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Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:16 PM

 

Does the Newtown Massacre have to be anyone's "fault"? Maybe it's

Last edited Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:54 AM - Edit history (2)

as simple as genetics run amok and, if there is fault to be assigned, it is to society for failing to educate its citizenry better about genetics (ETA: mental health, and the dangers of firearms).

Some 200 years ago, the poet Coleridge in discussing Shakespeare's Iago talked about his 'motiveless malignity.' While this phrase has traditionally received a gloss to mean 'evil' in the Judeo-Christian sense, if we strip out the religious hocus-pocus, perhaps we could say that the Newtown Massacre was an instance of 'genetic malignity'. Either way, the Newtown Massacre remains at its core ultimately unfathomable, much like Iago's crimes.

I'm really sick and tired of seeing the mother and father, individually or collectively, getting blamed for this. Anyone who's had mental illness in his or her family with a sibling or child knows that the best parenting in the world often doesn't mean jack shit one way or the other. (Lousy parenting may produce still more adverse outcomes, but that's another thread, I would say.) If the genes predispose someone to a particular affliction and the environmental trigger(s) present(s), the parenting of that person isn't going to mean much by way of prevention or amelioration.

Blaming the mother here smacks of misogyny in a major way, since she is not here to explain herself. Likewise, blaming the father carries just the faintest taste of misandry. Either one is way out of line, in my opinion, based on what we currently know.

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Reply Does the Newtown Massacre have to be anyone's "fault"? Maybe it's (Original post)
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 OP
libdem4life Dec 2012 #1
onehandle Dec 2012 #2
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #4
aandegoons Dec 2012 #3
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #8
Dems to Win Dec 2012 #5
John2 Dec 2012 #6
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #9
Mass Dec 2012 #7
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #17
Mass Dec 2012 #19
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #23
arthritisR_US Dec 2012 #10
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #13
arthritisR_US Dec 2012 #20
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #22
arthritisR_US Dec 2012 #32
Saboburns Dec 2012 #11
Zoeisright Dec 2012 #36
grammiepammie Dec 2012 #12
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #14
frank380 Dec 2012 #15
Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #21
rrneck Dec 2012 #16
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #18
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #24
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #26
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #33
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #25
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #27
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #28
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #29
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #30
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #31
yellowcanine Dec 2012 #34
Zoeisright Dec 2012 #35
LWolf Dec 2012 #37
AlexSatan Dec 2012 #38

Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:22 PM

1. Yes. Mental illness/health is not procured or verified like a blood test in the lab

...or cured by drugs or awareness. Hindsight is always 20/20.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:26 PM

2. 'Genetics run amok' can explain the fetishism of gun culture. nt

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Response to onehandle (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:30 PM

4. Actually, I don't think there is any explanation that will ever suffice, which is

 

what I think Coleridge was really saying about Iago. His malignity had no motive, it simply was\is. As we search for the 'why?' for the Newtown Massacre, we may have to content ourselves with God's answer to Job so many years ago.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:30 PM

3. Why yes it does.

It is all of our faults. We all have our little bit of the blame here. The lion share obviously goes to the killer.

Mine is not supporting anti gun Democrats with more gusto, not being vocal enough about my views. Others may be the enabling of the NRA. Even this website has it's part by providing the NRA crowd a platform.

We don't live in a bubble but if we don't accept responsibility for what we do. If we are not able to recognize our own part in the big picture we will continue down this road of ruin.

Accepting one's responsibility never absolves the doer of evil of their deed it only helps us understand how to be better human beings. And maybe just maybe it may help prevent the next tragedy.

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Response to aandegoons (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:34 PM

8. Well put. Reminds me of the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" where

 

Jagger sings, "I shouted out 'Who killed the Kennedys?' When after all, it was you and me."

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:31 PM

5. Nancy Lanza's guns were used to kill 20 little kids. She didn't have to buy guns, she chose to.

Anyone who believes their little hobby of gun collecting is more important than the consequences of those toys being used as intended, to kill people, is responsible for their use. If people didn't buy guns, they wouldn't be manufactured.....




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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:32 PM

6. Do, you have

 

any evidence, that Adam was evil or did evil things before that incident? Did you ever examine him? I ask this question again, does anyone have any medical records on this kid? I have yet to see a family physician if they ever had one. You assume he had some physical defect, without any evidence of any physical examination. Is it your opinion, Adam was born evil?

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Response to John2 (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:38 PM

9. I have no evidence. I'm just processing feelings, the same as anyone else on this

 

board.

I never examined him either.

I do have family members with severe mental illness. (My wife jokingly says I'm the sanest of the lot by which she is surely damning me with faint praise

I try to shy away from words like 'evil' because of their eschatological connotations. I am, in fairness, proposing 'genetics' as a proxy for evil, I suppose.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:33 PM

7. Yes, it is the fault of a society that pushes a gun culture, a law that allows private citizens to

have arsenals able to kill a huge number of people.

