Yesterday on FB (and again this morning on the radio – the Jay Weber Show) attention had finally turned to the mother of Adam Lanza. Inevitable. If the reports are accurate, we are given to understand that in order to advance some semblance of adult responsibility Nancy Lanza taught her troubled son how to shoot. That she had guns in the house we are told is because she felt insecure living alone in the house with her son. By that, we are given to understand she was afraid of intruders (rather than her own son) and her ability to fend off would-be attackers. Some might call her murder ironic in that sense.
I would suggest there is some cause to lay blame at her feet. Why on Earth would a mother encourage an imbalanced person to learn to shoot? Were the guns secured in the house under lock and key? If he was obsessed with warfare and first-person shooter video games and "detached" socially-speaking, why on Earth would she encourage him to learn how to shoot and take him to the range? I can't answer that.
Putting aside the criticisms of Nancy Lanza for a moment, it seems only fitting that we ask questions about the father of Adam Lanza. Where was he in the months and years leading up to this awful tragedy? What was his involvement with his son and what kind of support outside of paying a hefty alimony did he provide his ex-wife? That's what I want to know.
I will say that someone who aspires to and holds on to senior executive positions in Corporate America (Peter Lanza is a Finance Executive at GE) must be entirely committed to the Corporate Mission. I don't know Peter Lanza's heart, but I can tell you that if reports are true (that he hadn't seen his son since 2001 when adam would have been 9 or 10 years old), then it is fitting to be cynical about his absence from Adam's life over the past decade. A man of his resources and conncections, if he were so determined, would not long be kept from seeing his child… in spite of the child's refusal to see him.
I don't want to be excessively harsh… but on the other hand, I want to bring this topic up – primarily because being absent doesn't excuse him from scrutiny and shouldn't be a hall pass for Peter Lanza. If the facts remain as they are vis-a-vis his relationship with his son and involvement in his son's daily life, then I have a simple question for Mr. Lanza: "Where were you?"
As I mentioned above, Nancy Lanza should be held to account and criticized for her lapses (serious) in judgement. But Mr. Lanza must realize that Nancy was left alone to raise his son – without a father.
Who knows what his presence in the house or even in the life of his son would have meant. All I know is that whatever the circumstances this man did not fight on behalf of his son. He was absent. He didn't even seem to have the decency to assist his ex in the rearing of this young man. I don't know what kind of relationship, if any, Peter and Nancy had after their divorce beyond Peter writing checks and Nancy cashing them. And maybe I am out of school to ask such questions. But it is patently not okay for a man of means and influence not to have brought every ounce of his resources to bear on behalf of his son. I am eager to find out that Adam had the very best care money could buy. I am eager to find out he was enrolled in the very best school for young people with emotional difficulties. But this is not what we are finding out at all.
In the end, the only winner appears to be Mr. Lanza. No more ex-wife. No more aliimony. No more disturbed and unreachable son. He has his new family, his amazing career, and all the money in the world. How clean and tidy things must be.
In the end, Nancy seems to have had guns in order to defend herself from potential hostiles. Let's call it a line of defense. The school had security provisions and technology at the gates of an otherwise paned-glass castle. France had the Maginot Line… but the Germans went through Belgium. And not just once.