How Should We Feel About Nancy Lanza?
Slate columnist thinks it's unfair to demonize her
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2012 1:54 PM CST
A basketball, soccer ball, doll, flowers, and a child's drawing sit at a memorial for shooting victims outside Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

(Newser) – Grief and outrage are universal reactions to the murder of the Sandy Hook students and teachers, but Adam Lanza's first victim—his mother, Nancy—is a trickier case, writes Joan Walsh at Salon. Snippets emerging about her, that she collected guns and may have been a survivalist, for example, have some questioning whether she was to blame in some way for her son's rampage. That seems unduly harsh at this point, but "from what little we do know, her story seems a cautionary tale about the way fear, unchecked, can unravel us," writes Walsh. "The things that scared and lonely people do to protect themselves so often do just the opposite."

The guns she bought for safety ended up killing her, for instance. And her decision to pull Adam from high school and home-school him might have removed him from the professional help he needed. At Slate, Amanda Marcotte asks that people neither demonize nor "quietly shun" Nanzy Lanza, "a woman who had her flaws as do we all, but who, from reports, sounds like she was well-liked by her friends and under a great deal of stress." Her murder at the hands of her son "should evoke the same deep well of empathy we have for anyone else who dies in needless violence." Read Marcotte's full column here and Walsh's here.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
How Should We Feel About Nancy Lanza? is...
15%
6%
14%
51%
11%
3%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 42 comments
whatrtheysmoking
Dec 19, 2012 6:15 AM CST
So does this mean they will get rid of " FOX NEWS " the nations leading Fear Mongers !!!
ppaca
Dec 18, 2012 10:34 PM CST
There is a TV show called "Parenthood" on NBC. One of the characters is a teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome. He is highly functioning, much as Adam Lanza has been described to be. Yes, that is only a TV show, but I can picture that boy on the show doing the same thing if pushed too far. Nancy Lanza was reportedly planning to have him committed, possibly pushing him over the edge to commit his rampage. Watch the show and maybe you people can understand what a family may go through with a loved child with a mental disability. I don't relieve the mother of responsibility, but it is diffcult to let go of such a child.
jonnynonos77
Dec 18, 2012 4:56 PM CST
She was a very, very successful stockbroker who feared a total economic collapse. Frightening on a multitude of levels.