The Lanza Story: Absolutely no Surprises for Me

As expected, it took a little while for people to dig in to the life of Adam Lanza and this story in the Hartford Courant is pretty good. Reading it, there was nothing in it I didn’t expect to find.  A broken family (divorce for the perfectly asinine “irreconcilable differences”:  translation – neither of them tried)…

…an unwillingness to challenge the boy to do the things a boy should do (Adam apparently didn’t like being touched – the cure for this was to touch him, but everyone was warned off of that by his mother…and so he went through his life being protected from normal, everyday contact with people), endless medical visits to find out why Adam didn’t liked to be touched and was anti-social (likely feeding a sense of both specialness and vulnerability in Adam’s make up; no mention of psychological drugs in the story, but I’ll bet money that there was a lot of it in Adam’s life), mother picking and choosing which counselors to bring him to (indicating, perhaps, an unwillingness to face the truth about both Adam and the way she was treating him), set apart in classes for “special needs” kids (in other words, rather than getting the kids in to the rough and tumble of life which will toughen them up, put them in ever softer environments where their strangeness will grow), the kid had a very large supply of graphic, violent video games (certainly bought by his mother and/or other family members), over time, increasing isolation by both mother and son from outside contacts, including the termination of normal, family contacts, no mention in the story of any religious practice by the family…a gigantic, modern, screw up of a family…and there are likely millions more just like it out there.

Garbage in, garbage out.  From the story, there doesn’t appear to have been anything normal about Adam Lanza’s life – perhaps he did have some problems, but lots of people have had lots of problems throughout history and it is only lately that some of them have taken to massacring random people.  Reading this story it is what I expected it to be when I first heard of the basics about the massacre – a young man going to a school and murdering people.  I could have written this story a couple days after the massacre.  I was certain – from the get-go – that this would not be the story of a young man who grew up in a stable, two-parent household which attended Church on a weekly basis and which didn’t go to a shrink every time a boy acted oddly while growing up.  And I’m just as certain that when the next massacre happens – and it will happen – that the story will be similar to Adam Lanza’s.

Unless and until we change, as a people, this is just going to get worse.  My final two cents:  ban violent video games.  They aren’t helping and are likely hurting – as long as we’re in the business of warping the minds of young men as they grow up, let’s not also infuse them with the “fun” of killing people in video games.

59 thoughts on “The Lanza Story: Absolutely no Surprises for Me

  1. pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 12:05 am

    Do you have any evidence that:

    a) violent video games make people more violent? and dont say “its common sense!”. Evidence includes studies, statistics, etc.

    b) That going to church makes you a better person? Again, evidence includes studies.

    c) That living in a divorced family would make him more prone to violent acts?

    d) So far I’ve been unable to find anything about why he didn’t like being touched. I’m guessing you can’t either. Could it be that he was extremely sensitive?

    As for toughening them up in school, please tell me you’re not the kind of person that believes being bullied helps people in life?

    • M. Noonan February 19, 2013 / 12:21 am


      If you need a study to convince you of what is obvious, then there’s not much hope for you…are you still waiting for the study which proves that getting in water makes you wet? Geesh…

      As for the last bit, people have to learn to live among people – and that means learn to tolerate a lot of things we don’t like. I doubt there’s been a child in human history which, at one time or another, did not want to be touched. We’re all like that, at times – and maybe Lanza did have a particular problem with it…but hovering over him and making sure that no one ever touched him is not the way to deal with it.

      • pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 12:31 am

        Before deciding that we need to ban something, you need evidence that its a bad thing. heres a little logic.

        Look where japan is, now how many hours does the average person in japan spend playing video games? Same can be said about south korea. Sort of gives evidence against the idea that they make people violent.

        One thing they have mentioned, which of course is taboo, is that his mother taught him to use firearms. How about not teaching the mentally impaired to use firearms?

        And that is not a comparison. It appears that he had real mental issues with sensing the world around him. Its not a case of “I’m sad, dont touch me”, although one source said the details wont be revealed until later which means we can’t really discuss that until later.

      • Amazona February 19, 2013 / 12:51 am

        red, it is not hard to find studies linking violent video games to desensitization toward killing. As a matter of fact, they are used for that purpose.

        You claim that the fact that Lanza’s mother “..taught him to use firearms..” yet the evidence is that the people most taught to use firearms—that is, hunters, the military and law enforcement—tend to be the least likely to go on killing sprees, BECAUSE they are taught how to use them.

        An excellent site called Killology has several good articles by experts in the fields of firearms, psychology and sociology. Some examples, not just about video games but about the brutalization and desensitization of our young people by exposure to violence in TV and movies as well:

        The Journal of the American Medical Association published the definitive epidemiological study on the impact of TV violence. The research demonstrated what happened in numerous nations after television made its appearance as compared to nations and regions without TV. The two nations or regions being compared are demographically and ethnically identical; only one variable is different: the presence of television. In every nation, region, or city with television, there is an immediate explosion of violence on the playground, and within 15 years there is a doubling of the murder rate. Why 15 years? That is how long it takes for the brutalization of a three to five-year-old to reach the “prime crime age.” That is how long it takes for you to reap what you have sown when you brutalize and desensitize a three-year-old.

