Adam Lanza's Dream of Being a Marine Could Have Been His Salvation

This Just In 24

Adam LanzaOver 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.

More from The Stir: Adam Lanza's Mother Nancy Was Every Bit the Victim in Newtown Tragedy

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

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nonmember avatar Anon

It is not the military's responsibility, nor is it within their capabilities, to "straighten out" the mentally ill.

Doomy234 Doomy234

To answer the question: Yes and no. I have seen the military straighten out completely unruly people. At the same time, depending on where they have been, I have seen the military completely change people mentally. They know that they have killed or could kill and permenantly see life that way. A lot of soldiers come back needing strong mental health care, or have PTSD. So no. Overall I think it wouldnt have helped.

Livin... LivinBlessed

Absolutely! My little brother had some serious issues, I was afraid for him and couldn't see how he was going to ever live on his own. He joined a National Guard unit and went through the hell of PT and Iraq, and when he came home he was different. He's now in the Army fulltime, training constantly, and has a plan for his life. He needed that structure, and I really believe that if it hadn't been for the military, he would have found it in a prison or hospital.

BirdCo BirdCo

From the reports that I have seen he wouldn't have been able to join due to metal issues. This what if is just another what if that won't help us understand the why.

Austin Keenan

This is absurd.    The military can help someone with behavioral problems but not severe mental problems. 

Remember the Army guy who left his base in Afghan in the middle of the night and murdered 16 Afghans,   including 9 tiny kids in their beds.    War is the last place you send someone with mental problems! 

fave82 fave82

Plus, from all reports, this kid could barely make eye contact and hold a conversation. I don't really thing that's gonna fly in the military... PS, mcveigh had a pretty successful army career, didn't make him any less of a psycho.

Austin Keenan

McVeigh left the military because they wouldnt' let him in the Green Beret or special forces or something.    His resentment over that fed his anger at the government and fueled his angr at the Waco mess.    They clearly had reservations about him so "successful military career" might be a stretch.   


Liane... Lianetherider

My brother was an out-of-control child, with violent anger issues that smoldered throughout his teen years and thankfully never came to much of a head. He joined the Marines at 17 and shipped out to basic as soon as he was 18. He came home from basic a different person- respectful, focused, charming, and above all peaceful. He needed that rigid structure of military life to help him realize his own goals within a safe, organized environment. He also responded really well to male role models, and as children of a single mother we didn't have that at home. I love my brother, and that's not something I ever could have said as a child or teenager.

All of that said, I don't think the military would have been the right option for Adam Lanza based on what we know of him. For someone with a history of mental illness, who knows how military life would have affected him? I think it could have been an extremely traumatic experience, or disappointing based on his apparently-worshipful expectations.

KenneMaw KenneMaw

No way would he have been allowed to join any of the armed forces with the mental issues he had.  It sounds strange, but they don't accept everyone into the military, particularly the Marines. They are a hard-core group of people and I don't think this kid had the mentality to fit  in to that culture.  

Tonya Cantara Black

Well playing violent videos is not the CAUSE of this..I mean I play violent video games where I hunt others down and shoot them and I NEVER ONCE THOUGHT ABOUT KILLING SOMEONE in REAL LIFE!!! That is so funny!!! Maybe he was just a SICK PERSON and needed help and nobody was there when he needed it...I guess peeps have to put the BLAME somewhere...they trying to take guns from us its the CRAZIES that USE them that make the PROBLEM!!!

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