Police have released a report on the Sandy Hook School shootings and come to the conclusion that they don’t know what was Adam Lanza’s motivation for killing his mother, six teachers and 20 kids.
The report’s non-conclusion is already being cited by politicians like Sen. Richard Blumenthal as proof that we need to have more controls on those darn guns.
Based on what’s been released by police, you can’t help but wonder if authorities are genuinely baffled or if the report isn’t intended at least in part to support an anti-gun agenda.
The only reason I say that is because the descriptions of Lanza’s behavior and personality, coupled with photographs of the shooter’s home practically scream motive.
That Lanza was a mentally ill individual cannot be denied. That his mother fed his illness is also obvious. In many ways, Nancy Lanza is the real mystery piece in this puzzle, but the report doesn’t touch on her motivations or personality at all.
The report notes that Adam Lanza had Asperger’s syndrome, which is similar to autism, but there was clearly much more going on than that.
Lanza had trash bags taped over his bedroom windows and wouldn’t allow anybody into his room, even his mother. He reportedly hated to be touched and only communicated with his mother through email. He had even forced his mother to get rid of the family cat because he didn’t want it to come into his room.
At the time of the shootings, he had not left the house in three months. The report notes the finding of several violent video games and a spreadsheet Lanza kept of mass murders. Also on his computer was information about pedophilia, a possible clue that doesn’t get explored in the report.
The photographs of Lanza’s home are chilling. The evidence tags are visible in most of the pictures, so the home was not cleaned out by police before the pictures were taken. Yet the various rooms are dark and almost bare, beyond spartan.
The bedroom in particular contains empty shelves, no sign of any pictures, books, decoration or anything that indicates even a hint of personality. The windows are taped up with trash bags to prevent the outside world from entering.
Couple the photos of the home with the descriptions of Lanza’s behavior, then take a look at his wide-eyed, sunken-cheeked mugshot, and the state of Lanza’s mind becomes clear. Lanza’s internal world was as empty as his home. Like Meursault, the character in Albert Camus’ “The Stranger,” Lanza felt nothing very strongly. He was fascinated by mass murders because death was the only thing that seemed to have meaning in juxtaposition to his bare existence.
In the end, he killed because he had no connection to the world or moral anchor to keep him from doing it.
Lanza should have been under the care of mental health professionals, but he had refused and apparently nobody insisted.
Instead, he was under the care of his mother, a divorcee who didn’t work, ostensibly to take care of her son, yet who had money to take a trip to New Hampshire in the weeks before the shootings and to write out a check for her son to buy a gun for Christmas.
That’s the key mystery right there. Why did Lanza’s mother, who must have known how disturbed he was, not get him professional care and instead encourage his gun fetish?
I can’t imagine any gun law that would prevent a situation like Lanza’s arising. He was a mentally ill person, and those around him who should have taken action instead fed his illness.
Even if you could eliminate all guns from existence, someone like Lanza would have just taken up an ax or some other weapon on the day he finally snapped.
The report will become a propaganda tool for anti-gun activists, but the real lesson in its pages is about the need for proper care for the mentally ill. And once again after a tragic shooting, that seems to be a conversation we’re not willing to have.