As you are certainly aware, Adam Lanza is the disturbed young man responsible for the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newton, Conn. A former babysitter claims that Lanza’s mother was aware of her son’s inclinations, and that she told the babysitter “to keep an eye on him at all times … to never turn my back, or even to go to the bathroom or anything like that.” Which makes a lot of us question whether, if she knew that her son was this disturbed, should she have taken more action? Should she have locked him up, or had him institutionalized? What was her duty as a parent, and as a member of society?
If you have not yet read it, there is a wonderful piece on The Blue Collar review entitled “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother”. She is not, of course, Adam Lanza’s mother, because Adam Lanza’s mother was shot by him before he went on to kill 26 other people. However, she is a woman dealing with a son she feels has similar issues. She begins by discussing a recent dispute with him which ran:
“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises. “They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.” “They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
Here is the thing. I think if you replaced the pants with a strapless Lily Pulitzer dress, a “stupid bitch” with “insufferable cow” and the thing about America with threats to move to France, you would have had me at 13. The entire thing would have been topped off by some sobbing in my closet. And while I am still sometimes temperamental, I’m a fairly functioning adult. I have a job. I have long lasting friendships and relationships. I like to think my parents are proud of me. My mother and I can laugh about ways I was rotten as a pre-teen, now. And, most importantly, I have never shot anyone. However, one commenter on Gawker, where the piece was reposted remarks:
If you have a child that you know is capable of committing mass murder you have a responsibility to contain them by whatever means are necessary. Your child assaults you? Press charges. Medicate them. Even if it turns them into a zombie. Have them committed to a mental institution. Even if it’s a shitty one. Can’t get them into one? Lock them in their bedroom. Surrender them to the state. They threaten to kill themselves? Let them. Because one day they will kill you. And your other children. And perfect strangers. Just because all the choices are shitty it doesn’t mean that you don’t have choices. Pick one. Do something because they are your responsibility. And for fuck sake, don’t own firearms.
First of all, no, you don’t “let anyone kill themselves.” This comment was seemingly written by someone who has never had a family member with any issues, or perhaps, had a family member, period.