Was the Newtown shooter Adam Lanza's mom too controlling? Was she just trying to get him to take responsibility for himself? Two different sides of the story are coming out, and neither of them are comforting. The story is one of a mentally unstable young man who was emotionally unreachable, who continued to withdraw into himself, and who spent endless hours in his bedroom on his computer or playing video games.
One former friend said the young man worshiped Satan and dedicated a website to the entity, although no evidence of this has been revealed.
His barber told reporters that his mother did all the talking while he gave the boy haircuts. Lanza was quiet, and some folks warned the barber, Bob Skuba, not to talk to him because he was "not right in the head," but he tried anyway. Every time, though, he said Nancy Lanza would pipe up and answer for her son.
Did she answer for him because she was overly controlling? Or, did she answer for him because he never responded? That's something the interview with Skuba, who cut the young man's hair every month for five years, did not reveal.
Reports have alleged the young man had Asperger's Syndrome, which is a form of autism. Some people with it hardly speak, don't like any social interaction, and prefer to spend hours upon hours alone. Others with the condition are able to interact in a social setting and lead a perfectly normal life with some adaptations. In short, depending on the severity of the condition, they are socially awkward and might seem weird to those who don't know any better.
Friends who knew Nancy Lanza have come forward to say that she was becoming increasingly worried about her son. She wanted him to experience life, to get out into the world, but he resisted. He wanted to stay exactly where he was, sitting in his bedroom, playing video games. They said there were times when the two had heated, albeit nonviolent, arguments about his refusal to lead a somewhat normal life. That's a far cry from the boy who always "obeyed his mother," as Skuba described.
There was also some speculation that Ms. Lanza was considering having her son committed to a psychiatric ward becuase of his increasingly withdrawn behavior. Adam Lanza was reportedly a genius, and it appears that he was a frustrated one. Did he feel controlled by his mother? Did he just want to be left alone and snapped? Did he kill his mother while she slept because he was enraged she was going to commit him? Mental health experts have speculated that the fact that he chose his old elementary school as the scene of his rampage indicates there was some kind of deep connection in his mind to the school that caused him grief.
Whatever the root cause of his rampage, one thing is certain: Newtown and Adam Lanza are proving to be a catalyst for both tighter gun control laws and for better access to mental health care for those who desperately need it.
Photo credit: Facebook; courtesy of Lanza family