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From reader Rick F.:

Today, on my evening commute home, I found myself looking (metaphorically) for a reason Adam Lanza chose to shoot and kill innocent children for his demonstration of mayhem. This may not be an original thought, but I have not seen it posed elsewhere . . .

I have read numerous accounts that Nancy Lanza was pretty heavily into firearms — some reports have suggested she was overly fixated on guns, which may or may not be true. I also have read stories that things were deteriorating to a great deal between mother and son in recent months. I even saw where mom had threatened to have her son committed to a mental institution. (Oh, but that she had…)

Whether or not Mrs. Lanza was overly fixated on weapons, I suspect Adam recognized they were important to his mother — likely very important.

Some have said that insane, suicidal murderers crave post-mortem infamy. They don’t really seem to care if they die, they just want to leave a sick, but memorable mark in order bring some sort of meaning (albeit insane) to an otherwise sad existence.

Is it possible that Lanza reckoned that killing little children en masse would be the final act that would bring gun-control to the fore — so as to punish his gun-loving mother?  Obviously, other acts of violence (while similarly awful) had not created the groundswell of anti-gun rhetoric that has come about as a result of this event.  If true, anti-gunners are playing right into the hands of a madman — though I doubt they’d care.

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  1. Ok, it’s a theory. But what do we do with it? I guess we could demand a plan to ban gun control since that’s what drives these mass shooters to do their evil deeds. Sounds weak to me. Don’t get me wrong, knowledge is better than ignorance. But I’m not sure that we should give these shooters any more notoriety. We would be better served by totally ignoring them, not giving the publicity they crave.

    • Here’s what we do with it. We recognize the rarity of these events and then we don’t trample on hard-won freedoms and we don’t create knee-jerk reactionary policies that won’t prevent another tragedy.

      Unfortunately, the proponents of civilian disarmament will not use reason and logic when creating public policy. They will use every emotional tool at their disposal to push their agenda.

      And when that happens we are all less safe and less free.

  2. Story today supposedly leaked from the police investigation that Lanza harbored hopes of outdoing the Norwegian guy as it related to number of victims and he chose the school because it provided the “easiest targets”. Posted in the same paper that outed permit holders in my home area. The Journal News.

    • Cops said that was bunk, but the media wanted to tie Lanza to right-wing extremism so there you have it.

  3. That is new twist on the gun grabber conspiracy theory. I go with William of Occam. Lanza was nuts and went for infamy. Mission Accomplished.

    • I agree with tdiinva, Lanza was nuts and I will, also write, he was evil.
      The author of this article is my son-in-law, a staunch 2nd amendment supporter. Years ago, he was stopped by a Va. State Trooper for speeding. The trooper saw a pistol on the front seat and he asked, why do have a gun and son-in-law responded, it’s my constitutional right. In other words, stick it.

  4. I don’t know about you guys, but I think the bit where he “stuck it” to his mother was when he killed her…

    • That’s for sure. She woulda had to have been alive to care if her beloved second amendment took a blow. And honestly I doubt she was “fixated” on guns. Seems like the media trying to cushion their agenda.

  5. Who knows? Anything is possible with the subject at hand. May she rip., the kernel of the act was her negligence.

  6. “Law enforcement sources have told CBS News correspondent Bob Orr that Lanza was motivated by violent video games and a strong desire to kill more people than infamous mass murderer Anders Breivik, a Norwegian man who killed 77 people in July 2011.”

    So it looks like the NRA was right. Again. For people who are disconnected from reality, violent video games feed their obsession with death. Just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

  7. I dunno, killing your own mother sounds about as evil as you can get to me. But I believe it can be convincingly argued that Nancy Lanza’s mistakes / choices as a parent definitely affected Adam.

    The Hartford Courant had a story a few days ago about her (it’s a long read):

    Everything in there, from cutting off contact with Adam’s father / older brother / uncle (lack of male family), pulling him in and out of school (despite counseling, special ed support, and a tech club), leaving him alone for long periods of time (she’d go on trips), to even making the conscious choice of training a boy with obvious mental problems how to use a gun.

    Did any one, single of these things create a child-murdering monster? Probably not. But if you add up the sum…

  8. Interesting idea. However, I wonder if we’re all committing a logical fallacy in the fact that we (most of us, anyway), are logical actors who behave in fairly predictable ways from a psychological and sociological standpoint. Put more bluntly, a regular guy with no history of mental illness wouldn’t commit such a crime because he understands that such action is not right, for a variety of reasons.

