Quantcast
U.S. & World

'I am Adam Lanza's mother': Writer says it's time to talk about mental illness

Comments

Return To Article
  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    Did the killer's mother own an AR-15?! Did she keep the assault rifle in her home knowing that someone else living with her was mentally ill? Am I the only one has problems with this?

  • jttheawesome Scranton, PA
    Dec. 17, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    I am not certain that armchair quarterbacking with the advantage of hindsight will accomplish anything here. What the writer of this article is saying, is that too many of these kids - mostly boys, apparently - are falling thru' the cracks and getting the wrong treatment or no treatment. As a program services worker for a rescue mission, I encountered several teenagers who fit into this category of mental illness, and they were frightfully similar to "Micheal" in this article. Whether these children come from wealthy families, such as Adam Lanza, or poor or middle class families, these kids need to be identified early and treated early. Unfortunately, some extreme cases may have to be taken out of the home before they harm others or themselves. However, I believe that most of these children are treatable, given proper diagnosis, along with the love and attention that such youngsters need.
    One other note: As a Christian, I believe that in at least some of these cases, there may be demonic influences occurring, which merely tend to exasperate any existing medical/mental conditions. Please, do not rule out the power of prayer in the Name of Jesus Christ as part of the treatment.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    @Big Bubba
    You are not alone. We're all appalled at that fact.
    But I have little confidence in our mental health professionals. We've had numerous local examples of KNOWN mentally ill people out among us who have used a knife or a bomb to kill.
    The drugs need careful dosing and, by the admission of the professionals, don't always work.
    Here we have a case of an intelligent, middle-class mother who was unable to manage her son. What hope do we have of home care in lesser circumstances.
    We need institutions and we need mental healh professionals who can identify the dangerous ones.
    Unfortunately, we have neither the political will nor the exxpertise to do that.
    Without guns the mayhem will be carried out with gasoline or chainsaws or knives or bombs or...

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    Yesterday I gave a blessing to a grandmother who was beaten up by her daughter. She thought she had a concussion, but with no health insurance, medical help is expensive. The grandmother tends her daughter's son and assists with her daughter expenses. I assured her that she did not deserve to be physically abused, though she deeply loves her daughter. I encouraged her to file a police report, because I honestly have no idea what else to do. After the blessing, I rose to leave and my knees buckled. I had this deep abiding desire to help her talk with her daughter and be her advocate. I didn't want to leave her, knowing how many difficult obstacles were before her.

    Same day, I helped another sister get to church. She has a son that was just expelled for punching another student. She and her son have been trying to get help for months, begging the school to evaluate him, because of his fits of anger, and she's a single mom, no money, and the schools are not equipped to help her. This article raises important issues, something we need answered.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    This is an issue I really hope the legislature takes up this session. The part of the article that got me was that they couldnt do anything unless charges were pressed.

    Isn't an ounce of prevention better than a pound of cure? Why do have to let things get to that level before we can intervene?

    While there is nothing we can do to prevent every tragedy, we can do something. Think of how many lives can be saved, or at least transformed. While not every child in this situation will end up violently taking the lives of others, we can still help them and make them productive members of society.

    There has to be a better solution than locking them up in prison. We don't arrest people for having strokes, so why should mental illness be any different?

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    We have got to stop the attack about guns, that is not the core of this issue. The problem is these young kids, mostly boys who are having a problem far bigger than themselves and even their parents. About three years ago, I approached my step-son about his son possibly having ausbergers, about six months ago he finally said, maybe he has this. But he still is not doing anything to help this young man. When a person breaks a leg, they get instant treatment and physical therapy, many times that leg will become stronger then it was before. When a person is mentally broken, they need to get treatment and therapy and learn to take their weakness and let it become a strength. I have another step-son who has ODD, ADHD and Ausbergers, he is a wonderful person, not always been that way, but he had a mother that really understood him and helped him to develop, he now has a great wife that has helped him a lot. He also grew up in a home with loaded guns and was taught to respect them and keep his hands off them. And they did, all five kids.

  • CCJones Lehi, Ut
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    Those who hold ownership of these weapons should be held much more accountable. Just like if someone gives a wmd to a terrorist that person will be accountable. The guns are not the problem, its people leaving them around for there mentally ill kids to use on purpose or by accident. This story mentions video games. Its time to ban or control the use of violent video games, just like we do with drugs and alcohol.

