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Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
…and this is how
How it begins
Begins to twist
Twist and turn
Turn on itself
Itself never knowing
Knowing that
That it has begun
Begun again
Again, this is how
How it begins.
Posted by Blame Makes Us Powerless on December 20, 2012 at 7:52 AM · Report this
Lew Siffer 2
If i had a child my guns would be locked. If I had a mentally ill child who I was intending to have institutionalized I would have the guns in a massive stand up safe. If not for an ounce of prevention nothing would have happened. Mrs Lanza was the fucking nutter. She holds the most blame in this fucked up affair.
Posted by Lew Siffer on December 20, 2012 at 7:57 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 3
@2, i could not agree with you more.
Posted by Charles Mudede on December 20, 2012 at 8:02 AM · Report this
treacle 4
Then why has the majority of the conversation, from the President's office to the media portals --even here at the Stranger-- been about gun regulation... and not about improving mental health care. Why is this not a concurrent conversation?
Posted by treacle on December 20, 2012 at 8:13 AM · Report this
singing cynic 5
I wonder if her "doomsday prepper" had anything to do with her son's mental break - if he believed, like she did, that the world was going to end this week, and he decided to take himself, his mother, and some innocent children out before it happened.
Posted by singing cynic on December 20, 2012 at 8:15 AM · Report this
ferret 6
As much as she has some responsibility in this horrible tragedy, she is still a victim, who was brutally murdered.
Posted by ferret http://!/okojo on December 20, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
Not to make light of it, but this now feels like a Greek tragedy, with the townspeople acting the role of the chorus, commentating on the action and underlining the main themes.
Posted by floater on December 20, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Suppose she had not been killed by her son, would we be calling on her to be prosecuted for her child somehow getting access to her guns? Perhaps. Would we be calling for her to get the death penalty? No, definitely not. She did not deserve to die.
Posted by SantiagoFan on December 20, 2012 at 8:29 AM · Report this
We pay tribute to people with flaws in need of help with cold shoulders and passivity. What a great way to solve problems.
Posted by erly on December 20, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
singing cynic 10
That's a really good point, @8.
Posted by singing cynic on December 20, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
Fnarf 11
@4, because it's a cop-out. Every country has mentally-ill people. Only one lets them have access to as many military weapons as they want.

All of the commentary about mental illness is an attempt to redirect attention away from the real problem. The only solution offered is "do something" or "lock them up". None of the commentary, including yours, has any awareness at all of what treatment for mental illness actually looks like.

And you don't really care. All you care about is making sure that people stop talking about gun control.
Posted by Fnarf on December 20, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 12
Because we are a Christian nation. And Christians practice forgiveness.

Unless it's uncomfortable.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on December 20, 2012 at 8:41 AM · Report this
@11 Military weapons? Since when are civilians allowed access to military weapons? I want some! I haven't got to use those since I was in the military.
Posted by _db_ on December 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
I hold Nancy Lanza as much responsible for these horrific murders just as much as her son. She bought the murder weapons, she kept them in her home where she lived with a deeply disturbed child, she taught this deeply disturbed child how to shoot these guns, and I don't care at all about the fact that she was murdered by her own child with her own arsenal of murder weapons. We reap what we sow in this world and she doesn't deserve to be honored with the innocent victims that died by her murder weapons in the hands of her deeply disturbed son. All the gun nuts are always saying responsible gun owners aren't responsible for gun deaths. No? Well then STFU and eat shit now. Nancy Lanza's supposed responsible gun ownership has left the blood of 26 innocent people all over her, her guns, and her child. Fuck her.
Posted by xina on December 20, 2012 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 15
@12 you win Slog today
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on December 20, 2012 at 9:07 AM · Report this
@2: I would not have guns, period.
Posted by originalcinner on December 20, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 17
@11: One aspect of the "mental health" argument which does have role to play is the simple fact that many people do not seek treatment for mental disorders because they can not afford them.

