I can hardly take another article or news story about the Sandy Hook tragedy. I just want to disengage from it all, but I have to take this moment to chime in (if ever so briefly).
So many are attempting to shed light on how one man could do such a horrific thing. It’s in times like this that we are driven to find that answer, something that will explain the unexplainable and that will ultimately help us to feel safe again.
But there’s a danger in trying to explain the unexplainable. We will probably never know Adam Lanza’s story. How could we possibly know all of the variables that led to that act? Even if we could, it would not change what happened and it won’t necessarily prevent it from happening in the future.
Outcast, different, shy, nerd, dark, disturbed, troubled, socially awkward, weird… mental illness, personality disorder, Asperger’s syndrome… all of these labels have now been associated with Adam Lanza . Yet, any one of these words still cannot explain why this happened. Associating these descriptors with violence can only lead to more fear, reinforcing the stigma of those who have differences that are yet to be accepted and understood by society.
Each of us can probably name someone we know who has a mental illness or a disability. And if not, we can probably think of at least one person who acts a bit “different.”
It would serve us all to consider the impact of our words.