

    Wayne LaPierre for instance in my opinion - is "evil."

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:32:27 AM PST

  •  Wish I could rec 1000 times! (6+ / 0-)

    Saw the evil thing posted on FB the other day and wanted to scream through my computer.

    This post is excellent. I hope the word spreads. thanks for posting.

  •  I was pointing this out on a local newspaper's (7+ / 0-)

    comment stream. Thank you for expressing it here more eloquently than I was able to do!

    It's all the more validation of the infamous "it takes a village" concept, the position that first lady Hillary Clinton was so bitterly reviled for. In fact, it makes me all the more anxious for the upcoming Clinton presidency in 2016!

    Our poor children grow up in often-horrible living conditions, and are later blamed by the "haves" when they don't measure up as adults.

    Our middle-class children grow up in their neighborhoods, cocooned in their parents' SUV's and their own TV rooms and seldom associating with any children outside of their own subdivision. The HOA pool is their recreation.

    Our rich children grow up behind gates and in elite private schools, always reminded that they are better because they are rich. And special. They never have to be held accountable for anything.

    But where there should be but one village, we live in a constantly-battling set of pseudo-villages where nobody looks out for anybody but him or herself, and the community never builds beyond the end of the cul-de-sac or the tenement.

    And throughout the lives of all these children swirl the pernicious influences of violence and self-gratification. Our military is used casually to invade other countries and kill hundreds of thousands of "other" people simply to fulfill political goals, and our children are trained to be proud of that. Our legal system offers up human sacrifices of an occasional poor criminal, killing him or her in the name of "justice", but which is in reality just more gratuitous violence in the name of revenge.

    Our movies. Our television shows. Our video games. Kill kill kill. That's what they're all told. Kill. Kill. Kill. No amount of violence is unacceptable as long as the perpetrators are the "good guys".

    Finally, the guns. The guns. Guns of every sort imaginable, all symbols of manhood and power. Nothing may stand in the way of the American Gun Culture™. Guns make America great. Guns make America free. More guns will make America freer. Arm students on college campuses. Arm elementary school teachers. Arm everybody!

    I almost think we've passed the point of no return, The village that is now bringing up our children is "The Village of the Damned.

    "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

    by blue in NC on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:35:01 AM PST

  •  we have to remember that for many people (0+ / 0-)

    demons and demon possession remain an everyday occurrence with exorcisms and not therapy as the answer.
    Here is some information on some of the shenanigans some folks are up to, to provide an alternative to modern psychiatry
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/...
    http://www.youtube.com/...
    https://wipfandstock.com/...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    •  So what? (3+ / 0-)

      Their belief system is not based in reality. Why give it any credence or credibility?

      Frankly, I don't give a damn what they believe. If their beliefs are not based in reality, they are part of the problem.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:39:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  however they vote and they influence the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Killer of Sacred Cows

        political and social process; to simply ignore them as if they don't exist means they are free to push their agendas and POVs without opposition.  In order to defeat someone you must first understand him

        •  I understand them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce

          and I think they should all be locked away in mental hospitals until they realize that their paranoia is not reality.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

          by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:02:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Minority Report? (0+ / 0-)
            I understand them and I think they should all be locked away in mental hospitals until they realize that their paranoia is not reality.
            This sounds a bit like the scary preemptive crime prevention methodology that the authorities implemented in the movie "Minority Report." Who determines that they have realized freedom from their paranoia? Lying is an art form among some folks like this.

            No thanks...

            It's the culture, stupid. What are we going to do about it?
            For one thing, we can encourage and support institutions that are committed to building community that is inclusive and open-minded. I happen to belong to one, but I'll not go off on a tangent about it. It could cause offense...

            "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

            by paz3 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:53:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  People who believe in stuff that has no proof (0+ / 0-)

              are delusional, yes?

              People who then allow that stuff to create fears that have no basis in reality are paranoid, yes?

              What else would you call it?

              "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

              by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:19:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  George Stephanopoulos (4+ / 0-)

    described the shooter this morning as being "possessed by demons".

    Pathetically substandard journalism.

  •  Agreed. There are cuases to these acts. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    The time for, "well, what are you gonna do?" has ended.

    Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

    by mungley on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:44:30 AM PST

  •  other than that (4+ / 0-)

    excellent diary and I agree very much! I wish people would finally stop misusing the concept of "evil" in their relation to each other. It is OK in fantasy books. Other than that I´d take guidance from Hannah Arendt, wo after all noted that the most radical evil she could find, was a potential lurking in any one of us, especially the most "normal" ones.