The parents should not be blamed because their kid had a mental illness, but, if it is confirmed that one or both of them let the son have access to weapons with a diagnosed mental illness, yes, they would be at fault.

I will carefully wait until the Police says so (as the media have proven unable to check the news they push), but if it is the case, do not tell me they are not responsible.

What worries me as well is the fact that people want to make people with mental illnesses evil. Sorry, but most of them are not even violent. However, after this event, every kid who is somewhat asocial will be seen as a potential killer. I even have seen people talking about autism as the cause of the problem (without any proof).

All that to avoid talking about guns.

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Response to Mass (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:55 PM

17. Please understand that I fully support efforts to regulate and

 

restrict firearms possession.

You and I share misgivings about the media's reportage. Absolutely appalling and I have posted elsewhere about the depraved coverage, e.g., saying that families whose children survived got an 'early Christmas'.

If we are going to talk about guns openly and honestly -- and I sure as fuck hope that conversation starts tomorrow -- then I would also hope that we talk about mental illness openly and honestly. Talking about the former without the latter, imo, is like putting a band-aid on a hemorrhage.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:03 PM

19. I agree we need to talk about mental illness.

I am however concerned that the talks may make things worse. There is already a huge stigma about mental illness that makes people avoid to see doctors.

I am honestly concerned that, if talks are to link mental health issues and guns, the message will be that all people with mental illnesses are dangerous to others, and that they are the only ones who are dangerous to others. We have a hard time dealing with nuance in our society.

Mental illness is a health issue and should be dealt with accordingly. Making it the cause of the problem as we have seen a lot these last few days will create different dramas, not solutions.

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Response to Mass (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:52 AM

23. Good point and I definitely appreciate where you are coming from and

 

share your concern.

If America can just use this tragedy to grow up a little bit, e.g., stop invading countries under false pretenses and propping up dictators for realpolitik purposes, then maybe these 28 will not have died in vain.

I'm not holding my breath.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:39 PM

10. You're right, she is not here to explain anything

because she is dead. She loved her guns and her survivalist ideologies and as a woman I state that not in a misogynist bent but as per what has been reported. Neither of those answers why that sick pup did what he did, at best, they are contributory factors. I think you do a disservice to we women to scream the mysogyny foul every time a women is called to task.

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Response to arthritisR_US (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:45 PM

13. Hmm, I didn't think I was screaming the misogyny foul, merely pointing out that

 

those who attack her 'mothering' may be using said attack as a proxy for deeper feelings of hostility toward women, i.e., misogyny. I've also seen threads and posts here bagging on the absentee father, hence my 'misandry' tag.

Even without the guns, I guess what I'm trying to say is that Adam could still have killed her with a knife or other improvised weapon.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:08 PM

20. No he could not have. Depending on where his

first cut would have landed I think she could have defended herself as he was (from what I have seen) not very well muscled. Also, if he was Autistic or Asperger's then killing in such an up close and personal manner would not be possible. He avoided intimate interaction with one and all so there is no way he would kill that way. I think he felt emasculated and powerless and hence why he chose a penis in his hand to murder all women and children, jmo.

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Response to arthritisR_US (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:49 AM

22. Oy vey. I think you're missing the point. He could just as easily have grabbed a

 

hammer and bashed in her face while she slept. (The knife was merely an illustrative example.)

Rage such as he had does not require a firearm for its expression.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:25 AM

32. I am not missing the point. The newest fact to come out

was that he shot her while she slept, so yes a hammer could have worked but again the method would have been too up close and personal for him. That weapon would not have worked for him at the school. Respectfully, I think you are missing my point.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:43 PM

11. I think we look for ways to separate ourselvesfrom those involved.

We seize on anything that points to oddness, or abnormal behavior. Nearly always one of the first things we hear about is what the shooter is wearing, black seems to mean something. Then we here an interview with neighbor or former classmates with term like 'Loner', and how the shooter never 'fit in'. I guess it helps us to make the shooter out to be as different from us as we can.

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Response to Saboburns (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:40 AM

36. Yep, it's a bandaid.

Little gun nuts trying to make themselves feel better.

Which they will never do, because there's something seriously wrong with them.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:44 PM

12. coalition

I know it is not right to blame the parents, but when you have a child that has severe problems, you do not have automatic weapons in your house. Gun enthusiast or not. I don't want to blame her but I am angry!!!!!!!

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Response to grammiepammie (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:50 PM

14. Yeah, I think we are all trying to process our feelings. I used to be a teacher, so

 

for me the idea that people who teach are risking their lives makes me angry as fuck. As if teachers needed any further indignities added to their already trying lot in life.

Please do be aware that some people are blaming the father here for reasons not entirely clear to me at this point.