        Today the data linking violence in the media to violence in society are superior to those linking cancer and tobacco. Hundreds of sound scientific studies demonstrate the social impact of brutalization by the media. The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that “the introduction of television in the 1950’s caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually.” The article went on to say that “…if, hypothetically, television technology had never been developed, there would today be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in the United States, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious assaults” (June 10, 1992).

        “Teaching Kids To Kill”
        By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
        Phi Kappa Phi National Forum, Fall 2000, 2500 words
        Authors note: This was published in Phi Kappa Phi “National Forum,” in their Fall 2000 issue. “National Forum is one of the most prestigious, interdisciplinary, academic journals. An earlier version was published in “Christianity Today,” “Saturday Evening Post,” “US Catholic,” “Hinduism Today,” and many other US publications, and it was translated and published in periodicals in nine different languages. I am the copyright holder, and I authorize reproduction and distribution of this article by the readers of this web page.

        A Case Study: Paducah, Kentucky

        Michael Carneal, the 14-year-old killer in the Paducah, Kentucky school shootings, had never fired a real pistol in his life. He stole a .22 pistol, fired a few practice shots, and took it to school. He fired eight shots at a high school prayer group, hitting eight kids, five of them head shots and the other three upper torso (Grossman & DeGaetana, 1999).

        I train numerous elite military and law enforcement organizations around the world. When I tell them of this achievement they are stunned. Nowhere in the annals of military or law enforcement history can we find an equivalent “achievement.”

        Where does a 14-year-old boy who never fired a gun before get the skill and the will to kill? Video games and media violence.

        Behavioral Psychology”

        Kenneth R. Murray Armiger Police Training Institute Lt. Col. Dave Grossman Arkansas State University Robert W. Kentridge University of Durham, U.K.

        Academic Press, 2000

        BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGY is the subset of psychology that focuses on studying and modifying observable behavior by means of systematic manipulation of environmental factors. This article examines the history and origins of behavioral psychology, the role of behavioral psychology in creating a revolution in military training and combat effectiveness during the second half of the 20th century, and the contributions of behavioral psychology in helping to understand one of the key causal factors in modern violent crime.

        • Introduction: A Behavioral Revolution in Combat……….Behavioral psychology, with its subsets of behavior modification and operant conditioning, is a field that’s ripe for use and abuse in the realms of violence, peace, and conflict.

        • The Birth of Behavioral Psychology……….The “Law of Effect,” which essentially states that responses that are accompanied or followed by satisfaction (i.e., a reward, or what was later to be termed a reinforcement) will be more likely to reoccur, and those which are accompanied by discomfort (i.e., a punishment) will be less likely to reoccur.

        • The Problem: A Resistance to Killing……….In behavioral terms, to prepare (train or condition) a soldier to kill, the stimulus (which did not appear in their training) should have been an enemy soldier in their sights

        • The Behavioral Solution: Conditioning to Kill……….It is crucial that the discriminative stimulus used in training be as realistic as possible in its simulation of the actual, anticipated stimulus if the training is to be transferred to reality in a crucial, life-and-death situation.

        • Conditioning Kids to Kill……….Through violent programming on television and in movies, and through interactive point-and-shoot video games, the developed nations are indiscriminately introducing to their children the same weapons technology that major armies and law enforcement agencies around the world use to “turn off” the midbrain “safety catch”.

        • Conclusion: The Future of Violence, Society, and Behaviorism……….In a world of violent crime, in a world in which children around the globe are being casually conditioned to kill…

        • From a Pavlovian, or classical conditioning standpoint, there is what Dave Grossman has termed the Reverse-Clockwork Orange process. In the movie, Clockwork Orange, a sociopath is injected with a drug that makes him nauseous and he then is exposed to violent movies. Eventually he comes to associate all violence with nausea and is somewhat “cured” of his sociopathy. In real life millions of children are exposed to thousands of repetitions of media violence, which they learn to associate with not nausea but pleasure in the form of their favorite candy, soda, and a girlfriend’s perfume as they sit and laugh and cheer at vivid depictions of human death and suffering.

        • Finally, from a behavioral perspective, the children of the industrialized world participate in countless repetitions of point-and-shoot video and arcade games that provide the motor skills necessary to turn killing into an automatic, reflexive, “kerplunk” response, but without the stimulus discriminators and the safeguard of discipline found in military and law enforcement conditioning.

