Boise woman's blog post on son's mental illness in wake of Newtown shootings goes viral

Idaho StatesmanDecember 18, 2012 

A Boise woman's blog post detailing her struggles with her son's mental illness and her fear that he could commit a crime like the Connecticut school shooting has gained national attention.

Liza Long wrote the post Friday after police said 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 27 people, including 20 first-graders, in an attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Long's interview with NBC's "Today" show will air Tuesday morning. She appeared briefly on "Today" Monday.

Titled 'I am Adam Lanza's Mother,' the post describes Long's struggles with her teenage son who has violent mood swings but has an IQ that's "off the charts."

"I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother," Long wrote, referring to the young men responsible for some of the country's most well-known mass shootings. "And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness."

It was one of about 50 posts since 2008 on Long's blog the Anarchist Soccer Mom, a simple account where she describes herself as "a total nerd who loves my Steinway, my four kids, and my fancy design software, not necessarily in that order."

But the post got the attention of the national website the Huffington Post, and soon it was being shared on social media sites across the world.The attention has been unexpected and voluminous, with nearly 3,000 comments posted on her blog by Monday evening. Some have posted commentaries criticizing Long for detailing her son's problems, accusing her of disrespecting her son and disregarding his privacy. One rebuttal blog is titled simply, "You are NOT Adam Lanza's Mother."

Long and critic Sarah Kendzior issued a joint statement Monday."We both agree that privacy for family members, especially children, is important. Neither of us anticipated the viral response to our posts. We love our children and hope you will respect their privacy," the statement reads.

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