Why would the parent of an acknowledged troubled child maintain unsecured guns in the home?
Surely others are asking . . . .
If I understand it correctly, he had Asperger's Syndrome. That's not usually a violent condition. They tend to turn inward rather than act out.
Why would ANYONE have unsecured guns in their home?
Why would someone keep guns with a mentally ill person in the house? Oh, you'd be surprised.
Personal observation: My wife and I knew the perpetrator of a mass murder. I'm not going to say which mass murder, but I'm sure you know the one I'm talking about.
Anyway, in that case, the shooter had a history of psychotic breaks involving violence and threats of violence. In spite of this, her husband kept a gun in the house, and one day she grabbed that gun and shot several family members before killing herself.
In all, four people were killed and one was seriously wounded. The husband himself was not home at the time so he was spared. And oddly enough, none of the people who were killed were related to him by blood either; they were all children or grandchildren from his wife's first marriage.
There is no excuse for what the husband did; he made a SERIOUS error in judgment and it cost four people their lives. However, I should note that in the ethnic community to which the shooter belonged, mental illness is still very poorly understood. Psychosis is often attributed to "evil spirits" and that was the case here as well, according to my wife. The shooter was well liked in the community but was considered to be suffering from some vague condition that was not amenable to Western medical treatment. As a result, her disease was poorly managed at best. Often, it simply went untreated.
Did anyone learn anything from that whole experience? Doesn't look like it, does it?
I'm sure many people learned from that experience. It's just there's no money to be made and plenty of money to be lost from that lesson.
Myr-myr I thought the exact same thing.
KatherynL - the news I read said it wasn't just Asperger's but he had no sense of other's pain (sound like sociopath to me).
it doesn't matter how well adjusted your children are
guns should be locked in a gun safe
and the kids should never be given the combination.
One of my cousins was killed in her own home by a troubled young man the family had befriended.
He killed the entire family except for the father who was not at home.
he got the combination to the locked gun safe from the oldest kid
who was given it by his father
when he became old enough to protect his family when dad wasn't home
unfortunately he wasn't old enough not to share the combination to both the wall gun safe where the shooter found the guns and the under-the-bed gun safe where the ammo was kept.
the troubled young man shot everyone in the house more than once
then left a note and killed himself.
My cousin's husband came home to find one child out of 4 still breathing and his wife dead in her bath
he had to disconnect the child who was still alive from life support a week later.
my cousin and her husband considered themselves responsible gun owners
until he found out the hard way that they weren't.
Gotta keep guns locked up. All mine are secured and the ammo is secured in a seperate location. The only loaded gun in my house is my self defense weapon and its locked with a key that only I have seperate from the other firearms.
My dad has three safes with firearms. I have the combination because he travels in the winter time. He never gave me that combination until after I moved out of the house.
There is no way to protect everyone against everything but firearms are not toys. Think of the worst thing that can happen and do your best to make sure it can't. Growing up around guns since I was a small child and shooting for over 35 years I have never had an accident.
A cascade of errors . . .
But while [Nancy] Lanza spoke proudly about her sons and brought them in [to the restaurant she frequented] for breakfast when they were younger, friends say she held one card very close: home life, especially its trials and setbacks, was off limits.
"Her family life was her family life. She kept it private, when we were together. That was her own thing," said Louise Tambascio, who runs the warmly lit pizzeria and bar with her own sons, and became a shopping and dining companion of Nancy Lanza's.
Friends told NBC's "Today" show on Monday that Lanza was a devoted mother, especially to her son Adam, and that shooting guns was simply a hobby for her.
Russell Hanoman said Adam Lanza was "clearly a troubled child."
Hanoman said Nancy Lanza told him she introduced guns to Adam as a way to teach him responsibility.
"Guns require a lot of respect, and she really tried to instill that responsibility within him, and he took to it. He loved being careful with them. He made it a source of pride," he said.
Now Error #1, by itself, wouldn't have been a big deal. But when compounded with Error #2, it became positively lethal. And that's what always happens with firearms. Any moderate risk or danger is magnified immeasurably when you throw guns into the mix.
Still, lots of otherwise thoughtful people do not seem to get that simple truth. Like adolscents, they seem to be laboring under the classic delusion of it can't happen here / it can't happen to me.
But eventually, of course, it DOES happen here, and it DOES happen to you. And me. And everyone else within the range of YOUR gun.
I'll bet that even today, after all that's happened, you could still hear NRA types making the claim that shooting is a good way to build character for "troubled youth." The NRA won't say that publicly, of course. But privately, that's what a lot of members seem to believe.
