In light of last Friday's tragic school shooting, some people are arguing that gun control is just a band-aid, and that access to mental health services in this country is the real problem. But the thing is, if I cut myself, I'm not going to say, "No, no band-aid for me, thanks! It won't heal the wound completely on its own!" Instead, I will say, "Yes, thank you! The band-aid will alleviate the pressing concern and protect me!"
Some people think gun control is a band-aid but you know what? Sometimes band-aids are useful.
You've probably read the "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" piece that was on the front page of the internet yesterday. Writer and teacher Liza Long shares stories about her middle son, whom she calls Michael. Michael suffers from something that causes him to frequently threaten to hurt and kill other people and himself. Long is overwhelmed by her situation, and expresses a deep kinship with Adam Lanza's mother, Nancy, who died at her son's hands early Friday morning before he went on to kill 26 people, 20 of them just six and seven years old, at Sandy Hook elementary school.
First, an aside. I found it kinda creepy that on Long's website, although she changed her son's name, she used his photo. He is thirteen years old, I'm pretty sure he knows how to use the internet, and if I saw that my mom wrote something like that about me when I was thirteen — or, scratch that, anything about me when I was thirteen — I'm pretty sure I'd freak out. (And she blogs about her kids a lot. This link might be taking much of what Long has written out of context, but it still gives an overview of the various, intense ways in which she's talked about her family before.)
End of aside.
Obviously, the much bigger issue is that Liza Long is not Adam Lanza's mom. The similarity begins and ends with the having of mentally ill sons. That's all we know, and it's dangerous to assume more than that.
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