Mental Illness: The Real Issue In The Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre


I recently visited the bucolic town of Newtown CT, site of one of the worst massacres and tragedies in U.S. history.  As I exited I-84, I couldn’t help but feel grief and sadness at the thought of what occurred here one year and four months ago.  Newtown is absolutely and unquestionably, one of the most beautiful towns one could ever hope to visit.  It’s not unlike the towns depicted in the pictures of Norman Rockwell; a peaceful, perfect place.  A slice of what America used to be.  It’s unfathomable that such a beautiful place could be the site of such tragedy.  How strange life is.  To anyone who is a parent, it’s impossible to comprehend what happened less than one mile from where I now drove.

But almost simultaneously, my sadness became anger as I thought of the perpetrator of this unimaginable evil.  While mental illness is a serious affliction, it no way can be an excuse for this atrocity.  One need not be in possession of a professional diagnosis to understand that Adam Lanza was sick and yes, “crazy” applies here.  In this new, politically correct world, where we try desperately to help those afflicted with demons and make excuses for any and all bad behavior, we must differentiate between those who are suffering from depression and other mental afflictions from those who are potentially dangerous psychopaths.  People like Adam Lanza should be locked away, not understood.  The innocent victims of these defective beings are far more important than the afflicted and must be treated as such.  Schizophrenia, bi-polar personalities, can not be fixed.  Yes there are drugs that help but they are not a cure.  Often when treated, these people will stop taking their medications because they feel “normal”.  Just as pedophiles are identified, so too should people suffering from these afflictions if there are any violent tendencies.  Furthermore, they should not be allowed to own or fire, arms of any kind.  That I would certainly support.  But guns are ultimately not the cause of this tragedy.  We need to place blame so immediately the weapon becomes the villain but Adam Lanza is the villain.  He could have killed just as many children and adults with two machetes.  And the reason this is an important distinction is that the only way to stop future occurrences is to predict such behavior and potential violence before it occurs.

Sandy Hook Elementary is being razed and a new school will rise on the same site although there will be a different driveway and entrance.  Town voters accepted a state grant of 49.3 million dollars to rebuild the school.  The site is heavily guarded and contractors at the site have all signed confidentiality agreements.  Only time will tell if this small community ever returns to normal.  Although things appear normal, there is a sense that the people of this small town have not yet healed and perhaps never will.  As I filled up my car at the Sandy Hook Mobil station, I couldn’t help but feel dread.  I can only imagine what the people who live there feel every day of their lives.

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