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 »
“I did Kick-Ass 2 a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to others involve[d] with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change of heart.”
After 20 children and six adults were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newton, Connecticut, December, Jim Carrey now denounced, via a tweet, the “level of violence” throughout the film, in which he plays “a baseball-bat-wielding masked crimefighter.” Executive producer Mark Miller shared his bewilderment over Carrey’s tweet on his blog, writing, “[I’m] baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn’t in the screenplay 18 months ago. Yes, the body count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what is says on the tin.” Keep reading »
I named my gun Roxy after the chick on ”Army Wives” who I thought was spunky. I’m not your typical gun owner — in fact, according to a Gallup survey, I fall in the least likely demographic to own a gun: I’m a woman, under 34 years old, a college graduate, I live on the east coast, and I am a Democrat. But I do. And Roxy is big.
I was raised in an upper-middle class suburban neighborhood in Santa Cruz, California, a town known for liberal politics, surfers, lackadaisical laws on marijuana, and hippies. We were lapsed-Protestant, my mom was a surgical nurse, my dad worked in real estate, and my brother, four years my junior, followed me around, LEGOs in hand. My childhood was normal. I read Seventeen and Sassy, not Guns & Ammo, and I was never particularly interested in playing cops and robbers. I preferred Barbies.
At 19, I began volunteering with the Sheriff’s Office at a service center where I did community outreach, took cold police reports with no suspect information, and drank coffee with deputies. Our coffee sessions eventually lead to shooting range outings, where they taught me to use a handgun. I learned and practiced on a .22 (a small caliber), and worked my way up to a 9mm. Keep reading »
Just over a month after the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the school’s choir has joined forces with singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson to record a touching version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” The song, available for download here, is a touching tribute to the people who lost their lives and the families who grieve them, with proceeds benefiting the Newtown Youth Academy and United Way of Western Connecticut. Check out some behind-the-scenes footage from the recording session in this sweet video. [Rolling Stone]
As our entire nation follows the story of a senseless massacre in Connecticut, people are weighing in with their opinions. We don’t have all of the facts straight yet, but the media and government officials are already pointing fingers at each other, at the NRA, at violent video games, at “not allowing God in our schools,” and at a myriad other reasons. We’re all asking one question — a question for which we will most likely never have a full formed answer: why?
You’re probably wondering why my thoughts on this question have any merit. I’m not a newscaster, a government official, someone linked to the tragedy or an expert on violence. Why should I have any say in the matter?
The only reason I can give you is that my high school suffered a violent attack — but one with incredibly different consequences. The difference between what I experienced and what happened yesterday raises important points in the ongoing discussion of what went wrong. Keep reading »
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” –Fred Rogers
This quote has been a constant presence on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr the past few days. Every time I read it, I feel myself exhale, slowly and cautiously, and in that moment I realize I’ve been holding my breath ever since the first terrifying details started spilling out of Newtown, CT.
Twenty children and six teachers were murdered at school on Friday. Three days before that, a masked man walked into a mall a few miles from my house and murdered two people. I have no idea how to process that reality. I think of the victims, and I am overwhelmed with grief. I can hardly bear to think of the pain and fear they experienced in their last moments on Earth, and worse, how they were robbed of the chance to live. I think of the killers, and I am overwhelmed with anger–sadness, too, but mostly anger. I think about the cultural factors that contribute to tragedies like this, and I am overwhelmed with frustration and hopelessness.
Then, with a gentle nudge from Mr. Rogers, I think of you, the helpers, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Keep reading »