On Friday, December 16 of last year, Adam Lanza shot twenty students and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary.
I heard about this on the day of the shooting. At lunch, my dad and I were at a restaurant when the TV news played a bulletin.
As I watched, I remembered another school shooting at Virginia Tech several years before. At that time, my cousin John was attending the university. I remembered the anxiety I felt when I heard about it. And then remembered the relief I felt when I learned my cousin was not among the victims.
I felt sad for the families of the victims of Sandy Hook. I promised myself that night I would pray for them, that God would comfort them as they grieved.
When I came home, I started watching anime on the computer for upcoming reviews on my anime blog, Lobster Quadrille. My mom got a call from my cousin Karla. She told me there were rumors that Lanza had Asperger’s Syndrome. The media was using the same strategy they always used for things like this: find a scapegoat–guns, video games, whatever. Karla suggested I post on Facebook about the shooting and that she’d share it. The next day, I followed her advice.
I’m a member of four Facebook groups representing autism and Asperger’s. Many of the posts from these groups were related to the shooting and how it was affecting people like myself and those who knew them. I learned how autistic children were being bullied because of the shooting. I learned that their parents were concerned about the stigma they received from their peers. I even learned, to my disgust, that there was even a Facebook group called “50 Likes and We Set an Autistic Kid on Fire.” (the site’s been taken down, thankfully) Thautcast (an autism blog) even asked parents to post how much they love their autistic children. It felt so good to read those posts.
One of my Facebook friends told me I should not be angry. But I am angry because the media is focusing on Lanza’s Asperger’s.
You want to know how to stop the school shootings? Then change the world we live in. It’s not autism, it’s us. We’ve killed countless babies in abortion. Video games like Grand Theft Auto glorify violence (I’m not saying that everyone who plays games is going to kill, but it’s still a symptom). Rap music treats criminals like heroes and gives them the chance to gloat about their crimes like their badges of honor. As Walt Kelly once said “We have met the enemy and it is us.”