The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘He Was a Quiet Ewok, Kept to Himself a Lot. Kind of a Loner, I Guess You’d Say’

Posted on | December 15, 2012 | 49 Comments

“Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were 5 years old. As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised . . . Burn in hell, Adam.”
Tim Dalton, neighbor quoted in the New York Daily News

Let’s face it, if I should die in headline-worthy fashion — losing control at 110 mph while being pursued by state troopers on a two-lane country road with seven cases of illegal fireworks in the back seat of a rented Mustang GT — my friends will say, “Yeah, he was always crazy.”

If I were a software mogul, I’d be “eccentric.” If I were a big-time Hollywood film director, I’d be “controversial.” As it is, I’m just plain crazy and my advocacy of “The Dangerous Lunatic Incarceration Act of 2013” might seem somewhat counter-intuitive. But the fact is, crazy people can only get along safely in a world where there are clear and understandable rules, written and enforced by sane people.

That’s why letting kooks like Maxine Waters and Alan Grayson into Congress is so dangerous. With kooks and dingbats writing the laws, the insanity could escalate beyond anyone’s mad imagination.

A society can tolerate a certain amount of craziness without endangering public safety and jeopardizing the continued existence of society itself. Unfortunately, the police in Livonia, Louisiana, weren’t interested in a philosophical discussion when they clocked me doing 82 in a 45 mph zone that night in March when I was desperately trying to make it to the next day’s Rick Santorum campaign event. So the law was enforced, my rental car was impounded and, all things considered, I was lucky they didn’t arrest me.

The Rule of Law is a magnificent thing, and the discretion left to law enforcement officials — who can exercise their judgment about whether a campaign correspondent’s deadline frenzy justifies extreme speed — has occasionally allowed me to plead my way down to a warning citation. If the cops never really brought the hammer down and fined the hell out of me, however, dangerous vehicular anarchy might ensue.

If everybody drove like me, your morning commute could turn into a cross between a demolition derby, the Talladega 500 and Mad Max.

That’s just one kind of crazy: The daredevil thrill-seeking extrovert, the sanguine id-monster who transgresses boundaries as a kind of sport.

And I’m pretty sure my kind of crazy is ultimately less dangerous than the other end of the extrovert/introvert spectrum: Moody loners, who quietly nurse their resentments and conceal their twisted insanity behind a facade of silence. Ace of Spades on Adam Lanza:

What we have here, it seems, was a Strange Young Man.
What do you do about Strange Young Men? The state can attempt an intervention, but that’s a nice, euphemistic way to say “interfere with their lives for no better reason than the fact that they act oddly.” Most people who act oddly or are socially inept are perfectly nice and law-abiding. (I’m one of them.)
On the other hand, you can strictly observe their freedom to be odd ducks, and suffer the occasional calamity when it turns out that this particular odd duck was the one you should have checked on.

Indeed, and Ace’s self-recognition of his own “socially inept” qualities is what prevents him from being dangerous, unless you’re a douchebag who should stray within range of his withering sarcasm. (Just ask Jackie Mackie Paisley Passey what that’s like.) Ace knows who he is, and has found ways of coping with it and — here’s the key insight — he doesn’t blame other people for his own unique situation.

Which really isn’t all that unique, after all. We’re all kind of crazy in our own way, and our patterns of craziness are not so distinctly individual that they cannot be categorized and labeled by diagnostic experts. But if you think back on your college days, every psychology major you ever knew was crazy, so why should we trust their expertise?

Sometimes, you just have to trust your own gut hunch about this stuff, and err on the side of caution insofar as your own safety is concerned:

“A deeply disturbed kid . . . He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts . . . one of these real brainiac computer kind of kids . . . Adam had a lot of mental problems . . . a gamer who ‘rarely spoke.’ . . . He was weird . . . He was quiet.”

Doesn’t it seem like a lot of people had gut hunches about Adam Lanza, but for some reason didn’t feel like they could do anything about it? What is it about our culture that inhibits people from exercising common-sense judgment that might prevent a “deeply disturbed kid” from killing 27 people before killing himself?

In a word, liberalism.

Before the triumphant cultural hegemony of liberalism — before we were persuaded that people with “personality disorders” should be viewed as victims and before the ACLU decided that the rights of kooks trumped any concern about public safety — the Adam Lanzas of the world were institutionalized, generally with the assent of their own families. Mom and Dad might have been disappointed that their kid turned out to be a nutjob, the family might feel some shame over having spawned a schizo, but they recognized that the greater good of society took precedence over their personal sympathy for the hopeless loony.