I am in the health insurance field, and we have members who do not even go pay for medicine they need because the $20 copay is too much. Members who do not even avail themselves to preventative services because the $20 copay is too much. Good luck getting those people to shell out their deductible, and at least a copay a week to see a shrink. Much less get hospitalized.

I agree that the gun control debate is the more important one, but it should be noted that there may very well be less people willing to murder others if we did not make it prohibitively expensive for them to seek treatment for their mental health issues. Keep in mind that those other industrialized countries with mentally ill people: they typically have universal health care.

Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 20, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
@8 perhaps, but that doesn't mean I'll mourn her death.
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on December 20, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
treacle 19
@11 - Concurrent: Existing, happening, or done at the same time.

You clearly have no idea what I actually care about, nor my awareness of anything.

A "cop-out" ? Really.

In 1987, prior to Prozac hitting the market and the current ubiquitous use of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, the U.S. mental illness disability rate was 1 in every 184 Americans, but by 2007 the mental illness disability rate had more than doubled to 1 in every 76 Americans. Robert Whitaker was curious as to what was causing this dramatic increase in mental illness disability. The answers are in his new book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (Crown Publishers, April 2010). (link)

For children, the rise is even more startling—a thirty-five-fold increase in the same two decades. Mental illness is now the leading cause of disability in children, well ahead of physical disabilities like cerebral palsy or Down syndrome, for which the federal programs were created.(link)

You know how "traditional" societies treat mental illness? They give that person a job to do, something simple perhaps, but something helpful, like sweeping the plaza, and they keep that person within the community. They actually have the highest rate of recovery from mental illness.

What do industrial societies do with mentally ill people? Well, they typically lock them away and feed them drugs. Or they ignore them and isolate them. These societies tend to have a low rate of recovery.
Posted by treacle on December 20, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 20
"innocent" children?

Innocent of what?

How is the mother guilty of anything? I'm sure some of the kids' parents also own guns, doesn't that also make them guilty of whatever the shooter's mother is guilty of?

If the shooter broke into one of the kids' house and stole a gun from the parent, then went on to kill the kid, would that kid also be seen as "guilty?"

Stupid, overemotional, reactive country.

Also, what @12 said. Bunch of hypocrites.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 20, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 21
@4, 19: psychiatric treatment takes time, and many of these killings are impulsive. how can the mental health system intervene when, say, the decision to kill yourself or your mom is made within 5 minutes by a person who won't/can't stop to consider their actions?

far more effective to remove access to firearms.

as far as "traditional" societies, you're talking about relatively benign "mentally ill" people. schizophrenics? psychopaths? exile was an method, too. so was execution.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 20, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Clearly, people do not see her an "innocent." Is she?

She clearly liked guns. She thought teaching her son to fire a gun would teach him "responsibility and discipline" and if only she had considered a puppy instead. No, she chose what she liked.

(And as someone who knows about Asperger's, I'm surprised her son went along with it - Aspies are notoriously adverse to loud sounds.)

What did her former husband and her other son know or think about the situation? That would be interesting to know but would they speak ill of the dead?

As to what if she had not been killed, I almost suspect if she hadn't, she might have taken yet another of her guns and killed herself if she knew what her son had just done.

She is a victim but perhaps not in quite the same way as the other ones. Everyone gets to draw their own conclusions.
Posted by westello on December 20, 2012 at 9:47 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 23
@ 20, I fail to see how the Lanza's situation compares to that of someone who is burglarized.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 20, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
Fnarf 24
@17, what you say is true, but the fact is, we do indeed spend billions on mental health in this country. So it's pretty ridiculous to continually call for us to "start looking into mental health". The fact is that mental health issues are extremely difficult to treat.

