SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 8, 2013

Letter: Stop sugarcoating bad behavior

To the editor:

Regarding Brian Watson’s article on Jan. 22 (“Focus on mental health needed”), read the book “Savage Spawn: Reflections on violent children,” by Jonathan Kellerman. He trained as a child clinical psychologist.

The men committing these crimes — shooting schools, etc. — are psychopaths.

“Ethically and morally, kids are works in progress,” Kellerman writes. “Throw in psychopathy and you get a soul that will never be complete.”

They feign mental illness. They possess an overriding need for power, control and stimulation and all display a complete lack of regard for the humanity of others.

In California’s state hospital for the criminally insane, Kellerman learned the number of psychopaths trying to fake insanity has mushroomed, because the bad guys are running scared of the state’s three strikes and you’re out laws.

If extremes of bad behavior are not quelled very early (at the ages of 2 or 3 up) in children they are extremely difficult to reverse.

We have got to stop sugarcoating them.

Karen Wiggin

Danvers

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