    Why does America still - after so many years - have this identity crisis? A people at ease with itself - secure in its being - does not need to call every other thing "evil" just so that it can feel good as being not-evil. Can ´t the Americans at some time get over this apparent fear that they might be non existent as a people?  

  •  yep. it's a way to avoid the problem nt (2+ / 0-)

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:47:11 AM PST

  •  First step, fine (3+ / 0-)

    But I have to admit, I'm becoming terribly impatient with solutions that take years to work out, and I don't think that my recent brush with mortality has anything to do with that. Any solution that avoids the instruments that were used by this troubled man to get back at the torment the society he lives in caused him is, at this point, a time waster.

    If the murder of CHILDREN doesn't get meaningful reform accomplished, nothing will.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:57:32 AM PST

  •  Evil is a cop out. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    I have no idea what a psychotic episode is like.  Was this all one spasm of rage?  Or was he in another state, divorced from reality long enough to do this horrible thing, and then stepped back to reality long enough to turn the gun on himself?  Either way, I'm sure his life was miserable, at least internally.  And now it's over.  So I'm not going to spend a lot of time judging him as a person.  His actions were unspeakable and could have been avoided if someone (the government or his mother) had been able to identify his problem and either help him deal with it, or at least make sure that he had no access to firearms.

    But that didn't happen.  And calling him evil doesn't do anything to get us closer to the truth of how to avoid the next mass shooting.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:04:18 AM PST

  •  The concept of "evil" should be left (6+ / 0-)

    in the history books of thought prior to the Age of Enlightenment.

    The Salem Witch Hunts were predicated on this concept of evil - that the devil was a work and in possession of the souls of the accused.  

    A science-based approach to examining human nature is what is needed to try to advance this culture and society beyond its current low-point.

    "The Devil made me do it" just shouldn't cut it.

  •  As an atheist I reject any notion of "evil", (6+ / 0-)

    or miracles.

    He wasn't controlled by satan or demons, and the survivors didn't experience a miracle.  

    What happened is that an unstable young man, who lived in a house with guns, snapped and ruined hundreds of lives.  

    I only wish he wouldn't have taken the easy way out, because one of the tough things about not believing in fairy tales is that there is no eternal jail to send him to where the warden enacts vengeance for eternity.  

    If we want any answers from this horrific event, we won't find them by laying the blame off on an imaginary construct.  

    We live in a country where you can turn on prime time TV and see a person get their head blown off, but if you show some curves we have congressional hearings about it.  

    We live in a country where it is far far easier to walk into a shop and buy a weapon, than it is to just ask for help.

    When the going gets rough, the average go conservative. --Henry Rollins

    by Beelzebud on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:07:27 AM PST

  •  dont CARE if he was evil or the nice kid down the (3+ / 0-)

    street....   we need to have an HONEST discussion of why it is harder to adopt a dog in America then it is to buy a gun!!!

    of why we have more regulations for ladders then for gun ownership...   300 people die every year in America due to fault ladders... 30 THOUSAND people in America die from from gun violence!!

    if anyone wants to discuss evil.. it is EVIL to let this insanity continue.

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:10:35 AM PST

  •  Causes of social isolation (4+ / 0-)

    There are many reasons why a young person might be socially isolated, and adults aren't historically very good at spotting them. Kids hide things from adults precisely because adults are frequently unsupportive or threatening for many issues. I'm sure many LGBT people on DKos will understand what I am talking about, but this is not rare for other sorts of kids either.

    Kids who are "different" in any way tend to be ostracized, abused, and to become isolated. There are traditional gateways for peer social inclusion in our culture; e.g. sports. Our culture valorizes and underwrites gateways that reinforce competition, and especially muscular competition. Intellectual competition is regarded as a booby prize occasionally thrown to nerds, non-competitive activities are scarcely a mention, and cooperative activities are conceivable only as team members cooperating in order to compete against another team.  

    There is immense pressure on kids to conform, and some kids who just can't conform in the required ways give up trying and survive as well as they can on the sidelines of childhood.

