6 Misconceptions About the Sandy Hook Massacre Debunked by Prosecutor's Report

FacebookFacebookToday, nearly a year after Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the state's attorney managing the investigation of the massacre, Steven Sedensky, issued a report that refutes or casts doubt on several theories about Lanza and his horrifying crimes. A few highlights:

1. Did Lanza have a grudge against the school?

"The shooter indicated that he loved the school and liked to go there....As best as can be determined, the shooter had no prior contact with anyone in the school that day. And, apart from having attended the school as a child, he appears to have had no continuing involvement with SHES....The evidence clearly shows that the shooter planned his actions, including the taking of his own life, but there is no clear indication why he did so, or why he targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School."

2. Did mental illness make him do it?

"The shooter had significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others [including social awkwardness and a lack of empathy that his mother described as Asperger syndrome]....What contribution this made to the shootings, if any, is unknown....The shooter’s mental status is no defense to his conduct as the evidence shows he knew his conduct to be against the law. He had the ability to control his behavior to obtain the results he wanted, including his own death."

3. Could he have been stopped if only people had paid attention to warning signs?

"Those mental health professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior....[Investigators] have not discovered any evidence that the shooter voiced or gave any indication to others that he intended to commit such a crime...[In high school,] he was not known to be a violent kid at all and never spoke of violence....Despite a fascination with mass shootings and firearms, he displayed no aggressive or threatening tendencies."

4. Did obsessive playing of violent video games warp his mind?"

"He played video games often, both solo at home and online. They could be described as both violent and non-violent. One person described the shooter as spending the majority of his time playing non-violent video games all day, with his favorite at one point being 'Super Mario Brothers.'...The shooter liked to play a game called 'Dance Dance Revolution' (DDR)....He regularly went to the area of a theater that had a commercial version of the DDR game in the lobby. In 2011 and up until a month before December 14, 2012, the shooter went to the theater and played the game. He went most every Friday through Sunday and played the game for four to ten hours."

5. What about drugs?

"No drugs were found in the shooter's system....Reportedly the shooter did not drink alcohol, take drugs, prescription or otherwise, and hated the thought of doing any of those things."

6. Could a better background check system for gun buyers have stopped him?

"All of the firearms were legally purchased by the shooter’s mother. Additionally, ammunition of the types found had been purchased by the mother in the past, and there is no evidence that the ammunition was purchased by anyone else, including the shooter."

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  • Paul.||

    .The evidence clearly shows that the shooter planned his actions, including the taking of his own life, but there is no clear indication why he did so, or why he targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School."

    "Whatever happened to 'just plain crazy'?" --Chris Rock

  • Zeb||

    What indeed. All there is to learn from something like this is that some people are just fucked in the head.

  • Paul.||

    'Dance Dance Revolution' (DDR).

    This could make a person want to shoot someone.

  • ||

    Poor guy. If he just waited he could be playing the Xbox One's kinect game "Just Dance"

  • Hugh Akston||

    7. Would his violent thoughts and tendencies have evaporated like so much summer rain if guns had never been invented? Or if we just pretended they had?

  • Paul.||

    I'm guessing he would have hacked them to death with a machete, a much more peaceful way to die. Several million Somalis can't be wrong.

  • JW||

    Is there any chance the track will bend?

  • ||

    "Those mental health professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior....[Investigators] have not discovered any evidence that the shooter voiced or gave any indication to others that he intended to commit such a crime...[In high school,] he was not known to be a violent kid at all and never spoke of violence....Despite a fascination with mass shootings and firearms, he displayed no aggressive or threatening tendencies."

    So in other words, there was noting that could be done to stop this. And that must really stick in the craw of the "Do Something!" breed of politicians and activists.

  • SugarFree||

    I would like to assure you that they will utterly ignore this report because it does not fit what they have already decided happened.

  • JW||

    "Your so-called "facts" and "objective reality" will do nothing to dissuade us from our holy crusade of only allowing government officials to bear arms."

  • ||

    he regularly went to the area of a theater that had a commercial version of the DDR game in the lobby.

    Commercial version?

    I think you mean arcade version or cabinet version....arcade cabinet version probably works as well.

  • SugarFree||

    Dance Dance Revolution

    OMG! TEABAGGERS!

  • ||

    Dance Dance Eliminationist!!!

  • Batgirl||

    Obviously we need to ban Dance Dance Revolution.

