Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Response to “Adam Lanza’s Mother”

Much has been made about the essay “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” since Friday’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

I’ve seen it posted on Facebook. I’ve seen it advertised on news dissemination sites like Yahoo. And I can now honestly say that I’ve read the whole thing.

I read how a 13-year-old boy – code named Michael in the article – called his mother “a stupid b*tch” when she told him he needed to change his pants. I read how he also told her “This is America. I have rights!”

So what did she do to correct his erroneous view of his rights and his country? She told him in an “affable, reasonable” tone that he couldn’t wear whatever pants he wanted to, that he couldn’t call her nasty names and that he couldn’t play with his “electronics for the rest of the day.”

Michael has also apparently pulled a knife on her before, threatening to kill them both. It’s apparently an expected possibility considering that “Adam Lanza’s Mother” has instated a “safety plan” for her two other children, aged seven and nine.

They have to suffer for his “mental illness,” but the only recorded consequence for Michael himself was that his mother “methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with” her. Because that’s going to teach him!

The woman also references “a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting… until they turn 18” and “our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system.”

“A right to free public babysitting?” Is that anything like a 13-year-old’s “right” to wear whatever pants he wants to school? I mean, “this is America,” after all. So why not?

There are so many ways I argue “Adam Lanza’s Mother.” I could point out that America doesn’t need to “talk about mental illness;” we need to talk about discipline and responsibility and consequences.  I could mention that we’re once again focusing on understanding the perpetrators instead of helping the victims they leave behind. I could ask why everybody else has to suffer while those with “mental illnesses” get coddled.

I could also point out that there really doesn’t seem to be any stigma on mental illness anymore, not when so many people in Western societies rely on drugs these days to ease such issues. We have K-college accommodations given to people with mental and behavioral issues. And we have criminals playing the insanity card when they have no real reason to.

So tell me “Adam Lanza’s Mother:” What do we need to talk about? Why your son is the way that he is? Whether it’s bad parenting, bad societal influences or just bad character that needs to be disciplined out of him before he becomes the next sicko to ruin peoples’ lives?

And maybe, just maybe, we should talk about the families devastated because Adam Lanza and his “mental illness” decided to shoot up an elementary school. Just for a full week?

Then we can go back to pitying and accommodating you and your obviously troubled son for making this life that much more difficult for everybody else.

I hope you enjoy your Christmas this year. Because there  are too many other families that won't because of excuses like yours.

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