Let's talk sanely, seriously and with an eye towards preventing let's say, this tragedy. Let's talk about where we drawn the line between our freedoms and our security and our safety. Let's talk about mental illness and healthcare. Let's talk about privilege.
I've cried hard. Maybe even harder than Columbine when my own kids were in High School. Maybe harder than 9/11, when I had just returned from a visit to New York on 9/9.
Senseless. I pray for acceptance and God's will, because that's how I roll, but I don't begin to understand it. I have come to a place in my life where I believe that evil exists, and there may be nothing I can do about it.
For now, I am hanging on to my pistol and my pit bull.
1.This was an extremely sick individual. Self evident, nobodies arguing that. He did not receive the care he needed to prevent him from injuring himself and others. That's pretty much self evident as well. The family is wealthy. The father was paying the mother over $500,000 per year in alimony alone. Access to healthcare, or health insurance for that matter, was not an issue for this family. Not the 1%, but certainly not the 48% either. It would take my household six or seven years to gross that much. A four bedroom house on an acre+ in tony Connecticut.
2. Something was broken in this young man that nobody noticed or addressed. A social worker would have been laughed out of the community. I feel pretty confident that mental health experts would have had the opportunity to evaluate this young man. His parents were educated and wealthy. Newtown has great schools. Nobody saw it.
3. The guns were registered to the mother. The handguns are appropriate for personal protection, although it seems a bit paranoid for that area to have two in the home. It was a four bedroom 3,000 square foot spread so maybe they were located in separate areas. That area is rural enough and her sons may have enjoyed hunting so the rifle makes sense. It is a commonly used hunting rifle, and a walk in the woods can do a lot of positive things for a mental state. We don't know how the mother secured the guns and may never know. Did fear of her son make her feel more comfortable with the guns around in case he got out of hand? We don't know. As a single mother with a disabled child did it make her feel more comfortable with the guns around in case someone decided to take advantage of her vulnerable position? We don't know. All we know is that she felt the need, and exercised her rights - but not responsibly.
4. I am only grateful that I do not have to walk in the shoes of those that missed the dire needs of this young man, the parents who have lost their babies, and those in the community and family who suspected but did not act.
I don't see any easy solutions here. The gun issue would be moot if the mental health issue had been addressed - but we are dealing with human beings here. The mother, the father, the older brother - all human and imperfect. Doing the best they can with what they have.
Anyway, my two cents. Please be gentle. First diary and all.