Enough Already

The piece of excrement that passed for a human being who killed 20 students and 6 school employees this past Friday did what he did because he was a sorry excuse for a human being.  No other reason.  I have had it with various news outlets reporting that he had Asperger Syndrome.  Whether he did or did not is irrelevant.

As a parent of a daughter with Asperger’s, it is offensive to me to even hear it be reported that he might have had Asperger’s.  We are talking second or third-hand accounts, based off of a neighbor’s friend’s aunt’s recollection of what the shooter’s mother may have told them 4 years ago.  Very reliable.

60 Minutes wasted about 5 minutes before they made sure to air that claim (source).  I have heard it on the Today show, and read it online.  Some websites say that he “suffered from Asperger’s” as if it is a painful affliction.  The pain for most aspies is in social situations, but it is less a physical pain than anything else.

From my experience, which is a daily one, with Asperger’s, I see how loving and caring someone with Asperger’s is.  Generally speaking, aspies tend to follow rules and laws, almost down to the letter of the law.  If you have seen the movie Rain Man, there is a part where Ray, who has high functioning autism, but not specifically Asperger’s, is about to cross the road.  When the “don’t walk” sign starts to flash, he stops in his tracks.  While that may seem somewhat extreme, that is the behavior you can expect from someone with Asperger’s; following the rules to the extreme.

It is irresponsible to the media to even report that the shooter may have had Asperger’s.  Instead of reporting on factual information, they are feeding in to the overall lack of education of our society when it comes to autism spectrum disorders.  Some people will hear or read that he might have had Asperger’s, and they will stop listening or reading right there and throw a blanket on all people with Asperger’s as being violent murderers.  They are not.

Amber and I deliberately did not tell our daughter about the shooting.  We avoided the topic because her Asperger’s will render her a blubbering mess of tears and sorrow for the 1st graders, kids her age, who were killed.  Her Asperger’s will make her be afraid to go to school.  Her Asperger’s will make her feel like she is not safe anywhere.  Her Asperger’s will not make her copy what the shooter did; if anything it will make her fearful of guns to the point where she would panic every time she saw one.

Can a person with Asperger’s be capable of shooting 26 innocent people?  Yes, they certainly could be.  But enough already with trying to make that a causal factor or focal point of what happened.  If, and this is a big if, the cowardly murderer was also an aspie, that is an ancillary part of the tragedy; his Asperger’s would not have been what caused his rampage, and it might have been what led him to stop when first responders were closing in.

The media, in my opinion, is being irresponsible in reporting that he may have had Asperger’s.  In cases like this, people are looking to blame anything as a contributing factor, and there will be some who now will blame Asperger’s.  Because our society, in general, is woefully uneducated about autism spectrum disorders, some will point to it as to why the violence happened in the first place.

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2 Responses to Enough Already

  1. Nomad says:

    If he did have ASD, it is just another label/ coexisting factor. Assuming he had, then in addition to the aspie label, there are more labels that describe him, and others who share those labels are not going to do what he did. So why do people single out the ASD bit? It has become a favorite blame-it-all tag.

    • TommyK says:

      You hit the nail right on the head. It is a blame-it-all tag for people who are looking for an easy answer, and ASD is easy to target because so many people are uneducated about it. People want to blame ASD instead of blaming the person who murdered all of those people. In general, people feel better when they can pin the blame on a condition and go on about their days. What bothers me is that it is being reported as fact by so many outlets, but no confirmation has actually been made.

      Thank you for your comment.

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