The Limits Of Solidarity
There is a popular internet feature, I am Adam Lanza’s Mother. It is about the nightmare of having a son with mental issues. No doubt the writerlady had good intentions.
“I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother.” Actually, with all due respect to your unpleasant situation, you are not the mother of those other six men. You are the mother of “Micheal”.
We will probably never know what set off Adam Lanza. We do know that Ma Lanza owned guns… in fact, it was her guns that were used in the rampage. She was not the type of person to be denied legal ownership of deadly force. It turns out that this weapon worked well when turned on her.
The odds are that all five of the men listed above took a different path to their day of destiny. It is tough to tell what could have been done. It would have been tough to tell the difference between them and other young people with problems. It is always going to be tough to guess, in advance, who is a killer, and who is a harmless jerk.
It is not known where the concept of saying “I am ___” got started. Presumably, the intention is to show solidarity. You might want to say that the person in the blank is a human being just like you. It is a good idea, sort of, but it gets worn out when you claim to be six different mothers.
A while back, the phrase of the day was “I am Troy Davis.” The Davis case lasted for 22 years. This is not the time to revisit that case. The point is, the people who wore T shirts saying “I am Troy Davis” are still alive today. Solidarity only goes so far.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.