so i said i didn't want to understand or humanize adam lanza. and of course i don't know; maybe he was a completely delusional schizophrenic, the kind of person where it really does no good to search for comprehensible motivations. but let me try this. he had trouble making any sort of social connections or even holding a conversation, we're told. perhaps the spectrum he was farthest on was the shyness spectrum; he could barely speak to anyone but his parents. i've known four-year-olds like that. but even if the extreme shyness came from him, he also believed (insert a 'perhaps' in every clause for me, if you would) that the fact that he couldn't connect with people was partly their fault: they should have reached in, seen who he really was, fallen in love with him, and so on. people weren't much but a source of mortification, abandonment, and pain. everyone who ever smiled at him and then didn't know what to do because he was so strange, and so sidled off uncomfortably, betrayed him. then perhaps he worked this up into a kind of moral fury in which you're judging everyone all the time, hyper-emphasizing the negative.
let that infest your thinking and then spend a few years reading the news; it is possible to see the monstrousness of human beings every day, from the regional murders to the overseas wars: syria, say. watch politicians in action; mitt romney ran for president this year, talking about his fundamental convictions, har har. think about what we do for entertainment from the point of view of my hypothetical adam lanza, furious moralist. or what we do to the environment. and yet everyone is talking love, hope, democracy, leadership, etc.
then maybe his only relationships were with his parents, and what we would think of as the normal wrenching crap around their divorce and then also his mother's threat to commit him showed him that he had absolutely no one. then the thought perhaps occurred: homo sapiens is a species of frauds, hypocrites, and killers: we are liars; we are lies. then, with ever-growing conviction: the world would be better off without us.
now perhaps adam lanza was happiest when he was little, in 1st grade, say, or at least he remembered that as the best period of his life. in his head, i am speculating on god knows what grounds, he was saving these children by killing them: saving them from being victimized, and from becoming hateful lying monstrous teenagers or adults. he couldn't save all the children; but whatever shred of decency he had left demanded that he save as many as possible. so he went to where there were a lot of children together and opened fire. he was armoured up to keep going as long as possible. he might have wanted to kill hundreds of children. he would release them, and punish their parents and his own. and he would show the whole world, in a way that could not be ignored or ameliorated or explained away, the real essence of destruction that lurks within us. for of course he was a people himself: he was himself what he hated most. he too deserved to die. well, hard to quibble with that part by the time he'd finished up. it was always part of the plan.
what does it mean that perhaps i can see this or envision a project of trying to see something like this? well now that disturbs even me. if something along these lines was his train of thought, he was, i believe, not entirely wrong, sadly. but he was not entirely right, thank god. i pondered writing this entry in the first person, as adam lanza. but even though that is what is called for aesthetically - a first-person novel or whatever - i would not want to own that series of thoughts even with a fictional displacement of the 'i.' and yet it was me who assembled this series of thoughts from whatever shreds we've gotten, so i can't disown them exactly either.