  • SugarFree||

    No one needs more than two feet.

  • ||

    It's time for Dance Dance Counter-Revolution!

  • Andrew S.||

    I love doing that!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Super Mario Brothers? I guess we are lucky he did not stomp his victims to death.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Could a better background check system for gun buyers have stopped him?

    It seems really odd for gun control advocates to respond to this shooting with calls for beefed up background checks for sales/transfers. It is not relevant at all. You would think safe storage laws would have been their angle.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Mandatory house to house searches of registered gun owners to see if their guns are stored "safely."

    This should totally be a law.

  • ||

    This was actually proposed in Massachusetts, and Washington state failed to pass a law requiring house inspections.

    Interestingly, it was a liberal lawyer that blew the whistle on the Washington inspection provision. The people backing the Washington bill say they didn't know it was in there, though obviously someone had to know for it to get in.

    Police Entering Homes to Make Sure Guns Are Stored Safely? If This Politician Has His Way…

    Mistake in gun bill could defeat the effort

  • Crusty Juggler||

    You should only be using an aapproved safe, which will have to be located in a locked room six feet off the floor so the children do not have access. The locked room and safe must be inspected by a SWAT team quarterly.

    We need to hire more officers to accomplish this task.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Massachusetts has such a law, and it was recently found to be constitutional (and this is post-Heller and MacDonald!):

    http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/464/464mass232.html

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Dred Scott was constitutional as well.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Some of the lower courts are actively hostile to the 2nd amendment and are going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming.

    I suspect a mandatory inspection law won't survive scrutiny by SCOTUS. You simply can't be forced to give up one of your rights in order to practice another.

  • Pappadave||

    Nonsense, of course. It might have been "constitutional" insofar as the Massachusetts constitution is concerned, but it has NOT gone before the USSC and the US Constitution trumps anything Mass. may pass. Allowing government officials the right to "inspect" your home randomly? Nonsense.

  • Entropy Void||

    Totally.

    Fuckers.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's not odd at all. The anti-gun lobby has a set agenda. It's not above preventing another Sandy Hook. It's about expoiting Sandy Hook to acheive their existing agendas. The facts don't really matter either, especially when you have a complicit media willing to spin the story for you.

  • AlmightyJB||

    about not above.

  • Zeb||

    Did mental illness make him do it?

    I think that is an odd question. If someone is mentally ill, then their mental illness probably has some effect on any decisions they make. You can't really separate the sick parts of the mind from the healthy ones (assuming it even makes sense to talk about the mind this way).

    It's like asking if global warming caused a particular storm. Assuming that there is global warming, in a sense it is a cause of every weather event since it contributes to the overall atmospheric conditions.

  • Dweebston||

    Yet the misconception about "assault weapons" remains to fight another day.

  • guy in the back row||

    He regularly went to the area of a theater that had a commercial version of the DDR game in the lobby. In 2011 and up until a month before December 14, 2012, the shooter went to the theater and played the game. He went most every Friday through Sunday and played the game for four to ten hours."

    That's the craziest thing I've heard about this guy so far! Makes you wonder what the theater staff thought about the skinny, geeky, white guy who hogged the DDR machine all weekend.

  • ||

    So we still only have one pixelated photo of this guy?

  • JeremyR||

    And, apart from having attended the school as a child, he appears to have had no continuing involvement with SHES.

    Erm, isn't attending the school as a kid kind of a big deal?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Still, I think we better ban assault weapons, 'Dance, Dance Revolution', and sugary sodas just to be safe.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Just get RID of the gun laws.

    With the existence of the 4th amendment, No Law whatsoever will stop a dude like this or anyone else for that matter. In fact, that state has very strict gun laws...and look what happened.

    Americans want GUNS. And, they don't give a shit how many kids get killed in schools. Unfortunately, for Americans like myself, this is a fact of life, and if we want to live in America, GUNS GUNS GUNS GUNS GUNS.

    Just get rid of ALL GUN LAWS. The registration policy and background checks are utterly useless.

  • Entropy Void||

    Alice, you see the Light!

    Go towards it, please.

  • JW||

    his favorite at one point being 'Super Mario Brothers.'.

    No one needs more than 7 turtles.

  • ||

    No plumber needs more than 2 powerups.

  • Stevie OneLeg||

    I blame the haircut

  • Tony||

    What wasn't a misconception--if he didn't have any guns, he couldn't have shot any children.

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