When Evil Visits
Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut: 1 mother shot at home + 20 massacred students + 6 teachers and administrators + 1 suicidal gunman = 28 dead. Not the type of math you want your children to learn first-hand.
“Evil has visited this community today,” Gov. Daniel Malloy said, while reports surfaced about the 20-year-old gunman possibly suffering from a personality disorder.
Gee, ya think???
However, we must ask: does the sickness in someone’s brain cause them to do the unthinkable? Or is it evil?
For those of us with adopted children who have suffered neglect, abuse, and possible fetal alcohol effects, we understand that some have little impulse control through no real fault of their own. In the case of those with autism, they might have communication or frustration triggers that lead to extreme violence. But what does this mean for society around them? Should they grow up to be killers or abusers or thieves, what responsibility does the family have?
No matter what the mental disabilities, we can teach children right from wrong. Although it doesn’t seem to be in fashion these days to say it, evil exists and it must be fought. Constant repetition and routine does seem to work even with those with mental challenges. Keeping them away from high-stress situations, and using proper medications can also help keep things on an even keel.
In our family, we model day in and day out, what is right and what is wrong. We discuss it, such as when the children went out the other day to purchase holiday gifts for different family members and I reminded them that if, by any chance, an item found its way into anyone’s pocket without paying for it, the police would be called.
Did I think this would be a problem? No.
Did I want to repeat and reinforce our values at a time when all four children might not be monitored 110%? Yes.
Since we currently know very little of the Connecticut killer and his motives, I consider the case of David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer from the 1970s. He was pure evil, staging shootings resulting in six killings and seven woundings throughout New York City. Berkowitz came from an adoptive family, and although he had served with the U.S. Army and received an honorable discharge, his discovery of his adoption and details surrounding his birth damaged his sense of identity. He became involved in a Satanic cult and began the murders.
Now in prison serving six consecutive life sentences, he became a born-again Christian in 1987 while there. On repeated occasions, Berkowitz rejected any offers to meet to discuss possible parole, stating that he believes he should be in prison the rest of his life. He spends his free time counseling other prisoners and is said to be a model citizen.
A disturbed mind? Definitely. A person motivated by evil? Definitely.
Can these situations be reversed so that tragedy need not occur? I believe so, but it would require extreme care and intervention and monitoring, the likes of which neither man might have been receiving in the first place.
————–Tags: "Son of Sam" David Berkowitz and what made him snap, adopted children and violence, adoptive families blog, can children with mental disabilities be taught right from wrong?, could the Newtown tragedy have been averted?, evil exists and it must be fought, evil has visited this community, how to make sense of the senseless killings in CT, no impulse control, psychological problems in Connecticut killer, the nature of evil