This is not another story on the web to report that, but an attempt to analyze what pushed Adam Lanza, the gunman, over the threshold of holding oneself back from executing such heinous crime.
What happened in a line - An odd, 20 year old student open fired at an elementary school classroom with a stolen gun from his mother, whom he killed first the same day while she slept, and thereby killed 28, mostly 6-7 year old children, teachers, a principal and at last, himself.
The officials are still identifying "his purpose" of killing schoolchildren and adding mental disease like aspergers to his portfolio just to give "meanwhile" answers to the demanding media, to the heartbroken parents and to the global community. They probably will never be able to identify the real motive. However, investigation will happen and in the end they will produce a report summary with "some" motive. So, I said, let us help them.
Before I go ahead, let me put in lucid terms, the debate of possession of guns wouldn't help much in this case. It's the doer, his ideas, his actions that produce such results. Guns are just "first option" to achieve them. And Adam, didn't even possess them. He stole them from his mother. If not from mother, then from someone else. If not semi-automatic guns, then simple rifles and use conversion kits to make them semi-automatic. If no conversion kits, then probably bombs. If not bombs, then a masterplan of car-bombs. There are so many ways of achieving mass murder that we'd need wikipedia to chronicle it. We can only stop such incidents by stopping the motives, not identifying and stopping the means of achieving them.
That said, since guns ARE the first option, proper administering the gun possession licensing would certainly reduce the frequency of such incidents. Maybe Lanza would have not even thought of killing if he didn't know that his mother had stored guns in the closet.
Anyway, let's shift the gaze to the main point which is similar to the subject I covered in the post Colorado and Manesar - Signs of 2012
Adam Lanza is characterized as a loner, odd individual, a computer geek, one of those of your acquaintances whom you'd not see for days and on re-appearing they wouldn't even see hello. They are calling him retarded or mentally ill, but he may be just all right technically. May be, just a series of events in his life guided his thoughts, overwhelmed him, to balance his low social activity graph.
I researched about him a bit. He was born on May 26, 1992 that categorize him as a pure Gemini (not on a cusp). And most important characteristics of a gemini are
a) They are dual natured, complex and inconsistent.
b) They demand attention and admiration from people around them.
c) They are high spirited, creative and capable of surprising anyone with their breathtaking ideas.
.............which Adam certainly did.
According to sources, his mother was fond of guns. She would take young Adam to shooting ranges. Now Adam was a high IQ, bright kid. He didn't have friends but a laptop to share feelings with. Probably, everyday he faced social neglect from probable relatively lower IQ kids whom he attests as misunderstanding fools. He played first person shooter games to extract the anger built up from the constant social neglect. He would get double kills, triple kills, ultra kills in Quake or Counter Strike. But he would eventually realize that he was just wasting his time on the stupid games. He had done nothing to demand attention and admiration from his surrounding people. He had done nothing to show those finger-pointers that he isn't a loser, stupid kid. He would turn into a computer geek, learn hacking and become a system destroyer. Will he achieve his aim then? No. He probably would funnel out his anger by disrupting systems but even then he wouldn't teach those early life school acquaintances a lesson. Amidst all these accumulated grievances and self questioning that tortured him night and day, he still had one fascination in his life which seemed to fit him, which he really, really enjoyed a lot. Guns. Every night he would plot, plan and replay the array of events he would perform using this fascination. And when he is convinced of the foolproof planning, he would get a sound sleep.
Grievance and fascination.
But why kill such little school children? There are two possibilities. One. He didn't think of which age group to kill. Just went in to wreck havoc upon the nearest school which had minimum event-barriers. Two. He spent the ugliest years in that age group and was jealous of these school children. Since, he hadn't matured by mind, may be he didn't feel the psychological barrier of those children's innocence.
The police investigated and interrogated the gun sellers, the near shooting range dwellers and whomever they could, if anyone had practiced with guns in the vicinity. Since, to carry out a massacre in even a school, one would need some amount of training. According to the report, no one witnessed such a thing. And probably Adam wouldn't have trained himself physically. Somewhere the time wasted in Counter Strike had to come of use. There are many who learned 90 percent of driving just by playing NFS.
All he needed was a detailed description of the school, classrooms, number of watchmen, teacher staff's sex ratio, number of guns and bullets. So he went to nearby schools for survey and chose a school. With that mental imagery he planned it all, nights after nights. And one night he watched Nike's commercial. So, he quietly stole the guns after his mother slept off and felt them physically. He felt powerful. Adrenaline pumped and right then he had decided to carry out the plan the next morning. But, again, why would he kill his mother. Again two possibilities. One, he held her partly responsible for his "condition". Two. he didn't want her to read the news. So before she woke up, he shot her in the face so that she dies without pain. Next, he stuffed all those guns in a school bag and stepped out of the house to play a real game in 3D.
And he played with his developed instinct. Reportedly, the school principal, a 51 year old lady pounced on him to save the schoolchildren. But was caught in air by the bullets. The teachers ran astray as he caught them in terror. And the tiny children. They wouldn't even have known what they are facing. This single image of those cute little children staring at a gunman in utter ignorance and innocence only to be shot the next second had me in tears when I read the news as it had many others. "My heart goes out to those children" was the most typed tweet in the following day. Add to that the image of those lucky children who were later escorted out of the school with their eyes closed so that they don't witness a lifelong depressing and horrific aftermath. Yes, the heart does go out.
After he had accomplished the mission, either out of quirk of whim or sudden realization of shame, he killed himself.
I wrote reasons for an unreasonable act. One may deem it foolish do. But that doesn't wipe them away. World's population is near 7 billion. Twenty percent of them are children. A percent of them may be are currently living under social neglect which CAN be suppressed. That number can be pretty huge. Putting the age where social media is the most happening thing the effect will only be compounded. Our children can be taught to discourage bullying or laughing upon someone just as ragging is banned from colleges. Every personality which is not in disorder should get the necessary respect.
The solution is not just banning the semi-automatic guns but also providing these easily identifiable neglected children the admiration and attention they seek.
Nobody chooses to be alone.