        • Thus, from a psychological standpoint, the children of the industrialized world are being brutalized and traumatized at a young age, and then through violent video games (operant conditioning) and media violence (classical conditioning) they are learning to kill and learning to like it. The result of this interactive process is a worldwide virus of violence.

        • One major modern revelations in the field of military psychology is the observation that this resistance to killing one’s own species is also a key factor in human combat. Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall first observed this during his work as the Chief Historian of the European Theater of Operations in World War II. Based on his innovative new technique of postcombat interviews, Marshall concluded in his landmark book, Men Against Fire, that only 15 to 20% of the individual riflemen in World War II fired their weapons at an exposed enemy soldier.

        • Marshall’s findings have been somewhat controversial, but every available parallel, scholarly study has validated his basic findings. Ardant du Picq’s surveys of French officers in the 1860s and his observations on ancient battles, Keegan and Holmes’ numerous accounts of ineffectual firing throughout history, Paddy Griffith’s data on the extraordinarily low killing rate among Napoleonic and American Civil War regiments, Stouffer’s extensive World War II and postwar research, Richard Holmes’ assessment of Argentine firing rates in the Falklands War, the British Army’s laser reenactments of historical battles, the FBI’s studies of nonfiring rates among law enforcement officers in the 1950s and 1960s, and countless other individual and anecdotal observations, all confirm Marshall’s fundamental conclusion that man is not, by nature, a close-range, interpersonal killer.

        Do all players of video games become violent? Of course not. Is there a proven correlation between violent video games and desensitization toward killing people? It is proven, it is science, and video games are commonly used specifically for that purpose.

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2013 / 1:00 am


        Its a curious thing – a rather odd but still indisputable fact about this particular case – Lanza didn’t grow up in Japan. Strangely enough, he grew up in the United States and thus had the social milieu of an American, rather than a Japanese. Hard as this fact is to grasp, we simply will have to deal with him as an American phenomena, rather than drag in something as irrelevant to the American experience as that of Japan. Sad, I know, but there’s just nothing for it. It also won’t do for us to consider nations which have vastly higher gun death rates than the United States and where poverty ensures against kids being able to spend endless hours playing violent video games. We’ll just have to take the facts as we find them.

        Like many, you are determined to believe that no matter what else may have caused Lanza to explode, it certainly wasn’t the culture he lived in. It had to have been the gun, itself. Or the lack of government-funded mental health services (even though, if anything, Lanza was overloaded with mental health experts poking and prodding at him since infancy and yet none of them, oddly enough, managed to figure him out). Sorry, I tend to believe that what people learn has an effect on how they react to the world – true, we all ultimately have free will (and thus Lanza is ultimately responsible for the murders he committed), but its just plain as a pikestaff that what he learned over the course of his life would have an effect on what he did.

        Now, what did Lanza learn? That he was a delicate flower who couldn’t take the rough and tumble of human life. That he was a special kid, oh so very different from all the rest. That he never had to actually do anything and he’d never be marked down as a failure if he didn’t perform up to expectations. He was apparently given no real conception of God, and thus was never presented with something ever so much more important than he is. He was coddled by an overly-attentive mother who may have been making up for the fact that there does not appear to have been in his family that bedrock of love which grows out of shared sacrifice for one another. And all the while this was going on he was fed upon the glorification of depraved violence and sex which goes on in our culture – not just the violent video games, but just about every other medium of popular culture told him – so many tens of thousands of times – that senseless violence is cool.

        The only thing surprising about Lanza is that he didn’t kill sooner.

      • pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 1:16 am

        Amazona, I did not link people who know how to use firearms to those who go around shooting people. I said perhaps we should stop teaching the mentally impaired to use them. Orbetter yet, make sure they can’t get ahold of them.

        Thankyou for finally showing up with some actual studies (I’ll admit this isnt a topic I’ve looked much into in the past). Just read two studies on it, seems they both found aggression is increased after playing games, but why they are unsure and the level isn’t that high. One also mentioned that television increases aggression more than video games.

        Now the question is, do violent sports make people just as aggressive? Ie should we ban rugby? its a sport where one of the major goals is to tackle the other person, often resulting in serious injury. Or should we simply limit what games children can play? thus allowing their minds to develop before being exposed to such things.

      • pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 1:24 am

        Mark, you completely miss the point. No it was not just the guns, thats obvious. Yes it was the culture. Now sit back and think, how do we compare cultures in order to determine where the problem could have been? well the first step is to compare the similarities. In both cultures they play a lot of video games. In one there is a larger percentage of the population which plays video games. In that culture there are less murders with guns. What conclusion can be drawn? perhaps that its not the video games.

        Lets apply this same logic to australia and new zealand. In both countries most people are not christian (yes yes, offical statistics say they are, theyre not). Both countries have lower murder rates. This could imply that church has nothing to do with it.

        As to what the problem was, I can’t comment since there haven’t been enough details released. Though I would be interested in seeing what exactly his mental problems were, and if the mother was allowed to decide every aspect of his treatment (ie if she could overrule the doctors without herself having any real training).

