[This was a post in reply to a thread farther down. I decided to delete that post with an apology and repost my entire response as a new diary entry. I hope this doesn't break "the rules".]
We're not a Republic of Needs and thank God we're not. The technocracy is doing its best at every turn to decide what people need and how much they're going to be allowed, which is why they want to throw the Constitution away or rewrite it whenever they can.
But let's imagine we were a society of needs. What we really need are fewer profoundly mentally ill people who are undiagnosed schizophrenics copying each other's horribly violent crimes. Valerie Solanas was a profoundly ill person when she shot Andy Warhol - but despite the fact that many could have stopped her, nobody did. And for several decades now we've seen these kinds of problems, well, metastasize.
If we want to talk about what society needs, it would do us well to recognize that we need to get a handle on that, and the sooner the better. We could see we needed it as soon as it became clear to anyone with any kind of training and background who Adam Lanza really was: he was a profoundly sick but highly intelligent kid, living alone with his mother in a broken household, in a bucolic, well-educated upper middle class town, who was being sheltered to the best of his family's ability, with very large checks being written, and he wasn't getting any better. They didn't want the diagnosis. They wanted to handle it on their own. That's my conjecture - it's not meant as a statement of irrefutable fact - but given what I have to work with, it's the best conjecture I can make.
I can further conjecture with some knowledge that having a son diagnosed as a schizophrenic is a really profound thing to happen to anyone, much less someone who is a millionaire (every year) and a finance Executive with General Electric. Adam had longstanding troubles and he wasn't improving; in fact he was being kept away from treatment that might have helped him improve. For a variety of reasons, we're not being allowed access to the full set of facts regarding the Lanza family - and those are the most salient facts. But we don't have those.
That's where all the effort should be going: helping society prevent "random" mass shootings by really understanding and stopping the people who commit them, the ones who are driving the curve - the ones for whom they are not "random" at all. Adam Lanza's acts weren't "random" to Adam Lanza. They were deliberate. They were very carefully, meticulously, exactly planned. There was nothing "random" about it to him. And we all have a responsibility as gun owners to better secure and protect our weapons to prevent them from being misused. That isn't too hard, but it does require some planning and thoughtfulness.
And most of all we should be talking the truth about this incident and the previous ones.
This is not a theoretical problem in our democracy, it's not even a crisis: we can call for some heightened awareness and understanding if we know what the real problem is, and we can bring that curve of these types of crimes down very significantly if people work together without, to put it bluntly, freaking out. Frankly it's a minor adjustment. There is no "assault weapons ban" needed. We need to understand the problem.
If we had a responsible government in power, instead of a government that does whatever it can just because a handful of its members wants to, we would be doing that.
Adam Lanza committed his crime because literally nobody stopped him: his mother didn't stop him (he made sure of that), his father didn't stop him, his school system didn't stop him, and the family - despite being millionaires many times over - didn't stop him. Why is that? It's because they were protecting him, and then - possibly, even probably - his mother decided she just couldn't do it any more. Yes, she was being well compensated through the terms of the divorce. She would never have to work again. But in exchange, it appears that she was saddled for the rest of her life having to try to keep the "family secret" and try to find a way to care for this overgrown kid, who is now a man, increasingly reclusive and dangerous, and insusceptible to pain. And keep him out of trouble. My educated conjecture is that once she decided to stop protecting him, he learned of it, he didn't want to be put away (he was quite happy with the arrangement) and he decided to kill her, 20 children and six others, and then kill himself while leaving all the open ended questions to the rest of America.
My guess is that it's a very sick thing we had happen there in Newtown, something nobody really wants to talk about. It's also a very sick thing we had at Virginia Tech., and in Colorado (twice) and at NIU, and in Columbine. But if you look at the people committing those crimes, and you really try to understand what is happening, it's something that can be understood and it can be prevented, without trampling on the rights of 100 million Americans or more. They have done nothing wrong.
And that is what our government *should* do, but it's not doing it. It's racing to get this one in the bag for the ideologues and the gun grabbers. It doesn't want a full explanation of the events that took place - if anything, our government wants as little more to come out about this event as possible, and that's been the pattern since about 2 days after the shooting. If we listen to the ideologues, the only answer is to go after the gnat problem with the howitzers. It's a Joe Biden "This is a big ****ing deal" kind of answer, and he loves that stuff.
There's a lot going on that people are very reluctant to face. Our society's answer needs to address the real problem, not the imaginary problem.
Davo said in a different thread: "It's impossible to win an argument you're not having." That's quite correct. We're not having the real argument, because it's been impossible to talk about what the real facts are. The most important facts are, and were, in the Lanza Family Household, and there is a wall of silence that has been constructed around those facts now. It's a really vile thing that is happening, and the only way to prevent it from happening is for all of us to be responsibly engaged.