@19, your cartoon understanding of mental health has already received more attention that it deserves. You sound like Tom Cruise. Are you a Scientologist?
Posted by Fnarf on December 20, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
singing cynic 25
This Asperger's business is also driving me crazy. I have a brother with Asperger's, and he is the least violent person I know. It's also not a dramatic, identity-consuming disorder. He was diagnosed at 14 (the same year he came out as gay), got some talk therapy and most helpfully occupational therapy, and figured out how to translate facial expressions into data about people's emotions. He never lacked empathy, even when he was struggling. He was just an awkward dorky kid who was struggling with understanding how others behaved.

He did fine. He had a ton of friends in college, he has a boyfriend and a career where he wears a tie to work and gets benefits. He's still awkward and dorky, but he owns it. He even used what he learned about social mimicry to create a pretty successful drag persona.

Whatever made Lanza go on a shooting spree, it was NOT Aspergers. Not by a long shot. In fact, such behavior goes against an Asperger's diagnosis.
Posted by singing cynic on December 20, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 26
Oh, so the mother gave those guns to her son?

I thought he took them without her knowledge or permission... you know, stole them from her.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 20, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 27
If the NRA hadn't blocked laws requiring safe storage of guns, this could have been prevented. Nancy Lanza might have been a gun nut, but I haven't seen any evidence that she was willing to flout the law. She seemed have been a little odd, and she had a lot of challenges in her life, but if trigger lacks were mandatory, she'd have had trigger locks. If locked gun safes were mandatory, she'd have probably had one and used it.

Or if you imagine 1000 Nancy Lanzas. If there were a safe storage requirement, a higher percentage of them would have stored their guns safely than without a law.

One of the false assumptions about human nature that the NRA propagates is that everyone who can ignore the law will do so if they can get away with it. Civilization would have collapsed long ago if the only time people obeyed the law was when the cops were watching.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
sirkowski 28
Why should I care what they do with her corpse?
Posted by sirkowski on December 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Well @26, we don't know. Did she keep them locked away and hide the key? That would seem odd given she's the one who showed him how to use them. I would bet he knew exactly how to access them. I don't believe he "stole" them at all.

And that brings up a good point - making gun owners responsible for what happens with their guns. Only if a stranger steals the weapon would I hold a gun owner not at fault.

If your kids or parents or whoever are in your house legally and access your guns, you should also be held accountable. You want a gun? Accept the responsibility of its outcomes.

I'm sure that would make many more gun owners treat their guns in a safe manner.
Posted by westello on December 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 30
The need for mental health care as an anodyne to mass murder meme just distracts from the very real need for gun control. There are no clear reports that Adam Lanza had any mental condition which would indicate a violent personality or prdeiliction to sudden rages. As many recent articles have attested people with psychiatric disorders are not ticking time bombs of potential violence. Yes, we need better mental health services in this country but there is no indication that Adam Lanza would not have committed this heinous crime if he had seen a counselor at some time in the past year.
Posted by thatsnotright on December 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this

Her son was an adult with no prior criminal record or no known problem with violence. It's entirely possible she stored her stuff properly and responsibly, and he simply had legitimate access to them.

This isn't some case of a guy leaving his gun on the bedside table, and a five year old getting a hold of it and replacing it. So seems to me any talk of tougher trigger lock and gun safe laws, etc. is entirely pointless.

Also, giving she was a doomsday nut and the whole Mayan calendar thing, I'm kind of surprised there's not more speculation that it was some sort of murder/suicide pact that she was in on.
Posted by GermanSausage on December 20, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 32

We could try to preemptively lock up everyone we suspect might be a problem, but that's impractical, unjust and likely ineffective. So we agree that we don't want to lock up the mentally ill. So then maybe we need to close the gun show loophole so they can't buy a gun without a background check? Maybe we need to require safe storage of guns? Limit ammunition purchases? Etc.

I'm all for identifying and treating mental illness, but that doesn't address the other half of the problem: the need to limit access to guns.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM · Report this
treacle 33
@21 - Point well taken. But as Mr. Gorath points out in @17, people who may need psychiatric care and even want to get it, may frequently not go because they can't afford it. If this Lanza boy had being going to care, would this have happened? Hard to say, obviously, but perhaps earlier intervention would have helped.

Also note, "schizophrenia" is not a universal mental illness, it is culturally limited -- not all cultures have a mental illness that can be defined or has the same characteristics as schizophrenia. Just for one.

I am hardly opposed to banning guns, especially semi-automatics, and have said so in other posts. We should ban guns --probably all guns-- from cities.

@24 - Ad hominem.
Posted by treacle on December 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 34
@ 26, my understanding is that they were there in the house, accessible to the son. Is that the case, or is it not? (Serious question.)

If they were there, his taking of them is only, in the most technical sense of the word, stealing. And I guess any time a child who has a driver's license (but not his own car) take's his mom's for a drive without telling her, that's technically car theft.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 35
@29, 34,
Whether they were accessible or not, if he took something that didn't belong to him, without the owner's permission or knowledge, that's stealing. That's the literal definition of stealing.

My brother can show me how to ride his motorcycle, and he can show me where he keeps the keys, but if I take it without his permission, that's theft. Period.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
treacle 36
@35 - Yes, Urgutha, but actively breaking in to someone else's house and also stealing their guns presents a significant barrier to taking their guns, versus knowing that unlocked guns are easily available within a house you are allowed to be in.

Should not this distinction be significant in this situation?
Posted by treacle on December 20, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
We know that the early, and usually lasting, narratives proffered in the wake's of such events usually contain inaccuracies and are often wholly false.

I don't council sympathy for Nancy Lanza for her own sake, but rather for ourselves and who we should be as individuals and a community.

Clearly, this should not stop us from corrective action, any more than discussing improving mental health care should stop us from doing meaningful gun control.
Posted by The truth is still putting on its shoes on December 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
anyone with this kind of aresenal is at fault because no one can assure their teenager doesn't know where the key is; or doesn't have some pal who's high on meth who then pressures the son to show the key; or that they won't be held up with a fucking steak knive to give access to the wonderful fucking guns.

guns are the problem, not the answer. check out stats in england for death by gun.

mental health, good god, there's no way we can track adjudicate follow report on the mental health of the 40% of males aged 12 to 30 who show "signs of isolation, depression, lack of affect or other crap that just looks creepy." having arsenals like this around in the average home is just like letting the average post USSR shaky istanistan republic have tons of nuclear weapons -- it's too fucking dangerous.
Posted by can't"manage" 20million bushmasters on December 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
@ 34, yes, literal. Would your brother call the police on you, though? You saw my example of the son taking the parents' car without permission. Do you think they'd call the police to report a stolen car?

Sorry. That remains a bad comparison. Especially since it's unknown whether Lanza had not only free access to the guns, but whether he had permission to access them at any time. If his mom trusted him with them, he definitely did not steal them, even at this most technical definition of the word.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 40
Ok, so if the adult son living at home drinks his parent's unlocked liquor and then takes his parent's car out and hits and kills someone, it's the parent's fault?

Whatever, this is off topic.

What I really agree with is @12.

People are fucking hypocritical opportunists. They don't like what the woman's son did, and they don't like the woman, so she gets vilified. If she'd been the town pastor, everyone would be falling over themselves to comfort her, tell her it's not her fault, and give her asshole a big sloppy kiss in front of the cameras.

Fine, they can hate whoever they want. Hope it keeps them warm.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
blip 41
@35 Personally, I think it should be a crime to not store your guns in a safe and secure location, in the event that someone breaks into your house and steals them (or in this case, a family member can readily access them). I'd also take it one step further and say that if someone steals your gun and uses it to commit a crime, you are an accomplice. This is admitedly extreme and will never, ever happen, but if we are going to continue to pay lip service to the notion to responsible gun ownership, the law should hold gun owners accountable at every step.
Posted by blip on December 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 42

The Lanzas were extremely wealthy. There was nothing keeping Adam Lanza from seeking mental health treatment, except perhaps his mother's denial and his own intransigence.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 43
@ 40, or maybe they're still in shock, going through the stages of grief. Last I checked, "forgiveness" wasn't one of those.