  • Calif granny PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    In the 1980s, under the Reagan administration, funding for mental health was severely cut. The gates and doors of the institutions opened and many who emotionally could not care for themselves were freed. Many were Vietnam vets who were severely emotionally damaged. I too live with a son who has had emotional issues. Incarceration meant being put on psychotic meds that were never monitored to see what effects they were having. Once such an individual is no longer a minor, a parent's hands are tied. Laws were put into effect that had unintended consequences keeping parents and family members from knowing what meds if any their loved should be taking on a regular basis. My son for now is doing well but there have been times when my other grown children have feared for my safety and life. There have been years that if a week went by without a threat it was a rarity. We're told a Mother's love has no bounds and I believe that and try to live it. Unfortunately, it also puts a strain on other family relationships as well. I pray our President will address our Country's mental health issues.

  • Leopard Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    Where's his father?

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    This mother's article is right on point.

    Although our resources for physical illness are the best in the world, when it comes to mental illness we are still in the stone age. It's a mystery to treat, even with medications. Our emphasis should be on proper recognition and treatment of the illness.

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    I know several people with similar circumstances. One such family opted to turn the custody of their child over to the state because of the risk he was imposing on the entire family and possibly other persons. I don't know what it means to give custody to the state - maybe it is the mental health units that are being run but I don't think it involved a prison. I have no answers. Just my sympathy for a very painful situation.

  • Scott12345 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    Wow. I really appreciate this article. I don't know any kids that act this way towards their parents. I feel like a lucky parent now.

    We need to find a way to help parents in this situation. They've basically identified the problem kids already. I can't believe that there aren't any programs to help. There's no way any parents could handle this kind of situation solely within the family.

    I don't have any answers, but we definitely need to help parents in this kind of situation.

  • lqqk pocatello, ID
    Dec. 17, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    There used to be places where children and adults with mental illness were put to live out their lives without risk to the rest of society. These place have largely been done away with as being a cruel way to treat mentally ill people. It is time to realize that sometimes it is better to have places where mentallly ill people are placed where they can't harm themselves or others. Too many are returned to their homes with medication that doesn't work or they refuse
    to take. It is time to lock some mentally people up for the safety of the rest of us.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 17, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    "He also grew up in a home with loaded guns and was taught to respect them and keep his hands off them."

    That is great. Kids should be taught that.

    And then those guns should be locked up.

    Adults that leave loaded guns unlocked and accessible to children should be prosecuted if the child hurts themselves or someone else.

  • JMHO Southern, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 1:21 p.m.

    The person who did this crime was an adult. You can not force an adult to get help. Our laws in the U.S. make it difficult to put an adult under care due to the possiblility that they could harm someone...until they actually do. There was a time in the U.S. where mentally old adults were regularly declared incompetent. Which is better? Locking up a lot of people for safety or allowing all the right to freedom.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    As an avid sportsman I own many guns and enjoy hunting, sport-shooting, and target shooting. I believe hand guns serve an important role in self-defense and should be legal. I am completely against assault rifles. I believe the only individuals who should own and use them are police and military. We need an aggressive assault rifle ban for all others.

    School doors should be locked. Lanza alerted the principle as soon as he shot out the front door to make entry. The principle further bought time as she confronted Lanza in the hall way. This allowed teachers to immdiately begin lock-down procedures, which saved lives. 3

    And more importantly we need to address mental health issues. This article is well written and right on target. We may not be able to completely stop mass murders but we can limit them. Every life saved is worth our efforts.

  • ute4ever West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 1:59 p.m.

    People here are calling for the President or the government to enact some kind of legislation to help mentally ill people. I would like to know which program you want to cut to enact this. Education? Military? Medicare? Medicade? Social Security? At some point the American people have got to stop looking to the government to rectify the problems in their life and take control themselves.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    This article points out the elephant in the room: Most often the problem isn't the gun; it is mental health. But because we as a society are not comfortable discussing it, or paying for it, or living with it, we claim we have a gun problem. Lock up the guns and it will become a knife problem, because we aren't addressing the real problem.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 3:08 p.m.

