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Explaining the Newtown Shooting

There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.  ~Unknown

Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown Connecticut Aunt Heather PiperIt’s happened again, another completely senseless and unnecessary tragedy, which could have been avoided.  This time involving mostly young children, kindergarteners.  On Friday, December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20 years old, went into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.  He shot his mother at home.

Naturally, everyone is trying to make sense of it all, and figure out where the problem started and how to avoid it from happening again.  It’s not going to change anything but I agree with trying to solve this problem to prevent a re-occurrence, if that’s possible.  With every article read, it seems there is a point driven home or a bias, the idea of how to properly handle an extreme case of mental illness and gun control.

Supposedly the gunman had asperger syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder.  Now I’m not a psychologist, but from what I’ve been told from friends who have children with this disorder, as well as from the little I’ve read online, putting it general terms, these individuals are socially awkward and tend to retreat within themselves.

I’m sure dealing with a special needs child, no matter the prognosis, is difficult for everyone involved.  The extra care and attention needed and the additional resources required can be draining, yet I’m sure rewarding at the same time.  But what if that child is mentally unstable to the extreme?  Can that child be handled in society and treated the same as the masses? Recently, I read another article about a mother who was dealing with and extreme case of violence with her young child.    I mean here’s your child, the one you love unconditionally and are suppose to protect, but you also have to protect yourself, friends, neighbors and the rest of your family from an extremely ill tempered young person.  Not to mention shield him from himself.  Do you throw him in jail?  Put him away?  Also if you are not educated to deal with such an extreme disorder, how do you know you are doing the right thing?  You want to protect your family and society alike.  I’m sure everyone would like the solution to be black and white, but unfortunately it’s not that easy.  Or is it?

I know, if I ever heard of a child of this caliber having access to Kyle in school, I would not be happy and discuss other options for Kyle’s education.  Only because I wouldn’t want him exposed to such violence and disorder.  I can handle the normal child temper tantrum, but when you’re talking about a child who has threatened his family with physical harm and they are in fear of their own lives, then maybe it’s time for more aggressive measures.  Everyone wants to treat all children the same, and unfortunately, in many cases that is not feasible.  Of course, sometimes this type of extreme behavior is not displayed until it is too late.

Onto the next topic of discussion, which hits home, and that’s gun control.  My family is no stranger to guns.  From a very young age we have been taught to use them with respect and with the utmost safety.  I would trust Kyle, who is eleven with any firearm in the house and I never felt like I needed to sleep with one eye open or keep a tally of the guns.  I know Kyle does not have a mental illness issue, but just simply speaking about gun responsibility.  Kyle knows the proper ways to handle a firearm.  He treats every pistol and/or rifle as if it were loaded.  He is also so familiar with them, there is no curiosity causing accidental mishaps.  He is not that child who will pull out a rifle to show a friend and not understand the consequences with the outcome of firing it.  Guns don’t kill people, it’s people who kill people.

ap_lauren_rousseau-Aunt Heather Piper
Lauren Rousseau – victim at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown CT

From what I understand, the mother Nancy Lanza, owned the firearms and was no stranger to the firing range.

As per Fox News:

All three of the guns that Adam Lanza carried into Sandy Hook Elementary were owned and registered by his mother — a pair of handguns and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, his primary weapon.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, not at all.  But I do wonder if she had the weapons locked up out of reach from her known mentally unstable child?  Maybe the mother took every precaution that she could but this situation was unavoidable?  And that also poses another question, why did she all of a sudden get into guns?  Was she in fear for her own life or was it a gut instinct?  Or did she just want to have a new hobby?   We probably will never know those answers, but it’s worth thinking about.  So then back to the original topic.  If that mother didn’t have guns, would that child have snapped and attacked others with another weapon?  If someone is disturbed and they are set out on a mission, I truly believe they will find a way to lash out, with or without guns.  After all, bombs seem to be pretty popular with some deranged individuals.

What America can learn from Switerland is that the best way to reduce gun misuse is to promote responsible gun ownership.  ~David B. Kopel & Stephen D’Andrilli (American Rifleman, February 1990

Newtown CT Shooting Aunt Heather Piper
A vigil to the those victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown CT

I am a strong believer with keeping the peace through force if need be.  I’m not saying strong arm others or even use violence but be ready if the situation arises.  Years ago in my past, I was trained to defend myself with hand-to-hand combat as well as with weapons.  This training was never meant to be used to force violence on others but to keep the peace, if I needed to by suppressing the opposing brute force.  My intent in this type of preparation was to help those who can’t help themselves.  Maybe if every teacher was allowed to carry firearms in school it would have ended much differently.  Especially for that school teacher who had no other option but to just stand there, taking the spray of bullets while protecting her students.  Maybe she could have been able to take down the shooter.  But then again it’s easier to speculate, but if I was armed, that’s what I would have done.

No matter what, the entire situation is very upsetting and tragic.  But I do believe there is always good that comes from horrible acts of violence and upheaval.  True heroes are being recognized, even though I know it’s a tough situation to go through.  I know first hand what it’s like to loose a loved one so suddenly, for no reason.  Even though my situation is not even remotely similar, the pain and sadness is the same.

I know Kyle saw the news but really never commented.  I know he understands what’s going on in the world, well as much as anyone of us comprehends the craziness and upheaval.  I think he gets it more than I give him credit though.  Kyle has a big heart and he doesn’t like hearing about tragedies and violence, neither do I.

God Bless all those involved in the Newtown shooting, the friends, the families, the victims, the injured and those who just want to help.  God is there helping them through this terrible time and I’m sure everyone is sending prayers, I know I have.  God Speed!

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