The first person that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, killed on December 14, 2012, was his own mother. She was murdered in her pajamas, lying her in bed, with four bullets to the head. The New Yorker has a profile of Adam’s father, Peter Lanza, in their most recent issue. Written by Andrew Solomon, it is the first time that Peter Lanza has ever spoken to the press about his son’s crimes. However, what stuck out to me most was not Peter unfathomable trauma or even Adam’s cornucopia of possible illnesses — depression? OCD? schizophrenia? insanity? — but instead Adam’s mother and Peter’s ex-wife, Nancy Lanza.
In the mid-2000s, a Yale psychiatry nurse specialist named Kathleen Koenig met with Adam after a time period in which he had started and then abruptly stopped using the antidepressant Lexapro, due to negative side effects. Throughout his teens, The New Yorker describes, Adam would frequently have “meltdowns” and cry alone, sometimes for hours at a time, behind a locked door. Nurse Koenig wrote that she implored Adam to take medication: “I told him he’s living in a box right now, and the box will only get smaller over time if he doesn’t get some treatment.”
Reading that, it seems to me that Nancy Lanza was also living in a box that was only getting smaller if Adam didn’t get treatment. Keep reading »
It’s hard not to feel powerless in the face of the frequent gun violence (especially after today’s shooting at Los Angeles International Airport). Instead of just wishing she could help, Toby Milstein took action. Like countless others, Toby was distraught when she heard the news of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012. She worried that her brother, who was in Colorado that summer, had been injured. She soon learned he was safe, but she couldn’t stop thinking about how often she’d been seeing mass shootings in the news.
Toby, a senior at Barnard College in New York City, also noticed the popularity of guns and skulls in fashion. The imagery, which she refers to as “aggressive iconography,” became her inspiration to create a necklace with the shape of a gun on the pendant. The words “Wear It: Don’t Bear It” are displayed on the pendant to remind those who wear it to be responsible with firearms. Keep reading »
The irony about people who cope with depression is that some of us are actually quite happy people. We are not, contrary to stereotype, slogging through life with the weight of one thousand sorrows dragging behind us. I may feel things intensely, sure. But I’m not someone whose blue-colored glasses see everyone screwed up and the world a terrible place.
That is, until the holidays come around. Keep reading »
This morning, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre held a press conference, meant to be the NRA’s response and “meaningful contribution” to the Newtown shooting that occurred one week ago. Rather than surprise the audience by actually taking some responsibility for promoting a gun-crazy, shooting-first-and-ask-questions-later culture, LaPierre did what was sadly expected: he denied any culpability for the incident and proposed that schools start hiring armed police officers to protect children. Keep reading »
In the week following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 27 people were murdered, everyone everywhere has been yakking about their opinion on guns. Some people think more people should carry guns, so they can protect everyone else from the “bad guys.” Other people — and I myself fall into this camp — say the less access to guns, the better.
The most hot-button area of focus has been on guns in schools and whether more guns in the hands of security guards, teachers or administrators will make students more safe. Heh, remember being a kid and seeing after school specials about how we should keep guns out of school?!
So I thought it would be interesting to check in with one small town in Texas that allows its teachers to carry concealed weapons. Keep reading »