Everyone I know is very disturbed about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, wondering why or how someone could do such a thing. Anyone in their right mind wouldn’t dream of committing such a terrible act of violence. I read an article the day after that really brought to light something that might be at the root of this unspeakable evil. It is mental illness, in one form or another. I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother tells the story of a mother faced with what Adam Lanza’s real mother may have failed to deal with. Here is how Liza Long begins her story.
Three days before 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year-old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.
“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!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7- and 9-year-old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
It is a bit of a read but please read it. You have to feel anguish and sorrow for the mothers and fathers who are at their wits end as to how to deal with a situation such as this.
Admin Note: This is my brother’s first attempt at writing for Political Realities. He says he isn’t much of a writer, but the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary and the issue of mental illness that seems to be at the center of the events has him very disturbed. It is time America wakes up and realizes how serious and complex this problem really is. Unless we are willing to have a serious conversation and apply some critical thinking to the issue, it will never be solved.