This past week I wrote something for The Broad Side, Overreacting to the Sandy Hook Tragedy, in regards to the witch hunt against children and individuals that have Asperger’s and/or mental illness. In the past week our society has been developing conspiracy theories, pointing fingers, and debating gun control. Just this morning in my Facebook newsfeed someone blamed psychiatric drugs for the increase of mass shootings.
So I am briefly going to address something here. Personal Responsibility.
In times of tragedy we want answers and we want to look for reasons why someone would commit such a heinous crime, especially against children. I’ve seen people blame guns, violent video games, religion or lack thereof, the mother, the media, Autism and mental illness, and the latest is psychiatric drugs. Adam Lanza made a CHOICE. He and he ALONE.
As a mother to a child who has mental illness that also takes medication I am shocked at the demonizing of children with autism spectrum disorders and mental illness. I also disappointed in the finger pointing at Adam Lanza’s mother. My son to the outside world appears to be an outgoing, polite, and compassionate young man. My husband and I are parenting him to take personal responsibility for his actions and his life. While he has struggles that impact his ability to make choices we stress that ultimately it is he who will decide his fate and that he is surrounded by a multitude of people who love and support him should he need help.
People who know us personally know that we are strict when it comes to what all our children view on television and play on the Wii or XBox. It is not that I believe that viewing things will encourage killing but that it does desensitize us to death, gore, and horror. Is it inappropriate for children, even teens to play these games? I think so. Our society has come to glorify violence and we introduce our children to it at an early age. But is this to blame for the killing of innocent children? No.
I’ve also read and heard that it is a lack of God in our schools that brings on this kind of violence. For those spouting such nonsense I call you fools. God or lack thereof is not the issue. For people of faith, God is always present. Shoving Jesus and the ten commandments down people’s throats or teaching it to children in public schools is not going to create a better society. I suggest those that believe such do some research and read some history on how influential God has been on violence.
Instead of contributing what happened last week on guns, conspiracy theories, and pharmaceuticals let us pause and place blame solely on one person – Adam Lanza. He made a choice. He made a plan. And he did it alone. Sometimes there is no explanation for evil. Not knowing his family, or what his mother did or did not do, whether or not they believed in God, or what if anything was wrong with him, let us look and point fingers to the one and only person that should be blamed – Adam.
There is always going to be things in our society that influence us, but ultimately we make our own choices. If anything is wrong with our society it is the lack of personal responsibility for our conduct.