    I would not want to live in a world where safeguards are in place to prevent any possible evil.
    Do you really want armed guards and electronic screening (and maybe a strip-search now and then) to enter an elementary school? Or a theater? Or a shopping mall?
    Not me.
    From therapy to dosing to predicting violent behavior our mental health professionals are ill-equipped to handle the Adam Lanzas of the world.
    And we surely are not willing to create new state mental hospitals.
    That leaves the politicians to dabble in gun control to appear to be doing something. I'd prefer they do nothing.

  • Hostage in our Home Sandy, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 3:51 p.m.

    Only someone who lives with mental illness can understand the frustration and fear that comes with it. We have dealt with this for over ten years, where you never know when the threats and violence are coming. The police have been called many times, for a "mental health check."
    Every time our son who is almost 30 is transported to the hospital, only to be released when HE determines it is time. People with these disorders refuse to stay on their prescribed medications, and the cycle continues. I feel it is a life sentence without possibility of parole. I've read articles about "mental health court", but have been through the legal process with our son with no positive results.
    It seems that our court system is there, just to justify their jobs, and provides no real help to these people. Is there nothing available to help families who are captive in their own homes?

  • Alfred Ogden, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 4:40 p.m.

    "Writer says it's time to talk about mental illness"

    It's time to tell people not to have guns in their homes where a mentally ill person resides.

    @Darrel:
    "We don't arrest people for having strokes, so why should mental illness be any different?"

    Stroke victims rarely if ever get guns and shoot people. The mentally ill are more inclined... especially if there are guns present and they are taught how to use them.

    @JoeBlow:
    "Adults that leave loaded guns unlocked and accessible to children should be prosecuted if the child hurts themselves or someone else."

    There are very few times that a determined child can't get access to a gun regardless of how well it's locked up.

    @JMHO:
    "The person who did this crime was an adult.

    Yeah, but he was a child at one time... and likely displayed tell-tale characteristics. The problem is, the making of guns available.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Dec. 17, 2012 5:03 p.m.

    Americans screaming for the govnt to solve these issues are being simplistic. The govnt cannot solve every problem. The real question is why are we having such issues with our young men ? America did not have these issues at this level years ago.

    Some of these kids shouldnt be in school but what do you with kids where both parents work or a one parent family ?
    Part of me wonders if some of these boys would be better off working on a farm all day with a stern male.

    Have these kids ever been hiking 20 miles and camping out under the stars ?
    Not everyone is happy growing up in surburbia. I dont have the answers thats for sure but I wish these parents well.

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    Dec. 17, 2012 5:08 p.m.

    CT98,
    The Lanza guy did not have an assault rifle. He did the shooting with handguns and had a Bushmaster in the trunk of the car that was not used. Also, a Bushmaster is not an assault rifle. If one of those teachers or administrators had a gun the situation would have been far different.

  • UGradBYUfan Snowflake, AZ
    Dec. 17, 2012 5:14 p.m.

    As was stated in this article, there really does need to be some better options for the treatment of mentally ill individuals. I have watched helplessly as my older brother went through the mental "care" system over the past 48 years.

    My brother is 60 years old and has been in a State Hospital or Long-term care facility since he was 12 years old. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 10 years old. After being in the hospital for a time, he was sent on a bus to Los Angeles when he was 18 yrs old, because of Ronald Regan's policies on releasing mental patients during the 70's. He reentered the State hospital two days later when he became violent. He was sent to Atascadero State Hospital for the criminally insane after he started lighting various objects on fire. I have been told by case workers about him being taken advantage of by unscrupulous caretakers and sexual predators that were in Atascadero State Hospital as well as Camarillo State Hospital. My dad died back in 1976 and there is no way that my 5' 1" mother could have handled my brother.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 17, 2012 5:33 p.m.

    I have dealt with students who have mental illnesses, especially schizophrenia, and it does scare you to death. We simply have to get a handle on diagnosing and treating such individuals and as a bare minimum making sure they can't harm innocent people.

  • bkcharles Snowflake, AZ
    Dec. 17, 2012 5:49 p.m.

    Part II
    I saw the results of the abuse on my brothers body when we visited him. He didn't deserve what he got, but we had no way of being able to afford a better care facility, nor could we have him at home.

    Can you imagine putting your 12 year old boy in a State Hospital? Is that humane? But that was what my parent's choice was. Now instead of putting the mentally ill in the mental hospital they are kept in the homes with families that have little or no support, unless the child commits a crime, then they are put in prisons

    It is said that the measure of a society is how they treat those that are the most vulnerable.