Judge them for not forgiving if they're still hateful and angry in a year (and if they're flaunting Christianity at the same time). Cut them a lot of slack today.

And, in your hypothetical, yes. It's the parents' fault. They could be sued under those circumstances.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 44
I did not want to say this, but i think Nancy Lanza's estate should be sued by the school and parents.
Posted by Charles Mudede on December 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 45
@44: Shall we start arresting the parents of adult criminals as accessories before the fact?
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
@44 Really? That may prove to be perfectly reasonable, but we simply do not have enough reliable information to make such assertions yet, emphasis on the you're being an ASS-ertion.
Posted by The truth is still putting on its shoes on December 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Cascadian 47
I'd just like to add my feeble voice to the choir. Mental illness is an issue, but it's a distraction from the main problem, which is that guns are too accessible.

Safes and trigger locks should be mandatory, or at least required for a gun to be insured (and gun insurance made mandatory). People should be liable when they don't secure their guns. I would bet that in this case and most others the guns were not stolen from a locked safe.

We should also limit ammunition purchases over time to an amount that supports legitimate home-defense needs. If someone wants to shoot off a lot more rounds than that for target practice, they can go to a range, where the law can allow larger amounts of ammo that don't leave the premises, with strict business licensing requirements. Yeah, shooting off a gun at a random location in a national park, or in a local gravel pit, no longer becomes possible. Deal.

And maybe limit gun ownership to one of each major category--one pistol, one shotgun, one rifle. If people want more they can go to the licensed gun range where more guns are kept on the premises. Then even if some disturbed kid steals from his mom's locked gun safe, he'll be limited to three weapons and a handful of ammo for each--not enough for a massacre.
Posted by Cascadian on December 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 48

If the criminals used their parents guns, yes, depending on the circumstances. If the shooter is a minor, yes, absolutely. If the shooter is mentally ill, perhaps, certainly a civil action is in order.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 20, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 49

parents' guns
Posted by keshmeshi on December 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 50
@48: So to be clear: You are proposing that in cases where a minor child commits a criminal act, that child's parents should be arrested and charged in association with that act?

For example, you propose the parents in this case should be charged:…
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 51
Not just a minor child, even ADULTS (see @45's wording).

So if a 50 year old guy gets in a drunk driving accident, the court has to drag in the guy's 70+ year old parents as accessories. Even if they haven't seen their son for decades.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 52

If the child used the parents' guns, yes. Why do you think that's so controversial? We're talking criminal negligence at a minimum.

And, since the kid in that story wasn't yet old enough to legally operate a motor vehicle, yes, his parents should be charged with some form of criminal negligence for giving him access to the vehicle.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 53
Hm. Let's take this farther: what if it wasn't the parent's gun, but a neighbour's? Say the child got into the neighbour's house and stole a gun from them - one that was poorly secured - and then shot someone with it. Are the neighbours liable? Bear in mind that there aren't many laws mandating safe storage of firearms.

Or even farther: I am a law-abiding gun owner. I keep a handgun for self-defense. Well aware that a weapon I cannot get to and use is no more help than no weapon at all, I keep it loaded in my bedside table. One night, I hear a noise and creep downstairs, weapon in hand. I turn the corner and surprise an unarmed burglar! We struggle. In the struggle, the gun goes off and wounds me in the leg. I manage to subdue the miscreant and hold him until the police arrives.

The burglar is duly charged with breaking and entering, and assualt with a deadly weapon for shooting me with my own handgun.

And I am charged as an accessory in my own assault. After all, it was my gun. He only had it because he took it from me.

