Saturday, December 15, 2012

Connecticut school shooting and autism?

On Friday, December 14th, 2012, in Newton, Connecticut, Adam Lanza embarked on a mission of death and destruction. He took two 9mm handguns and shot his mother to death. That wasn't enough for him as he took those guns to Sandy Hook Elementary and opened fire in two classrooms. 20 children of ages 5-10 and 6 adults lost their lives.

The media calls this the second worst shooting of it's kind due to the death toll. I say it is the absolute worst of its kind due to its depth of depravity. Historically school shootings have taken the lives of adults. Horrifically, Adam Lanza chose to kill small children.

I am personally horrified at what has happened and my heart goes out to all the families who have suffered such a terrible loss. It's the worst loss any parent could suffer.

But what about the report that Adam had autism? If you read this Huffington Post article, you'll note that there are many discrepancies being mentioned. Just compare to this AP article (sorry I lost the link and now cannot find it, but you really should google search and compare for yourself).

-Huffington reports that he may have autism OR a personality disorder. This tells me that no one knows what he had or how. This is very important! When the media reports that some spree killer gunman was autistic, they create stigma among the uneducated that hurts the autism community.

-Reports on the guns being properly registered is also debated. Some sources say they weren't and at least one says they were. Not that it matters how they were registered at the bottom line. Adam clearly would have used them either way.

-Reports that his mother worked for the school are debated. Apparently there is report that no one at the school knew who she was.

Obviously, the media is not the best source to learn about autism. And I'll say this too: autism does not mean homicidal. Honestly, anyone can become homicidal and there are a wide variety of factors that add together to explain why. Until the media can get the story absolutely straight, we aren't going to know why he did what he did. There's only one thing that matters; what he did was heinous and an act of despicable terror. We need to remember this.

Again, my heart goes out to the families. My own youngest is 10 and I know all of you parents out there share the sentiment. Adam Lanza, for what ever he was dealing with, decided to become a killer. Now there are so many young minds scarred from his final acts in life. I hope they concentrate on the lives and minds of those poor kids. I also hope they eventually get the story straight.

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