Out of obedience to my spiritual director, I am staying away from reports on what happened at Sandy Hook, because when the Tucson shooting happened, I ended up in the crisis unit. It’s all just too overwhelming for me emotionally, and I am under obedience to be gentle with myself. The more peripheral stories, though, are okay for me, like this one by Lionel Shriver at The Guardian suggesting that Nancy Lanza is being scapegoated, deleted from remembrances of the victims.
She was Adam Lanza’s first victim. Yet while the other 26 dead in Sandy Hook are rightly mourned, Nancy is being disgracefully smeared.
If you do not deal with mental illness in a very real way, on a daily basis, you have no business making final judgments about these issues. You need to trust the people who know about such things. Otherwise, the madness will continue.
One thing that I believe everyone agrees on is that savages should not have guns. What we disagree on is who the savages are. Those who are for the right to bear arms still trust the average person to carry a gun. They do not consider the average person to be a savage. They believe, rightly or wrongly, that savages are more rare than common. Those who are for gun control do not trust the average person with a gun. They want the security of knowing that only people known by society not to be savages should have guns. This is why they want only cops and soldiers to have guns – because with cops and soldiers, society has assurances that the gun owners are not savages. I do not know what he answer is. I believe America has far more savages than it did when I was a child, but I do not believe that the average person is a savage. Anne Frank said, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” Would she have said that today? I think so. Is America more savage than Europe was under Nazi rule? I don’t think so.
But….we all, deep down, agree. We agree that savages should not own guns. We agree on that. So, let’s everyone stop fighting and look at who the savages are in our society, okay? I don’t think Nancy Lanza was a savage. I think she was an innocent who deserves to be remembered as an innocent victim. Is Adam Lanza a victim, too? I think so, and I know I will be hated for saying that. But I have mental illness myself, and I have been suicidal before. I know that Adam Lanza did not know what he was doing. It might have been prevented, but not by him alone; certainly not by him alone.
Adam Lanza was a savage, not through his own fault, and not through his mother’s fault, but because of ignorance. He was a human being with inherent dignity, as was his mother and every other victim. That is why you need to read Michael Schofield’s article. Stop being ignorant, and please, stop fighting about guns. It only adds to the problem. We all agree: savages should not have guns.
The average person is not a savage. If the average person is a savage, God help us all.