Sound about right?

God, I love a good reductio ad absurdum!
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
@53 the phrase du jor of reductio ad absurdum (thanks scalia) is often just that..absurd. you can take any position on any issue and extrapolate assumptions and conditions to make anything absurd.

we draw lines, make boundaries tc about what is acceptable or legal and what is not. shades or grey, and there is a huge distinction between criminal and civil liability. so, had the mother lived through hsi, she may not be criminally liable, she and her insurance company would most surely be sued, and settle for damages.

i hope it still happens, and the lawsuits include bushmaster and/or Cerebreus, their owners.

i would bet that , just like tobacco companies, the gun makers have lots of internal docs that show they willfully choose to not make their products safer , so they can maximize profits, knowing those decisions cost lives.

doubt many juries will be sympathetic to that, and a fat civil judgement might change the industry much quicker that legislation.
Posted by Cassette tape fan on December 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 55
And I am charged as an accessory in my own assault. After all, it was my gun. He only had it because he took it from me.

That is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.

Parents have a responsibility to their children, to both keep them safe and to keep them from using items that should not legally be in their possession. If a teenager gets drunk with the parents' knowledge and then gets into a car and kills someone, the parents can and frequently are held civilly liable. They've even been thrown in jail for criminal negligence. Why are you so allergic to personal responsibility?
Posted by keshmeshi on December 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 56
@55: Yes, it is pretty fucking stupid. That was kind of my point, glad you got it.

I am not allergic to personal responsibility. I just fail to see how suing the mother's estate, in this case, for the crimes of her adult child, is an example of it.

No one knows, at this point, how he came into possession of his mother's weapons. All we know is that he did, and that she was his first victim. But Charles, and others, seem happy to have her, a victim of violent crime who - as the gun defenders will remind us - legally owned her weapons, treated as a perpetrator.

That is also one of the stupidest fucking things I've ever heard.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Charles et al., I assume you're all lawyers so you're certain that if her estate was sued, the lawsuit wouldn't be dismissed by a judge who would call it a frivolous suit. Otherwise, you wouldn't be spending your time talking about it, right?

Geezus. Stop with the mother. The assault rifle was bought legally; talk about that.
Posted by sarah70 on December 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 58

Well, I guess whether she bears any civil culpability would be a matter settled at trial. Like whether she knew her son was unstable. Or if she didn't secure her weapons. Even still, *she* was the legal owner, not the son, and if she gave unfettered access to him, then I have no problem placing civil liability on her. Just like if someone is injured on your property, even if the injury is in no way your fault, you're still on the hook for premises liability. Why are you so hostile to even the merest suggestion that people be held responsible for the handling of weapons that are capable of mass murder?

For that matter, why do you even care? She is dead. The only people who have any reason to care whether her estate is sued are her inheritors.

And continuing on with your idiotic reasoning above, if a burglar grabbed your weapon that was sitting on the kitchen table and shot your kid? YOU would be partially responsible for that. Congratulations.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM · Report this
59 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Why is the father not mentioned? What was his involvement? Did he leave this woman to care for their mentally disabled child alone? Did he leave a woman with way too many unsecured guns to care for a mentally disabled adult child?
Posted by Madame Chintoa on December 20, 2012 at 7:59 PM · Report this
I view Mrs. Lanza as a victim....she was a victim of domestic homicide. AFTER that, her weapons were used to take the lives of 26 others who didn't have any connection to her or her son. Maybe I am guilty of splitting hairs but the death of the mother as well as her son are tragic to their family & friends whereas the deaths of the others are a national tragedy.

