I struggled with something useful or meaningful to say in the wake of the Newtown massacre and had all but decided not to write anything at all. What changed my mind was being deluged in the last few days by the words of people who have it all figured out. They know exactly what went wrong and what needs to be done to prevent it in the future.
I don’t understand how they’re so certain, but they are. One thing is clear after reading this morning’s Wall Street Journal – Adam Lanza did not fall through the cracks:
Not long into his freshman year, Adam Lanza caught the attention of Newtown High School staff members, who assigned him a high-school psychologist, while teachers, counselors and security officers helped monitor the skinny, socially awkward teen, according to a former school official.
Their fear wasn’t that he was dangerous. “It was completely the opposite,” said Richard J. Novia, the director of security at Newtown School District at the time in 2007. “At that point in his life, he posed no threat to anyone else. We were worried about him being the victim or that he could hurt himself.”
School officials did their jobs. Thankfully, we don’t live in a country where we lock people up for being quiet loners, so it’s hard to see what else could have been done on the mental health front.
The gun control debate of the last few days doesn’t inspire me with confidence either. By all accounts, Nancy Lanza was a responsible gun owner – just the kind the NRA touts. Yet her son killed her with her own weapons and then murdered 20 children and six adults. The status quo makes mass killing too efficient. Still, it wouldn’t make me feel better if Lanza had instead used a six-shot revolver, or a bomb, or flew an airplane into the school.
I hope there is a proactive rational approach to protect us from violent irrational acts, but I don’t feel as confident as some others do. That’s all I wanted to say.