Officials missing the point on Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre
by Robert Randle
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This is another dark day in America and probably one of the worst since 911 because among the bodies riddled with metal bullet fragments were those of 20 elementary school kids, ages ranging from five to ten years old that lay among the dead; including six adults. This was a gruesome scene that probably experienced first responders like EMT, fire, police or hardened combat war veterans would have been traumatized by what they came upon. In President Obama’s speech to the nation as well as in person to the victims’ families and loved ones in Newtown, CT it didn’t take long for this tragedy to turn political. There are protests against the NRA; legislation is being considered in Congress to reintroduce the law banning assault weapons or the “Brady Bill” sponsored by Senator Diane Feinstein of CA that just expired. Never to miss an opportunity to push forward some agenda was House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator harry Reid of NV, who has spoken about tightening gun control laws.
The thing that seems to escape notice is that the school was the ‘secondary’ crime scene and Adam Lanza’s descent into madness started when he murdered his mother at their home (the ‘primary’ crime scene) while she was apparently sleeping. Actually, it is unfair and there is no credible reason to blame Adam’s egregious and deadly outburst on mental illness or Asperger's, which is a neurological disorder, nor is it a gun control or school safety issue. People suffering from some sort of mental disease or incapacity shouldn’t now suddenly become suspect as being a violent serial killer or capable of any such aggressive anti-social behavior that poses as a grave threat to others. It would be interesting to know about the home environment where a mom, who was an alleged gun enthusiast and single parent, had that kind of serious firepower, especially in a small, close-knit, middle class, community (“Whitetopia”) of 27,000 who basically all knew one another.
These guns are not for sport but are serious weapons that are meant for maximum killing power, so why did she have them in her possession? Also, what was the relationship between Adam and his mom or older brother, as well as his absent father? This profile seems to be a radical departure from other shooting sprees of this type because the perpetrator didn’t start his murderous rampage at some external place like a movie theatre, shopping mall, or school campus where he attended, or even at the workplace, but rather in this case it was internal, at the very place where he lived and was raised. What conditions persisted at home where a 20 year old man, living at home with his divorced mother would feel compelled to walk into her bedroom, or wherever she was sleeping, point a gun at her a pull the trigger?
What caused Adam to snap on that day and where does the elementary school within walking distance come to be an object of his rage? When Adam smashed his computer was it because there was information contained in digital files, email, or other internet postings that would give some clue as to the reason he chose to do what he did or was it just a random and spontaneous outburst? Since Adam attended Sandy Hook Elementary was he acquainted with any of the staff and faculty that he murdered? Was the room that he entered and killed all those children previously his classroom at that age? There is a connection and perhaps Adam’s experience during his early formative years was not very pleasant and he harbored some painful childhood memories that he planned to avenge at the appropriate time in a premeditated murderous outburst, so is the date that this shooting happened important in some way also?
One thing for sure, we may never know the reason why someone will commit such a horrible and inexplicable act that brings such inconsolable grief to countless families; and there are so many victims, even those residing outside Newtown, CT because in some way this tragedy is our own. It is an indictment of a society and a nation that has as a pastime the glorification and celebration of violence in one form or another. It is about our values and willingness to step up to the plate and admit culpability in perpetuating violence as a means to resolve differences. It isn’t about politics, religion, race, ethnicity, education, social status, gender or any other distinguishing characteristic, but rather it is about character and who we choose to be as a people and how we treat one another. We use very lofty sounding words but fall short when it comes to putting it all into concrete action.
Americans value freedom and independence more than any nation on earth but at the same time we blame each other and point fingers of blame when terrible incidents like this happens. It is time to be accountable and accept responsibility for this and all other mass shootings because in some small way or another, we are all culpable to some degree.
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
December 18, 2012
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