Whether you call it “evil”, “mental-illness”, “psychotic behavior”, “Godlessness”, “Satanic-possession”, or whatever, it’s pretty clear “it” exists. It also seems clear “it” comes from a lack of moral bearing. My guess is that if you looked at societies that had some kind of religious belief system as part of their culture, you would find less of this nonsense. But then the “religious” angle includes Extreme Islamic societies, which we know has bred Terrorism lately. So the morals provided by religion need to come from religions that are a little more tolerant than Extreme Islam (understatement). It can’t be “You follow MY religion or it’s OK for me or my God to condemn and kill you.” That’s pretty much an amoral promotion of hate, and an excuse for hate crimes . . . the very thing we’re trying to prevent.
So “morals” for sure, and religion . . . well, it has to be a belief system that decries hate, in all its forms.
But to convert a society to have a moral compass, which a good many in the US have lost, is not something that’s going to happen overnight or something that’s going to happen through legislation. You can’t make it a law to believe a certain way . . . that’s what the Extreme Islamic states (Saudi Arabia?) have done and just look at the results if you think that’s the solution.
People have to be convinced that the moral/religious path is something that they voluntarily trust and want because it’s good for them and others. That’s a Herculean task, even moreso considering the materialism, instant gratification, and the other trends in the US these days.
Another Herculean problem we have on this, which 2cent mentioned and is pretty much a reiteration of what Volk said, is identifying the “deranged”. Never mind who’s going to do the identifying (which is a whole 'nother issue), but even before THAT you’re going to have to figure out HOW to identify them.
Not all “deranged” people present those symptoms perpetually. Certainly there are some where the symptoms are obvious and on display all the time. Those are the ones where we may say they should be in the looney bin. But, there are plenty that have lucid moments frequently, enough to make the judgment that they are looney on a slippery slope. To use Cuckoos Nest as an example, Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) was kind and pleasant (“normal”?) with Billy, the kid that stuttered and eventually committed suicide because Nurse Ratchit herself was “deranged”.
My wife, God Bless’r, is another good example. She has advanced Alzheimer’s, but if you met her on the street, she’s very pleasant, sociable, sweet, and kind. You’d think, “Hey, here’s a nice lady, certainly NOT somebody that should be in a looney bin.” But she has fits of rage and violence and sooner or later I’m going to have to have her committed, but not right now. At the moment she’s only a danger to herself and I can control her. But the minute she becomes a danger to others or I can no longer control her, I’m going to have to make a hard decision.
Bottom line, it’s sometimes hard to even identify evil until it pops it’s ugly head. And it’s going to take a long time to get this US society back to a moral one. Quick fixes, like gun-control legislation, ain’t gonna’ do it.