A hidden problem
When I wrote about gun control in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, I was only thinking about part of the problem. Mine was a kind of knee-jerk liberal reaction to a tragedy. Today I’ve seen, and read “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother“, and I think that all of us should take a good long look at that, and realize how far we have to go before our problem of mass violence against innocents is solved (if it ever is).
Liza Long’s article made me realize how little I know about the anger I see in some of the boys at my school, that involves striking out at anyone, even those they love the most. Reading the comments shows how much torture it is for such mental illness sufferers as well as for their families. Reading CVK’s story of his own struggle makes it even more poignant, but what we do when so little is known about how best to help may well be a long time coming. Jail is surely not the answer, and we don’t yet know enough for other good solutions.
My sons and I were lucky. We did not suffer any of the problems described. I have to wonder if the problem has always been there for some individuals in some families and it was just hushed up, or if there really is an increase in those affected. How much does prior head injury have to do with the subsequent rages. Ms. Long does not mention any head injury to her son, but several of the commenters do.
Obviously, there is much more for us as a society to learn and act upon. What help, if any, was available to Adam Lanza’s mother? Did Adam at some point suffer a head injury? His dad’s role? We may never know, and it shouldn’t matter except to those also affected or doing the needed research. It’s easy to link the possibilities to the PTSD and TBI suffered by so many of our soldiers and to speculate about similar effects in some children. What can we do when so much of our affordable health insurance does not cover mental issues, either for children or adults? Does Obamacare cover it? The vets sure have a hard time getting help as well.
I still think automatic, military style arms should only be allowed to the military and used for military purposes if necessary. I do not think that a civilized society needs them. But I also realize that we American love our myths, and one of the strongest of those is the gun toting stranger who rescues a whole town from the bad guys. It will be long and difficult to grow out of it, but as Obama said, we have to change.