Over and over and over again, we have asked ourselves the same question: could the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School been prevented? Was there something that could have kept Adam Lanza from arming himself to the teeth and ripping asunder the lives of the residents in Newtown, Connecticut, from killing 20 innocent children? Almost a week into the aftermath, we have a possibility: news that Adam Lanza once planned to join the Marines.
It was a plan that Nancy Lanza's friends say she put the kibosh on, reminding her son that he did not like to be touched by others. On the one hand, I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief that he didn't make it into the military and have access to even MORE weapons. On the other, I wonder -- would the US Marine Corps have been able to straighten Adam Lanza out?
Here was a kid who was said to be obsessed with playing violent video games that allowed him to play as a soldier. He walked into that elementary school outfitted similar to a soldier. And there's even talk that Lanza had a poster on his walls listing all the types of equipment used by the military.
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Could the corps have channeled his anger into something more positive? Given him a purpose in life, a sense of pride, some discipline?
This is assuming Adam Lanza would even have been accepted by the USMC, of course, or any branch of the military. But how many times have you heard from a veteran that the US military "made a man outta me"?
There are more than a few men and women in America who will readily admit that they were going nowhere fast when they joined the military and were whipped into shape, so to speak. The service offers them a regimented life, a place where they are told what to do and when, and eventually, something to be proud of. They aren't just existing, they are serving their country, they are doing something honorable.
Maybe it wouldn't have worked for Adam Lanza. Who knows. Maybe his mom was right, and the best thing for him was to be committed (another theory floating around). But this is one what if that I can't discount.
Have you seen the military straighten out a life?
Image via ABC