Peter Lanza, Father Of CT Shooter, Issues A Statement

"We too are asking why"

One day after his 20 year old son Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT and murdered 27 people (20 children and 7 adults) after he shot and killed his mother Nancy in her home, father Peter Lanza has issued an official statement to the public. Click below to read the text of Peter Lanza‘s statement in full.

Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured. Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired.

While the impulse may be to place blame on other members of the Lanza family, I think it’s important to place the blame solely on the shoulders of the shooter, Adam Lanza.

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  1. Lexifer

    Well said, it is not the family’s fault, they lost two family members as well, not to mention coming to terms with the horrific act committed by their own blood. It is important to remember that the man responsible is dead, we shouldn’t put the blame on the surviving members of his family.

  2. cutitout

    If they knew he was crazy and still let him live in a house full of guns(an assault rifle/machine gun included) Then hell yeah they are to blame. I’m over people having these crazy-ass kids and living in denial untill they snap and go postal. Anyone with any kind of mental illness does not need to have access to guns. They say you can’t allways tell if someone is mentally ill by looking at them but dude looks nutty in every pic I have seen. And people who knew him seem to have seen it too.

    • Vanessa

      I don’t agree. I think it’s always easy to say it could have been prevented and the signs were all there after the fact, but I think the truth is a lot more difficult. In reality, it’s difficult to imagine anybody, even your own flesh and blood, to be capable of such a horrific and senseless act. After really tragic events like this, people tend to group those involved into victims and bad guys but it is a lot more complicated and involved. Either way, this man lost so much already and I agree that it’s unnecessary and also unfair to put any blame on him without more facts.

    • cutitout

      This guy (the father) only he knows if he did all he could do to get solid help for his son. If he didn’t, good luck sleeping for the rest of his life. Anyways, just got through reading more accounts from teachers/students that knew and went to school with this kid and from all of there accounts, its pretty clear this was an obviously disturbed/troubled individual. Its also clear the one person who truly had to know this fact had him living with her in a house full of high powered guns….Shes dead now. So are 20 kids and 8 brave teachers and administrators. Innocents.

      This whole delusional parent thing is waaay too common. I have countless friends and family members who are teachers who come into contact each day with kids that are showing these “signs” , withdrawn, violent, some clearly suffering from personality disorders, autism, A.D.D. and the parents refuse to admit the problems and get them real help.

      I’m sorry but its time for action. Its time for people to speak up before it is too late. How many times does this have to happen before folks can finally”imagine” that all people are capable of horrific things, especially disturbed people.

      Seems to me like a lot of these mass killings by gun have one thing in common. Disturbed, young white males who exhibited plenty of signs of mental illness beforehand. Everyone seems to say the same things about them. How long can we honestly be surprised?

    • cutitout

      As the facts are slowly leaking out, I feel even more strongly about what I said. Its pretty clear that this guy has always exhibited signs of mental issues, the same signs as the Aurora shooter and countless others. Its also clear that with all that said, he was still living in his “gun enthusiast” mothers house full of high powered weapons with her being aware that his marbles were not completely in order.

      I’ll go out on a limb and say if you are white and have a weird, distant, antisocial, awkward bullied son between 12 and 25, Its probably not a good idea to tempt fate and have a mass of guns and ammo lying around the house, cause it seems like a pattern is sort of arising if you lay thing out end to end.

    • Vanessa

      “I’ll go out on a limb and say if you are white and have a weird, distant, antisocial, awkward bullied son between 12 and 25, Its probably not a good idea to tempt fate and have a mass of guns and ammo lying around the house, cause it seems like a pattern is sort of arising if you lay thing out end to end.”

      I feel as if you’re confusing two of the major issues that have come out of this shooting which have been mental health issues as well as gun control issues. In addition, this “pattern” you see seems incredibly overbroad and presumptuous, and even if it were true, I don’t see any real viable solution that could come out of this way of thinking. Even if it were true, it’s a very vague definition and probably covers a huge population that would actually leave out the VTech shooter.

      First, one of the facts coming out is that this shooter may have had Asperger’s, which is very misunderstood and not typically associated with violent behavior. It may have been hard for anybody to really understand and separate what may have been his (non-violent) mental health issues (which thousands, if not millions, of people suffer from every day) apart from his mental health issues that would skew towards some propensity for violence. Some other facts is that the mother took him out of school and home-schooled him even if it’s unclear why. However, that does not necessarily mean he was “bullied” like you’re describing, particularly since he went to an elementary school and not, for instance, his former high school.

      Second, I am definitely not a gun enthusiast or even a supporter of this so-called Second Amendment “right” to collect as many high powered assault rifles and the like as you want just because some people interpret the Constitution as such. However, if this mother legally obtained these guns and was responsible with them (keep in mind, again, that this shooter was an adult 20 year old male and again, there is no proof that he showed any such violent tendencies prior to the shooting, then the blame should not fall on her as readily as some people are finding it. Again, personally, I have no love for guns and seriously believe this country has a problem and people are incredibly reckless and irresponsible with such destructive weapons, but that is for the legislature to fix and should not be completely dumped on this one family, or this one mother who, lest we forget, was also a victim.