      • Amazona February 19, 2013 / 2:23 am

        I don’t think violent sports make people aggressive.

        I think that up-front there is a selection process, in that people averse to strong physical contact are not likely to take up rugby or boxing or other sports that involve a lot of hard physical contact. So by definition a rugby player is likely to have a higher tolerance for aggression than, say, a tennis player.

        Beyond, that, there is an intimacy in sports contact, in that you are having to personally, physically, TOUCH the other person, which has a different psychological impact than the distancing effect of shooting. And there is the Consequence Factor, which is that if you thump on a guy in a game, you are going to get thumped back. And finally, though you are opponents in a game, you are also bonded by the fact that you are in the same game, in the same sport, might even end up playing for the same team, and that while you are opponents on the field you are brothers in a way off the field

      • Amazona February 19, 2013 / 2:30 am

        Mark, you allude to something I had not really thought about before, and that is a possible difference between family structure in Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

        I do think that lack of father figures in the home is a major component of young male violence. Perhaps young men can process the violence of video games and brutality on TV and in movies better if they have the guidance and influence of strong father figures, role models to teach them how to be real men.

        A boy growing up without a father kind of has to make it up as he goes along, and has to be more vulnerable to mistaking macho images of violence and brutality for what a real man is really like. He is not exposed to male tenderness, love, sacrifice, the personal discipline that makes a father take care of and support his family, the caring of a husband for his wife, the security of being loved in a fatherly way.

      • pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 2:44 am

        Amazona, true all of those factors are possible. The point I’m trying to get across is that instead of saying “we should ban x” we should study what factors do play a role, and actually determine what the problem is. The end result could end up being “there was no way to prevent it” which is sad but possible. If video games do play a role, then perhaps we do need to find new ways to stop young children from getting access to them. But simplistic answers such as more church or ban video games will not solve the problem.

        In this particular case I have absolutely no idea since there haven’t been enough details released to actually get a clear picture.

      • pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 2:51 am

        Another reason why such solutions can’t work is because they’re simply impractical. Lets assume for a moment that video games are responsible, and that by banning them we would solve the problem, or at least halve it.

        So a law has been passed banning all violent video games. First of all the law would have to be fuzzy. How do we define violent? We could define it as anything with blood, but then people simply remove blood. It could be anything in which you do virtual harm to another, which could actually work.

        Then we have the 2nd problem, the internet. How do you prevent people from downloading games written in other countries? For example lets say Blizzard moves its business to south korea and carries on as usual. They create a new game and then sell it all over the world. How do you prevent people in the US from downloading those games? We had this discussion a while back, and Mark suggested banning buying software in other countries. Thats a strange but workable solution (ignoring how much software you would ban), but people will then simply torrent them.

      • Retired Spook February 19, 2013 / 10:57 am

        Look where japan is, now how many hours does the average person in japan spend playing video games?

        Look at where Japan is culturally and demographically, Red. It’s a cultural outlier for the entire planet; one where honor and duty are important cultural considerations and there is no black or Hispanic underclass. Japan’s homicide rate (2009 – most recent figures available) is only .4/100,000 while ours (2010 – most recent figures) is 4.2/100,000. Subtract out the minority underclass homicides in the U.S., and, while we still don’t get down to .4/100,000 (no other major country does either), we get pretty close. That would lead me to believe that culture plays an important roll in negating the effects of violent video games and movies.

      • neocon01 February 19, 2013 / 12:06 pm


        ” But simplistic answers such as more church or ban video games will not solve the problem.

        “simplistic answers” like banning certain weapons and certain magazines, IS??

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2013 / 1:27 pm


        We’ve veered off a little here – this isn’t just about violence, per se; it is about insane violence. We know why gangsters murder. We know why jilted lovers murder. Lanza had no reason to murder, at all. In fact, his life was exceedingly soft and has far as can be determined, no one ever did anything to him which would make him want revenge – and, in fact, what he did was to kill people he could not possibly have been offended by in a rational way. That is what is at stake here – why people will go off and kill for no reason.

        We are manufacturing Lanza’s in our society – and so are all other advanced, modern societies (yes, even Japan; you might recall the Osaka School Massacre). We are setting up situations where people get so divorced from reality that they eventually go out and kill random people – usually completely defenseless people (never heard tell of a lunatic attacking a police station or a gun club). That is why we must ban violent video games – because they very intensely advertise to people who are already warped that a fun thing to do is to go out and massacre people.

      • pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 1:47 pm

        OK, lets assume for a moment that you’re correct, based on 0 evidence that this one person decided to kill random people (who he knew) because of video games. How exactly do you propose to ban video games? How would you deal with people purchasing them in other countries and how would you deal with people downloading them?

