In the hours after 20-year-old Adam Lanza went on a killing spree in Newtown, Connecticut - first killing his mother in her home, then forcing his way into Sandy Hook elementary school, killing 26 people including 20 children and finally taking his own life - a Boise, Idaho mother called on the nation to to talk about mental illness.
Liza Long wrote about her 13-year-old son, who she says is a nice kid most of the time, and a lover of Harry Potter and stuffed animals. She said her son has an IQ that is off the charts, but there are times that he lashes out - threatening to kill her and take his own life.
"A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books," Long wrote. "That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room."
Long says anti-psychotic and mood altering drugs have not helped. She told NBC she fears being a mother of mass shooting suspect.
"Every time I hear about a mass shooting, I think about my son. And I wonder if some day I'll be that mom."
Long writes that there needs to be a national conversation about mental illness before another mass shooting happens again.
"Our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options." Long added, "I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health."
Liza Long joins Erin Burnett to discuss her essay.
Tune to Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN.