Just imagine walking in the shoes of one of those parents. So violently were their beloved children’s lives snuffed out. The details are sketchy.
The deceased mother of the deceased killer had legally purchased the three guns which he brandished as he stormed into that school wearing military fatigues, stop. He was mentally unwell stop. His mom was rigid and isolated him from other kids, stop. His parents were divorced and his father had remarried, stop. His older brother who is a tax expert with E & Y was initially named the killer and was handcuffed and brought in for questioning, stop.
Could have been an average family, before this gruesome incident. What then happened in that small affluent community just 90 minutes from NYC? Why were there no tell-tale signs? How could this have occurred in a place wealthy enough to have social structures in place for all forms of harm reduction be it infliction of harm upon self or others? A person does not just snap. This was a culminating incident where the people in contact with the killer had buried their heads in the sand, distracted or in utter denial, with no motivation to probe and understand. I am sure a few people who were wilfully blind, his father and bother to name a couple, will not sleep easy wondering if their inaction was tantamount to recklessness. There are probably a few physicians whose heads will roll if it came out that they medicated inappropriately or did not intervene more pro-actively when they could have.
Every incident such as this warrants a public inquiry to examine the minutia leading up to it. With an inquiry may come legislative reform in the form of mandatory reporting of behaviour likely to result in harm to self of others by persons in positions of trust, and/or revocation of a family member’s license to hold firearms if they are custodians of persons diagnosed with mentally illness. Better still would be media bans to discourage copycats trying to gain notoriety imitating these heinous crimes.
I, for one, will not gratify my voyeuristic urges watching CNN which under the guise of journalistic thoroughness fills countless hours of airtime with long, tiring and repetitive reports while shamelessly pedalling cars and wares. I will get my news from a public broadcaster such as the CBC, and will spend time quietly praying for those who have lost loved ones.