“Friday’s horrific national tragedy—the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut—has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.
‘I can wear these pants,’ he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
‘They are navy blue,’ I told him. ‘Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.’
‘They told me I could wear these,’ he insisted. ‘You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!’
‘You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,’ I said, my tone affable, reasonable. ‘And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.’
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.”
The above is a partial reprint of THE BLUE REVIEW online article, “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother: It’s time to talk about mental illness,” by Liza Long. This first appeared on Liza Long’s blog, “The Anarchist Soccer Mom,” entitled “Thinking the Unthinkable.” However, the numerous comments below the reprint on THE BLUE REVIEW are worth checking out.
This blogged article has gone viral. The current controversy and hot debate about this subject seem to be growing daily. You can easily find more — interviews of Long and the opinions of both supporters and critics — through an Internet search.