Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Country Turns A Blind Eye Toward Mental Health Issues

The Connecticut State’s Attorney’s office has released its report on the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.   Twenty year old Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and six staff members before turning the gun on himself.
The report paints a very disturbing picture of a troubled youth who exhibited all the signs of a walking time bomb.
Adam Lanza had a deep fascination with video games, guns and mass shootings.  Lanza spent most of his days locked in his room playing violent video games including one titled: “School Shootings.”  Lanza was obsessed with mass shootings.  Investigators found a spread sheet documenting a chronology of mass shootings over the years.  Lanza seemed particularly fascinated with the Columbine shooting of 1999. 
Lanza’s room itself was off limits to visitors; the windows draped in black plastic bags.  He communicated with his mother via email.
The home was a veritable armory.  Photos in the report show a vast array of firearms and ammunition.  Lanza was carrying over 30 pounds of munitions when he entered the school.  He still had over 250 live rounds on him when he took his own life.
Adam Lanza was clearly a very disturbed young man with an obsession for violence.  Yet his mother catered to his violent peccadilloes.  She encouraged his use of firearms, took him target shooting and wrote him a check just days before he went on his shooting spree, so that he could buy himself a coveted pistol for Christmas.
On December 14 we will mark the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, one of the most horrific and gut wrenching shootings in our history.  Twenty young children’s bodies ripped apart by a mentally disturbed young man who did everything but shout from the roof tops that this terrible day was coming.
It is a condemnation on our society that a year has passed and we have done nothing to prevent this terrible tragedy from reoccurring.  We continue to turn a blind eye to the mental health issues that plague this country because we are paralyzed by the constitutional freedoms that we hold so dear.  Imagine the uproar if the authorities would have questioned Lanza’s mother about allowing her clearly disturbed young son unfettered access to those guns.  Imagine the uproar if a retailer had refused to sell the shooter that much coveted Christmas present.
We cannot imagine the grief and suffering that will envelop the Newtown, Connecticut community a few days from now.  There is little we can do to soothe their anguish because there is nothing we can do to bring back the innocent.  What we can do is take steps to make sure this never happens again.
It is time to address the mental health issues in this country.  It is time to properly fund our mental health institutions, educate the public and amend our laws so that tragedies like Sandy Hook never happen again.     

No comments:

Post a Comment