    For those of you that are arguing against government intervention, my question is: give me some reasonable alternative. The private sector hasn't helped out yet, and it doesn't seem likely they will.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 6:28 p.m.

    I hear about these cases frequently, but society is still reluctant to use the "hot stove" rule. No matter how gifted or retarded or atypical a person is, they will only touch a hot stove one time--maybe twice if they're really slow. But they won't do it repeatedly unless they're fully psychotic, because it burns every single time. It doesn't care what you say or what you think--it just burns. If people got that kind of reaction from their environment, then regardless of the availability of sophisticated so-called therapy, their behavior would change. But we're too civilized for that, right? Or are we just too willing to complicate the obvious instead of doing something logical?

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 6:32 p.m.

    It's always easy to blame the tool instead of the problem. Did anyone propose banning airplanes after the Twin Towers were hit? If this kid had poured gasoline down the school chimney, would we be talking about banning fuel? We need to start talking about the root cause, and the root cause is the perpetrator, not the tool. Is that too hard to figure out?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 6:35 p.m.

    I really appreciate this woman's story. It is very heart wrenching.

    It's not that I take any issue with her experience but somewhat with her analysis.

    With Lanza he was a deeply troubled individual yes, but he was also very introverted, the opposite of her son. Klebold and Harris shared some of these same attributes somewhat but in their case two deeply troubled souls in this large school "found" each other and created a sick relationship.

    We need to be careful with boys and the internet and boys and video games. I have even enjoyed video games at times in my life I confess. But I think this is not a good activity/outlet overall. I think boys need to be doing sports, engaged in artistic pursuits, engaged in the outdoors, engaged in hard work and engaged in service. And playing wii sports is much different than doing some of these extremely violent video games. Combine anti-social behavior, deep alienation, obsession with the Internet/video games and trouble is more likely to brew. It is not a cure all what I'm suggesting but just simply bettering the odds.

  • deej247 LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ
    Dec. 17, 2012 6:54 p.m.

    This article is so true. Having a son with mental health problems and never getting the help needed has torn our family apart. He now lives on the street or in homeless shelters. Only hope is for divine intervention on his behalf as all other interventions have failed. Mental illness is so misunderstood and there are really no good options especially when that child is now and adult.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 6:56 p.m.

    @Darrel:
    @Alfred

    "We don't arrest people for having strokes, so why should mental illness be any different?"

    Stroke victims rarely if ever get guns and shoot people. The mentally ill are more inclined... especially if there are guns present and they are taught how to use them.

    =========================

    I absolutely agree with you, however, the point was to help these individuals. Teach them proper coping skills, give them medication they need. We as a society need to lose the stigma that exists with mental illness. We fear what we don't understand, and most people don't understand something as simple as depression.

    We feel like we are forced to wait until something bad happens before we can treat it.

    We give flu shots to prevent the flu, we wash our hands to prevent the spread of illness, we encourage people to get an annual physical, why not encourage everyone to see a psychiatrist for a mental check up yearly? I can guarantee that Adam Lanzas had problems going back way farther than a year.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 17, 2012 7:04 p.m.

    re:Bomar
    Lanza, 20, fired a Bushmaster .223 semiautomatic rifle to kill many of the 20 children and six adults at the school Friday, Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Dec. 17, 2012 7:05 p.m.

    Here's a story closer to home than Connecticut. Any of you recall the stabbing death just last month of Zita Guodis, age 58, by her bi-polar 36-year-old daughter that occurred at their rental home in Cottonwood Heights? Do you recall that the mother had begged a local judge for "help". He suggested a protective order, which she said would not work. She was right! The daughter, Airida, told investigators that she’d gone off her medication, and that when she did, “bad things” would happen. And, imagine this, there were no guns involved, yet murder still occurred.

    How much longer should families have to struggle with members who need mental health treatment, but won’t or can’t obtain it?

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    Dec. 17, 2012 7:05 p.m.

    I see no mention of a father. Are the three kids siblings or half-siblings? At the risk of being non-PC here, I think this is part of the pattern that is seldom if ever brought to light by the media.

    I do mean to condemn this lady, but what choices has she made that has led to his child's behaviour? I am a little old fashioned too. Has this youngster ever been spanked? Sadly enough, a sudden surprise swat or two to the butt can go a long way to heading off this kind of behaviour down the road.

