Senseless Murders: Reward Or Punishment

Arleah and I want to convey our condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the recent murders.  It’s our fervent hope that these families are surrounded by caring people who can help them with their grief.  

In terms of the killings, themselves, I was struck by how the blamers and hysterocrats had shifted their focus from gun control to mental health.  And the solution put forward, was to provide mental health services to killers, in the hope that this would solve the problem of random and horrific slaughters.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  People who intentionally and methodically kill others, are, of course, insane.  Thinking that psychotherapy and/or psychiatric interventions would “cure” this insanity, is fruitless, misdirected, and, in fact, dangerous to the culture, at large; for two reason.

One of the pillars of American culture is the belief that your actions and behaviors, should dictate the way that society views you and treats you.  What you think about, talk about, or write about should not determine your fate.  It ought to be, all about what you do and how it impacts others.  Given that, think about the absurdity of rewarding mass killers with therapy.  Picture this:  You’ve just murdered a family in cold blood, and we’re going to provide you with help.

What a strange consequence for the most evil of deeds.  This not only violates another key pillar of civilized society, it turns the connection between action and consequences, on its head.  You commit an absolutely heinous act, and we reward you with help.  What do you think is the message to all the crazy people out there?

The second fallacy in the mental health paradigm, is the myth sold to modern society, that there is a psychological treatment for every behavior.  Nothing is further from the truth.  Evil is not a treatable disease.  This is hard for people to come to terms with, because it’s scary to accept the fact that there are brutally evil, crazy people among us, and there is no way to completely control them.  One of my internships, in my psychotherapy training was at the Federal Department  of Probation and Parole.  I was assigned the task of doing some “counseling” with a number of very hardened criminals (interns always get the easy work).  One of my experiences, involved a counseling session with a young man, who was pleasant and almost cordial.  After a bit of finding out some information about his background, I asked him what he planned to do, after his release from prison.  He looked me right in eye, and in a calm tone of voice, said – “kill people.”  Gathering my composure about me, I asked him why.  He responded – “because I’m good at it, and it pays well.”  This was the first, of many, encounters with a true psychopathic killer, and an experience I will never forget.

So what do we do with evil, untreatable people?  We need to execute them as soon as they have exhausted their legal options.  Until we come to terms with this, I’m convinced that we will have no significant impact on senseless killings.

There is a principle I have urged people in the criminal justice system to adopt: 

“If you take a life; you lose yours.”

Morrie Shechtman

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