  •  People outside the social "norms" (4+ / 0-)
    people who blow off social expectations, people who reject laws that they don't like.
    NPR recently covered an interesting study where a man left money in his car at the carwash. It was more likely to be stolen if he left a men's magazine, beer cans, etc. in the car.
    At some carwashes, Kinkade dropped off the car with a copy of Maxim magazine inside it — the magazine contains plenty of suggestive pictures of semi-clad women. Underneath a seat, Kinkade also left crushed beer cans.
    Kinkade found that the cash was twice as likely to be stolen from when the magazine and beer cans were present. He also found that larger amounts of money were taken from the car, compared with when the magazine and beer cans were absent.
    http://www.npr.org/...

    "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:25:01 AM PST

  •  Thank you for this fantastic diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    I've been struggling all weekend with these thoughts - so much has to change - our culture has been degrading for years.  I've always been an optimist, but we have so, so much work to do to make sure this does not happen again, and again, and again.

  •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tchrldy, Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:38:10 AM PST

  •  Saying they are evil is saying (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    That there is no way we would do something like that if we were so troubled and had access to these guns.

    That's the problem: we think we would never do that.

    The reality is that we are all subject to flipping out.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:42:58 AM PST

  •  "People of the Lie," (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    by M. Scott Peck.  Your Diary is thought-provoking and very interesting.  I worked in the field of child abuse investigations and foster care and juvenile justice - for many years.  I saw firsthand the severe damage careless and mean and ugly and unloving parenting caused to many children - often irreperable damage - extreme soul-killing damage.

    Cases like this take me back to that book - to Peck's theory and the evil that is turned loose by careless and thougtless and soul-less people who raise children in that black hole.

    I see your point.  I understand that calling something "evil" could allow for avoiding the truth of it all.  But something wicked is sometimes found in the mix/the dynamics of certain families.  It is scary.

  •  Evil exists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    Only in the minds and actions of humans. The desire to blame otherworldly phenomenon for the actions of humans only shields us all from the truth. People don't like to confront uncomfortable truths so they invent explanations that allow them to avoid doing so.

    The actions of this killer were human as were the actions of Gacy, Speck, Hitler and Pol Pot.

    Just as the actions of MLK, Mozart, Monet, Einstein and Walter Payton were.

    If we accept the good in humans as being the actions of a human we have to accept the bad in them as being their actions too.

    Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

    by jusjtim35 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:56:41 AM PST

  •  Well I think when (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, misslegalbeagle

    sane, realistic, non-religious-freaks say "evil," they mean someone who has extreme sociopathic and self-serving desires with lack of empathy, lack of guilt, and acts upon them.

    That's not something you can cure.

    Well, at least not yet. Maybe in a thousand years.

    I'd require the ability to surgically alter the brain on a level modern science could only dream of, and the ability to identify the exact parts that make up that part of the personality. I'm talking about a 3028 Star Trek style micro operation.

    It's possible/likely (though we have no way of knowing) that such personality altering surgery would also have some side effects - especially in the early stages of discovery and exerpimental procedures.

    Of course Christians will shout out that some sort of mythical evil feature has their hand rammed up their bum and is controlling them like a puppet. Which is stupid and childish.

    But to say "evil" doesn't exist, isn't exactly correct either. Even people who aren't slaves to their dark impulses still have them for various reasons. Which can range in severity as well, from the relatively benign to the cruel.

    In any case ... all of this is a stark reminder of how primitive our society and medical knowledge is. Assuming we don't all kill each other or Earth isn't exploded by some natural/space disaster, imagine what we can do in another thousand years.

    •  Evil is still a social construct. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      It's composed of certain norms that we say are absolutely not acceptable. But it's still a social construct and it varies from time to time and from place to place.

      And it's still just a cop-out for what's really going on.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:05:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    The mythological devil is an easy scapegoat for what too many people do not want to think about... and that is the complexities of the society that we human beings have created. There are no simple answers; the only immediate band-aid is an assault weapons ban, but that is just the start of the many things that need to be done.

    I certainly don't have all the answers, but the first time I heard someone on the teevee machine say "evil" the other day, I knew that was a cop-out.

    curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

    by asterkitty on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:02:33 PM PST

  •  It just dawned on me why they are (5+ / 0-)

    attributing this to "evil" in such a reductionistic fashion. We have been talking all around it in this diary and on this site.
    Right wingers are obsessed with "personal responsibility" and reject communal solutions for societal problems. It seems obvious to us here that as a society we would study what causes these things to happen and find ways to prevent them, as we do with unwanted pregnancy, hunger, and disease.