    Choices bring consequences. As we are often reminded, we can make choices but we cannot choose the inevitable results. They are often times predictable.

  • WillTheWolf SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 7:45 p.m.

    I think #Leopard is on to something. The disintegration of the traditional American Family is certainly part of the overall issue as it seems that each time there is a shooting . . . a broken or dysfunctional home is part of the perpetrator's background; but the MSM won't talk about that because they're agenda is focused on guns.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 17, 2012 8:29 p.m.

    "There are very few times that a determined child can't get access to a gun regardless of how well it's locked up."

    Most kids I know can open a drawer with ease. I have yet to see one who could pick a safe.

    They may get access to a gun, but it wont be my gun.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Dec. 17, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    For us Latter-day Saints, let us be aware of the reality that Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration, and his wife Emma, an Elect Lady, had a child who suffered from mental illness. Their youngest son David Hyrum, born five months after Joseph’s martyrdom, grew up free from its stranglehold, but was struck down by it in his early 20’s. His symptoms would today be diagnosed as schizophrenia, which today we know onsets for many during young adulthood. David Hyrum Smith ended up living out the last 30 years of his life in an asylum for the insane near Chicago.

    We must recognize that mental illness exists and is no different than physical illness. De-stigmatization of it must occur also. During Mental Illness Awareness Week this past October I read that 25% of the population will struggle with mental illness, at some time in their lives; ranging from things like schizophrenia all the way to ADHD. Based on friends and family in my life, this number appears to be accurate. Why must this be such a silent struggle?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 17, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    Let me also add that if you cannot find a way to keep your guns from getting into the hands of "determined" children, then you have no business owning guns in the first place.

    Gun ownership carries with it, a responsibility. People need to consider what that entails before purchasing a firearm.

    I bought the safe before I bought the guns.

  • Mr. Bean Ogden, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 9:16 p.m.

    @Bomar:
    "If one of those teachers or administrators had a gun the situation would have been far different.

    Could be, but here's how I visualize that scenario... The gun would need to be locked up for fear that some student would find and use it. And if it were locked up, I can see the teacher fumbling in his/her desk drawer or purse for the key, all the while bullets are flying, some perhaps even hitting hem/her. Or everyone would forget where they put it with teacher turnover, etc.

  • Gosh-DUH Burlington, CT
    Dec. 17, 2012 9:32 p.m.

    To Bomar, there was a lot of incorrect information early on. The 20 children and 6 women were all shot multiple times, 3-11 times each. Lanza used a handgun to kill himself. The shotgun was in the trunk of his mother's car; he drove her car to the school after shooting his mother 4 times in the head.

    NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Adam Lanza used a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle during his rampage through Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, firing dozens of high-velocity rounds as he killed 20 children and six adults, authorities said Sunday.

    Lanza, 20, carried "many high-capacity clips" for the lightweight military-style rifle, Lt. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, told The Huffington Post in an email. Two handguns and a shotgun were also recovered at the scene.

  • Neanderthal Ogden, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 10:40 p.m.

    @JoeBlow:
    "They may get access to a gun, but it wont be my gun."

    If you leave it in the safe and never get it out, I'd say you'd be right. In which case why have a gun in the first place?

    It's easy to leave a gun unattended for a few moments. That's all it might take.

    I know a guy who was headed out the door to go hunting. He had to go potty before he left for the forest so he set his gun down on the couch for a few seconds. His very young son went over to it to investigate and in the process accidentally pulled the trigger. Bang! The bullet went through the couch, wall, and lodged in the fence outside. Luckily no one was hurt.

    The gun is always locked tight in a safe while not in use.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:06 p.m.

    In the county I live in, you practically have to commit a crime to get help, and since 'counsellors' are not licensed by the state, what they get is anyone's guess. I got more help in AA than from most counsellors i've seen. Having said that, we've got to go with what we've got. essentially, not much of a delivery system --. what i'm trying to say is that since gun control will be so divisive, there's a better chance of getting 'something' by building and funding mental health delivery -- publicly and privately. It's multiple apollo 13 on steroids and we have a problem. Mostly what we need is to remember how to give a helping hand. distrust and antagonism have become our most important product.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:24 p.m.

    to hostage in sandy. a generation or more ago, in the context of generations of abuse and maltreatment, the courts began asserting constitutional protections for institutionalized person, gazillions were set free and entry requirements skyrocketed. These rules are very dysfunctional, but people have rights. it might work better were there were delivery/monitoring facilities available, and mental health is not a preferred budget item, but I think it would be a public good -- something we all would benefit from. Since people kill people, etc., what else can we do implement mental health standards. we've seen demonstrated that there's a problem. talk it up. we're the people. this shouldn't be a partisan impaired effort.

