chapter 33

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Preventing the Next Sandy Hook

This is a dangerous chapter, and I’m hesitant to write it. But this topic is far too important to avoid.

Tragedies like Sandy Hook make it clear that we need to intervene in the lives of troubled young people before they become killers. We need to spot them early and listen to their pain.

Unfortunately, we’re not doing that. Often, parents are too deep in denial to realize that their children are on the edge of the abyss. But even when parents do seek help for their children, these kids often just get what I call checklist therapy. A professional asks them a series of questions—“Do you experience thoughts of suicide?” “Do you feel depressed?”—and then writes out a prescription ...

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