Category: psychopathy

Psychopaths and gun violence

By Alan Bean

Fifteen years ago, David Kennedy decided to do something about street violence in Boston.  The first step was to discern who was doing most of the shooting and why.  “When it came to any particular shooting,” he says in his new book Don’t Shoot, “it was practically obligatory to tack on ‘senseless,’ ‘inexplicable,’ ‘irrational.'”  But when Kennedy analyzed the data he discovered that the most of the gun violence could be traced to “a small number of very exceptional kids whose names we know doing things we understand pretty damned clearly.”

Gun violence isn’t spread evenly across communities, it’s concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods.  In Boston, the mayhem was largely relegated to “sixty-one crews (gangs), with between 1,100 and 1,300 members” living in six sections of the city.  The problem is driven by “3 percent of the right age group in those neighborhoods, 1 percent of the right age group citywide,” Kennedy writes.  “All the gang turf put together was less than 4 percent of the city; it generated nearly a quarter of Boston’s serious crime.” (more…)