Newtown, Connecticut (CNN) — The door to the shuttered mental hospital swings open onto a scene of decay: Chunks of fallen plaster and mold-infested insulation rest on the floor of a once magnificent room.
Chandeliers have given way to crumbling ceilings. Walls are stained from rain running down the sides after two decades of neglect.
Standing amid the ruins, it’s hard not to think about Adam Lanza, our mental health system — and whether it failed him and the people of Newtown.
The hilltop campus of Fairfield Hills, a former Connecticut state mental institution that closed in 1995 after more than 60 years, overlooks the community.
To the left, about a half mile down Church Hill Road, stands the National Sports Shooting Foundation, a lobbying arm for the gun industry. To the right and around a few bends sits Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of the horrific massacre of 26 people, including 20 children.