NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT, USA 12/14/12
Newtown, Connecticut is an upscale town about 1 ½ hours north of New York City. Living in the town adjacent, the massacre at the Sandy Hook school was a particularly painful experience for me. On that day, a young 20 year old man named Adam Lanza, shot his way into that elementary school and proceeded to murder 20 children and 6 adult staff members. He had already taken his mother’s life.
The news of this horror spread far and wide; President Obama attended a memorial there and people around the world spoke of little else. The specifics of this occurrence were told and retold until one felt like screaming. “Enough! Enough blood and gore, enough speculation as to the conditions of those families, enough rating of how the first responders were traumatized…” Of course, it could be, would be ‘never enough.’ Coming up on 2 years later, I can recall all the details, and feel the foreboding as if in a migraine aura.
A long book needs to be written to do justice to the many factors inherent in that event. I would like to humbly focus a bit of prose on the young man, Adam. Not a psychologist nor a behaviorist, I do have thoughts on the vastly complex tale that may have been Adam’s;
Adam was bullied as an outcast in school and in his neighbourhood, was brought to the attention of a counsellor due to his symptomatic behaviours, yet did not receive further therapy. He spent most of his time in a basement which he had blackened with heavy curtains, incessantly played violent video games, lived with his mother only as a product of divorce and was taught and allowed to handle a variety of assault weapons. He did not attend school or have a job, was awkward, gangly and unattractive and may have struggled with Asperger Syndrome, a mild autistic condition.
People speculate as to which of the above caused Adam to break, shatter and react. Any combination of those facts certainly seems to be a viable answer. I, however, cannot help but to look at ‘each’ as a piece of a huge, ugly puzzle. I believe it would be ignorant to negate even a single factor in the totality of this nightmare.
We are complicated creatures and we must address that. Adam acted in a horrific, sickly, and violent way. He had no right, no excuse to take the lives of others. Ending with a suicidal gun shot, Adam did seem to be screaming out the profound angst that is the case for some young people. He did seem to be calling us to attend to our children when they ache.
“It’s harder to heal than it is to kill.”
― Tamora Pierce