Adam Lanza, Violence, and Mental Illness

Much has been made of the Newtown shooting. After many inaccuracies by the media, the truth finally emerged that 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother then proceeded to his old school to murder 20 children and 6 adults before killing himself. Then another detail emerged that he may have struggled with Asperger’s syndromeThinking the Unthinkable (also now known as the infamous “I Am Adam Lanza’s mother” post) at the Anarchist Soccer Mom’s blog has gone viral about violent people who struggle with mental illness. (Or rather, a mentally ill person who struggles with being violent.)

I want you to know that you don’t need to be mentally ill to do what Adam Lanza did. His plan to kill was not merely cold but also very calculated. That is not the rash act of a mentally ill person; that is the meticulous act of a mastermind. He destroyed his hard drive beforehand so people would not be able to figure out why he did what he did, and according to the Daily Telegraph, rigged “his semi-automatic rifle… to fire with maximum efficiency.”

Now, autism groups and moms who have children with Asperger’s are scrambling to defend autistic people from the stigma that already comes with mental illness. The truth is while mentally ill people have moments of violence—I have kicked and punched my own mother in the throes of bipolar disorder—they are never planned acts of violence. Psych Central addressed the issue of mental illness and violence back in 1998:

Unless drugs or alcohol are involved, people with mental disorders do not pose any more threat to the community than anyone else.

It’s high time that people stop blaming cold, calculated acts of murder on mental illness.

(From a Christian perspective, sin, or an evil heart, is the real reason why things turned out the way they did.)

1 Comment

  1. Enrique said,

    December 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Well done Kass for raising the question of drug involvement on this atrocity. There is general disbelief. There appears to be a tendency to blame the guns. Of course guns can be curbed, leading to a welcomed reduction in such atrocities, but to pretend gun controls is the complete answer is to bark at the wrong tree. From the first moment I read the news about the Newtown massacre a few days ago, I thought in days to come I will probably read that Adam Lanza was on some neurotoxic medication. Sure enough, I was right, yesterday I read with dismay that he was on drugs for schizophrenia. The effects of neurotoxins and the loneliness and helplessness made him a time bomb. I hazzard a guess that in future I might yet read he was on Zyprexa. This atrocity brings memories of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris of Columbine, the Websecker atrocity and so on (they were all on neurotoxic drugs) …. plus the many others waiting to happen. The worst enemy here is not the US gun lobby but the more powerful and sinister pharma industry. I speak with some authority as I have researched neurotoxic drugs and their effects for 11 years and seen the same decline as these boys in a close relative, the breakdown and threatening behaviour and the failed suicide attempt after being wrongly treated with neurotoxins. Mercifully I was there all the time to offer reassurance and support and anticipate events, so no major disaster happened but was relentlessly prescribed antipsychotics, antidepressants and ECT for 11 years with many misdiagnoses and neurotoxic cocktails resulting now in permanent dyskinesias, agraphia, retardation and serious cognitive decline, for which we will take legal action against those responsible for the blunders and ruined lives. However calculated and cold they may seem, we should not forget that Adam Lanza committed these heinous crimes AFTER being on neurotoxic drugs for some time and NOT before, neurotoxins are a life-transforming event and especialy dangerous in the young, they destroy the mental and emotional stability of the strongest human being and the results are unpredictable.

    I hope that the men of vision can raise and speak loudly to include drug prescriptions in the investigation and engage the Obama administration to tackle neurotoxic drugs and gun control at the same time taking the same tough stand with both. I personally think neither the pharma industry nor the gun lobby will backtrack and reform voluntarily, it wil only happen upon an overwhelming number of legal cases coupled with swift action from the government and the FDA, and when all the dust and grief has settled I hope someone can persuade the relatives of the Sandy Hook School victims to look at the problem from another angle and consider actions against the responsible drug company that damaged the brain of Adam Lanza. No doubt we will read much more about this in future and I sincerely hope alarm bells will now ring loudly in those american families with relatives in similar neurotoxic drugs.
    With my knowledge and practical experience, until proven otherwise, I will view Adam Lanza as the 27th victim, also entitled to have his family bring his case to court along the others. The drugs were prescribed legally, the guns were sold legally, it’s time for a second look.

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