Sunday, December 30, 2012
Darkness in the Morning in Newtown, Connecticut
Sunday, December 30th, 2012
My Dear America:
It was a typical Friday morning in Newtown, Connecticut just a little over two weeks ago. The Children and their Teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School were preparing for the last school day before the weekend. The Teachers were looking forward to Christmas shopping and spending time with their families and friends. The kids were looking forward to Christmas visits from Santa Claus in the near future and a weekend playing video and other games with their friends and relatives. There were smiles on the faces of the kids, as well as the Teachers and other Professionals working at the school as the day began. A little after 9:30 AM no one was worried about very much in this pleasant school in this prosperous area of Connecticut. It was just another day in Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Now, at the end of 2013 as we stand on the edge of the Fiscal Cliff, we know that on that seemingly pleasant Friday in Newtown just a short time ago that another young "Troubled Loner," had another agenda in mind for the Children and Staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Adam Lanza, a bright young local Autistic man with access to his mother's guns had apparently found out that his mother was planning to have him hospitalized for Mental Health Concerns.
We now know, after the fact, that those Mental Health Concerns that Adam's mother, Nancy Lanza, had were quite justified. After killing his mother, Adam and his guns headed for Sandy Hook Elementary School. Why did he go there to continue to take out his rage on other people and finally on himself? We may never really know what was the reason that Adam wanted to put himself in the history books as the man who killed the most very young children in the history of school violence.
Since Nancy Lanza had volunteered at the school and was friendly with the principal and school psychologist (who turned out to be two of Adam's murder victims) it is possible that Adam was jealous of his mother's caring for the children in the school, as well as the friends she had there. We will never know for sure why Adam did what he did on that dark and disturbing Friday morning. All we really know for sure is that he did it.
We suspect that although he certainly killed a lot of beautiful children, as well as school staff and himself, that he intended to kill many more before he was stopped by the arrival of First Responders. First Responders indicate that they heard the shot that they think was Adam's last shot when they entered the school. After that no shots were fired and Adam was dead.
Certainly when a tragedy of epic proportion like this one happens it is hard to have sympathy for the lunatic who orchestrated it and carried it out. What did this young man have against the youngsters who were just going to school like it was a normal day before either their lives were taken or their sense of safety was taken?
Certainly there is no excuse for Adam Lanza's actions but there is also no excuse for the inaction on the part of State and Federal Legislatures and Leaders who continue to express their "regrets" following incidents like Newtown but fail to follow through with legislation to try to control and even possibly eliminate the prospect of unnecessary individual and mass shootings.
In Adam Lanza's case it will be argued that his weapons had been obtained legally. It is hard to understand why Nancy Lanza, who apparently recognized that her son was unstable, lived in a house with him and with several extremely dangerous and destructive firearms on the premises.
Unfortunately we are never going to be able to totally eliminate gun violence without eliminating rights guaranteed to Americans by the Second Amendment. We can, however, re institute the Assault Weapons Ban and eliminate the Gun Show Loophole in the area of Background Checks for individuals purchasing weapons.
We can and also should start using what little Government Funded Mental Health Services wisely.
We need to recognize also that in the case of nearly every school and other mass murder scenario that the shooters involved were almost always people who were fans of X Box, Playstation and other Electronic Video Killing Games.
Clearly there are no easy answers as to how to prevent gun violence in the Land of the Free. If we want to be safe and secure in the United States of America, however, it is certainly time to attempt to find a solution to how we can keep our country, not only free, but also safe, as well.
President Obama has given Vice President, Joe Biden, the task of coming up with realistic recommendations quickly through a hastily formed task force of Law Enforcement and Mental Health Professionals, as well as others who have something positive to say regarding how to curb gun violence.
We can, should and do wish the Vice President good luck in his endeavors to search for solutions to this incredibly complex and important problem.