We all watched the news in horror on December 14, 2012 as details emerged about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. The man who unleashed his fury on innocent schoolchildren and the people who taught and protected them was soon identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza. Perhaps no one watched with greater horror than his family. Last week, his father, Peter Lanza, spoke out for the first time about his son and the atrocities he committed.

In an interview with The New Yorker, Lanza made a number of statements about Adam, including revealing the depth of his mental state as the years progressed and that he had not spoken to his son in the two years prior to the incident. In the most startling quote, and the one that has received the most press, he said he wished his son had never been born. The article states:

Peter declared that he wished Adam had never been born, that there could be no remembering who he was outside of who he became.

Usually, when we hear that phrase—"wish you'd never been born"—it comes as dramatic threat, like a line from a movie. But this time, with 20 kids and seven adults murdered by Adam in cold blood, we get the sense the Peter Lanza actually means those words, that he wishes he could take back his son's life.

On the one hand, we think of the parent-child relationship and our defenses rise: How could he say something like that? Doesn't he love his son? On the other, maybe his response is justified. Adam Lanza attacked children, the most vulnerable members of our society. He was not a good man by any means. The depth of this father's grief is unimaginable to most of us. While the recent interview may be part of processing the tragedy, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Posted: