Stop Blaming Parents and Start Dealing with Mental Illness

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m in shock about the Connecticut school shooting. I blame it on the parents of the killer. If they would have done a better job, including keeping their son away from guns, this whole thing might have been avoided. Why can’t we take children away from people like that and have them raised by truly loving parents?

A: Like you, I see the murder of 26 people as a terrible, terrible tragedy. But I disagree with the rest.

Adam Lanza was a loner had had few friends. But what makes you think his parents were unfit or didn’t love him? Over the next few months, we’ll have important national debates about parenting styles and gun control. I worry, though, that in our rush to find scapegoats, we’ll overlook a far bigger issue: Tens of thousands of parents struggle every day to raise children with severe mental illness.

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