More Sandy Hook Facts Emerge

Adam Lanza in better days (courtesy of Vibe)

After Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and gunned down 20 young children and 6 staff members last year, our nation finally focused on gun legislation and ways to prevent future shootings from occurring.

Unfortunately, the more than 50% of Americans who supported stricter gun laws at that time has dwindled to almost 40%. And instead of banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, the national conversation now seems centered on universal background checks for anyone who tries to purchase a firearm.

I suppose this is a start, but it certainly isn’t a solution.

In cases like the one involving Adam Lanza, background checks would serve no purpose because he did not use weapons that he purchased himself. The guns were bought legally by his mother, who then gave him access to them. Sure, parents are supposed to keep firearms locked up and out of reach of their children, but this obviously didn’t happen with Adam. Instead, his mother encouraged his interest in shooting, gave him access to her weapons and was eventually killed with one of them.

And since Adam also had some psychological issues, her actions are even more difficult to understand. But that’s not all.

According to documents recently released by police, Adam had a gun safe in his room—which I can only assume held weapons (since that is its intended purpose)—and more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition were found in his home. Authorities also discovered a holiday card that included a check Adam could use to purchase his own firearm, a C183. And here’s the kicker: the card and check came from Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother.

Couple this with the fact that Adam loved Call of Dutya war-based video game, and red flags start popping up all over the place.

I once felt that Nancy Lanza was a victim—and part of me still does—but I can’t help but feel that she was also a major contributor to this horrible crime. After all, she taught her disturbed son to shoot, made weapons accessible to him, allowed him to keep a gun safe in his room and even gave him money to buy his own gun later.

The guns used by Lanza (courtesy of the NY Daily News)

Would Sandy Hook have happened if none of these things had occurred? I for one have my doubts.

Universal background checks will definitely help us rein in some of this gun violence—especially if the same rules apply to gun shows, where people can normally buy weapons as long as they have the cash—but much more will need to be done. The sad fact is that if someone wants a gun, there are plenty of ways for them to acquire one that don’t involve retailers, background checks and such.

The black market gun trade continues to thrive, of course. And if people don’t lock up their weapons, then criminals could easily break in and steal them. And not just criminals, at least in Adam Lanza’s case. Family and friends are just as likely to snap and do the same.

I hope we as a nation get much more serious about gun legislation and also work on extending our collective memory. It is completely unacceptable for us to forget about incidents like Sandy Hook and Aurora just because time has passed and the media have stopped focusing on them so much. All this does is open the door for more shootings.

And you better believe there’s someone out there planning for a future attack. I just hope we can take action before any more innocent people die.

Posted on March 29, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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