Autism Rights Watch Grieves for the Families after Newtown, CT Shootings
Autism Rights Watch grieves for the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown, CT. We are devastated. Our wishes and condolences go to the many families affected. Our thoughts also go to the first responders who faced this horrific scene.
The news of the gunman massacre was an absolute shock. “Evil visited this community” said Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. 20 year-old Adam Lanza made a horrible individual choice. He decided to shoot four weapons, kill his mother, attack an elementary school and take his own life.
Details are sketchy. According to ABC News, Ryan Lanza, the older brother of Adam Lanza, told police that his brother has Asperger Syndrome and another “personality disorder.” Yet, as of now, the New York Times reported that “law enforcement officials offered no hint of what had motivated Mr. Lanza”. Maybe someday, we will explain, though never justify, this tragedy.
The search for answers should not be a search for a scapegoat. Autism is no excuse or explanation to evil. Being “autistic”, “odd”, “awkward”, “camera shy”, a “nerd” and “uncomfortable with others” does not cause a person to become a mass murderer. Autistic persons are more likely to be victims, rather than perpetrators of violence. Autism Rights Watch urges the public and the media outlets not to stigmatize the autistic persons and their families. They already are facing segregation and prejudices on a daily basis.
The easy access to weapons in our households is the most solid contributing factor to this murder-suicide. Schools are not immune from rampage risks. This attack was the fourth in a school and the seventh this year in the United States. Years have passed since the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 and the Columbine school shootings in 1999. This tragedy must be a real wake-up call. The death of these elementary school children should not be in vain. We congratulate President Barack Obama for his decision to push “meaningful actions” that may help prevent such tragedy or revoke legislation that may assist it.
Autism Rights Watch joins in solidarity today to mourn the loss of lives in Connecticut. We are very confident in the ability of the police and the President to address the root causes of this murder-suicide without resorting to scapegoats and hasty explanations.
Note: Autism Rights Watch is an independent non-partisan, non-sectarian international non-profit organization dedicated to the rights and the inclusion of the persons on the autism spectrum and with other special needs. Our 501c3 status is pending. ARW is an American based NGO with significant activities in France and in Florida. It participates as an NGO to the informal network against school segregation at the Council of Europe.
Media inquiries shall be directed to [email protected]
Note from Wrong Planet: Autism Rights Watch is an independent NGO and not affiliated with Wrong Planet. However, Wrong Planet members are also discussing this issue:
Did Connecticut shooter have Asperger’s?
Recent school shooter (Sandy Hook) had AS?
School Shooting in CT