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    Dec. 18, 2012 12:05 a.m.

    The common thread that seems to run through at least three of these mass killings is a lack of father in the home. In Blankenship's book, Fatherless America, he talks about the "built-in" respect that young men have for older males. I think this is especially needful with boys that have mental health issues. Our country's crisis is the breakdown of the family and what we really need are fathers that stay with their wives and biological children.

  • EnglishAlan Rugeley, Staffs
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:07 a.m.

    I personally believe that some of the problem with society happens when folks leave the X-Box, the Wii and other game consoles to become the baby-sitter. I have been in homes where kids sit in front of a screen indiscriminately killing people with all sorts of weapons. They become dispassionate about other people, and pulling the trigger on a real person becomes as easy as disposing of the imaginary people on screen. That is why in our home such games have been a strict no-no. I went to one home where my son was sat playing such a game with the son in the family. I asked the parent not to allow him to play that game when in their home. I went by another time, and found my son playing the same game. He no longer visits that home.

    Add to the above the wanton killing that happens in our movies and TV shows, and you have a sure-fire way of anaesthetising the human feelings of those in society who are prone to fits of depression or mental illness. "It's okay on the screen, so it's okay for me," becomes their norm.

  • june Provo, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:42 a.m.

    Perhaps an even more fundamental issue is the mayhem and destruction caused by unnecessary, wildly dangerous toxic molecules called, as a group, “Psychotropic Medication”.
    These drug-addled, Genome Disrupted brains respond to neurotransmitters in literally lethal ways, brains whose impusivity thresholds are lowered far more than alcohol can lower them, people whose ability to examine and evaluate their thoughts and impulses have been severely damaged by the poisonous drugs they have been given DO kill people.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    Unfortunately we dismantled our adult long term care mental institutions years ago as being anachronisms of unenlightened treatment. We replaced them with mind and mood control drugs and group homes. All we have left are jails and prisons. But as the article points out there is a growing number of adults who can not be controlled by drugs or therapy or are too dangerous for group homes. We must admit our mistake and build new facilities that will house these people and take away the need to declare them criminals. No one should have to bare the burden of caring for these adults in fear and worry alone. This is one area where conservatives and liberals can find common ground.

  • liff Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    @Mr. Bean
    The real scenario: A skilled person, with training and a CWP, pulls his or her weapon and ends the situation. We trust these teachers with our children everyday, but refuse to give them the tools to be effective. I have absolutely no problem with a teacher or administrater that has past a background check and been trained to handle a gun, carrying at school. Every time I see a DARE vehicle when I drop off my son, I know that One person is there to protect him. "Gun Free Zones" results in only criminals having guns. People who kill other people like this look for the path of least resistance. If they believe that there are people in the building with weapons to stop them, they will not go in. They are cowards. You sure don't see them running into a police station with guns blaring.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    Like in Australia, have the government buy up all Military type, large clip type assault rifles and clips out there at market value and impose jail time thereaftrer for owning one. I have owned guns all my life, hunted nearly everywhere, and a life membger of the NRA, this thing has gotten out of hand. Let hand guns alone. They are needed for self protection.

    As for the mentally ill this also has gotten out of control. We need answers, however, I doubt in this liberal sociiety it can happen. Killings will continue to plague our nation because we are poorly led.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Dec. 18, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    Let's try to post this a 2nd time:

    Here's a story closer to home than Connecticut. Any of you recall the stabbing death just last month of Zita Guodis, age 58, by her bi-polar 36-year-old daughter that occurred at their rental home in Cottonwood Heights? Do you recall that the mother had begged a local judge for "help". He suggested a protective order, which she said would not work. She was right! The daughter, Airida, told investigators that she’d gone off her medication, and that when she did, “bad things” would happen. And, imagine this, there were no guns involved, yet murder still occurred.

    How much longer should families have to struggle with members who need mental health treatment, but won’t or can’t obtain it?

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Dec. 18, 2012 11:45 a.m.

