Yeah, I hate that "outside the box" cliche, too, but it just seemed to fit.
Please consider the following. I understand that it is probably so far out of the experience of most people as to be offensive. But hear me out.
Adam Lanza killed 20 children and 7 adults besides himself. But nobody seems to understand why he chose that elementary school.
What if Lanza thought he was doing the children a very big favor?
Here's the thing. In my very darkest time, I thought it would be merciful to take another person's life. I felt a terrible certainty that the person would eventually feel the same anguish I was going through. So it just made sense (to me) that I should save that person from despair by killing him or her before the torment came.
So if Lanza was depressed enough, as research has shown that 78% of mass shooters have been, he may have gone to the school to save those children from that unspeakable despair.
Perhaps he was so depressed, so hopeless, in a black pit so deep that he could see no way out ever, that he sought out children to save them from enduring that same despair. A mercy killing of sorts.
In his mind, maybe the adults he killed were also fortunate, for the same reason. They just didn't know it.
I am not excusing his murderous behavior, just trying to get a handle on what he may (or may not) have been thinking.
I had an appointment with my psychologist the week after the shooting.
I asked her the question, "What if Adam Lanza thought he was helping those children?"
She said, "You're the second person who has asked me that this week." So I'm not the only person who thought of this.
Does this explain his targeting of young children? We'll probably never know.
But thanks for reflecting on this with me.