Back in the day, a lot of kids grew up with a vague knowledge about Uncle Bud or Aunt Dora, who flipped out and got sent to the State Hospital.

Kids’ knowledge of this stuff was vague, because it was gathered through overheard conversations among adults in the next room, and the shadow of stigma was something everybody instinctively understood about mental illness. We can look back across the decades and view that era as benighted and barbaric in some ways, but there were a lot fewer kooks on the streets and everybody’s lives were safer because of it.

Fast-forward across five decades of Scientific and Social Progress, and you find people embracing their psychiatric diagnoses with shocking enthusiasm, discussing their symptoms and medications the way some people used to make cocktail-party talk about astrology.

“Hi, I’m Jenny. I’m a Scorpio.”
“Nice to meet you, Jenny. My name’s Paul and I’m ADD borderline OCD with bipolar disorder and chronic depression, but the Elavil, Prozac and Adderal seem to be working pretty pleasantly today, so I don’t feel like committing suicide just because I haven’t quite finished alphabetizing my BlueRay DVD collection. Wanna dance?”

Before we turned society into one great big group-therapy session — before every minor deviation from the norm was analyzed, categorized, diagnosed and medicated — people didn’t view their problems through a psychiatric lens or think of their unhappiness as a function of abnormal neurochemical reactions that could be adjusted with prescribed dosages of serotonin re-uptake inhibitors.

Crazy people didn’t write bestselling memoirs about their mood disorders and then make the rounds on TV talk shows. Yet in just a couple of decades, we’ve gone from Listening to Prozac and Prozac Nation to Will Everybody for the Love of Dear God Please Shut Up About Prozac?

We’ve normalized and mainstreamed mental illness to the point that it seems like every other person you meet is some kind of kook.

The President of the United States is a raging narcissist, 52 percent of American voters are his co-dependent enablers, and when Jesse Jackson Jr. cited mental illness as the cause of his resignation from Congress, my first thought was, “OK, one down, 534 to go.”

But what am I talking about?

Is this just another one of those dreaded flashback tangents, a lingering side-effect of that ill-fated afternoon in 1979 when I decided to mix psilocybin mushroom tea with Bolivian flake cocaine? Am I just writing this on my blog as a sort of literary therapy, because no publisher in his right mind would pay me for such lunatic gibberish? There is a shortage of insane publishers and a surplus of insane writers, a market factor that probably explains why I haven’t yet gotten rich enough to be considered “eccentric.” But I digress . . .

No, wait — there is a point to this demented screed! Actually two points:

  1. People with common sense recognized that Adam Lanza was dangerously crazy, which is why they’re still around to talk about how crazy he was. You’ll notice that Adam’s brother Ryan Lanza (accidentally misidentified as the shooter by “professional journalists”) hadn’t had anything to do with his brother since 2010. Ryan knew his brother was dangerous, and did his best to put himself out of danger. But none of the people who recognized Adam’s evil craziness as a danger felt empowered to do anything to prevent him from going on a murderous rampage. Which brings me to my second point . . .
  2. Hit the Freaking Tip Jar! What the hell, do you think I’m crazy enough to write this stuff for nothing?

No, by God, I’m not one of these amateur crazies. This is my full-time job, and turning insanity into an actual career has made me a role model for the aspiring mentally ill everywhere. Wackjobs who might otherwise be tempted to heinous crimes are instead leading productive and useful lives as conservative bloggers. Just ask Bob Belvedere.

People may ask, “Stacy, how dare you make fun of these poor suffering victims of mental illness?” To which I answer that if I ever started taking this stuff too seriously, it would drive me nuts.

Also, Adam Lanza wasn’t a victim.

Adam Lanza was a perpetrator. And to repeat a memorable quote from Dirty Harry, “Well, I’m all broken up about that man’s rights.”



49 Responses to “‘He Was a Quiet Ewok, Kept to Himself a Lot. Kind of a Loner, I Guess You’d Say’”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    December 15th, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    What is motivating these shootings?

    Manson of course had a long criminal history before his final murderous rage. But most of these mass murderers, while being odd, do not have prior criminal histories. So how do you identify which ones are dangerous? Statistically you are probably looking at 1 :1,000,000 odds.

