The Huffington Post recently featured an article titled “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” by a woman named Liza Long. In it, she details the often-terrifying experience of raising a young, emotionally troubled son, drawing parallels between her boy and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza, and calling for a greater focus on the issue of mental health accessibility in the US.
David Frum, columnist for The Daily Beast, wrote a companion piece/rebuttal to Long’s confessional, titled “I Was Adam Lanza.” No, Frum is not admitting a history of mental illness all his own. Rather, he writes that a young person living on the East Coast sent him a letter detailing the experience of living with, and overcoming, mental health issues in one’s life.
Frum writes that the individual behind the letter is now personally stable, a college graduate, and gainfully employed. The essay is an attempt to answer the question that has been on everyone’s mind since Newtown: What goes through the mind of a killer?
“Like her [Liza Long's] son, I used knives to try and make my threats of violence seem more real. Like her son, I would leap out of our car in the middle of the road just to get away from my mother, over the most trivial of offenses. Like her son, I screamed obscenities at my mother shortly after moments of relative peace. And worse than this poor woman’s son, whose mindset toward his peers we can only guess, I will admit that I fantasized multiple times about taking ordnance to my classmates.”
The author offers a warning, delivered from personal obligation: “Kids like me and Liza Long’s son are not psychotic lost causes. We can be stopped. We can be saved.”
“Parents, I cannot stress this enough: the healing process starts with you. Not the mental health community. Not the police. Not the government. Not the school. You.
“I know it’s hard. I know that we’re asking for the most love when we are least loveable. I can only promise that we – or some of us – will sooner or later understand and recognize the heroism of what you did.”
You can read Part One of the “I Was Adam Lanza” post here. What do you think? Does intervention start at home with the parents?