    And let's try this comment again, too:

    For Latter-day Saints, let us recall the reality that Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration, and his wife Emma, an Elect Lady, had a child who suffered from mental illness. Their youngest son David Hyrum, born five months after Joseph’s martyrdom, was struck down by it in his early 20’s. His symptoms today might be diagnosed as schizophrenia, which today we know onsets for males during young adulthood. David Hyrum Smith ended up living out the last 30 years of his life in an asylum for the insane in Elgin, Illinois, near Chicago. Read more about his life at Wikipedia.

    We must recognize that mental illness exists and is no different than physical illness – one is of the body, the other of the brain. De-stigmatization of it must occur also. During Mental Illness Awareness Week this past October I read that 25% of the population will struggle with mental illness, at some time in their lives; ranging from things like schizophrenia all the way to ADHD. Based on friends and family in my life, this number appears to be accurate.

    Why must this be such a silent struggle?

  • T A Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:11 p.m.

    As a society, we need to identify those with mental conditions that may lead to violence and both provide and insist on treatment by qualified providers. Further, we need to consider legislation that requires people to report threats of violence to authorities that they become aware of. Perhaps, this kind of legislation would change conversations to avoid making any threats of violence, setting a better example of how we should treat one another.

  • T A Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:19 p.m.

    As a society, we need to identify those with mental conditions that may lead to violence and both provide and insist on treatment by qualified providers. Further, we need to consider legislation that requires people to report threats of violence to authorities that they become aware of. Perhaps, this kind of legislation would change conversations to avoid making any threats of violence, setting a better example of how we should treat one another.

  • Midland Salt Lake County, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 3:45 p.m.

    The wild and uninformed speculation about the "mental illness" of the shooter is very bad. I have a son that has shown most of the behaviors described in the article. He is getting much better, and I pray the Michael in the article will also improve. However, the point is that my son or Michael may have problems, but the probability of either becoming a serial shooter is remote, perhaps as remote as that of a "normal" child. No progress will be made if any kid who is odd, or has problems fitting in is stigmatized by special "mental health" treatment mandated by a government agency.

  • DOM Ivins, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    The Government fix a problem? Come on give me a break. It's funny that we look toward "someone else" needs to fix this problem, especially the Government. I guess we look toward the experts and even they don't have a total grip on it. I have no answer, I'll admit to that. We will never truly know what these people are thinking before they "snap" (if that is what we call it). It's not like they are going to record something or do a "breaking news" story just before they do something.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 7:12 a.m.

    Mental illness is a challenging issue.

    Jesus ministered to those "possessed with devils", the mentally ill, as well as the physically disabled.

    What is the LDS Church doing about mental illness? We hear about the Church's humanitarian assistance (they never fail to advertise it), but we hear nothing about their facilities, hospitals, care centers, and programs for those afflicted with mental illness.

    I wonder why not? Is it because such Church programs do not exist, and do not bring as much publicity?

  • JustDebora Castro Valley, CA
    Dec. 19, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    I am the mother of a 35 year old autistic son. He has never been violent and I cannot imagine what as a mother it is like for you and your other children. My son does lack social skills and he does not understand social queues. Mentally he is in many ways 8 years old. That did not stop him from being sent to State prison. Prisons are the only solution society offers. Developmental centers are all closed or closing. Prison can only teach these young boys and men more bad behavior. Punishment is no substitute for treatment. Prison does not offer any treatment. I will pray for you and your son and your family. My heart goes out to you.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    The key word here in this article and in everyone of the comments is MONEY.
    We all know we have a problem. We all know it should and can be helped to some degree. BUT, WHERE is the money to pay for those programs going to come from? WHO is going to pay the piper for those programs?
    Democrats say fund it, Republicans refuse to pony up the funds to help anyone. No new taxes!!
    What most folks won't discuss is the cost is borne each and every day in one way or another. If we don't pay it through mental health, we pay it through building jails and hiring guards.
    It's the same with schools. Republicans want to destroy public schools so their charter schools can make some corporation money so we have kids that are not given what they need to have to read, do math or sustain themselves financially. Hence, they turn to crime and once again instead of funding education to enable kids to be self sustaining. We have to pay what is needed to help our children be successful. Not only intellectually and health wise but with work ethics and habits.

  • RunAmuckMom Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 5:17 p.m.

