ONTD Political

Parents of man accused of planning shooting call for changes in mental health system

10:09 pm - 12/25/2012
Parents of man accused of planning shooting call for changes in mental health system

Bill and Tricia Lammers sat in the lobby of Citizens Memorial Hospital on Friday, a week after 20 children and six adults were killed at a Connecticut elementary school. Outside, the flag flew at half staff.

The couple has been here before. They have waited for hours as hospital staffers called institutions around the state, trying to find one that had an open bed for their mentally ill son, Blaec, 20. They have waited time and again, five times here and twice in other hospitals, long before November when their son was arrested.

The arrest came after Tricia Lammers told authorities Blaec bought an AR-15 and another semi-automatic from the Bolivar Walmart, the same store where he was found three years ago carrying a butcher knife and a Halloween mask with plans to kill a clerk.

His plans this time, authorities say, were to shoot up a movie theater showing the latest “Twilight” movie. Blaec Lammers is facing felony charges of first-degree assault, making a terrorist threat and armed criminal action. Since then, Tricia Lammers has received phone calls from people who say she’s heroic.

“I’m not a hero,” Tricia Lammers said. “With the events that happened last Friday my heart tells me I did the right thing.

“Our city could be in the news.”

Bill and Tricia Lammers miss their son. He has been at the Polk County Jail for more a month now. They can only see him on Sundays. For 30 minutes. They can’t touch him. He is behind shatterproof glass, and they can only talk to him on the phone in the visiting room. They mourn him as if — in a way — he is dead to them.

“I’m a mom,” Tricia Lammers said. “It’s the holidays. I don’t have my child.”

The couple moved to Bolivar with their two children in 2009. He was the radiology director at Citizens Memorial before becoming a consultant. She is a patient liaison at the hospital. They love the city of 10,300 and hope to retire here. They sat in the hospital lobby Friday to talk with a reporter in hopes that people will better understand the challenges of mental illness.

The couple say their son has always been different. He was diagnosed with dyslexia soon after first grade. He was quiet and shy. Other children picked on him. He lettered in academics his freshman year of high school in Omaha. Two years later, he was expelled after saying he wanted to harm a teacher. He has homemade tattoos on his arms, belly and legs.

The couple has tried repeatedly to get help for their son. Over the years, he has received different diagnoses including Asperger’s and anti-social personality disorder. They’ve spent perhaps as much as $30,000 on repeated hospitalizations and medications. There is still a balance of about $9,300 from their son’s last stay at Lakeland Behavioral Health System, a psychiatric hospital for children in Springfield. They say the mental health system has failed them and their son.

“The system is broken,” Bill Lammers said. “The mental health system. There’s no place to turn to. You take them to a hospital, and 96 hours later they’re home. Maybe on Prozac, but they’re not fixed.”

They don’t believe in more restrictions on guns.

“I have guns, but they’re locked in a safe,” Bill Lammers said
. “There’s no way I would leave anything out.”

The couple say it’s too easy to get released from hospitals and other places for the mentally ill.

“In a perfect world, mental institutions would open back up,” Tricia Lammers said. “You could take an individual there and train them to take care of themselves.”

The couple has not put up a Christmas tree this year. One of their family traditions is the Christmas pickle. Each year, they would hang an ornament shaped like a pickle on the Christmas tree. The child who found it received a prize. This year, there is no one to search for the Christmas pickle.

But Bill and Tricia Lammers don’t think their son should be released. They hope he is sent to a mental institution that is able to help him.

“I think they should keep him until he is fit to be a part of society, and that may be a long, long time,” Bill Lammers said.

Bill Lammers learned about the shooting in Connecticut in a call from his wife. He turned on the TV.

“You think, thank God it’s not Blaec,” Bill Lammers said. “I thank God we got lucky.”

“Everybody in our community got lucky because he wasn’t able to do anything.”

tnganon 26th-Dec-2012 09:05 am (UTC)
i'm not up to reading the article rn but before people comment i think this it's relevant to remember that of the 62 mass shootings in the us since 1982, 61 were men and 44 were white men.

the_physicist 26th-Dec-2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
Are those figures on race correct? That would make 70% of the mass shooters white. Google tells me 75% of US American population is white.

The issue of them all being men is a conversation no one wants to have in the media apparently. Totally hear you on that one. -_- It's the clearest statistic there is, clearer than any correlation with any of the factors the media talks about, yet it's the one thing I've not seen mentioned once on US news websites. The news channels here say the US is discussing guns and not giving guns to mentally ill people. Here's a thought: don't give them to men.
ljtaylor 26th-Dec-2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
Mte. but every time anyone suggests anything like that it's always derailed with a "yeah but there are violent women! MISANDRY!" But people spouting off that it's mental illness / atheism / single motherhood, yeah that's all ok.
the_physicist 26th-Dec-2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
Single mothers are being blamed?!

where is the "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" gif? -_-
betray802 26th-Dec-2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
Adam Lanza's mother was a single parent. Cue the pearl-clutching hand-wringing wails of despair -- "If only he'd had a proper male role model, instead of some quasi-lesbian whore!" Because to some people, ALL single mothers are lesbian, whether they actually are or not. Because it's easier to blame the mother than admit men can be deadbeat assweasels.

O'course, if you ask my father, the guvmint is forcing men to be such, because welfare. Men reallyreallyreally want to support their families, it's teh eebil librulist guvmint forcing them to be losers! This absolutely defies his own mother-in-law's experience, but how dare I inject facts into a perfectly good conspiracy theory.

The Church That Shall Not Be Named recently released a statement saying God sent Adam Lanza to Sandy Hook, because Carrie Underwood supports marriage equality.
the_physicist 26th-Dec-2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
*finds spaceship, gets on board*

Yeah, that's just typically. The lesbian thing must be to guard against people taking this further and blaming the men for walking out on the kids and it therefore being their fault that the male role model wasn't there.
betray802 27th-Dec-2012 02:08 am (UTC)
Mike Fuckabee just doubled down. Now it's because birth control:

the_physicist 27th-Dec-2012 08:40 am (UTC)
A fire and brimstone view of God who will kill people's children of they don't live by The Book... I hope he doesn't eat shellfish and gives all his money to the poor.
rkt 27th-Dec-2012 05:19 am (UTC)
where were you during the presidential debate?

the_physicist 27th-Dec-2012 08:37 am (UTC)
Is that something to do with the US election? In which case I was probably in bed.
tnganon 27th-Dec-2012 12:58 am (UTC)
there's this, as well:

"Mass murderers tend to differ from murderers in general in a number of ways. They are more likely to be older, male, and white than the typical homicide perpetrator...These men tend to have a history of personal and professional failures and tend to externalize the blame for those failures on others or society at large (63)."
Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice 8(2)
the_physicist 27th-Dec-2012 12:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I had heard too that mass murderers were more likely to be white.
kalikahuntress 26th-Dec-2012 04:55 pm (UTC)
Apparently they are all over the mental health issue but no one wants to deal with white men entitlement issues and how their paranoia about non-whites, government, etc... seems to be a factor in some shootings.
I'm not shocked by these numbers at all.

ETA: I wanted to add mental health is still an issue but I'm wary of people using the shootings to further stigmatize people with mental illnesses, especially when they are at a high risk of harms from others. I really wish there was more research done on gun culture and how race and gender play a part in it.

Edited at 2012-12-26 04:59 pm (UTC)
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