by Tom Buglio
A friend let me borrow Newtown: An American Tragedy by Matthew Lysiak, and I read through it in two days.
As difficult as it is to relive the horror of that day, reading about the victims, and about Adam Lanza and his mother, was fascinating, and enlightening.
Adam Lanza was a mentally disturbed young man with multiple problems. As much as and had Asperger’s syndrome, which made him very uncommunicative, as well as something called socio-affective disorder, which is extreme discomfort at normal noise and touch. He was also highly intelligent… think Rain Man.
After many years of championing his cause, and pushing school districts to provide the special needs he required, she essentially gave up on him, and let him spend his last years in his darkened room, with covered windows, spending countless hours online studying and cataloging the worst mass shootings in history, in addition to playing violent video games.
Nancy decided that she would live her life, and not revolve everything around her problem child any longer. The problem was, she bought him guns, and on the shooting range was one of the few places they connected. The toxic mix of autism, high degree of intelligence, fixation on mass killings, violent video games, neglect in his final years and his own cache of guns resulted in the horror that was inflicted on the heroic teachers and angels at Sandy Hook.
A blog was written by a mother who also had a troubled son, entitled ‘I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,’ where she described violent outbursts of her own mentally imbalanced son. If anyone has ever gone to bed and locked the door out of fear of their own child, they can have some empathy for Nancy Lanza and the blog writer.
When the other side says that you have to ‘fix’ the mental health problem, and deal with violent video games, I think they are right… even if some are just trying to dodge all of the other things we need to do as well.
Tom Buglio is the head of the Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence