I had an interesting discussion with a girlfriend of mine the other day. I made the statement I thought someone was evil. She disagreed and said she didn’t think people were evil, some just made bad choices, even appalling choices. But people weren’t evil.
Yeah, I think they are. I watched a show the other night that talked about Nellie May Madison. Born in 1895, Nellie was an interesting lady. Raised on a ranch in Montana she learned to shoot, ride and survive in the wild from a young age. She was also the first woman in California sentenced to death for the murder of her husband. Nellie’s first set of lawyers did her no favors, and she got a judge determined to make an example of her. Luckily for her, she had a lawyer as one of her ex-husbands and he persuaded her to get a different lawyer and appeal. When the legendary Aggie Underwood got involved her sentence was commuted and eventually she was paroled. So why did she kill her husband (other than some people just need killing)? She could have been one of the first #MeToo people as well as the first woman on death row. Her husband had a nasty tendency to marry women, then abuse them, pick up teenage hookers, force his wives to write letters that they had been unfaithful because back then that was a sure way to win in court and then beat them. When Nellie held a gun on him and told him to give the letter back, he pulled a box of knives out from under the bed, told her he’d cut her heart out and flung a couple of the knives at her. He missed. She didn’t. But he had seemed so charming when she met him. Snappy dresser, nice car and treated her well. Pretty much the same thing his first wife said. He was really nice, till he wasn’t.
There are a lot of documentaries and crime shows with the topic of people that seemed to be kind, compassionate wonderful people. And how shocked people were when the found out that John Wayne Gacy , Bob Berdella, Samuel Little and the very charming Ted Bundy killed people. Stories of how people had been taken in by someone that seemed wonderful only to lose family members to them, or to be hauled into the police station to see when they knew about the neighborhood rapes, murders, thefts, whatever. These people didn’t see the traits, if they saw them they didn’t recognize what they were and if the did see the signs and suspect they tamped down their uneasiness and stifled their fears. And sometimes they had fears of their own and were unable to do anything useful, such as calling police, due to those.
So, when I think of evil, I think of someone who takes pleasure in hurting others in some form or fashion. I think of someone who has no empathy for others, and only sees people as someone who will help them get what they want, or is preventing or standing in the way of them getting something they want. Which is part of what got me to thinking about psychopaths. There are differences between psychopaths and sociopaths.
And if you’re really curious, this video explains a lot.
It’s frightening to realize that even if you get away from a psychopath they can have had a very detrimental effect on your life, your bank account, your friendships, your job.
Again, victims usually do not understand what is occurring until it is too late. The psychopath may have already launched smear campaigns, taken unfounded legal action, and manipulated those the victim cares about, simply for sport. Once the victims begin sharing their stories with others, the people to whom they tell these stories, often cannot believe what they are hearing. It is common for others to be in disbelief, either because they perceive the victim as an unlikely candidate for targeting or abuse, or because the stories can seem so inherently unlikely that it may be difficult, at first, to believe they are true.
Because they are very convincing, and excellent at lying. The psychopath doesn’t really have a conscience, while the sociopath does, but it’s small and ineffective.
Why are the always usually successful? Because they are really, really good at picking their victims.
The sad thing is, most of us have traits that make us susceptible. Things like compassion, extroverted or introverted, sensitivity to the feelings of others, “go with the flow” attitude, competitive or sentimentality are all traits that can be exploited by someone with “antisocial personality disorder”, the comprehensive phrase for both psychopath and sociopath.
Several of the sites I did some reading on advise trusting your instincts, but sadly a lot can happen before the warning bell goes off it seems.
But what really got me to thinking about this, is a couple of the stories I’ve put up on social media for The Zelman Partisans recently about how the grabby giffords crew and the elitist Michael Bloomberg have been pushing the “red flag” laws, extreme order of protection in different states. They confiscate first and ask questions later. If you’re still alive after the confiscation. Maryland Red Flag Gun Confiscation Order Ends with Dead Gun Owner.
While some of those with “antisocial personality disorder” may not be violent, some obviously are. And now the criminal protection bunch have made it even easier. They don’t need to disarm the victims themselves, they just make a phone call and the law will do it for them.
You know, I believe I’m in favor of a law allowing civil lawsuits against the sponsor of such legislation when they result in a death. Like waiting periods cost Carol Browne her life because the restraining order only made her a target. So yes, I think we need legislation that when a civilian disarming law is passed, that those harmed by it are allowed to sue the sponsor and co-sponsor of such legislation. I realize it’s probably a pipe dream, but hey! If it saves just one life.