      I understand if you don’t agree with me and there is a lot of room for debate, but just as you stood by your views, I also still stand by mine.

    • Vanessa

      I just came across this really interesting and thought-provoking article on Gawker, written by a mother who has a special needs 13-year old son who does exhibit violent tendencies. She discusses her limited options and how challenging her life is, much like some things that Maggie pointed out in her post. I thought it was telling how she did take proactive steps in reducing the possibility of violence (hiding the knives, transferring schools), and yet her options were still very limited. It’s also chilling how this is her 13-year old son (versus, the 20-year old man involved in the CT shootings). I’m not sure if we’re allowed to post other links here but I really think it helps add to this conversation that hopefully other people, including our Legislature, are more open to having now.

    • @Vanessa — The article did not originate on Gawker, Shannon is working up a post citing the original source. Yes, it’s a powerful read.

    • Vanessa

      @Trent, thanks for clearing that up. I just stumbled upon it on my newsfeed and wanted to share. Looking forward to what Shannon (and the rest of PITNB) has to say about it.

    • Nat

      Sorry-my 17 yr old-who was realing from what he saw on TV friday afternoon,who abhors violent games and prefers Nintendo,who is well manered and quiet and under the radar in school,but could very easily be perceived as anti social by his peers and even many adults…he hates the thought of guns,hunting or violence-even pretend.So thanks for throwing out a blanket statement that could apply to thousands of young men who are strugling each day because they don’t fit the cookie cutter norm society seems to expect of them yet they persevere-despite idiotic statements such as yours.Are there some nut jobs where the profile could fit?Sure,but it is unfair and unwise to spread information that has neither been confirmed in this case-not does it justify profiling .

    • Ella

      Here’s the article:
      http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html
      It’s an important read. In this country it’s easier for a poor person to get a gun than get access to mental health care.
      Unfortunately, this particular family had an arsenal at their disturbed son’s disposal. That was their mistake.
      I cannot imagine being a parent to a disturbed child. As a preschool teach I have seen parents in full blown denial of issues that NEED to be addressed. But I do feel for parents who see the potential for serious danger in their children and have no real advice or help given to them.

  3. Heather

    I couldn’t agree more…this one is on Mom. I am a mother of 4 boys…and while I am not the perfect mother by ANY means, I know my boys. I know what they are capable of, I know their behaviors, I know when there are things changing with them, when they are having issues at school and the like. I know my boys are not angels and they are going to do shit kids do. But most importantly I PAY ATTENTION!!!! Blaming it on anything else is sugarcoating it to spare feelings, or trying to push ones own agenda. Facts are this kid HAD issues, no sane person goes into an elementary school, or any public place and kills numerous people ESPECIALLY innocent kids, mom was with this guy for 20 years you know what he’s working with….or not…after that length of time…She gave him access to weapons. I feel sorry for this woman…she like I’ve said in another post paid the ultimate price. But ultimately if it weren’t for her lack of action in her sons mental health care…and the fact that she had this stuff accessable to him…we may not be hearing these stories.

  4. Maggie

    I respectfully disagree with the idea that the family is to blame for their son and brother’s actions. My brother has bipolar disorder. He is very tall, very strong, and a bully to our family. He has been sent to in and out patient treatment centers. He can be very charming, and one of his psychologists told us that he knew what to say to get out of treatment, which limited what they could do to help him and us. We tried individual and family therapy sessions. He skipped all of them. How do you set limits on someone who is unstable and stronger than you? How do you force them to get help? Unless he were to do something illegal, no police officer would arrest him. Eventually, my parents told him he had to go to treatment, or he had to move out of their home. Again, he skipped the treatment, so they had to change their locks. My parents are good parents, and the rest of their children are “normal” and “well-adjusted.” We were all raised the same, but he is the outlier. They raised us all the best they could, and they attempted to get my brother help when they saw a difference in him. He never acted on his aggression, but the threat was there and my parents did their best to maintain peace and stability in our home and family.

    What could this mother have done to stop her son, other than attempt to get him help? If he refused to cooperate with treatment? If he has no criminal record, then there would be no reason to think he would be capable of such a horrendous act. Could she have better hidden or limited her family’s access to the guns she reportedly collected? Possibly. But again, if he had no criminal record, and no extremely aggressive behaviors, why would she have reason to believe her son would turn those weapons on her?

    The most difficult thing about making sense of others’ actions is that we cannot possibly know what is going on in their minds. We do not know what inner struggles this man kept secret, nor do we know the trigger for his behavior.