      • rustybrown2012 February 19, 2013 / 2:12 pm

        I agree with you about the lack of a connection between sports and violence and I thought your analysis on that was excellent. Hey, somewhere there sits a frosty snowball in hell!

        I also think your argument that “father figures in the home is a major component of young male violence.” has merit. And your analysis of that is interesting. Two snowballs!

        But one thing you said doesn’t sound right to me:

        “the evidence is that the people most taught to use firearms—that is, hunters, the military and law enforcement—tend to be the least likely to go on killing sprees, BECAUSE they are taught how to use them.”

        What is that evidence?

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2013 / 2:32 pm


        I don’t claim its a 1 for 1 thing: play violent video games = go murder. It doesn’t work like that. But violent video games and violent movies and television are advertisements for violence. It works precisely the same way as a car advertisement does – watching a car ad will not make a person go out and buy a car, but watching 10,000 car ads will move some people to be pre-disposed to buy cars. So, too, watching advertisements for “cool” violence…show enough of it and a certain number of people will be moved towards acting out on it…and as we also prime the pump with family break down, consumerism, irreligion, etc, some of those moved to violence will go all the way and do it.

        One needs to understand how new this phenomena is. Back in the 1920’s – during the gangland war days of Capone fame – you could buy a fully automatic Thompson machine gun by mail. And yet no one bought such a murderous weapon (far more powerful than any of the semi-auto weapons we’ve seen in the massacres) and went out on a murderous rampage. Excepting the Texas Tower shooting incident – which may have had a physiological cause – it has really only been since the late 1970’s that we’ve had people go on random shooting incidents with no discernible cause. Now, what happened between the time of Capone and the easily accessible Thompson and the late 70’s when people started going on murderous rampages? Movies and television had become universal and were, by the late 70’s, becoming havens of increasingly glorified violence for the sake of violence. Coupled with such things as family break down, decline of religious belief and a huge dose of psychiatrist quackery, people were primed and ready for insanity – since then, we’ve only gotten worse, and we’ve also seen more and more of these massacres. More and more are coming. They will happen again.

        And so, ban violent video games. How? By banning them, for crying out loud. If it takes a constitutional amendment, do it. The boys didn’t hit the beaches of Normandy so that greedy corporate bosses could make money off selling violent video games. That isn’t what free speech is about – free speech is the ability for me to proclaim God and my opinions without let or hindrance from anyone else…it isn’t a right to pollute society with unmentionable filth so that I can rake in big bucks. Really, it is high time we stopped being stupid about these things and especially stopped allowing ourselves to be suckered by con artists.

      • rustybrown2012 February 19, 2013 / 2:37 pm

        I think you’re downplaying the impact of mental illness and the struggles on the afflicted and those who love them. I read the article, and it’s clear Lanza had some very serious issues which transcended “being a bit shy”. This is evident by the fact that the mother was constantly alerted to his strange behavior by school administrators. Teachers don’t do that because of kids who are “a bit off”.

        And your disdain for special ed. is certainly misguided. Some children do indeed have special needs and serious psychological and/or learning disabilities that need special attention in order for them to thrive. As a parent, I’ve seen this with my own eyes with some of my kid’s peers (thankfully, my kids are thriving). And from the article, Lanza appeared to be doing quite well with his special needs education; it seemed a grave mistake for the mother to pull him out. It also was undoubtedly a fatal lack of judgement for her to expose him to guns AND violent video games.

        Such games should not be banned, but they are not fitting for the mentally unbalanced, especially the well-armed unbalanced. Neo actually makes a good point linking this debate to the debate over gun bans. Just as guns don’t kill people, video games don’t kill
        people. And, as has been pointed out by perilirrojito, millions of well-adjusted people play violent video games apparently to no ill effect. We should be loathe to ban something just because it can be abused/misused by the few.

      • pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 2:39 pm

        And how exactly are you going to enforce this ban? Declare it illegal and assume everyone will follow your ban?

      • rustybrown2012 February 19, 2013 / 3:04 pm

        That’s it. You are not discussing you are haranguing. You were given leeway because although it was obvious you wanted to defend bigotry you were relatively civil for a while. The topic is tired, it is over and no more. //Moderator

      • rustybrown2012 February 19, 2013 / 3:16 pm

        To ama,
        I meant to characterize her argument as a LACK of father figures in the home…

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2013 / 4:06 pm


        I do hold that a great deal of psychiatry is quackery – we’re massively over-diagnosing mental disorder and massively over-prescribing medications for same. And we are doing it wrong by special needs kids – this understanding comes from my personal experience with my autistic elder brother. We treated him special as a young boy and it was entirely counter-productive…once we got lucky and he came in to contact with a teacher who treated him as far as possible like any other child, then he took off. Softening the blows of life is no way to deal with the blows of life and children must be challenged to go far beyond where they might wish to be at any given moment. And, point blank, it takes a judicious mixture of fear and favor to get them to do that.

