These were some messed up people who lived life with the veneer of respectable upward mobility. What happened while devastating was not shocking.
Mother bought and kept automatic weapons which were used in the crime. Mother liked to arrange dice games for the neighborhood. (?) Father had not seen the strange son in six months, nor had the brother seen him in two years.
In short, family who knew this kid best turned a blind eye to the problems, kept dangerous weapons around, and did not support the son emotionally, nor see that he got the help he needed. The only safeguard against this kind of thing happening to harm innocent victims is the safety net of concern of family, friends seeing that the kid got help, or was locked up if he was dangerous. The rest of society can not do the job of the family in this regard.
While the shooter was solely responsible for his crimes against families and society, the shooter's own family failed to recognize his problems, failed to support him or be close enough to him to recognize his problems for several years, and also kept dangerous weapons where a dangerous person could access them. Moreover after the parents' divorce it seems that only the mother supported the son, and not in a way that was sufficient.
Where was the father in this? Oh wait, there was a divorce and he did not bother with the son for months. Where was the support of the older brother? Why did the mother keep assault weapons lying around? Everyone else seemed to know that this kid had problems, and a family like this should have seen that the kid got the help he needed, by all indications they had the resources.
This is a totally ridiculous failure at the family level.
Father was the tax director at GE Capital, older brother was a senior auditor at Ernst and Young, Manhatten, mother was a volunteer/former teacher at the Elementary School. These were not stupid people, yet they refused to exercise the responsibility over their family member that society expects and deserves.
Mother knew something was wrong with the kid, yet kept assault weapons where they could be accessed by the mentally unstable 20 year old? Come on people, demand better from families in this regard. Just because someone lives in upper middle class family in Connecticut village does not absolve them of responsibility for seeing that a deranged family member (possibly deranged due to family dysfunction) is not on the loose, and left to harm society.
This one belongs to the dysfunctional family, who turned a blind eye on a criminal shooter. There is no way that society could have seen this coming, but the shooter was enabled with automatic weapons in the home, and a family which did not have this kid in an institution. Watch the story develop, and resist the temptation to place the blame anywhere else but on this family.
So here we are, we've got big corporations and extremely wealthy buying political favors to enhance their wealth and a widening chasm between the wealthy and political groups and the rest that is breeding resentment. Now we throw in lots of guns with very few real restrictions.
What do you think is going to happen? Throw in some austerity in the form of reduced amounts for the food program and medicaid and medicare. Let the young see that we have no future job prospects. And soon you will have a lot of people who have fallen on hard times with a couple of guns at home, that just may take to shooting people. I think I said that when Gabrielle Giffords got shot and it will keep getting worse capitalism breeds evil. It is just the start the killing will increase along with human misery for all:)
I don't disagree with what you say BG. But with the grip that mainstreaming has on the mind of the psychiatric community just as with the educational community, it would be difficult to get Hannibal Lector committed to an institution let alone an apparently conforming 20 year old. Even if the family were willing, it would still be difficult to get a professional to sign their name on the dotted line.