The New York Daily News interviewed a number of neighbors of Adam Lanza and his mother Nancy, who he gunned down before going on a murderous rampage that took the lives of 20 children and 6 other adults. He was described as a deeply disturbed young man, a ticking time bomb.
Mass murderer Adam Lanza, 20, was a ticking time bomb, people who knew him told the Daily News.
“This was a deeply disturbed kid,” a family insider told the Daily News. “He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts from what I recall.”
Lanza, who friends and officials said suffered from Asperger’s syndrome or a personality disorder, had a tortured mind.
He was socially awkward and at times unstable, but also extraordinarily bright. [...]
“Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were 5 years old,” a neighbor and former classmate named Tim Dalton wrote on Twitter. “As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised . . . Burn in hell, Adam.”
He was also seen as an odd figure at Newtown High School. (Read More)
The article goes on to describe how Nancy Lanza had to take leave from work* to look after Adam because of his mental problems. Ann Althouse thinks that maybe instead of talking about more gun control (apparently the guns used by Adam belonged to his mother) we should be talking about how we handle the mentally ill in society.
But why isn’t there more talk about institutionalizing the mentally ill? Adam Lanza’s mother needed to be home with him? What 20-year-old needs pervasive supervision from his mother? I suspect the mother, who is now dead, had very serious problems of her own. I can’t understand her keeping those 3 weapons — pictured at the link — in the home along with a 20-year-old man who — in her view — required her stay-at-home motherhood.
We’re so sympathetic to children, and now we’re distracted by our sympathy for the dead children, but what about all the deeply troubled young people? Why are we so sympathetic to them up until the point where they act? Or… I mean… why does our sympathy toward the mentally ill take the form of regarding them as socially awkward and weird and leaving them alone?
The Other McCain also had some thoughts on the matter.
Our culture has lost all sense of perspective, of reasonable balance, so that we are unable to make common-sense judgments about risks. Which is the greater danger: That a schizophrenic might have his feelings hurt, or that a schizophrenic might go off his meds and kill people?
Common sense is quite nearly illegal nowadays and it’s certainly unfashionable in the Obama Age. So the usual liberal dingbats — including the ACLU types who assured us it was “a fearless, independent life style” for a crazy woman to defecate in public on the streets of Manahattan — are telling us we need more gun control.
And I say, no, what we need is more kook control. But no member of Congress in either party would have the guts to introduce “The Dangerous Lunatic Incarceration Act of 2013,” which would put wackjobs like Adam Lanza some place where they couldn’t kill people.
And no, more gun free zones won’t solve the problem as they are magnets for these lunatics.
Gun-free zones are premised on a lie: that murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers. That’s an insult to honest people. Sometimes, it’s a deadly one. The notion that more guns mean more crime is wrong. In fact, as gun ownership has expanded over the past decade, crime has gone down.
Fortunately, the efforts to punish “the people who didn’t do it” are getting less traction these days. The Supreme Court, of course, has recognized that under the Constitution, honest people have a right to defend themselves with firearms, inside and outside the home, something that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently acknowledged in striking down Illinois’ gun-carry ban. Given that gun-free zones seem to be a magnet for mass shooters, maybe we should be working to shrink or eliminate them, rather than expand them. As they say, if it saves just one life, it’s worth it.
So, what do we do about this? How do we keep our children safe from these psychopaths? I was thinking a lot about that yesterday, and I’m in agreement with John Hinderaker – why not arm and train teachers and school administrators to use and carry weapons?
Within the realm of constitutional options, the most practical remedy I can think of would be to require that a certain number of teachers or administrators in each school be trained in the use of firearms and armed at all times. That would probably deter most school shooters. It is curious, but true, that even those killers who do not intend to survive their crimes never seem to open fire in the presence of another armed person. No one tries to shoot up a biker bar.
If we’re going to leave these sociopaths loose in society, the last thing we should do is continue to leave ourselves and our children vulnerable. But that’s what quite a few people want to do, and expect to hear more calls for disarming honest, law abiding citizens in the coming days.
*As a side note, the New York Daily News article cited above also has information on Lanza’s father. Reports from the media yesterday were grossly inaccurate. He doesn’t live in New Jersey and he was not injured or killed. He is remarried and lives in Connecticut. Also, I have seen other accounts indicating that Nancy Lanza was a stay at home mother and did not work at the school.
Update: More from The Other McCain who linked in a new post.