    It is not an easy answer.

  2. SMjaniczek
    December 15th, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM ‘He Was a Quiet Ewok, Kept to Himself a Lot. Kind of a Loner, I Guess You’d Say’ #TCOT

  3. DaveO
    December 15th, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    You say “Liberalism” but I’d counter with “Lawyers.” Sanity and insanity are not defined by science, but by lawyers. Many a lawyer has made fortunes off of lawsuits protecting Strange Young Men (and Women) and punishing Good Samaritans.
    The recent move to strip veterans of their 2d Amendment rights because of diagnoses of PTSD and/or TBI is spearheaded by lawyers.
    Like most things associated with Prognazis, rational debate on what separates Strange Young Men from murderers can’t be based on science, or what is good for America.

  4. ThePaganTemple
    December 15th, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    Shit happens. No matter what you do to try to prevent the next atrocity that gum you like is going to come back in style, and some wadwaste is eventually going to kill some people.

  5. Adam Lanza Described As Ticking Time Bomb, Deeply Disturbed | The Lonely Conservative
    December 15th, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

    […] indicating that Nancy Lanza was a stay at home mother and did not work at the school.Update: More from The Other McCain who linked in a new post.Tweetvaso linkgoogle_ad_client = "ca-pub-1395656889568144"; /* 300×250, […]

  6. CyberRabid
    December 15th, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

    I believe it is an ill practice to discuss in detail what the problem is or what we should do about it before we have all of the facts. As R.S. has stated, Adam Lanza had a history of mental illness but had learned how to cope with it over time;at least up until the day of the killings. So what pushed him over the edge of sanity to commit such an act of violence?

    Most of us don’t really want to know because of some kind of imaginary fear that we might find sympathy within us for the young 21-year-old assailant,but it is of utmost importance that we do understand and ask the questions because somewhere within the answers potentially lies the answer to the greatest enigma of all time:

    “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

    Adam Lanza was an angry young man, feeling that life had wronged him in some way or form; wronged in such a way that he could no longer accept the concept that all things happen for a purpose. As a result he rebelled and acted without purpose as he took the lives of 26 people,20 of them innocent children.

    If you are angry about this as I am the question “WHY” is forever pounding in your head in search of the answer.

    Maybe our idea of God as father,judge,and rewarder is no longer relevant.Maybe God does not hear our prayers,thus cannot answer them or protect us; maybe the answers to our cosmos lay somewhere beyond human imagination and intelligence,somewhere beyond our perceptions of good and evil.


  7. JeffWeimer
    December 15th, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    Well, when seconds count and the police are minutes away; being prepared for the off-chance of something like this happening is only a range away.

  8. robertstacymccain
    December 15th, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    You say “Liberalism” but I’d counter with “Lawyers.”
    – – –
    Exactly. Why doesn’t one of these gun-wielding kooks ever go nuts and murder half the senior class at Harvard Law School? Or for that matter, the random probabilities would suggest that sooner or later some rampaging psychotic might blast his way into the newroom at NBC or the New York Times, yet it’s never happened.even once.

  9. Dana
    December 15th, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    The esteemed Mr McCain wrote:

    Let’s face it, if I should die in headline-worthy fashion — losing control at 110 mph while being pursued by state troopers on a two-lane country road with seven cases of illegal fireworks in the back seat of a rented Mustang GT — my friends will say, “Yeah, he was always crazy.”

    Nope! My darling bride (of 33 years, six months and 26 days) owns a Mustang, and even though I’, only 6’2″, I barely fit in the damned thing, and that’s in front. In the back seat? No fornicating way!

    So, no, you won;t have seven cases of illegal fireworks in the back seat, because they just won’t fit in there.

    Mustangs look hot, but they are really just toy cars

  10. Adjoran
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    I’ve seen nothing indicating that the brother thought he was dangerous, did you just invent that tidbit? There are any number of reasons why one might cut off contact with a relative besides believing them dangerous.

    I’ve seen no indication that the shooter had any violent incidents in his past or any criminal record. And I’ve seen several former friends who said they couldn’t imagine him doing anything violent, as opposed to one who claims he did (but of course never said anything to anybody beforehand, conveniently).

    Even under former guidelines in the days of nuthouses, there would not have been any reason for this kid to have been committed. He was antisocial and weird, not crazy in the sense he couldn’t function in society.

    Not every inexplicable act could have been prevented without the benefit of hindsight.

