I am seventeen years old. I have went to school for twelve years. Not one day of those twelve years was I ever worried that harm could come to me at school. Not one day did I feel unsafe in my classroom. Not one day did I ever even comprehend that someone could come into my school and shoot my classmates or even myself. I will graduate on March 17 of 2013 and hopefully that will make for the end of my safe, uneventful school years. There are twenty children who will not graduate school. There are twenty children who went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and never worried about any type of harm befalling them. Somewhere, the parents of these twenty children are probably reeling in grief and regret. Regret of every single thing they did that day. Probably regretting sending their child to school, probably regretting not getting their fast enough when they heard the news, but ultimately regretting that they were not there when their child died.
I can not even guess as to an explanation for why Adam Lanza did what he did. When I first heard the news, I was in a shock. Who does that? WHY? Death, murder, school shooting- it is all devastating. We have heard the stories before, like Columbine and Aurora- but, something stood out here. I do not think I am the only who recognizes this. At Columbine, after years of being a “stand out” and “loner”, two boys perceived that they most get revenge on their school and opened fire on the innocent teenagers inside. Does the fact that they were probably bullied and never really “fit in” make their acts of murder justifiable? Never. But their motive is at least comprehensible. I have seen that brutal acts of bullying in schools and I know what it feels like to “not fit in”. While what they did will NEVER be okay, I can almost see how someone, under the right circumstances, can be driven to do what they did. Almost. The Aurora shooter was obviously mentally ill. Undoubtedly. It still is not okay and it is still wrong, but once again, the motive is comprehensible. The reason that I can not get the Newtown shooting off of my mind. The reason that I have tossed and turned in bed for nights on end. The reason I am even writing this- because I can not comprehend a motive for this. In all seriousness, all I see is evil. Growing up in a household of brothers who have mental illnesses, I am not quick to jump to “this perpetrator was just evil”, there are many times when I feel that the reasonable conclusion was mental illness. I believe this is the case with many crimes and mental illness needs more awareness, but this is not the case in this situation. Adam had Asperger’s. Asperger’s is a developmental disorder, it is not a mental illness. Asperger’s is on the autism spectrum. 1 in 88 children are born with autism, but do 1 in 88 children do what Adam Lanza does? NO. In fact, 1 in 88 would NEVER even think about committing murder. Murder and violence is not a symptom of Asperger’s. In fact, Asperger’s is a high-functioning version of Autism. Why don’t we see more children with Asperger’s committing murder? Well, the answer to that question is easy- because it has nothing to do with Asperger’s. Adam Lanza’s motive and actions had nothing to do with his Asperger’s. Adam Lanza is not a victim of mental illness. The heinous acts that Adam Lanza committed have originated from something entirely different than Autism. His acts were premeditated. His mother was away on a mini-vacation for three days before the murders. During this time, Adam probably did most of his preparing. He shot his mother four times in the head, the morning of the shooting, while she lay in bed, probably asleep. He then broke into the school, the hundreds of clips of ammunition, and an assault rifle and handguns, and opened fire. He had enough ammunition to kill hundreds. Instead, when he heard the first-responders and police closing in, he killed himself. This shows a need for control. This is not how Adam Lanza wanted it to end. He had planned this. With someone with a mental illness, you will see a very disorganized crime and very way-ward handling of their life. Adam Lanza was not way-ward. He firmly put the gun to his head and fired.
When police arrived at his home, they found that the had bashed the hard drive of his computer. Why? To hide any evidence that may be found on his computer. What does this mean? This was absolutely pre-meditated. This was absolutely evil. This had nothing to do with mental illness. This was planned and organized. Adam had even had time to think of ways to cover his tracks. When is the last time you thought of smashing your hard drive up? Exactly. This was clearly, cleverly thought out. Every details. Adam Lanza was sick alright, but not with a mental illness. He was evil.
God bless Newtown.