Nancy Lansa was a victim, too
Nobody and nothing good came out of the Sandy Hook Shooting spree, and one can only grieve for the loss of the children and teachers who died so horribly. However, I can't help feeling an extra bit of sadness over the treatment given to Nancy Lanza. She too, died at her son's hands, and yet she has been treated as a sinner rather than a victim; there seems to be some vague hint that she had it coming for being a gun enthusiast.
Now I will be perfectly honest that I have no use for guns, and see absolutely no reason why she would need or even want military weapons in her home; but she was within her rights to own them. And from all I have heard, she was dedicated to raising her son, and I'm certain it was in the hopes he would one day be a productive member of society, not a killer. I've heard she thought that learning how to safely handle guns would help teach him concentration, or responsibility. I doubt the possibility that he would ever use this knowledge to harm anyone, much less children, never entered her mind.
Yet somehow she has become the person we blame. When we talk about the people who died that day, we stop at 26 deaths. Her death is omitted, as if it just wasn't important enough to count. Maybe because we like things simple. It is easy to mourn the deaths of the children, of Dawn Hochsprung and the teachers that day. There are no shades of gray surrounding achingly young children or fiercely protective educators.
We cannot spare sympathy for Nancy Lanza without having to stop and think about whether we would have recognized the symptoms in our own children. About whether the relatively easy accessability to military weapons, even in a state with gun control laws like Connecticut, could be just as much to blame for the massacre as a hopeful parent, desperately clinging to the thought that her son might be ok.
Let's be brutally honest: We don't like to think too much. It's easier just to cast her in the role of the guilty and omit her from the list of the dead. Even her funeral was shunned, as if burying a criminal instead of a murdered mother.
Nancy Lanza was a victim, too. I hope someday people will realize that.
My furs are not in storage, nor draped across the bed. They're peering out the kennel door just waiting to be fed.