Who was Adam Lanza, why did he kill 20 innocent children, and how is it possible that one 20-year-old can inflict so much pain in the world? If Adam Lanza’s last actions mirror who Adam Lanza was, then he was a young man who had a troubled relationship with his mother, with children, and, most importantly, with himself. According to a Dec. 15, 2012, AP News Brief, Adam Lanza’s former school adviser remembers Adam Lanza as “awkward loner who had trouble feeling pain.”
Richard Novia, who was Newton High School’s school district’s head of security until 2008 and who was responsible of overseeing the students’ use of soldering tools and other potentially dangerous electrical equipment, told the Associated Press in a phone interview that Adam Lanza did not seem to be able “to feel physical or psychological pain in the same way as classmates.”
“If that boy would’ve burned himself, he would not have known it or felt it physically.”
While at Newton High School, Adam Lanza did not only have trouble feeling pain but also trouble relating to his fellow students and teachers.
According to Adam Lanza’s classmates, Adam Lanza was “fascinated by computers and painfully awkward.”
If there is one recurring theme in Adam Lanza’s life, it is that of pain.
In Saturday night’s 10 p.m. News Special, CBS presented a FBI special profiler who talked about what might have caused Adam Lanza’s killing spree and how to spot the next mass killer before he strikes. The FBI profiler spoke about how mass killers blend in, how they are unusual, a loner, a little quirky, reserved, and that most warning signs go unnoticed or ignored.
Similarly, ABC’s 11 p.m. News broadcast presented a published clinical psychologist who spoke about the missed warning signs of Adam Lanza’s killing spree. The clinical psychologist mentioned that mass killers see injustices that were done against them, that they have a tunnel vision, that they try to resolve a problem through homicide, that they do not speak to anyone, that they are strange, that they are loners, that they are disconnected, that they are reserved, that they have difficulty getting along with others, that they have a methodical plan, that the mass killings are not spontaneous, that they fantasize about mass killings, that they want to kill as many people as possible, that an empathy switch gets turned off, and that there is an “unknown factor in there, in the corner in a person’s mind that we’ll never know.”
Maybe it is the missed word in CBS’s and ABC’s analysis of Adam Lanza that is the “unknown factor in there, in the corner in a person’s mind that we’ll never know.”
Why was Adam Lanza insensitive to pain both psychologically and physically as described by his former teacher?
Was the fact that Adam Lanza’s parents had divorced four years ago and that he didn’t see his dad very often a factor? Did something happen to Adam Lanza while he was a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School as mentioned during CBS’s special broadcast? Was Adam Lanza’s merciless killing of 20 innocent children an act of revenge? If so, why would he have killed his mother, 52-year-old Nancy Lanza, in their four-bedroom colonial house before driving the 5 miles to Sandy Hook Elementary School?
Adam Lanza’s aunt on his father’s side said during Saturday night’s CBS special that Adam was a bright boy and smart but that he had already problems in middle school. Since Adam Lanza’s problems continued in high school and Adam’s mother, Nancy Lanza, battled unsuccessfully the district, she ended up homeschooling him. After getting his GED, there are no records that Adam Lanza went to college or had a job reported CBS. So what was Adam Lanza doing? Nourishing his pain?
CBS described that when police found Nancy Lanza dead by having been shot in her face, they also found two computers that had been shot in a most likely attempt to prevent someone else from retrieving information.
Adam Lanza’s aunt said that Adam was a computer geek. Because of a generous divorce settlement of $200,000 a year in support for his ex-wife, Nancy Lanza didn’t have to work. Nancy Lanza was concerned about the direction that the country was going, the economy, and about survival should something happen and that is why she had guns, characterized Adam Lanza’s aunt Nancy Lanza.
A local landscaper in Newtown told CBS that Nancy liked to stay in the house, that she was vocal about her ex-husband, that she was still “reeling from it”, and that the kids didn’t see the father. Nancy was warm and gregarious and brought Adam to practice shooting.
What a deadly combination.
A child with an emotional pain that is stronger than any physical pain, a lack of support by the local school district to attend to any emotional, psychopathic, sociopathic, or other kind of disability, a lack of social interaction, a most likely excessive interaction with computers, nothing to have to work for, and training in how to shoot.
Unlike FBI profilers or published child psychologists, many special education teachers or support group facilitators who work with children that have emotional disabilities know that it often matters more what you do with a child’s pain than why a child feels pain.
Being exposed to pain is part of the human experience. As such, it is a shared experience. Pain turned inward causes self-infliction, cutting, eating disorders, and suicide. Pain turned outward can cause mass shootings.
It is time that FBI profilers and published psychologists start to use the word pain.
It is only when a child’s pain is being recognized, brought to surface, and being accepted that mass killings can be prevented. Like suicide, mass shootings can become an epidemic for anyone that harbors unrecognized and continuously nurtured pain like Adam Lanza. It doesn’t matter so much why there is pain but what happens with that pain.
During San Diego’s CBS 11 p.m. news broadcast on Saturday night, it was reported that Adam Lanza’s neighbors felt that Adam Lanza was disconnected, that he was obviously not well, and that they knew something was wrong.
Why didn’t anyone speak up? San Diego’s News channel recommended that someone could call a mental health crisis hotline. The lives of 20 innocent children and 8 adults could have been saved. One San Diego specialist said that it is not the gun law in America that needs change but mental health law.
So why did Adam Lanza kill 20 innocent children and any adult who got in his way? Sandy Hook’s Elementary School children had what Adam Lanza didn’t have. Sandy Hook’s Elementary School children had two parents, they had teachers that cared (unlike Adam’s high school experience), they had each other, they had laughter, they had hope, they had love, and they didn’t have pain. All enough reason for Adam Lanza to kill them. If he couldn’t have what they had, they had to be destroyed. One of the most lethal tunnel visions anyone can have.
Christmas time or the Holidays is for most people a time of peace and celebration. For people who live in pain, however, it is a terrible reminder of what they do not have. Seeing the cheers, the lights, the music is a joy for some but a torture for others and suicides as well as homicides are more likely to occur.
The legacy that Sandy Hook Elementary School’s innocent victims are leaving behind is that not only America’s gun law and mental health law need change but also the way how parents, teachers, neighbors, and society take care of each other by beginning to use one word, — pain.
Bringing one individual’s pain to light might just change the next killer’s profile and how much of that pain one single person is able to inflict upon the world.