        The problem which was revealed when Lanza went on his murderous rampage is society-wide and will take a major re-working of society to correct. Mostly, its a matter of reforming us back in to the social organization we used to have – strong families, strong religious faith; much less reliance upon psychiatry and much more reliance upon simple, common sense.

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2013 / 4:08 pm


        The simplest method is to tax and regulate it out of existence…make it so annoying to obtain that only rich idiots will bother.

      • pelirrojito February 19, 2013 / 4:16 pm

        Mark, that doesn’t cut it. Might work for a physical product (though even explicit bans hasvent worked for any drugs) but for software people will simply download it. Then you will say people wont produce it, to which I will say people will produce it in other countries, and then people will download it.

        So if you’re going to propose banning something, I would like details on how you would enforce such a ban.

      • rustybrown2012 February 19, 2013 / 4:44 pm

        I take your point that our society is over-medicated with psychotropic drugs. I think as a society we should be reevaluating that approach.

        I’ll point out again that Lanza seemed to be thriving under his special education with a gifted teacher and it seems imprudent that his mother removed him from that environment prematurely. In your brother’s case, it sounds like after he left home he benefited from at least some “special” considerations. It’s fortunate he had such a good teacher, who could properly evaluate and engage his needs. It could be that your family was coddling him a bit too much before this – absolutely no fault to you or your family- dealing with special needs kids is challenging and often requires special attention, which brings me back to the necessity for talented, well-trained educators in this area. That “judicious mixture of fear and favor” that you speak of is part of what a special needs educator does, and not what a regular teacher should be engaged in while they’re trying to teach a class of “normal” kids. That would stunt the entire class and be unsatisfactory to all.

      • neocon01 February 19, 2013 / 5:35 pm


        religion sometimes plays a major role in certain heinous acts of violence; suicide bombings,(islam)

        bombing abortion clinics, etc…… empty murder mills……kind of like the bombing of nazi death camps….except ours have done what hitler could only have dreamed of……yeah rotten guys those RELIGIOUS Christians.

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2013 / 6:41 pm

        Pel, Rusty, Bardolf,

        We’re certainly not going to resolve this debate here – and I don’t think I’ll reach you even a bit because you are thus far unwilling to re-think your views. All of us have to, but hardly anyone has. For now, I’ll just state my willingness to bet any amount that when the next Lanza pops up, these quotes will not apply:

        He and his brothers and sisters went to Church every Sunday with their mom and dad…

        His mom and dad have such a loving, devoted relationship to each other and they always put family in front of career…

        When he asked his dad to buy him the Murder and Mayhem VI game, his dad took him to a battered women’s shelter to explain to him what glorified violence can lead to…

        He was never allowed to go in to the basement and play games for hours on end…

        Sure, his family had problems, but they always did everything together and the message his mom and dad always gave was that one has to make sacrifices for others…

        I don’t remember anyone in the family ever discussing the latest television shows; seems they were always bringing up the latest book they were reading…

        Rather than buy each other Christmas presents, one year they all donated in to the local homeless shelter and then spent the day visiting sick, elderly veterans at the hospital…

        As I said, I’ll bet any amount that nothing like that is applicable to the next Lanza…but I’ll bet the words “psychiatrist”, “medication”, “divorce”, “loner” and “video games”, do…and I’ll even bet that all of them do.

      • rustybrown2012 February 19, 2013 / 7:57 pm

        That’s it. You are not discussing you are haranguing. You were given leeway because although it was obvious you wanted to defend bigotry you were relatively civil for a while. The topic is tired, it is over and no more. //Moderator

      • rustybrown2012 February 19, 2013 / 8:27 pm

        That’s it. You are not discussing you are haranguing. You were given leeway because although it was obvious you wanted to defend bigotry you were relatively civil for a while. The topic is tired, it is over and no more. //Moderator

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2013 / 9:01 pm


        If I appear to not have answered you it would be because of your straw-man arguments – such as any suggestion that my solution is to just “go back to the Bible”. As for Dahmer – yeah, that is “normal”…no general religious practice, a loner who turned to drink and who’s parents divorced…that is just the sort or rock solid upbringing which I’m talking about. In fact, Dahmer’s bio pretty much confirms my view of what is wrong.

        Normal people don’t do things like that. You’re either asserting that abnormal is normal (“defining deviancy downwards”, as it were) or saying that abnormality “just happens”; or perhaps you are actually asserting there is no “normal” or “abnormal”. Well, there is – completely normal people are those who don’t rape, don’t murder, don’t become loners, don’t get off on glorified violence…and the way normal people develope is to have normal life going on around them…not a completely polluted, disgusting society where the competition is to see if there are any further lower levels to the gutter.

      • 02casper February 19, 2013 / 11:15 pm

        “Back in the 1920′s – during the gangland war days of Capone fame – you could buy a fully automatic Thompson machine gun by mail. And yet no one bought such a murderous weapon (far more powerful than any of the semi-auto weapons we’ve seen in the massacres) and went out on a murderous rampage.”

