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

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

“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

“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

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

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/25/6-misconceptions-about-the-sandy-hook-ma

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