  11. Rules4FreeRadicals
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

    Best. Ever.

  12. From around the blogroll « THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL.
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

    […] Stacey Stacy1 McCain has more on Adam Lanza, the murderer, as does Karen, the Lonely […]

  13. Adjoran
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    One teacher with a firearm could have stopped it. At Virginia Tech, a professor or student with one could have.

    Of course, the natural response from the Left is to demand that it be made more difficult for law-abiding citizens like those to obtain weapons and permits.

  14. Dandapani
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    There is no good and evil. There is good and lack of good. We don’t need to create false yin and yang in life. There is God and there is no Satan, only lack of God. And this is what happens when the Left has dominated and removed good and God and we end up with this mess we now live in. Aum.

  15. sheryl
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    I talked to a Psychiatrist friend today. He said the parents most likely did what they could have, up until he was Eighteen. Hippa laws, and mental illness privacy laws are an issue. He suggested that the government start there, but acknowledged that was probably too easy, and didn’t make enough sense for the government. He was in no way excusing the shooter, just stating the laws that needed to be changed. He did say that Psychiatrists have been pointing to this fact for a very long time.

  16. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

    You mean like what happened in Clackamas, Oregon? And remember the name of that state is pronounced “Or-a-gun.”

  17. M. Thompson
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    Never underestimate the power of hillbillies to stuff as much as possible into fast cars.

    See also: NASCAR before William France, Sr.

  18. richard mcenroe
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    Next time you ask us to hit the tip jar for a car rental, remember to figure in the cost of a radar detector and speed trap update for the GPS. Heck, for you they’re deductible business write-offs.

    Otherwise, we’re gonna tip yer ass into a Scion and see how much trouble you can cause.

  19. robertstacymccain
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

    Details, details. Look, some fireworks cases — roman candles, for example, or the smaller 16-shot repeater cakes — are actually kind of small. Also (and I’ve done this) if the stuff won’t fit all cased-up, you can take the items out of the cases and fill the vehicle piece by piece.
    So maybe *you* couldn’t get 7 cases of fireworks in the back seat of a Mustang, but that doesn’t mean I can’t. 😉

  20. DaveO
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

    Wasn’t there a shooting at NBC in the last 2 years?

  21. Quartermaster
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

    Hey Pagan! Where ya been? Finally recover from your post election hangover?

  22. robertstacymccain
    December 15th, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

    Ryan knew right away that it was his brother Adam who had done it. Adam’s craziness was not exactly a secret.

  23. Finrod Felagund
    December 15th, 2012 @ 10:08 pm
  24. Adjoran
    December 15th, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

    Craziness does not = violence. Ryan “knew right away” AFTER the cops came for HIM about a shooting at the school his mom used to work at a few miles from where she & Adam lived, and he had probably given Adam an old ID to use to buy alcohol. That’s quite a far bit from your claim his brother avoided contact because he thought him “dangerous,” isn’t it?

  25. Charles
    December 15th, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    Are you factoring in the passenger seat? After college I got all my worldly possessions into the back of a Ford Escort. Seven cases in a Mustang, no problem.

  26. Charles
    December 15th, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

    The dead body count for crazy drivers is much higher than for moody loners. But doesn’t play as well on TV.

  27. Charles
    December 15th, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

    But there is another side to the equation, which is why else could happen with that gun in an elementary school.

  28. Jake Was Here
    December 15th, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

    Like that guy in China who didn’t even need a gun to ruin 22 people’s days — he sent them all to the hospital just with a knife.

    You’ll know we’re beyond salvation when the pols and pundits start discussing “knife control”.

  29. Bob Belvedere
    December 15th, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

    The problem is with Leftism because those lawyers who have inflicted the most damage on Law And Order and the Rule Of Law are those activists of the Left. The shysters have always been there and always will be, but it is only the last one hundred and fifty or so years that the activists have invaded the Legal Profession as part of their march through the institutions.

  30. Bob Belvedere
    December 15th, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

    Jake, methinks we’re already there.

  31. Bob Belvedere
    December 15th, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

    So it begins. Saw a corpse bird the other day, hadn’t seen one in years, shoulda known it was an ill omen.

  32. JeffS
    December 15th, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    A different perspective, courtesy of Hot Air:

    A second mass shooting avoided on Friday.

    This time, the police, with the aid of the public, were able to stop another massacre. All because of a sense of community. That’s more powerful than any law.