        That probably had to do with the price more than anything else. A Thompson machine gun cost $200. This was at a time that a new car cost $400. Not too many civilians could afford one.

    • neocon01 February 19, 2013 / 9:08 am

      Well Duhhhh!!

      The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has raised concerns about severe acts of violence as side effects of anti-psychotic and antidepressant drugs not only on individuals but on society as well.

      Just a month ago PRWeb described drug induced violence as “medicine’s best kept secret.”

      And the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHRI) is calling for a federal investigation on its web page which links no less than 14 mass killings to the use of psychiatric drugs such as Prozac and Paxil.

      It is time our society look at our growing epidemic of addiction to pharmaceutical drugs and the role those drugs may play in the epidemic of mass killings. We must demand investigations be transparent regarding the use of psychiatric drugs by these killers

    • neocon01 February 19, 2013 / 12:00 pm


      there is MASSIVE evidence (studies) obesity kills Millions more people than weapons.

      The medical malpractice kills even more than obesity.

      WE NEED to ban forks, spoons and doctors. IMMEDIATELY after all it’s fo da chillen.

      • neocon01 February 19, 2013 / 12:03 pm


        That would lead me to believe that culture plays an important roll in negating the effects of violent video games and movies.

        look at local schools and their problems PRE 1960’s.
        Then came along busing….the rest is history.

    • neocon01 February 19, 2013 / 5:13 pm

      the trolls seem stuck on stupid today……….violent videos are only one small piece to the puzzle of which are made of 100’ds of pieces. To rail on, and on, and on, and on, about video games reeks of OCD.


      • bardolf2 February 19, 2013 / 5:47 pm


        one of your less disturbing links

      • neocon01 February 19, 2013 / 5:52 pm

        we aim to please….LOL

      • neocon01 February 19, 2013 / 6:12 pm


        Adam Lanza Motivated By Norway Massacre: Newtown Shooter Wanted To Top Breivik Death Toll, According To CBS Report
        Lanza was also motivated by violent videogames and had spent numerous hours playing games and working on his computer shooting skills in a private gaming room in his basement with blacked out windows, CBS said. Investigators recovered a large number of games from the basement, the report said.

        Evidence shows that in his mind, Lanza was likely acting out the fantasies of a videogame during his shooting spree with each death amounting to some kind of “score,” CBS said.

      • neocon01 February 20, 2013 / 1:19 pm

        video games? how about mind games? AKA leftist propaganda.

        Here is my analysis. Not American Thinker’s analysis. My analysis. The war on kids, authoritarian bullies sucking up massive paychecks on our dime, the impenetrable wall of ideological ignorance married to an intensely juvenile and callow state of mind fostered and nurtured by American Higher Education has produced a hell children must not be exposed to. The active propaganda and literal Pavlovian behavioral training that goes on in public schools to force and reinforce a Progressive agenda is disgusting at best and terrifying in reality. If they know how to rewire a child’s brain in pursuit of reading skills, do I need posit the next obvious postulate?

        Expelling a child for supposed gun related issues at 4, 5 even 6 years old is behavioral modification taken to the level of brainwashing.

        Read more:

      • neocon01 February 20, 2013 / 1:50 pm

        Karl….say it aint so!!

      • Cluster February 20, 2013 / 10:15 pm

        LOL. I am not a pony tail kind of guy and definitely stay away from McCain.

  2. dbschmidt February 19, 2013 / 5:12 pm

    IIRC, Lanza was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder, an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

    • 02casper February 19, 2013 / 11:30 pm

      “dbschmidt February 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      IIRC, Lanza was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder, an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)”

      I’ve had the honor of teaching several AS students over the years. They are some of my favorite students. Personally, I consider AS as more of a difference than a disorder. They don’t think the way the rest of us do. The ones I’ve worked with are very smart and not violent in any sense.

      One thing that stood out to me about the story on Lanza is that it seemed like every time he made a connection with a strong male role model he either pulled away or was pulled away from the relationship.

    • 02casper February 19, 2013 / 11:32 pm

      And it should be noted that AS isn’t normally treated with drugs. While I would agree that kids are sometimes overmedicated, it doesn’t look like that was the case here.

  3. bardolf2 February 19, 2013 / 5:45 pm

    No need to ban anything Mark, the crime rate is going down perhaps because violent youth are playing violent video games instead of being violent in real life. If anything is to be banned it should be the TV glorifying of killers like Lanza which makes the next one want to up the ante. Of course that would make the average liberals life even more mundane as the hope for an apocalyptic death seems to be the expectation of many a left wing baby boomer.

