Patricia Sabato, a Newtown mother, is the lone voice struggling to be heard amid the cacophony calling for stricter gun control laws after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Sabato believes the battle for tighter gun control laws is just a diversion away from the real reason Adam Lanza committed the biggest school shooting in U.S. history.
An advocate certified under the state General Assembly, Sabato suspects Lanza may have been taking psychiatric drugs that triggered the mass shooting. She's organized a petition drive and garnered more than 200 signatures in two days around Newtown calling for the state to release Lanza's autopsy/toxicologyrecords. She's also testified before a state legislative sub committee studying mental health services in the wake of the Dec. 14 shooting.
“Adam Lanza wasn't born evil,” Sabato said. “We want the records before they ask for more money for mental health, which could be dangerous. We want the records to know what kind of mental health treatment he was receiving. We need to know what he was taking.”
Sabato is under a ticking time clock. Lanza's arrest warrants will remain sealed for 90 days, well after the current legislative session ends. Sabato fears lawmakers are going to pass mental health laws without knowing Lanza's mental health at the time of the shootings.
Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky has sealed Lanza's arrest warrants. Several newspapers in the state have gone to court seeking their release.
Sabato said her quest comes from her own experience with a troubled child who was put under state care and heavily medicated.
“I watched my own child turn into a monster on medication. I know first-hand the affects of this type of medication,” Sabato said.
Jeremy Richman, who lost his 6-year-old daughter, Arielle, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, agrees. In January the Associated Press reported that Richman told a legislative subcommittee that ”shooters in Sandy Hook, Tucson, Aurora, Littleton, Blacksburg were not not in their right minds.” Richman and his wife have started a foundation in their daughter's name to understand the connection between mental health and violent behavior.
Sabato has joined forces with ablechild.org, a national nonprofit parent organization that focuses on informed consent and the right to refuse psychiatric screening and drug treatment, to spread the word. She and members of ablechild will be gathering petition signatures around Newtown and will be in Sandy Hook at the Iron Bridge at 100 Church Hill Road on March 2 and3.
To view the petition visit the ablechild website.