Do Emphatic Listeners Prevent Crime?

I was reading an article posted by fellow blogger and author Mark Manson, who is also a psychologist and culturalist, titled “How Did We Miss the Point on School Shootings” ( In this article he discusses the real reason that murderers commit crimes; he believes that all people want to feel important and feel a sense of purpose living on this planet ( However, too often these to- be criminals are marginalized and ostracized by society as outcasts, and thus they feel left out. By committing crimes, they will feel important and famous because they and their crimes will be in the headlines forever, as Mark says in his article, the crimes will be “a household name” ( He mentions the Columbine High School Shootings as an example of this phenomena. He then came up with a solution. If we listened to the to- be criminals and let them vent, somehow these mass killings would stop.

In an ideal world, that claim may be true, but would having open ears and listening to these killers prevent their act? Think about it. Would listening to Dylan Klebold, Elliott Rodgers, among others share their hate, by letting them vent be a feasible solution? Would the criminals even vent? I don’t think so. First, psychopaths have two different personalities. Meaning that they learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to feel them ( For example, Elliott Rodgers seemed calm and not a threat to society when interviewed by police. That is why the police let him go him. Because criminals of this kind are so good a mimicking good emotions (by staying calm and civilized) in front of others they most likely wouldn’t vent to other people. They would, however, keep a private journal of their hatred of society. Second, if they did vent to other people, would the other people listen or would they prejudge after hearing disturbing things said by the criminal to- be and call the police?


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