    The problem is when we try to understand actions committed by people who perceive and understand the world in a fundamentally different way. It may never be possible to establish a motive simply because the rest of us don’t relate to the world in the same way as Lanza did. In no way am I letting the kid off the hook – what he did was beyond reprehensible. I’m just saying that most of our mass shootings are committed by crazy people, and the non-crazy people will always wonder why they did it but will probably never know because they themselves aren’t crazy and don’t understand the world in the same way.

    • Agree. We want to understand what Adam thought, his motive. It is futile. It’s like anthropomorphizing when studying other primates. It doesn’t work. Psychiatrists don’t try to understand what a psychotic is thinking, do they? They try to stop the delusions or paranoia with medication, and hope that whatever mentation remains is functional. They don’t, I assume, prescribed hours at a gun range. I myself wonder if Nancy Lanza foresaw financial consequences to her divorce settlement if Adam was committed, was living apart from her. I’ll follow that as the investigations slowly evolve.

    • +1

      Makes me think of one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies…

      “Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with.

      Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

      Top 10 of all time? Yep.

  9. I don’t understand the question. Adam Lanza, lest we forget, was an AUTISTIC, post-adolescent boy, and we have absolutely NO evidence he had ever handled a firearm before, much less fired one. Where does this leave us? With a ton of unanswered questions, that’s where. A little wisp of a boy, autistic… how can we accept he pulled this off, all by his lonesome, especially with persistent reports of two other shooters?

    We HAVE to confront the possibility, however remote it may seem, that this event was VERY different from what we’ve been led to believe….

    • “and we have absolutely NO evidence he had ever handled a firearm before, much less fired one. ”

      According to the friend of the family who was interviewed after the shooting, ” she took her son with her to the gun range because, she said, she couldn’t always leave him at home.” Guess that doesn’t prove he actually did any shooting, but it certainly suggests it pretty strongly.

      Also, I have a fair amount of experience with Autism Spectrum disorders and I can tell you for a fact that Autistic kids are not violent in and of themselves. Often Autism is accompanied by another mental illness which does manifest as violent, but to suggest that the Autism is what drove his actions is simply ignorant.

  10. If the anti-gunners were truly interested in stopping these mass killings they can also denigrate the First Amendment.

    Make it illegal to print the name of these mass murderers so that their infamous legacy would be anonymous.

    Oh, but wait… anonymous doesn’t sell newspapers or airtime. They need a face, a name, something other wacko’s can aspire to beat.

    What kind of a outrage would that inspire in the Media.

  11. Question of the Day: Are Gun Grabbers Giving Adam Lanza Exactly What He Wanted?

    I think you meant to type this …

    Question of the Day: Did Adam Lanza Give Gun Grabbers Exactly What They Wanted?

    There. Fixed that for you.

  12. Without putting too much trust in the supposed integrity of the media, there is a compelling idea that Lanza had designs on “besting” the Norwegian Brevik’s “score.”
    Does that sound like the thought process of an individual capable of making a rational decision in terms of motive and outcome? After spending months alone in a basement with nothing more connected to reality than “Call of Duty,” it becomes easy for the common person to speculate that the bastard simply lost touch with humanity/sanity/reality and likened everything to the base of sheer numbers on the bottom left corner of the screen.
    Brevik decided to set explosive devices in a city and chose an island where the police could not possibly interfere. An island that would be aptly described as a gun-free zone. The explosive devices were supposed to inflict casualties as well as horror for the same reason that any other “conventional” (sad world when this is considered conventional) terrorist would; there is just no adequate defense.
    There is speculation that Lanza passed up a high school because there were too many possibilities he would be stopped before his goal was completed, so he chose an elementary school. Insert gun-free zone remark here. He went about his business without hindrance until the first armed responders showed up, then put the gun to his own head.
    What’s the moral of this twisted tale of insanity wrapped in tragedy? Both of these killers chose to do there deeds far removed from the possibility of their victims being capable of armed self defense. Period.
    Is that insanity, or the very definition of calculated thought? The motives draw that line, not the execution.
    That brings me right back to where I started. Did Lanza show long term consideration with the place, time, method and results of his actions? I do not think so. My own ridiculous opinion is that Lanza chose to see no farther than the “score” he could acquire, regardless of the tragic expense of so many others, and the only thing that could have stopped it was exactly what did. A bullet.
    It is terrible to think that people like that exist and walk amongst us every day. It is equally horrifying to know that there are children who will see their own parents as nothing more than obstacles for what purpose strikes them at a whim. I have taken these thoughts and asked my own conscience about the boy who calls me dad. Could he be so callous as to kill his mother or myself just to obtain the tools he would use in a mass shooting? This is not an “I hope not” kind of answer. This is a resounding and forceful Of Course Not. What makes me so confident? Easy. I raised him, taught him and treated him with the respect that he earned. I did not coddle or praise his every action for fear of damaging his self esteem. I did not make things easy, or dumb it down so he did not have to make decisions. Rather, his mother and I put ourselves to the task of raising a person that we would someday want to be our friend. Apparently that seems to be lacking in the recent crop of sociopaths.

