Monthly Archives: February 2011

Psychopaths and Loners

Wow, I haven’t written for a month and a half. Back then I was writing Jared Loughner’s shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others.

Most people have characterized Loughner as a psychopathic loner and I think they’re absolutely correct. I’m going to pose this question: Are people like him loners because they’re psychopaths, or psychopaths because they’re loners? Which comes first?

I want to explore the latter possibility, that being a loner could cause some (by no means all, certainly) people to become psychopathic. Perhaps a person doesn’t have good social skills or good social connections, and this would cause them to have a less-than-average number of good experiences with people and a greater-than-average number of bad experiences with people. Possibly enough bad experiences might trigger something latent in the right person to turn them into another Jared Loughner.

If this could be the case, how does this reflect on the way that we have treated people? Have we ever treated them in a below-average way? Do we have a small part in turning people into psychopaths?

This is somewhat speculative, yes, but definitely food for thought.