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Folk rhyme, 1912.


Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.

Folk rhyme, 2012.

Nancy Lanza took a Glock
And gave a target forty pocks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave the Glock unto her son.

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4 Responses to “Folk rhyme for our time.”

  1. adam Says:

    Folk Rhyme 2012 var.
    Adam Lanza took a shot
    At his mother in her cot.
    Then he went to New Town school,
    Shot the tots up real cruel.
    Killed the teachers one by one,
    Then himself with his own gun.
    What are we to make of this?
    How to know what went amiss?

  2. Brett Says:

    Really? Recent reports suggest she may have been attempting to have him committed to some kind of facility and even if not, it doesn’t at all seem like she “gave” him anything. Appallingly bad taste ought to at least be accurate.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Brett: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/nancy-lanza-adam-lanza-taught-to-shoot_n_2311539.html

    As to “gave.” She kept all of the weapons in her house with her son – a man she knew to be demented. It’s hard to believe she was ignorant that he spent most of his time in the basement playing the most extreme of violent video games. She herself had a survivalist, weapon-stockpiling mentality. I’ve seen no indication from police reports that the son had to break glass or anything of that sort to get the guns.

    As Andrew Solomon writes, “if you have a child who has a condition, one of the characteristics of which is impulsivity, you remove the tools with which that impulsivity can be exercised in such a damaging way. There‚Äôs a clear lack of judgment on her part in having a child whom others have seen as troubled and having all that ammunition lying around the house.”

    And Joan Walsh in Slate: “‘Prepping’ for a future global apocalypse, she did nothing to stop the menace within her own home.”

    Comments on an article titled “Why Don’t We Feel More Sympathy for Nancy Lanza?” are here.

    Just to make my position as clear as possible: It’s hard to imagine another person “as deluded and reckless as Nancy.” People like this need to be talked – sung – about openly in a culture of massive guns and violence like ours. All of it helps us to see them coming.

    You’re free to find my folk rhyme in bad taste; its content, however, in terms of the facts we know so far, is unremarkable.

  4. Brett Says:

    UD — my apologies for my discourteously late reply. I was leaviing the site off my reading list and should have either done so without commenting or commented and checked back sooner.

    Very well, I concede you can find enough links to make your facts plausible. I hold no particular sympathy for Ms. Lanza, but she is beyond any act of mine at this time. I have been saddened by the number of people on all sides of this issue who have decided to preach their sermons from the headstones of those killed, whether those of the children or of the killer or of those whose actions may have contributed to this evil.

    Your goal was to highlight the danger to which people like Ms. Lanza, through carelessness and blindness, can be a gateway. If this is your chosen method, you have a long task ahead of you. I’ve never shot and never owned a gun, and I intend not to insofar as it depends on me. But the bad taste puts me off of listening to whatever point of view you have to bring, whether you have all reason in it or not. I can only imagine how quickly it would be dismissed by those members of our nation’s gun culture whose minds you would like to change. This is less like a sermon from a headstone and more like a raspberry.

    I wish you the best as you keep to your aim of changing things.

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