The nation mourns the deaths of those who died when a deranged man with access to an arsenal of automatic weapons and large ammunition clips murdered school personnel and elementary students. Twenty seven people died. Twenty six are being memorialized.
At the foot of the street leading to
Sandy Hook Elementary, 26
Christmas trees stand to honor the dead at the school, each bearing the name of
a victim, but no Nancy Lanza.
Newtown Convenience and Deli in the town center, 26 small
plastic Christmas trees with twinkling blue and purple lights stand next to a
sign that says, “In loving memory of the Sandy Hook
honored the shooting victims Monday with a ceremony before a men’s basketball
game, with 26 students standing at center court holding lighted candles. University of Connecticut
The 27th victim was Nancy Lanza, mother of the killer. The reason she is not recognized is basic and simple.
“I am feeling that there is more anger toward the mother than there is toward the son,” said Lisa Sheridan, a
“Why would a woman who had a son like this, who clearly had serious issues, keep assault rifles in the house and teach him how to shoot them?” she said. “To deal with that, there’s a feeling here that we’re just going to focus on the 26 innocent people who died at the school.”
Ms. Lanza is dead however, a murder victim like everyone else.
Nancy Lanza apparently broke no laws and suffered a violent, tragic death. People who knew her — those who played in her regular dice game and those who saw her at her regular restaurant — said she was devoted to her son and kind and generous to others. They see her as a victim like any of the others.
But unlike all the other dead and wounded Ms. Lanza was a perpetrator, a person who provided access to automatic weapons to a son who used them in the most horrific manner. So no, she does not deserve to be among those memorialized. She just deserves to be remembered as someone who in exercising her rights to obtain automatic weapons caused the death of 26 other people, including 20 children.