    Very well written...very well expressed in speaking in her own behalf as well as in the behalf of others. I'm afraid our society will still choose denial and pointing the finger elsewhere instead of really addressing all the problems which interact in one way or another with us all and affect all of us most significantly. "I am Adam Lanzas mother"..you could not have addressed this issue any better. Thank you.

  • Carol@1959 DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    My heart goes out to the author of this article. I am sure she feels alone but my guess is many many mothers feel the same way. Shame on insurance companies for severely limiting mental illness treatment. Shame on our governor for not allocating a heck of a lot more monies for treatment for mental illness, especially since we have a surplice this year. As a mental health provider we work with limited budgets and limited options. Unfortunately, most mental ill end up in the jails and prisons where mental health medications are to expensive to treat these people with. In a state where 'families are forever' why in the world do we tolerate such lax gun laws??? Seems to me the all mighty powerful NRA has everyone turning a blind eye to increased gun violence. I dont get it!!

  • DistantThunder Vincentown, NJ
    Dec. 19, 2012 7:22 p.m.

    I grew up with a violent brother who was handicapped and had brain damage from insufficient oxygen at birth. It's a terrible way to live with a chronically violent and very strong family member. He's had social services his whole life, but what really made a difference was his church involvement which became essential since he chose to live far away from family.

    They made sure he had food, took him to stores, found him work, invited him to bowling night and to be part of a bowling team, gave him a reason to get out of bed every day for their daily meetings. It's really transformed him - and now that he's 50 he's found peace and a relationship. We would have never imagine that this was all possible.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 6:15 p.m.

    Unfortunately the issue of guns in America has eclipsed the issues of mental health and violence in society. If you look at the high profile shootings that have occurred in the Salt Lake area such as the attack on the genealogy library and the shooting at KSL you would see that they were committed by people suffering with mental illnesses who had slipped through the cracks. Someone in an earlier comment mentioned that if guns weren't available they would find another way to commit crimes against others. True. In the early 1900s in Utah a man blew up a schoolhouse. In a British newspaper a couple of years ago I read a statistic that said people were more likely to be the victim of a violent crime in Britain than in the US even though we have more guns. The danger in Britain is knives. So should they have stricter knife control laws?Knives and guns are tools and tools can be improvised. The violence that is so prevalent in the media, television, movies and video games is inspiring fragile minds to commit these heinous acts and more restrictive gun laws will not cure that.

  • anonymousuk slc, utah
    Dec. 22, 2012 4:54 a.m.

    when we had a shooting in scotland all those years ago, it became mandatory for all schools to be secured. you cannot enter a school or college building without security, whether it is a man standing there looking at id (college/university)any schools up to the age of 18 are locked down and can only be entered once a person has been identified and cleared to enter. these provisions were done within days in some cases but all done within a short period of time right across the uk.

  • statman Lehi, UT
    Dec. 23, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    SOrry Calif granny, but trying to lay this one on the evil Regan Republicans is outright deception. It was the US Supreme Court that closed mental hospitals. Patients in those facilities have rights, and if they don't want to be committed to living there, and haven't committed any crimes, there's virtually noting that can be done to keep any mentally ill patient in one of those facilities.

    Blame the emptying of our nations mental hospitals not on heartless Reagan Republicans, but on Liberals at the ACLU who didn't have the wisdom or foresight to see the damage they were causing to those previously cared for in such facilities and to society as a whole.

  • essay Redwood Valley, CA
    Dec. 24, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    It is a very tough dilemma. We want to protect our community and citizens, but at what cost? Being mentally ill does not make you automatically dangerous. Even having the typical traits of a mass murderer (male, single, Caucasian, intelligent, loner, disgruntled) doesn't make a person a mass murderer. We can't just institutionalize mentally ill just because we may suspect they'll be dangerous any more than we should have interned Japanese American citizens during World War II. We've done away with most mental institutions because they were ineffective, inhumane and essentially violated people’s civil rights. Stigmatizing mentally ill as dangerous will not help. However, prevention and treatment can help; but it can only be done voluntarily, unless the person proves he or she is dangerous. And then the question arises: how long do you force treatment beyond when they are a danger to themselves or others? Until the episode is over? Indefinitely? Forcing treatment or institutionalization on someone because we think someone could become dangerous or have the potential to be dangerous is not only morally wrong but largely ineffective.