Adam Lanza's Mom Nancy Never Had the Chance to Use Her Guns for Self Defense

Rant 57

Nancy LanzaIn the days since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, there's been a photo floating around Facebook. It shows a woman with a baby in one arm, a gun in the other, and it's paired with a headline proclaiming her "a wise American mom." I see her, and I see Adam Lanza's mom. After all, Nancy Lanza was said to have created an arsenal of guns for "self defense."

But on Friday morning, it was her guns that police say her 20-year-old son used to shoot first Nancy Lanza in the face, then 26 innocent people at his elementary school, including 20 children no older than 7. Adam Lanza finally used one of those guns his mother kept in her home to "defend" herself to commit suicide.

These are facts. Facts that the crowd defending their right to bear arms in order to defend their families needs to hear today.

Nancy Lanza had an arsenal to defend herself, but it didn't help her. She died at the hands of a madman. Twenty children died at the hands of a madman, died being shot by bullets from guns that Nancy Lanza had purchased legally but couldn't use for their intended purpose.

I have no doubt that Adam Lanza's mother had the best of intentions. She's said to have been a woman who loved her sons, who was doing her best as a mom.

It's hard to argue in the face of demands that people be allowed to defend their families. I'm a mother; I would go to the ends of the Earth and back to defend my child. I understand the passion behind the argument.

Sadly, unfortunately, a passionate argument does not necessarily make for a solid one. We have the right to defend our families, but we don't necessarily have the means.

Because guns, even guns purchased for self defense, do not defend us.

I speak not only of the case in Newtown, Connecticut, of the death of Nancy Lanza at the end of her own gun. As horrific as Adam Lanza's rampage is, the shooting of his mother could be marked as merely anecdotal by some, a blip on the radar in terms of guns being turned on their owner, if it weren't for the statistics.

Take, for example, the study published in the Southern Medical Journal in August 2009. Completed not by politicians or lobbyists, but by members of the Department of Psychiatry at the Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and folks in the Departments of Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, it takes a real look at the safety provided by firearms in the home.

Out of 395 gun-related fatalities inside the home during a certain period, 333 were suicides. Another 41 were domestic violence-related deaths, and 12 were accidents.

That's a 97 percent tragedy rate. Ninety-seven percent!

Compare to that the fact that 9 of those deaths were actually shootings of an intruder. That's 2 percent.

So 2 percent of gun owners gained the ability to defend themselves by owning a firearm compared to 97 percent who suffered tragedy, who saw lives lost. And this is what we're fighting for?

This is what Nancy Lanza died for? What Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung died for? What 20 innocent children died for?

For the 2 percent chance that owning a gun will make you safer, and the 97 percent chance that the gun you own for safety will tear your family in two?

I don't call that a "wise" mom's choice. I call that the choice of a mom burrowing her head in the sand.

Yes, we have the right to bear arms. But is there really any point?


crime, death, guns


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Foley... Foleygirl24

Two studies I read about when I was getting my psych degree in college made me rethink my position on guns: 1) that the mere presence of a gun increases the likelihood of violence by 200%, whether it was orignally intended to be used or not, and 2) people who produce a gun to defend themselves during the commission of a violent crime are 4 x as likely to be hurt themselves, mostly because it causes the criminal to panic and as a result escalates the situation. My grandfather was a funeral director, and he buried too many kids who died as a result of gun accidents, and made us each promise to never keep one in the house. And most of those kids were the children of cops, who had the guns locked up unloaded with the ammo in a separate place. Kids find shit.

nonmember avatar Jae

Take a class in statistics, you will learn that they can me manipulated. More children are killed by cars every year due to drivers doing something other than just driving and they get off easy, focus on that. Focus on the movies that implant these ideas into the minds of these psychos. Focus on the media that floods every television in the country after these tragedys, glorifying the murderer. I feel bad for the families of the shooting in Connecticut, but again, if you outlaw our weapons, only outlaws will have weapons.

ethan... ethans_momma06

Um, it's really not that hard to shoot someone with a muzzle loader. You can also keep a poweder and ball pistol preloaded. For as long as you'd like. Just like a modern gun.

The idea that our Fore Fathers had no idea that things, technology would change is honestly- laughable.

The fact is, this is not your avg. person keeping a gun for self defense. This is a person who kept a gun in a house with someone who had mental health issues. There is a difference.

The outcome is extremely unfortunate.

nonmember avatar Mad Dawg

Really- this article is BS- a rant by someone that is trying to connect things that are not connected... If 333 committed suicide by a gun- then how many others found a different way ? How many hung themselves? Maybe we should ban rope. How many sat in the garage and ran the engine to kill themselves ? Maybe we should ban cars.. How many used a knife and slit their wrists ? Maybe we should ban all sharp weapons- like knives and swords.
Even the domestic violence tag is misleading. How many were outright murder ? How many had drugs or alcohol involved ? How many were heated spur of the moment ? Each case needs to be looked at individually.. If a gun was not available- would a different weapon have been likely selected and used- like a knife, or a belt to strangle them with ?
The problem here is - if you remove one weapon- well- in a lot of cases- a different weapon would have been selected- that's all. The outcome would have been the same- just placed under a different statistic.
Rather than blame the right to bear arms- maybe the author should be talking about moms- that love their children- and doing the right thing, for society, when their kid shows signs of mental illness / disturbance... That'd make more sense..

Mommi... MommietoJB

Thank you for this article Jeanne. Most gun owners never need their guns for self defense. They know that, but like most on here they love to brag about owning a gun and k Disturbed individuals attain guns legally and from other people that have attained them legally. The frightening black figure that you see yourself defending against at home rarely exist its Suburban Johnny we need to keep these weapons away from. Yes, drugs are illegal and people still do drugs but lets not make it a free for all.

tnyangel tnyangel

Oh Jeanne I understand your point, I do. But a "madman" is going to hurt people. Go search around the Countries that don't have guns at all, the violence is done in other ways, i.e. knives, bombs and bare hands. 

I see no reason that anyone should possess automatic weapons. However, my son is quick to point out that the original "right to bear arms" was to protect us from foriegn invaders and in this day and age, a foriegn invader would have an automatic weapon, so it would take machine guns to fight machine guns and as people, we can't just wait for the military to get to us, we have to defend our homes, our neighbors for as long as possible. I see his point too. With all the escalating violence in the world, how could I not worry about about an invasion?

But to say that guns need to be taken away to stop violence, well that's just not looking at the whole picture. If there were no guns, does anyone honestly believe there would be no violence? Less violence? Certainly there would be less gun violence, but to quote the bumper sticker "If the guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns".

Mommi... MommietoJB

Thank you for this article Jeanne. Most gun owners never need their guns for self defense. They know that, but like most on here they love to brag about owning a gun. Disturbed individuals attain guns legally and from other people that have attained them legally. The frightening black figure that you see yourself defending against at home rarely exist its Suburban Johnny we need to keep these weapons away from. Yes, drugs are illegal and people still do drugs but we dont make it a free for all. This is exactly the same thing. Bottom line if this sick individual , which im sure had gotten help over the years as his family lives in an affluential neighborhood. If his mother never had bought these guns legally in the first place 20 kids would of been able to enjoy christmas with their families. There is no way in the world to know whether gun owners are being responsible, so we must take them out of the community. This mother was irresponsible with her decisions and her right to bear arms now this unspeakable end of days tragedy has occured. Until every gun owner has something like this happen to their child they will hold on to their guns while children from somewhere else die.

cmjaz cmjaz

Her son STOLE her guns. They were not his. Criminals and crazies will steal what they need or find another way to harm. We need a different healthcare system to handle mentally ill people. My uncle is mentally ill and should be locked up. He's a danger. But the hospitals can't let him stay and the police can't take him until he actually does something. Its very frustrating. No one has guns around him though.

Stephanie Landry Claudet

Put yourself in those teachers shoes. Do you think that would have wanted a gun in that moment. I know i sure would have. At least they would have stood a chance. Instead they were left defenseless!!!

Beth McCormack Bernitt

disagree strongly on this matter as...I believe the gunmen and that desensitization of our youth is the true culprit here, not the weapon.  When I was I child I would play war outside. I would catch frogs and I used my imagination we only had UHF for TV and were forced to play with the neighbors for entertainment. I learned tolerance for people that wanted to play different games then me. If I wanted to  be alone it was with my 3 channel, a book or my very own...imagination. I feel that having games that depict violence available for entire families to watch and play is core here. Our children are feed so much violence they really do not understand the consequence of violence or they feel that a violent reaction is..NORMAL, as that is what they see on TV and in Videos. The majority of video games blow shit up ...even my unassuming angry birds is blowing frog/pigs away and violently reinforcing violence, creating violence ( we know this a fact,isn't it why we don't buy into corporal punishment?) So even a child raised in a peaceful environment will find violence acceptable. Imagine if you were a child that had a brain that worked differently then others how acceptable this may be in a ill, twisted or depraved mind.....? It isn't the gun it is our nod of acceptance as a society to violance as entertainment and above all - the Gunmen who is responsible.

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