Mental health concerns as well as gun regulation/control must BOTH be addressed by Congress.
Posted by TampaDink on December 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM · Report this
I also wanted to add that, in a way, I view the killing of Mrs. Lanza as a mercy....she would have suffered for the rest of her life, if not from public scrutiny, certainly with the endless questions of self-doubt....and what if's.
Posted by TampaDink on December 20, 2012 at 11:40 PM · Report this
I'm as shocked as @59, shaming the dead seems really pointless.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 20, 2012 at 11:51 PM · Report this
gr8lakesgrrl 64
Two thoughts: Gun licenses and Mandatory Insurance. Someone else came up with the idea that gun owners should be licensed and required to carry liability insurance. We license drivers and do everything in our power to make sure those tons of steal don't turn into weapons, why not treat guns the same way? In Michigan, for instance, you can't get a license plate for your car until you have a valid driver's license and proof of insurance. There was quite a bit of whining around here when the mandatory insurance first went in to effect, but having lived with it for most of my adult life it just seems normal to me, and prudent.
Posted by gr8lakesgrrl on December 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 65
@58: I am far from hostile to the idea that "people be held responsible for the handling of weapons that are capable of mass murder." I just think that suing the estate of a murder victim seems a bit... late. The responsibility needs to come at the acquisition, possession, and storage stages. Not the "Oops! I got shot by my own gun!" stage.

And why do I care? Seriously? Well, why do any of us care about the victims at Sandy Hook? It's not like we are related to them or anything.

And lastly, yes indeed I would bear personal responsibility in the case you mention - but I question whether that should equate to legal liability. In any event that wouldn't happen because unlike many gun owners, I am not stupid enough to keep a loaded weapon anywhere near where an intruder or a family member might come across it and use it.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 21, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
She'd be blamed for this in any circumstance. Even if she hadn't provided the guns. We'd be asking how she raised him, why they lived alone, why she didn't get him help. If it turns out she did get him help, we'd attack the manner of help she chose. Too many drugs, not enough. Ect, ect, ad nauseum. Once we'd exhausted all the truly low hanging fruit, we'd dig up irrelevant details about her personal life- such as dice games, or doomsday beliefs- and attack them. Oh, wait...we already did that. Hold onto your hats if it turns out she had a boyfriend. Or if she didn't.
Posted by AlliMike on December 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
@66, and we'd only be talking about the mother. Not the father. Never the father. He's out there claiming he and the rest of the family are just as upset as everyone else, and also trying to figure out why this happened. Perhaps if he'd visited, he would have known. Ditto Adam Lanza's brother, who apparently hadn't seen his brother for 2 years, which means he hadn't seen his mother either since they lived in the same house. How convenient for them both.

As far as trying to figure out in a trial whether the mother knew exactly what the son was thinking/feeling before he did that, it would be a little difficult because, you know, she's dead.

Posted by sarah70 on December 22, 2012 at 9:55 PM · Report this
onion 68
35 etc -
cripes! does the government leave its nuclear weapons laying around unsecured and expect everyone to leave them be? no! if someone stole bombs left lying around with no security could the govt just say "hey, they were stolen. it's not our fault that they were used to murder 100,00 people! gosh!"
gun owners have the responsibility of keeping their weapons under complete LOCK AND KEY. the only person who should be able to access a registered firearm is the registered owner of that firearm. at the very least there should be a trigger lock on the things. one with a combo only the owner knows, or at least the key should be hidden and I mean HIDDEN. something like a bushmaster should have 20 trigger locks and be inside about 15 or so bomb-proof safes. and it doesn't matter whether or not the gun thief is sane, crazy, a friend, family or from Mars. the registered owner is responsible for what those guns do. period.
Posted by onion on December 23, 2012 at 5:20 PM · Report this
onion 69
gun rights extremists often suggest that the price of freedom (to bear arms) is the occasional murder or mass murder. well, the price of that freedom to bear arms is also total responsibility for what that gun does. goes both ways.
so if you're gonna keep a loaded gun unsecured in your house just in case that burglar comes by, sure, you get that freedom to feel secure. you also should get sent to jail if your kid steals it and shoots up 20 kindergartners.
Posted by onion on December 23, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this

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