|We must develop better modalities for identifying those who would hurt others.|
There have always been people who have had difficulties in growing up and in launching from their families of origin. I am going to venture a guess that there likely always will be. Sometimes, people who are very bright otherwise, have trouble with the organization of the mundane, and this alone slows their progress. Most of us have known someone from school who was bright, quiet, distant, or who grew up to hear or even dance to the beat of a different drummer, and this, for the most part, is okay. Many times, creative, artistic, and brilliant people don't feel the same needs to socialize or to socialize in the same manner as everyone else. Most of these people do eventually find their way in the world. Some of these people have no personality disorder which is likely to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist. These people are no doubt NOT aided by the present economy, which makes the "launch" more of a fantasy in the Northeast especially, than it should be. Others who fit the "Delayed launch" or"Failure to launch"category have either a personality disorder of some type. A few are struggling with the diagnosis and treatment of either bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or another major psychiatric disorder.
What turns a delayed launch person, into an evil cold blooded killer who chooses to murder large numbers of people including innocent children ? This of course, is the question of the day. The shooter in the Connecticut School Massacre is reported to have been an intelligent, quiet, distant and remote figure. His parents are reported to have each been successful and solidly middle class. His 24 year old older brother is reported to live in Hoboken, NJ and is gainfully employed. He reports that he hasn't spoken with his brother, the shooter, in "a couple of years". The shooter's father is a successful financial employee for GE. His mother was a substitute teacher and is remembered by some as a "competent and rigid personality".
Many people feel disillusioned by family, a perceived lack of support and understanding, perhaps. I try to be understanding of most people, and yet, all the empathy in the world does not guarantee our understanding of our loved ones,or even our own children,at times. What takes a bright young man from being sad and perhaps temporarily aimless, to being a cold blooded killer? Is is illicit drugs ? Is it violent video games ? Is it a lack of empathy which occurs throughout years of daycare ? Is is a world in which mental health help is hard to secure ? Is it general antidepressants ? SSKI's ? Is it a parent who chides a child one more time for "being a loser"? Is it a culture that values youth, fame and money, rather than intelligence ? Is it a culture which glorifies youth, when youth for most of us, is one of life's most difficult and bewildering journeys ? We need to chew on this as a culture before we lock up all the guns, knives, flammables, household chemicals, cars, lawn tractors, axes, OTC medicines, syringes,razor blades, steak knives, hunting knives, ropes, tarpaulins, bungee cords, pens, saws, tape measures, hammers, chisels, and pillows (which could all too easily be used to suffocate others). People with overt mental health issues are our problem, while objects which exist as tools in the world, including guns, are not.
Our prayers continue to go out to the affected families in Newtown,Connecticut, and to anyone else who has lost a loved one through the hand of someone afflicted by mental illness, and there are many.