Skip to comments.Our Sociopaths, Ourselves: What could have stopped Adam Lanza?
Posted on 12/20/2012 6:51:52 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The school shooting in Newtown was so horrific and heartbreaking that it is only natural to call out for whatever it takes to make sure nothing like it ever happens again. It is hard to disagree with those who are demanding stronger gun-control laws and better mental-health oversight of unstable people. But how workable are such measures — and how effective? And are we asking the right questions?
The proposed gun-control legislation sponsored by California senator Dianne Feinstein sounds reasonable. But it is not clear that it would make a difference. It would stop the sale and manufacture of some semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. But would it prevent an Adam Lanza from carrying out his deranged plan? A very large number of such devices are already in circulation. A determined killer can murder and maim dozens with an ordinary pistol or shotgun. Some will say we should implement radical gun control and prevent nearly everyone from having access to firearms. But, like it or not, law-abiding American citizens have a constitutional right to bear arms that would surely prevent mass civilian disarmament.
A more promising solution is to strengthen the nation’s mental-health services. But would counseling have been enough to stop the Columbine or Newtown killers? Sociopaths are good at beating the system. There is no known cure for their condition. In any case, Adam Lanza appears to have had some professional attention. So did one of the Columbine shooters. There have been calls to institutionalize or forcibly medicate mentally unstable people who show a propensity for violence. That can be appropriate in cases where the person poses a clear threat to himself or others. According to one news story, Lanza shot his mother because he believed she was about to place him in a psychiatric facility. How awful it is that she did not succeed. There is an urgent need to provide frightened parents with more treatment options and support. Still, forced institutionalization carries its own risks.
What about those odd, anti-social loners found in every high school? There seems to be widespread agreement that we should keep a closer watch over them. But, according to a 2002 study by the U.S. Secret Service and Department of Education, few school shooters fit that profile: “The largest group of attackers for whom this information was available appeared to socialize with mainstream students or were considered mainstream students themselves.” Nearly two-thirds of the killers had rarely, or never, been in trouble before at school. As a 1999 FBI study, “The School Shooter,” reminds us:
Reliably predicting any type of violence is extremely difficult. Predicting that an individual who has never acted out violently in the past will do so in the future is still more difficult. Seeking to predict acts that occur as rarely as school shootings is almost impossible. This is simple statistical logic: when the incidence of any form of violence is very low and a very large number of people have identifiable risk factors, there is no reliable way to pick out from that large group the very few who will actually commit the violent act. . . . At this time, there is no research that has identified traits and characteristics that can reliably distinguish school shooters from other students. Many students appear to have traits and characteristics similar to those observed in students who were involved in school shootings.
It is natural and human to demand solutions in the face of moral catastrophe. Still, we have to be careful that whatever we do, we don’t create a civil-liberties nightmare that ensnares millions of innocent people.
Why killers like the Columbine and Newtown shooters do what they do is as mysterious as the problem of evil in general. There will be no easy solution. But here are the hard questions no one has answered: Why now? Why us? Americans have always had easy access to guns. But, until fairly recently, no one thought to go to a school to slaughter first-graders. There have always been sociopaths among us. But we seem to have created a society where they feel empowered to act.
— Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Her new book, Freedom Feminism, will be published this spring by AEI Press. Follow her on Twitter: @CHSommers
.357 just above the nose!
Apparently he didn’t see the sign saying the school was a “GUN-FREE ZONE”
They need to make it a much bigger sign, and add “criminals, this means YOU!”
That’ll do it...
One extra hole in the head.
Oh, you mean before the massacre?
A padded room. Tranquilizers. Possibly one extra hole in the head.
No, it's not. She lost me here.
I expected better from Sommers, usually she's pretty good.
What could have stopped him?
One bullet in the right place.
If you took every gun away from every person who legally owns them, there would still be a million guns in the hands of those who own them illegally and they would be available for sale in the street.
A crazy person has only to go on the internet to find ways to build bombs, and other ways to kill. Knives , baseball bats, automobiles,many thing will kill and some crazed POS will use them.
Taking away a person’s right to self-defense will not stop killings.
“And are we asking the right questions?”
Possibly. Possibly not. Each year in Chicago alone, more children are gunned down than there were in Newtown.
Where’s the outrage? Where are the calls for gun control in our ghettos?
Oh. That’s right. These are black on black killings. (yawn) Not worthy of mentioning.
yep.. the only thing that stops this kind of thing— IS— gun violence, against the criminal.
Unfortunately all the pundits seem to be dancing around the obvious solution: Allow the staff and volunteers to be armed in defense of the children. Make it even more unthinkable to attack a school than a police station.
Some time at the cuckoo’s nest. Well, a lot of time there. I remember when the “state” hospitals were open for those that were deemed a threat. All shuttered now cause we sure don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings now do we. Better we have a bunch of dead little kids than hurt one nut cases feelings. Hope the jerks brother has made a call to ron kuby to persue action against all the news jerks that plastered his picture all over worldwide tv as the perp. (And, I can’t stand ron kuby.)
Helping keep mankind warm for 65 years.
The Left has effectively eliminated afterlife justice so so it goes.
Hmmmm ... gee ... that's such a hard question ...
I've got it!
An armed teacher could have stopped Adam Lanza.
An armed administrator could have stopped Adam Lanza.
An armed janitor could have stopped Adam Lanza.
An armed cafeteria cook could have stopped Adam Lanza.
An armed volunteer aide could have stopped Adam Lanza.
Wow! That wasn't so hard, after all, was it?
Mass shooters go to the least protected areas with the most people. “Gun-free” zones create targets, whether they be malls, schools, or cities where guns are prohibited.
Look at the violence in DC, Chicago, New York which have the stongest gun control laws.
Look rather at the shooters. Mental health issues, no access to care, a tie to an anti-psychotic drug. But politicians want to blame the gun, not the person. Much easier. New laws will NOT elminate these attacks.
What could have stopped him? A $300.00 piece of bullet proof glass. With that in place, he cannot shoot out the glass to get into the school. The admin calls 911. The police come to the school and kill him before he can do any real damage.
If a school isn’t going to allow CC, then body armor the school. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it might just slow it down enough so the police have a chance.
What could have stopped him?
The day of teh shooting: a good clean shot to teh face from an armed protector.
Prior to that?
Getting him the help he needed for his mental issues.
Even prior to that: teachers actually teaching instead of politically correct pablum that produces a fine crop of sociopaths from our schools who don’t care about anyone but themselves and their ‘feelings’.
There is evil in this world, and can only be stopped by righteous citizens willing to defend what is right.
But then I guess to a leftist in this country even evil has rights that must be respected.
Leftist ideologies are a birth defect IMHO.
That is the ONLY solution that is proven to work.