Parents of America, hear me now. Do you have a troubled youngster? If so, the LAST thing you want to do is let that kid shoot a gun. You shouldn't even be letting that kid play violent videogames.
Contact sports? Sure.
Boxing? Yeah, maybe.
But a gun?
Ready for your morning lecture? Too bad. DBP waits for no man.
Today let's look at the role the community played in this tragedy. (And I use the word "community" loosely.)
Suppose you'd been Nancy Lanza's friend. Or her neighbor. Or a family member. Suppose that you knew about her son Adam's problems, too, and that she kept guns in the house and was teaching Adam how to shoot.
Would you have said anything to her?
Suppose you did say something. Suppose you told her you didn't think it was a good idea for Adam to have access to guns. How do you think that advice would've been received?
No surpise here. Probably, she would've told you to mind your own business. If she wanted to be diplomatic, she might've explained that you couldn't possibly understand her situation, since you didn't have to raise Adam.
She might've just brushed it off politely and then quietly cut you out of her life.
Not very nice to think about, is it? –Losing a friend over something like that. But in retrospect, would that prospect have been good enough reason for you to say nothing? Really?
I wonder how Nancy Lanza's friends and family are feeling about this now, thinking back on all the times they maybe wanted to say something to her, but didn't.
Lest you think I'm placing my parenting above Nancy Lanza's, I'm not. In nearly every way, I was a substandard parent. Next to me, in fact, Nancy looks like a saint. Moreover, I can assure you that on those few occasions when others hazarded to give ME good parenting advice, I rebuffed them.
But that doesn't matter to me now, for with the stain of sin fresh upon my soul, I am still compelled to warn those who are embarked on a tragic course. And if my warnings go unheeded? That's the penance I must do for ignoring those who tried to warn me, back inna day.
The chains I forged in life . . .
I haven't been a stellar parent either DBP... we've all had parental shortcomings. Little beggers don't come with a standard operating manual and we do the best we can. When I had children in the house I kept one 5-shot revolver, locked up. I had five bullets that were also locked up in a separate place. Even with that, I worried and when the boys reached their ultra curious able-to-get-into-stuff years, I actually removed it from the house until they grew up and left home. The biggest thing is that I told NO ONE I had a gun in the house. NO ONE! We've always had a big dog, so didn't worry much about break-ins.
Locking guns away with children in the house is good and responsible, but IMO not having them in the house at all is a whole lot better. And in the spirit of community, it's not a bad idea to get to know the parents of your children's friends to make sure they are either not gun owners or responsible gun owners as well. Two years ago I was visiting relatives in another state and three doors down a boy was playing at a friend's house after school. They found a loaded household gun, with tragic results - one dead, one's life ruined and parents, siblings and relatives who will never be the same.
Kids are not dumb. They WILL know how to access your gun safe at some point in their lives and too many of them are fascinated with guns given the games, movies, television programming and general culture we have around guns. I've seen the study of very young children who were left in a room with an unloaded gun and told not to touch it. Not one of them could resist. Not one. It's chilling.
I think it's time to change our thinking around access to guns, around mental health, around schools, community and the responsibility we must assume in order to keep our kids safe. As a blog poster stated this week:
"There were no shootings of any kind at the schools I attended. I never had to hide in a closet from a madman trying to kill me. Things have gotten worse not better and we have let down the next generation. We have not provided them the same thing that our parents provided us. I am at fault. You are at fault.
What are we going to do now?"
Appears that Mr. Biden is going to take this monster head on.
There is literally multiple billion weapons unregistered and many times that in unsecured ammo and other related weapons peripherals.
Sitting in easy chairs in many areas of this country...locked and loaded right this minute are hard core, passionate, and paranoid 2nd Amendment advocates just waiting for that knock on the door...believing (insert cuss word) Obama is going to take their stash away.
These efforts will take generations to solve...
It will take a massive agreements with very delicate communication and handling (equally massive compromise) by law makers, gun makers, ammo makers, peripheral makers, investors in all, doctors, etc. to make the potential wave of gun ownwers revolt not happen.
I am more scared now...
(Insert Edit) Of course, what I described above is a small %..There are many thousands of responsible, registered, safe, and secure gun owners in the nation.
But, when even a small % speaks up holding a guns, trying to make an irrational point...THATS what is truly scary.
Perhaps now I am being a bit irrational..but I believe this monster can be tamed over a long period of time.
Quit calling me Shirley.
Shirley speaking. I will quit calling you.
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