I just think it is unfair to either parent.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:52 PM

15. 1927 Most deadly school attack in US history.

 

A 55 year old guy who was the treasurer for the school board attacked the school with home made bombs and killed 38 elementary school children, and some adults.

Crazy people then, crazy people now. And I do believe it is a genetic predisposition that can't be fixed, but can maybe be controlled. And it seems to be extremely rare.

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Response to frank380 (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:47 PM

21. What was the frequency of this happening back in 1927

compared to, let's say, starting with Columbine?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:52 PM

16. I can't blame the mother for the illnes of the son, or for his actions.

I can blame her for not securing those weapons.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:02 PM

18. She gets blamed because she tried to have her cake...

 

...and eat it at the same time.

No one is disputing her characterisation as an avid collector of guns.

Information is emerging that the shooter had been "deteriorating" over some time AND that his mother was concerned with his increasing instability.

But clearly not concerned enough to secure her collection of lethal tools out of his reach.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:53 AM

24. But the absentee father was also an avid gun collector. Should he not also

 

receive an equal measure of 'blame,' if finding fault is what we're after?

That said, good point about mother wanting to have cake and eat it too. That's as American as violence and cherry pie.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:23 AM

26. Whose guns did the kid use?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:37 AM

33. I wouldn't beat the deadbeat dad drum too loudly.

 

  1. She showed him the door.
  2. He provided the $1.6m house and voluntarily paid 300k & change child support and alimony.
  3. He wasn't caring for his mentally disintergrating son alongside that collection. She didn't even change the combination on the safe.


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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:23 AM

25. People are blaming her not because of her genitalia, but because of her arsenal.

Come on.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:29 AM

27. We haven't been reading the same collection of threads I think. Or maybe

 

I've read too much into occasional posts. But it seems to me the mother has come in for an inordinate share of criticism here, while the father has pretty much skated on by for the most part.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:37 AM

28. I'm trying to go on the objective pieces of known information, of which there are few

one, the kid lived with the mom, and two, the guns belonged to the mom, and three, we know what kind of guns the mom had (at least some of them).

That, to me, is enough to imply that the mom may have some culpability. I fully admit I don't like guns, and I question what the fuck is wrong in the head with someone who thinks they "need" something like this:



If it's true, as some reports have stated (and now, yes, we're moving from objective known fact to speculation or hearsay) that she was a "survivalist"... Well, I know people like that. People- both men and women- they generally subscribe to a paranoid, vaguely right-wing viewpoint. They listen to Alex Jones, they think a Satanic Cabal does weird shit at the Bohemenian Grove and is coming with black helicopters and chemtrails to get them. They entertain the fantasy that their arsenals will protect them from the Illuminati New World Order. They think they're going to be the Wolverines, holding off Red Dawn. In short, they're fucking nuts, with a paranoid, crazy-ass worldview.

We don't KNOW that's who the mom was. But we do know she had a lot of very powerful guns, and her kid got a hold of them.

Edited to add: Also, seeing as the Dad and the Brother are the only family members left, I'm sure they'll come under more scrutiny as the days go on, especially since they're the only ones left who can answer any questions.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:43 AM

29. I think you and I probably agree about 99.999% on this. I suppose I see

 

the mother and father as victims, whether of ignorance, privilege or hubris matters little. If Adam Lanza was suffering from acute mental illness than, weirdly enough, he too was a victim.

I'm a little uneasy blaming victims.

But I fully dig what you're saying and where you're coming from.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #29)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:46 AM

30. I know. It's a massive, massive tragedy. "Blame" is sort of beside the point, now.

My focus on the guns has to do with the fact that easy access to this sort of firepower makes these situations that much more horrific.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:49 AM

31. Bravo! I like the cut of your jib, my friend. I think what President

 

Obama said tonight is incredibly wise, to wit, that we cannot prevent all acts of senseless violence but with sensible and sane policy-making, we can reduce their severity and frequency.

I edited the first paragraph of my OP based on your responses to add language about the dangers of firearms. I'm going to keep re-working this piece until I get it where my feelings are.

Thanks for taking the time to weigh in. Much appreciated.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:38 AM

34. Well the deaths were homicides so yes, someone is at fault. It was not an accident.

And even if we say there is such a thing as an accident caused by genetics, people can still be at fault.

First of all, the shooter. Even if one says that there may be a genetic component, most people with homicidal inclinations do not in fact act on them and furthermore, even people with homicidal inclinations do not go out and shoot twenty little kids.

And although there may be plenty of blame to go around it does not do any good to deny that the mother's actions in keeping guns and ammunition within the reach of her son played a role. If we deny this possibility we lose the ability to learn from this event.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:39 AM

35. Genetics can't mow down 20 kids in a minute.

Guns do that.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:51 AM

37. Blaming is part of the American psyche. nt

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:23 PM

38. Yes. Adam Lanza. NT

 

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