Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ample Make This Bed: The Newtown Tragedy

The jackals and hyenas have been circling tiny Newtown, Connecticut since the first moment the world came to know that something horrible was going down.

It can be argued that some are there in Newtown to dig up the truth about Nancy and Adam Lanza.  It can also be argued that many more are there to champion tighter gun control.

All of this is going on as not one murdered first-grader has been laid to rest.

Friends and family portrayed Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy as a paranoid ‘survivalist’ who believed the world was on the verge of violent, economic collapse.

She is reported to have been struggling to hold herself together and had been stockpiling food, water and guns in the large home she shared with her 20-year-old son.

Mrs. Lanza, 52, was a ‘prepper’—so called “doomsday preppers” are preparing for a breakdown in civilized society—she apparently became obsessed with guns and taught Adam and his older brother, Ryan, how to shoot, even taking them to local ranges.  She had an imposing firearm collection.

Each firearm was legally purchased and owned by Mrs. Lanza.  But it is the fact that she had the weapons at all that is the subject for the firestorm swirling in our country tonight.

The mass shooter’s mother divorced her husband in 2008.  The reason for the split is not yet known, but rumors point to a heavy strain on the marriage because of her troubled son.  She recently took time off from her job in finance to spend more time with him.

Adam spent countless hours on his computer, much of that time devoted to playing violent games.

Police say that young Adam Lanza suffered from a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome.  They are careful to say that the disease on its own would not be responsible for the homicidal shooting spree on Friday morning.

That said, the experts note that if he had mental problems, these, combined with years of social isolation, inadequacy and the easy availability of an arsenal of firearms, could have been a recipe for disaster.

The Daily Mail, not unlike other news outlets, is playing on a statistic that shows that there are 300 million firearms in the United States.  Fifty percent of gun ownership worldwide is in the US.

These are the facts as we know them now, but that hasn’t stopped the hair-pulling and the gnashing of teeth by the anti-gun proponents on the Left who take the path of least resistance by seizing on new gun rules rather than admitting that “mainstreaming” the mentally ill has been and continues to be an abject and utter failure.

The anti-gun advocates think only about the senselessness of the act of killing.  They don't think about the individual. They think solely about how they can gain control of those of us who follow the rules. These unbalanced, disturbed shooters do not follow rules.  They have and will step outside the system to kill and will find a way to do it.

Ample make this bed, dear friends.  Ample make this bed.  There are many factors at play in this unthinkable tragedy.

As is our wont, no one would choose to return to the days when mental institutions, also known as lunatic asylums, were the bane of our society.

In the latter half of the 20th century, the invention of anti-psychotic drugs like Thorazine triggered a movement toward "deinstitutionalization".  So pervasive are the psychotropic medications’ availability, that by 2000 the asylums we built to house the criminally insane were either abandoned or downsized.  The horrors they housed remain to this day.

Putting aside the accounts of those asylums, we must not fall anymore deeply into the trap we have set for ourselves by refusing to “institutionalize” those who are obviously and incurably psychiatrically disordered.

I believe that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.  I believe that Nancy Lanza was inordinately terrified of that “violent, economic collapse” she was preparing for.  A fact which Adam, most assuredly, was all too aware.

Further, it seems that Mrs. Lanza may have been too proud or too stubborn to seek honest help for her sick son.  Her decisions were fatally flawed and now a nation must wrestle with what price we must pay for our freedom.

“We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.”
“In the coming weeks, I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine.”
Liza Long, the mother of a son whom social workers have diagnosed as being Oppositional Defiant and suffering from Intermittent Explosive Disorder, pleads to the nation:
“I agree that something must be done. It's time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That's the only way our nation can ever truly heal.”
“God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.”
Yes, Liza, God help us all.

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