  13. By the way, guys? Maybe you should screen user-submitted articles a bit more thoroughly. You had that idiotic one comparing people who dislike CTD or boycotted them after they displeased their customer base to tantrum-throwing children, one that suggested a MA cop was pro-citizen AR-15 ownership, and this lovely gem pontificating the possibility that Lanza really killed those kids because he was pro-gun control and wanted to get back at mommy.

    What. The. ****?

    You’re slipping. I didn’t care about the annoying ad thing but this is getting a bit much.

    • The article comparing boycotts to hysterical get-my-way tantrums was actually very insightful. I’d say it was spot-on.

      Although TTAG does have a tendency to throw out misleading headlines, they do also have a tendency to listen to readers’ comments (unlike most high-volume sites) and fix things. Overall, the balance weighs heavily positive.

  14. Great, so I have to deal with all the sheep wanting to ban my fun toys because she was a shit mother (yeah, yeah sucks a lot more for the dead and families of the dead). Awesome.

    Breed away…fill the world with your spawn. Ignore all the warning signs cause he’s your “baby”.

    No permit for raising children is there? Barely any controls either. They should make parents have to carry insurance against what their children might do up until they’re 25. Might make’em put forth a little more effort into raising them, instead of baby sitting them with video games and movies.

    • I think making someone get insurance would do the opposite. Because if their already paying for it than they don’t have to worry about financial ramifications. They might just subscribe to the mentality, ” well I’m already paying for it may as well use it”

    • Bob, I share your frustration. I’m tired of reading “he was such a good boy” about every dead piece of sh!tl Lanza and Holmes. People are breeding psychotic children faster that China turns out defective toys.

  15. Today I watched Barry on cnbc, instead of politicizing the deaths of children as he SO quickly did with sandyhook, he had emergency workers stand behind him. And he politicized the urgency that the emt’s ,firefighters, border patrol, fbi, tsa, oh yeah and plenty of teachers are going to be out of a job, and it’s all the republican’s fault. And as he spewed his hateful lies, i noticed the eyes of some of these workers standing behind him. They had the look of what did I get myself into? the look of realizing as they stood there they are endorsing what this idiot is spewing. Then I saw the wavering voice of Barry as he started questioning what he was saying, maybe it was the response of his audience, as he realized to himself. “hey these sheeple aren’t buying my line, hook line and sinker?” But the truth comes out in his apprehension. He said it seems like “the repubs” keep coming up with manufactured crisis every few months. Then as I am thinking, yeah manufactured crisis? like Fast & furious, benghazi, and sandyhook? then you see barry squirm for a minute like he just caught himself. We know you want to raise taxes, we know you want to dismantle the Constitution, we know you want more big government. Lay off your TSA, they haven’t caught one terrorist yet, unless it was in the pants of a 4 year old. we see right thru you barry, you need better material your same old lines aren’t working anymore.

  16. I think all you need to know about this clown is that he was a 20 year-old with no online footprint. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Zero. Nada.

    Describing him as “socially withdrawn” might be the understatement of the year.

    • The dude was dangerously detached, sure–I’d go so far as to say he seems like someone who had no idea how to be human–but lack of an online footprint does not make anyone antisocial or socially withdrawn. Being social is about relating to people, not some electronic intermediary.

  17. Aren’t we giving this guy exactly what he wants by talking about him in the media. I would feel more comfortable if his name was never spoken again.

  18. I read something much simpler. One news report said that the mother was finally going to have her son institutionalized (don’t know for how long). He learned about it in the car and threatened to jump out. She calmed him down and a few days later, he killed her for that reason. At least, that’t the theory.

