Frontline probes Adam Lanza’s heinous act

Adam Lanza’s name will live forever in infamy, right along other mass murderers.

I think, for example, of Charles Whitman, Timothy McVeigh and Nidal Hasan. Whitman killed those people while firing his rifle from the University of Texas Tower in 1966; McVeigh’s dastardly act killed 167 people when a truck bomb exploded next to Oklahoma City’s Murrah Federal Building in 1995; Hasan opened fire in Fort Hood in November 2009, leaving 13 people dead.

Whitman and McVeigh are dead. Hasan’s been given a death sentence. He, too, will be gone eventually. We’ll remember these men for the damage they inflicted.

Lanza is the latest to join this infamous roster. On Dec. 12, 2012, he opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 precious children, six educators and his own mother before turning the gun on himself.

Frontline, the award-winning PBS documentary series, takes another look at Lanza as the first anniversary of that terrible deed arrives. “Raising Adam Lanza” airs Tuesday night at 9 on Panhandle PBS.

The rebroadcast deals with this tragedy in two parts. It examines why Lanza did the terrible deed, what drove him to commit this insane act. Frontline also takes a look at President Obama’s response to it, and how the president has called for an intense national discussion on how to improve gun safety in the United States.

That debate is on-going and — as one would expect — it has produced sharp divisions among our political leaders and among Americans in general. They center on whether more gun control infringes on our constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.”

It’s a healthy debate, to be sure.

As that discussion continues, it is good to tune in once more to PBS for a thorough analysis of this continuing saga. Frontline’s “Raising Adam Lanza” reminds us of the evil that lurks in our midst. It’s worth seeing again.


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