  33. McGehee
    December 16th, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    Well, when seconds count and the police are minutes away under no legal obligation to come at all


  34. Paul H. Lemmen
    December 16th, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    Under the care and control of a responsible and properly trained and licensed adult? Not a damn thing else. Weapons are never left where a child or a non-trained individual can access them. That’s part of the responsibilities that come with gun ownership, something the anti-gun idiots never realize, the concept of personal responsibility.

  35. CyberRabid
    December 16th, 2012 @ 11:55 am


  36. Eric Ashley
    December 16th, 2012 @ 12:44 pm


  37. Eric Ashley
    December 16th, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    I’m skeptical of your diagnoses of the interior mindset of people you’ve never met.

    The Problem of Evil has been dealt with for thousands of years. One answer is Human Freedom.

    Maybe the problem is that not enough people see God as Judge and Observer. Maybe the last century has proven that without Truth, one arrives soon at Murder.

    Maybe, if the NSA can use Echelon to pretty much spy on every phone conversation we have, that an Almighty God, who invented the concept of computers, and is vastly smarter and more powerful than the US Gov’t. might just be able to do as He said, and notice every sparrow falling.

    While God is infinite, yet at the same time He became flesh. If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father…

  38. richard mcenroe
    December 16th, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    Remember, the cops KNEW Gabrielle Giffords’ shooter, had had multiple encounters with him…but never ran him in because momma was tight with the county government. Those are the same cops headed up by Ole Sheriff “Dirty” Dupnik, who later tried to cover HIS failure by calling for gun control.

  39. JeffS
    December 16th, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    “Lack of good”? Please. That’s like substituting “not good” for “bad”, when there’s a clear difference.


    “Oh, this chicken is not good.”

    “What, it needs more sauce?”


    “Oh, this chicken is bad.”

    “What, it’s not healthy? Is it safe to eat?”

    That “lack of good” is merely backing away from the concept of evil, and little more than apologizing for evil ….. by pretending it doesn’t exist. Which it does.

    Equivocation is a cop-out by people who refuse to accept reality. Let’s not redefine words merely because they don’t “feel good”, or clash with beliefs. That’s what the lefties do. Every day.

  40. helinna_handbasket
    December 16th, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    I say we just replace the word “evil” with something else…

    …how about “ungood” or “doubleplus ungood”?

    Would those work for ya?

  41. Criticism From a Friend: Can We Help Victims of Random Sarcasm Syndrome? : The Other McCain
    December 16th, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    […] it winds up being a form of semi-incarceration doing community service.Permit me to say — and my post last night was intended to convey this point, however obliquely — that I have enormous personal empathy with those who are dealing with […]

  42. Bob Belvedere
    December 16th, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    No, by God, I’m not one of these amateur crazies. This is my full-time job, and turning insanity into an actual career has made me a role model for the aspiring mentally ill everywhere. Wackjobs who might otherwise be tempted to heinous crimes are instead leading productive and useful lives as conservative bloggers. Just ask Bob Belvedere.

    Hey!!!……I don’t spend all of my time blogging, you know.

  43. Dandapani
    December 17th, 2012 @ 6:25 am

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

  44. rebecca
    December 17th, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    Though the young man had a number of issues, he had no criminal record, and no one can come up with instances where he even looked like a threat to others. Sandy Hook has about a half dozen special ed and psychologist type staff for their students, and Adam Lanza was an alum of that school. I don’t know how anyone could have picked him out as one to do something like this. You’d be locking up quite a few others before you came to him.

  45. JeffS
    December 17th, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    I concur, but this assumes that evil exists in the first place. Hence, ying and yang remain true.

  46. CyberRabid
    December 17th, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    Or maybe Adam Lanza had a visitor from an alternate universe.A universe where,because of its social significance,a room full of blood-spattered children is considered art. And art,as we know it, is a collaboration between God and the artist, and being such it transcends both morality as well as religion.
    My point is that we live in a world of endless maybes.So if you choose Christianity as your faith by all means do fall to your knees, pray, and ask your God,”why do bad things happen to good people?”

  47. Charles
    December 17th, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

    Trained security guard, ok. But principal or teacher who has got a lot more going on during the day and is working directly with the kids, no.

  48. Paul H. Lemmen
    December 18th, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    DaTechGuy has a pretty good suggestion on how this can be accomplished, go read his blog.

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