    • I read the same thing. Apparently her most recent trips out of state were to try to find a place that would keep him safe, keep us all safe from him and not just be warehousing, since he was an intelligent kid. It makes sense that, if she was getting close to achieving this (or Adam thought she was) that he would act to thwart her plan. While it took the confluence of a lot of factors to build the monster that was Lanza, this horrible tradgedy can act as a warning to all parents and others charged with the care and supervision of youngsters, especially troubled males.

      FWIW, my young son is on the autism spectrum and is prone to defiance and some epic rages. On the other had he’s only 3, and so that’s expected, at least to a degree. It does make me think and consider what my firearms-related policies should be with respect to training and storage as he gets older. It’s something all parents should consider, and there’s definitely no one-size-fits all answer, but it does hit home especially hard for those with special needs kids. I mean, I grew up with video games including Castle Wolfenstein, the very first FPS game, but I suspect I’ll be taking a more cautious line with the lad. And if it ever got to the point where I couldn’t trust my child and my firearms (no matter how well secured) in the same house, then they would be stored off-site.

      • I wish you luck. I worked as a residential instructor for autistic kids for about a year. Taught them how to do things like eat with utensils, shower, brush their teeth, etc. Not easy, but saw a lot of progress.

        • @Biofire – happily for us, he’s not that severe. The new trend/policy is to put a bunch of stuff on the Autism “Spectrum”. Prior to the changes, the lad would have likely been referred to as having Aspberger’s, but now that’s been subsumed in the Autism Spectrum. He has average fine motor skills and excellent gross motor skills – he goes up climbing aparatus like a Marine. His verbal communication is almost a year behind, but it’s been improving lately, and we’re hoping he’ll be caught up (enough) by Grade 1. He can shower and brush teeth fine, but God help us if he decides he does not want to – impulse control and temper are certainly issues.

      • Agreed. And I appreciate the understanding that you obviously have, something that most parents in this country do not: Your kid, your responsibility.
        His mother’s biggest mistake? acknowledging that her son wasn’t well too damn late to avert a tragedy. Everything after that, right down to just how “secured” her guns were (they could’ve been bank vaulted, for all we know) is pretty irrelevant by comparison.

        • Yup, although from what I’ve read she was trying to get help – maybe not trying hard enough – but the system is not set up to commit someone before they’ve done something awful, even if they are able to pay for full-time residential care. As to securing firearms – of course that should be done, but it’s almost impossible to proof against a highly intelligent young adult with infinite time on his hands.

  19. I agree show how the fascist media helps mass murders with a smile since it gives them political message and news. I say ban PIGs who work for CNN MSNBC NBC CBS ect. They cause more murders than guns do with there bias.

  20. I actually had a conversation with some friends about a year ago not long after someone had mentioned possible new gun control. I had said that if someone really wanted to create enough backlash to ban guns and it meant enough to them that they would martyr themselves, they would need to shoot up an elementary school or a day care. I would really hate to think that I was right, but we see where it’s going.

  21. What everybody is failing to recognize is that there is still no improvements to the terrible state of mental health in this country. We are doing everything possible to regulate weapons, but failing so many people by not diagnosing and treating their mental issues effectively.

    Lanza needed professional help. His mother may have been in denial, ignorant of the fact, or determined to help him herself. Ultimately, we (society) failed to help Lanza when he needed our assistance and innocent victims suffered for it.

    And in no way was this the fault of an AR-15, high capacity magazines, or violent videogames.

  22. “Antidepressants have been recognized as potential inducers of mania and psychosis since their introduction in the 1950s. Klein and Fink1 described psychosis as an adverse effect of the older tricyclic antidepressant imipramine. Since the introduction of Prozac in December, 1987, there has been a massive increase in the number of people taking antidepressants. Preda and Bowers2 reported that over 200,000 people a year in the U.S. enter a hospital with antidepressant-associated mania and/or psychosis. The subsequent harm from this prescribing can be seen in these 4,800+ stories.”

    “Before the introduction of Prozac in Dec. 1987, less than one percent of the population in the U.S. was diagnosed with bipolar disorder – also known as manic depression. Now, with the widespread prescribing of antidepressants, the percent of the population in the United States that is diagnosed with bipolar disorder (swing from depression to mania or vice versa) has risen to 4.4%3 . This is almost one out of every 23 people in the U.S.”

    • There has been recognition, too (featured in the NYT this week) of serotonin toxicity, in which an SRI combined with one of many other meds can lead to a debilitating excess of free serotonin, leading in turn to hallucinations and other severe symptoms.