    • Heather

      Sweetie, I was in no way implying that anyone other than this kids parents were bad parents. BUT this woman KNOWINGLY had guns in her home..with him obviously knowing how to gain access to them when she KNEW he was unstable. THAT lays blame on her shoulders. There are different stages of bipolar. Alot of them just go through mood swings and would never hurt a fly…others unfortunately aren’t so lucky. My opinion is after 20 years she either knew what he was capable of, or didn’t take the time to know.

    • Ella

      @Heather- Do I blame the parents for keeping guns in the same house as their mentally unstable son? Yes. I also blame a healthcare system that says to a mother whose 8 year old pulls a knife on her, his siblings and then threatens to kill himself, that they can’t do anything for her unless he commits a crime. What do you do? This mother took every sharp object out of her home and carries them around with her to this day.
      That guy could have easily brought a knife into that classroom and started swinging it at everyone if their wasn’t guns at his disposal. This is not simply a case of bad parenting. I implore you to read this article to really expand your knowledge of what’s really going on in the mental healthcare world. It’s a chilling read.
      http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html

    • Heather

      Ella,

      Please read my posts under the other entry Trent posted on the CT tragedy. You will see that I say over and over that the answer to these situations is NOT in gun laws but in mental health care. You can find the link at the very top of the main page, the pic is of the kids being lead out of the school. Sorry I don’t remember the exact title of the post.

  5. cutitout

    it is a terrible idea to not only keep guns in a home with a child or adult with any kind of mental instability(aspergers included) but to teach them to shoot. Apparantly, thats what this guys mother did. I’m not saying that all quiet kids will grow up to be mass murderers but there IS a very clear pattern unfolding and it would be wise for everyone to open their eyes. End of story.

  6. thatswack

    your tellig me that a guy with no police record no past history of violence could walk into a school and shoot 20 kindergartners. I mean there are disturbed people out there and I am in no way trying to justify what this monster did but im starting to think that some one wanted this guy to do this! it just dosnt add up

    • Heather

      Look at alot of the notorious criminals…like the guy that shot up the movie theatre in Aurora. These aren’t guys that planning on getting away with some sort of major crime. These are sad, lonely individuals that are trying to make a name for themselves, and be remembered…forever…in the absolute worst way imaginable. The worst part is, I’m not a supergenius, I’m not the ONLY person that thinks like this..hell there are articles on it….even still the media including myself (kicking myself in the ass as we speak) give them exactly what they hope for.

  7. No one knows the extent of mental illness in the shooter so we have no idea what could have been predicted.

    The fact that there are people in here insinuating that boys with aspergers are a danger to society and should be treated as such is insane. Aspergers is a dvelopmental delay not a mental illness and there is a wide spectrum of outward signs none of which include murder. The fact that people perpetuate this idea that if you are not “normal” then you should be treated differently is what makes life even harder for families that struggle.

    • Vanessa

      I’ve been flipping through this post and Shannon’s post (http://www.pinkisthenewblog.com/2012-12-16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-a-mother-courageously-writes-about-having-a-son-with-a-mental-disability#comment-9368382) because I agree that these conversations are important to follow and be a part of. However, I fully agree with what you’re saying @Hannah and I hope I haven’t posted anything that would suggest otherwise. I wanted to leave this here also in case anybody hasn’t seen it in Shannon’s post, but it’s a link left in a comment by @TF which I think is a great response as well. Here’s the article and a quote I pulled from it: “A very dubious link is being made between Michael’s rage issues in his formative years and the monstrous act that Adam Lanza committed on December 14, 2012. . . . The truth is, the great majority of people with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as those with other forms of mental health challenges are not to be feared.”
      http://asthmaboy.blogspot.ca/2012/12/please-just-continue-to-be-michaels.html

    • Vanessa and Hannah, thank you for sharing these comments. It’s unfortunate that we can’t control everyone’s interpretation of everything. I do see that people are reading that story ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’ and taking it to mean that any child who might have been diagnosed with developmental delay OR a mental illness could be dangerous and should be treated with caution. I don’t think that was the writer’s intention; she was being very specific about her experience, even as she aligned herself with Adam Lanza’s mother. I kinda just took her words as a way of reaching out to mothers and asking that we pay attention, and also as an attempt to stress MORE understanding of mental illness. The fact that professionals have been unable to properly and accurately diagnose her own son is proof that there’s a lot we still don’t know and understand, which makes it easy for people to make assumptions. So I thank you guys for sharing the knowledge that you do have.

  8. meme

    We don’t know what happened that morning. Maybe the guns were locked up and he found the key and then killed his mother and went to the school. Do I think the mother was wrong to have the weapons in the first place? Yes. Plent of people go to shooting ranges and don’t become mass murderers. It’s easy to blame the mother but the truth is we don’t know what happened before he went to the school.

  9. t*

    It is always easier to judge from the outside looking in.

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