Scott Adams Offers Eyebrow- Raising Take on Troubled Young Men

'Dilbert' creator sees only 2 options available: 'murder your own son or watch him die'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2022 7:33 AM CDT

Scott Adams has had controversial takes on gun violence before, but his latest one, on the Highland Park mass shooting, is spurring backlash from those speaking on mental health illness and addiction. The 65-year-old creator of the Dilbert cartoon strip posted an eyebrow-raising series of tweets on Wednesday that discussed the "dangerous young man problem," comparing the Illinois shooting to fatal fentanyl overdoses, the latter of which took the life of his own 18-year-old stepson in 2018. In Adams' view, "tough love" and "government services" will do no good in either case, and society only offers two solutions for these issues: "You have to either murder your own son or watch him die and maybe kill others."

He added: "There are no other options," noting that anyone who thinks there are is "living in a delusion." Adams, who delved further into the topic on his podcast, also offered up his own possible remedy: "I think it would involve putting them all in one place so they could only hurt each other, not necessarily in jail, just away from society." Some commiserated with Adams, relaying their own painful experiences, per the Los Angeles Times. "I faced this situation with a foster son. Nothing we tried helped him," one commenter wrote in reply, noting his foster son eventually died by suicide.

Many others, however, slammed Adams for his fatalistic take that some compared to Lord of the Flies or eugenics, per Newsweek. "Surely you aren't actually advocating for the execution of troubled young men," one appalled critic posted. "The entire field of psychiatric professionals would like to have a word with you," another wrote. "I really hope nobody reads this, trusting you as a source and kills their child believing there is no hope." One name in particular stood out from the crowd in his pushback on Adams. "These are not the only two options," filmmaker James Gunn tweeted, adding that he himself had been "a violent teenager addicted to drugs" who, with the help and support of family, was able to recover. (Read more Scott Adams stories.)

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