Don't blame autism for Newtown massacre

  • Article by: PRISCILLA GILMAN , New York Times
  • Updated: December 18, 2012 - 10:39 AM

We can’t let the tragedy further stigmatize children with neurodevelopment disorders.

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firefight41Dec. 18, 1211:27 AM

Adam Lanza had Asperger's. Did Adam have other underlying conditions or did this condition contribute to the shooting of his mother and 26 other human beings? That is not blaming the condition, it should be researched to understand what set Adam off.

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tranqwhlDec. 18, 1212:19 PM

No to blame mental illness, yes to blame guns? Neither makes sense. Not all mental illness = killer, not all firearms = killer. Maybe we need to be more vigilant about individuals that have warning signs.

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EleanoreDec. 18, 12 1:13 PM

This column is offensive in it's ignorance of the prioritization. Alarmists are frothing at the bit blaming specific firearms for Newtown, when mental illness is the focus we need to be addressing in society. No wonder our nation is being torn apart, we have a division, several really, between respect and common sense, and rush to victimization and demand for public caretaking of every personal responsibility we can identify. Dependance, is slavery.

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joyceraeDec. 18, 12 1:15 PM

Young people with underlying mental conditions should not be blamed. But how about NOT taking them to a gun range to teach them to shoot just to keep them occupied.

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crystalbayDec. 18, 12 1:15 PM

Having dealt with parents of kids with Aspergers throughout my career, I can say that none of these children were violent or acting out. They have a high need for predictability, routine, and structure. When someone occurs "out of order" or there's a shift in routine, they sometimes have what's generically called a "meltdown", but this reaction is insular and not aimed at their environment or other people. I might also add that the face of Adam bares absolutely no resemblance to the many Asperger's kids I've known. There was something dramatically different in that face which simply cannot be attributed to Asperger's, IMO.

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albundy74Dec. 18, 12 1:24 PM

We're not supposed to blame Lanza's mental state. We're told that guns don't kill people, people do. We're to believe that no one is accountable for this. As a gun owner and hunter, I am all in favor of tougher background checks and mental health evaluation playing a larger factor in them. Tack the cost onto the purchase fee, I'll gladly pay it. If you have violent mental issues you shouldn't own or have access to firearms. I don't need an assault rifle or high capacity magazine to defend my house or miss a whitetail. No one does, save law enforcement. Prosecute and sentence harshly for those violating these aspects. It's not a cure all, but there's got to be a logical start.

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gcrileyDec. 18, 12 2:17 PM

AS a parent of an Aspergers child, crystalbay is accurate. While do not disagrre Lanza had mental issues, I believe the are not due to Aspergers, but in addition to

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EleanoreDec. 18, 12 2:18 PM

"I don't need an assault rifle or high capacity magazine to defend my house or miss a whitetail. No one does, save law enforcement." - You've completely missed the point of the second amendment, and thankfully, you don't get to decisde for anyone else what they'd like to have on hand to defend their life, liberty, and property, from anyone or any group. I would resist a ban on any firearm configuration or magazing capacity limit for the military, public safety, or any other citizen, it is simply lawless.

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mike2636Dec. 18, 12 2:53 PM

It really matters not exacty what named mental illness this kid had. The fact of the matter is this kid had a mental illness that manifested itself in enough anti-social tendencies that he was unable to complete school in a public classroom setting. The last thing a person with anti-social coping issues needs in his life are guns. For any of you parents who have kids with these issues (and there are many of you) you really need to take it serious and make the decision that exposing your child to guns is not a good idea. There are numerous other activities that can be persued and even if you like to shoot that might be a sacrifice you have to make to raise your child safely.......just becasue it's your right doesn't make it smart.

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albundy74Dec. 18, 12 2:59 PM

@Elenore-- "you don't get to decide for anyone else.." Oh yes, I do. We Do. Laws are in place now that say that felons can't own firearms, despite your 2nd amendment claims. Laws are in place now on barrel length for shotguns, again, going against your 2nd amendment claims. The point of the amendment is not unbridled firepower at will for anyone who can afford it. If so, I'll park a tank in the driveway and plant claymores in the backyard between the hostas. If you need an assault rifle and high cap magazine to defend your place, consider moving. I'm sure your neighbors will help.

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