    However, if you view the world through a lens that prioritizes individual self-sufficiency and self-discipline with a heavy dose of supernatural moral judgment, you simply write off a violent offender as "evil," one who allowed his base impulses to rule him. It is tragic for those who lost loved ones, but the way forward is to pray more and make sure the evil one is killed in a way that sets an example for others who may be similarly tempted.

    Lakoff in "Moral Politics" expounds on this difference and it just kind of clicked in that this is in effect in the present discussion.

    Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

    by emidesu on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:07:05 PM PST

  •  It was his actions that were evil not and not him. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril
  •  normalizing the carnage (3+ / 0-)

    by calling it "evil" because everyone knows that evil exists and we can't stop it.  Since we can't stamp out evil, we absolve ourselves of responsibility and excuse legislators for taking blood money from the NRA to do nothing.  

    What happened on Friday wasn't caused by evil.  It was caused by a troubled young man who got his mother's guns.  He was able to use an assault rifle to murder 26 people at an elementary school because his mother had purchased that gun legally.  She was able to purchase the gun because the NRA paid legislators blood money in the form of campaign donations to ensure that the freedom to own an assault rifle and teach her son to shoot it,  outweighed the freedom of 5 to 10 year olds, their teachers and principal to attend school and not be shot in cold blood.

     

    If I had my way, I would repeal the 2nd Amendment. Since I can't have my way, I support a ban on all assault weapons. Now!

    by Tchrldy on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:13:10 PM PST

  •  Don't Forget Sociopaths like Sandusky (6+ / 0-)

    Who commit crimes enabled specifically by their "strong bonds" to the community -- volunteering, coaching, setting up foundations, taking in troubled kids, being everywhere where vulnerable children are.

    That's one of the details of that case that is most disturbing: the most "caring" and "community-oriented" person is the worst predator of all.

    Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

    by Fatherflot on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:21:32 PM PST

  •  Yup. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    I think the exact same thing whenever I hear that word.  I couldn't agree with you more.  Great diary.

    "The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."--Justice Louis Brandeis

    by Spiffydigs on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:34:36 PM PST

  •  Standard du jour (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    "Evil" is always the explanation given by nutters on the right, like Faux (O'Reilly and Hannity) and talk radio who refuse to think about one psychological reason why people do things.  It is also used as a convienent cop-out on any talk of gun control or restrictions by said nutters.  And their mostly religious audiences just lap it up.  It has nothing to do with access to assault weapons.  It has nothing to do with the mind and how damaged it may be of the assaulters.  It has nothing to do with society.  It's just evil and if only we would attend church, pray, or put the Ten Commandments in every public school and courthouse, then none of this would happen.

  •  Superb diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    The author has expressed what I have felt for days.

    My 22 year old daughter asked on her Facebook page,
    "How can anyone go on a rampage and kill strangers like it means nothing?"
    On her same Facebook page, she shows a picture of her fiance playing a video game called, "Halo 4".

    Going to Wikipedia, the game is described there as,
    "Halo 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox 360 video game console."

    I need to sit down and have a heart to heart with her.

    Enagaged activism wins elections. 100 million words on liberal/progressive websites gets beat by one new GOP voter casting their vote.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:00:02 PM PST

  •  I agree! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    We don't need any more of the "Oh well, that guy was just evil, or just nuts.....BUT IT'S NOT THE CULTURE, IT'S NOT THE GUNS NO NO NO NO!"

    I've already seen some of that crap on Facebook.  The gunners just want everyone to STFU!  And a good way to do that is to say the guy was evil, how do you stop evil?  These arguments are making me sick.

    People in our society just can't wake up and see what we are really like.  Way too much jingoism and identifying gun toting and a willingness to commit violence as "the American way".  We kick and scream when it comes to change.

    Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

    by get the red out on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:13:22 PM PST

  •  So basically, shy people are all murders. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana

    Good to know.

  •  Hirschi's model is incomplete & dated (1960s) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    and doesn't seem to give any real treatments & solutions for our mental health problems. Describing symptoms as if they are causes is not a valid treatment model.

    We are learning all the time now that neurobiology is as much a factor, or more, than environment.

    Until our culture stops blaming victims for causing problems that they can't control, we will keep making the same mistakes & experiencing the same tragedies.

    Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

    by CA wildwoman on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:31:58 PM PST

    •  There's been work done in Hirschi's theory since (0+ / 0-)

      and many criminologists find that it works well both to explain and to predict deviant behavior, especially among young men.

      I'm tired of people dismissing social theory for its origin date and assuming that anything more than ten years old can't possibly be relevant to today's society. In fact, I teach classes showing that that assumption is completely untrue.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:36:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And yes, neurobiology is indeed a factor (0+ / 0-)

      but it's also one of the things that often prevents social bonds from forming, and breaks them if they exist. Ask anyone whose parent had uncontrolled bipolar disorder how long they managed to stay close with that parent before they had to cut ties, for example.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:38:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of the best diaries on this matter (3+ / 0-)

    so far: it's definitely a multipart problem, and I respect how you've approached it as such. Each piece is just that: a piece of a greater solution.

    And yes, the "evil" comments are ridiculous.

    And I've been making similar statements about our society being broken, with people overly isolated from one another, afraid to speak out.

    I've also decided that we need to think about what happened with defunding mental facilities under Reagan, and how we are now relying on medication as a band-aide for some pretty hefty mental illnesses where people would probably benefit from comprehensive care rather than this "see your doctor every six weeks" crap we have going on.

    That will require money. It will also require more community will to note who needs help and intervention. Families can easily stop seeing the depths of their own internal problems and lose a sense of proportion about these.

    We need everything you've said, in short.

    And we need to also demilitarize the police too. That's probably setting a terrible cultural example of "normal" which then gets warped in the minds of the mentally unstable.

    Comprehensive solutions for comprehensive problems get my tips and recs.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:33:31 PM PST

    •  Mental health services are increasingly prison (0+ / 0-)

      overflow services. They are almost an adjunct of police departments. These services are cheaper than keeping people in prison. Most of the people they work with are homeless or marginally housed, unemployed or marginally employed, uninsured medically or on Medicaid.

  •  Killer of Sacred Cows, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana

    first, I meant to thank you for a great and thought-provoking diary!

    On reflection, I'm having a lot of trouble with Hirschi's ideas. He seems to have been very much a product of his time, one not yet exposed to the horrors of the Vietnam war or having seen the results of studies like Milgram's famous obedience experiments. I'm trying to maintain the differentiation in my mind between law abiding behavior and moral behavior since it is compliance he studied, but it seems to me that he doesn't take that difference into account. I have disregarded the norms of society by jaywalking and I might consider an act of civil disobedience under certain circumstances; I think disclosing those things on personality tests has gotten be barred from a few jobs! Does the fact that I place my own moral standards higher than the law make me a chronic scofflaw, a thief or murderer-in-waiting? Absolutely not.
    Maybe I'm saying too much for someone who hasn't read the studies in detail but I have the impression Hirschi had a certain kind of criminal in mind, likely with a certain skin tone and socioeconomic status. The kind that tends to be caught and harshly punished, while his peers stealing much larger amounts of money in polished office suites go scot-free.
    Finally, his assumptions about utility don't take into account the utility of social connections themselves. There's a weird atomized view of human decisions made in a vacuum, which doesn't reflect the reality we know and have observed across cultures and even species, but which is evident in behavioral scientists' work from the beginning to the middle of the last century. Investigators of that period were prone to a hyper-reductionism and pseudo-objectivity along with the view of human separateness. The final irony, I guess, is that he found social connections reduced the likelihood of crime, a result I would attribute more to the support of those connections (and the fact that a chronic breaker of social connections would likely have more emotional problems) than to conformity (what the heck is that anyway?! :-))
    Sorry, that was almost its own diary, but I have serious problems with authoritarians and people who value conformity for its own sake. And, finally- we should always remember who makes the laws- old, white, rich men.

    Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

    by emidesu on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:37:58 PM PST

  •  It's a culture! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    Yes I have been that for years on this blog.  This is a reflection of the worse in a culture of domination.  Violence has been normalized, rationalized and given a lethal outlet through guns.  Change the culture and not only will this sort of problem disappear but you will find that we can have intelligent debate on things that matter such as health care, education.  Change the culture and all a sudden foreign policy will change from pursuing our self interest to international cooperation.  Change the culture throughout the world and we will have peace.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:56:18 PM PST

  •  Solidier's Sanctuary are promoting this "evil" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    blame.  Unfortunately religious people unwilling to use common sense listen to these gun promoter's disguised as god's helper.
    http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/...

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