Counseling, More Than Armed Officers, Makes Our Schools Safer After Shootings

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, it is typically reassuring for people to create neat and tidy explanations for the causes of events such as Newtown and to generate air-tight solutions to prevent them from happening again. However, such explanations and solutions that might fit neatly on a car bumper sticker have little efficacy in practice.

A bumper sticker explanation was that Adam Lanza killed those children because of a single mental health issue, whether it be Asperger’s, autism, a personality disorder or any other condition suggested in the media. To suggest this profile, or any profile generated by a checklist of warning signs, only invites the stereotyping and stigmatizing of innocent individuals who are unlikely to commit any violent act at all.

This also may send people with true mental health needs into hiding, thereby keeping them from seeking effective treatment. Any person’s behavior, particularly that of the Newtown shooter, occurs in a much larger context. And without an understanding of other factors within this context, only unfair speculation can result.

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