  23. If true, anti-gunners are playing right into the hands of a madman — though I doubt they’d care.

    Hell, if gun grabbers knew what he was going to do beforehand they wouldn’t stop him. They would condone his actions. We are dealing with some disgusting people, do not put it past them to celebrate the death of anyone even children if it means furthering their agenda. Just look at how they praised Dorner.

  24. > Is it possible that Lanza reckoned that killing little children
    > en masse would be the final act that would bring gun-control to the fore

    Why was this even published?

    • Just to piss you off. Mission accomplished! Unless the sane question the motives of the insane, expect continued occurrence.

  25. I don’t know if gun-grabbers are giving Lanza what he wanted, but Lanza sure gave gun-grabbers and oathbreakers in office what they wanted.

    As others have said, the disgusting, sub-human sociopaths that live amongst us and occupy political office cheer for the deaths of children so they can further their agendas and soothe their damaged psyches. It doesn’t matter what Lanza wanted. More importantly, he drew back the facade of freedom in this nation and revealed how many reprehensible, weak-willed, morally-bankrupt traitors we call neighbors and public servants. Lanza, inadvertently through his heinous acts, showed me and perhaps many others how pathetic their country and supposed countrymen truly are.

  26. An irrational person, an irrational act, and thus follows an irrational motivation for that act.

    Do not waste your time trying to empathize with a mass murderer. You are searching for answers, but the only answer is that his motivations cannot be understood by a sane mind.

  27. As much as I hate to quote Chris Rock:

    “Everybody is wanting to know what music were the kids listening to, or what movies were they watching. Who gives a fuck what they was watching! Whatever happened to crazy? What, you can’t be crazy no more? Should we eliminate crazy from the dictionary?”

  28. I’m bothered by those who these days see a person w/little or no online presence to potentially be unstable. Some folks, young & old, just don’t feel the need to “friend” the billion other people on Facebook, twitter, etc.

  29. Occam’s Razor is a principle used in Internet discussions to argue that the simplest or easiest thing to believe is probably true. By definition, it says that the working hypothesis with the fewest assumptions is likely to be true. Any well planned crime can be wrongly explained with reference to Occam’s Razor. The criminals involved, of course, must count on it. I don’t know very much about this crime, but there are many people who could benefit from such a killing, as inappropriate as that may sound to say. When we say that a man “went nuts”, that includes many assumptions too, assumptions about the inner workings of the brain. Almost everyone says that mass killing is wrong, yet plenty of people apparently think it’s ok. It troubles me to consider that there was conspiracy by gun grabbers, pharmaceutical companies, or whoever is being blamed, but it also troubles me that an individual would do such a thing. Because I don’t understand the motive in any of the scenarios, including the lone nut, I think they all include many assumptions, so I have yet to rule anything out. When investigating such a serious crime, no potentially suspect party should be ruled out because of the complexity of its potential involvement in the crime. That said, I really don’t have an opinion yet on all that happened that day.

  30. I believe the writer’s lack of knowledge about psychology and total absurdity of his argument is providing exactly the image of what gun grabbers want to reproduce about us.

    • Wow, that’s harsh.

      First, I am not a psychologist, I’m an engineer. I don’t have any expertise in the subject. This was a passing thought, that I thought might stimulate discussion.

      That said, don’t you dare insinuate that I am some sort of “bad image” for gun rights support. I am…

      A husband of more than 26 years
      A father of three well-adjusted and productive children (two grown)
      A leader in my church for more than 35 years
      A registered Professional in the Commonwealth of Virginia
      A successful small business owner
      A staunch supporter of personal freedom and responsibility

      If you don’t like what I posed, refute it. I’m fine with that, and welcome other hypotheses. Kindly, keep your insults to yourself.

      • “stimulate discussion”?

        Stimulate nonsense.

        One, I did not insult you, I am calling your total lack of knowledge of psychology, as you just confirmed.

        To start with, I would like to know with, what exactly “overly fixated on weapons” means?

        Two, If the other side is talking nonsense, we don’t need to start doing the same.

        Three, get a thicker skin.

  31. I’ve been saying for a while that due to the speed with which the Left and the Antis jumped on the gun control bandwagon after Sandy Hook that Adam Lanza was a tool of those self-same groups, set up to ignite the gun control debate. Who knows, the conspiracy could even extend all the way to the highest levels of our government.

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