The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 29, 2013

A year later, we’re still in denial

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Many a moderate NRA member in the past year commented that the organization doesn’t seem to support their initial interests: hunting, target shooting, the right to keep a weapon in for protection. Yet there has been no attempt to organize those reasonable voices to retake their organization.

Instead, the organization has become a one-stop shop for sophistry and rationalization for those who oppose responsible solutions to gun violence. My favorite: All we need to do is enforce the laws already on the books. Do they not know that most mass shooters get their guns and ammo legally? Including Adam Lanza.

Ah, but he was insane, comes the retort. Indeed he was. The mentally ill can buy weapons just as easily as anybody else. (Thanks, NRA!) And so can their sane but incomprehensibly foolish loved ones, for them. According to the recently released Connecticut attorney’s report on Newtown, Lanza’s mother assembled his arsenal.

Which is staggering when you consider his mental state. Lanza “had significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others,” the report said. Still, it continued, he “did not recognize or help himself deal with those issues. What contribution this made to the shootings, if any, is unknown as those mental health professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior.”

Yet the report also noted that Lanza went through a box of tissues a day, fearful of even touching a doorknob. Black trash bags covered his bedroom windows. He created spreadsheets to document mass murders. In preschool, Lanza was given to “repetitive behaviors, temper tantrums, smelling things that were not there, excessive hand washing and eating idiosyncrasies.”

Denial is a natural human reaction to unpleasant truths. That may explain Lanza’s mother’s actions. It certainly characterizes the gun-rights lobby and those it serves. How else can you explain their hostility to even the mere study of gun violence?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo