For a moment there, it sounded like we had a motive. A Newtown, Connecticut resident told Fox News that gunman Adam Lanza was afraid of being committed to a mental institution by his mother Nancy and that his anger and fear at the thought set him off. Josh Flashman, 25, is a US Marine and is familiar with the Lanza family. He said that Adam was aware of his mother's court petition for conservatorship, as well as, her plans to send him away, and was convinced Nancy loved the school more than she loved him.
Flashman's theories are interesting, but his father, Pastor Richard Flashman, sees things entirely differently.
First, here's more of what Josh had to say:
Adam Lanza believed [his mother] cared more for the children than she did for him, and the reason he probably thought this [was the fact that] she was petitioning for conservatorship and wanted to have him committed. I could understand how he might perceive that—that his mom loved him less than she loved the kids, loved the school. But she did love him. But he was a troubled kid and she probably just couldn’t take care of him by herself anymore.
Richard, Josh's dad, doesn't think it was appropriate for Josh to release such a statement, and explained:
I’ve just spoken to [my son] Josh. As the Fox News article indicates, the information Josh spoke to them about was hearsay and not confirmed. I suggest you do not run with the story.
The idea that Adam was mad at his mother for her alleged future plans for him, combined with the notion that she loved Sandy Hook elementary more than she loved him ... it was a motive neatly packaged with a pretty bow on top, and frankly, I wanted to believe every word.
A motive would help explain the unanswerable question of why. A motive would help us wrap our minds around what happened. A motive would make things easier.
If his actions were just completely random, doesn't that make it all the more frightening? If the question of "why" remains, then so does the question of "how" it can be prevented. It leaves a feeling of uneasiness, like something's unfinished.
All that said, Josh's theories aren't out of the realm of possibility, they're just not confirmed, and at this point, certainties (if such a thing even exists) are what we're looking for. For the sake of the "how", though, I hope there's an explanation soon.
Is it important to you to find out Adam Lanza's motives?
Photo via ABC