    Banning violent video games is a stupid solution to a problem which doesn’t exist. The actual benefits of violent video games are also not mentioned. A nontrivial one is that soldiers are trained on violent video games to help them make tough decisions in war time. It also is a way of channeling a natural impulse to be a member of a team without the need for taxpayer funding of midnight basketball ala Al Gore.

    The entire blame should be put on the single mom who should have known better than to put a gun in the hand of a disturbed individual. If we want to include ‘society’ as a cause to appease the libs I suggest we blame the entire psychology-pseudo-science structure which has a success rate equal to that of a witch doctor (i.e. a placebo effect).

    • Cluster February 20, 2013 / 9:13 am

      The entire blame should be put on the single mom who should have known better than to put a gun in the hand of a disturbed individual

      The key word there being single. I think a huge fact in all of this is the breakdown of the family structure, and I blame fathers more than I do mothers. I think too many men in our society have abdicated their responsibilities. Including allowing women to abort their children.

  4. bardolf2 February 20, 2013 / 3:02 pm

    “We’re certainly not going to resolve this debate here – and I don’t think I’ll reach you even a bit because you are thus far unwilling to re-think your views.” Mark

    When asked about being open minded a conservative and liberal gave two different views. The liberal said he opens his mind like a flower opens to the sun, ready to receive whatever falls upon it. The conservative said he opens his mind like he opens his mouth for food, with the plan of closing it on something firm.

    Mark has chosen the liberal path. His gut tells him that video game violence must lead to more real violence. I have chosen the conservative path. The data say that there is less real world violence so no need to for the Government as Mom routine.

    Curious since data won’t convince Mark that video game violence is not on balance a bad thing what will convince Mark.

    • Amazona February 20, 2013 / 8:30 pm

      dolf, did you read my citations of studies on the effects of violent conditioning?

      • bardolf2 February 20, 2013 / 10:19 pm

        I read them with a grain of salt since I learned most of the bobo doll type experiments are questionable a couple decades after being published just like anti-butter pro-margarine studies.

        One has to put things into context or the relevant sample space. IF an individual has anti-social tendencies that are violent that individual can use video games to train themselves both in the use of arms and the overcoming of the natural inhibition to not harm others. The internet contains lots of information that can be used to intensify bad behavior.

        The question is if violent video games as a whole lead to more violent crime as a whole, not in particular cases. While the gut instinct would be yes there are nonlinear effects. I mentioned one such effect being that violent video game players simply have less time on their hands. Another is that they are less in shape to carry out such acts. The statistics point to the most docile generation in history. In fact the more docile the youth seems to be the more graphic the need for video games to get a buzz. Most of the time, those theoretically ’empowered’ when attempting real world violence get beaten up.

      • neocon01 February 21, 2013 / 9:09 am


        demographics baby NOT video games.

    • Amazona February 20, 2013 / 8:32 pm

      BTW, you should have included the caveat that when you used the terms “liberal” and “conservative” the terms were quite arbitrary with no relevance to political philosophy—or to anything else, as far as I could see.

      • bardolf2 February 20, 2013 / 10:01 pm


        The conservative was Pat Buchanan and the liberal was the other guy on cross fire a couple decades ago. It struck me that treating all data as equally informative was not conservative. Otherwise why the questioning on B4V of sources?

    • M. Noonan February 20, 2013 / 11:22 pm


      But I’m not talking about “violence”. I’m talking about insane violence – murder which has no reason. I know full well that violence is decreasing in the United States. But people going in to schools and massacring defenseless people is something new…it only started in the 70’s…and it only started after we had spent a couple decades glorifying senseless violence in popular culture and had relentlessly broken down traditional morality. And all we’ve done since then it make things worse in those two area and, at the same time, the body count of insane violence has skyrocketed while the body count from criminal violence has decreased. If you want to bite down on something solid, bite down on that…its a fact; it can’t be disputed.

      • bardolf2 February 21, 2013 / 1:29 am

        The worst school massacre in US history was a bombing in 1927 in Michigan. Murder, insane violence with no reason. So you are wrong about the 70’s being the start.

        I find it quite odd to think being killed is somehow worse if it is “insane ” violence as opposed to regular old violence. Of course I worry more about heart disease or lung cancer killing me than anything on TV news. Too much time with actuarial tables I guess.

        Mathematically going from 2 to 4 to 8 is doubling, skyrocketing you could say. Scare tactics I say, always much smaller than going from 10000 to 9000.

      • M. Noonan February 21, 2013 / 4:31 pm


        But that is wrong – the Bath School Massacre had a reason – the perpetrator was taking revenge upon the people of the school district for booting him out of office. I’m talking about violence which as no reason, at all. There was no reason for Lanza to do what he did…he did it for fun…and while you might not think of “fun” in terms like that, he did…because there was no rationality in his decisions.

        Like this:

  5. Jeremiah February 20, 2013 / 11:50 pm

    Looks like a neck brace and tinge unit on that guy.

    • Jeremiah February 20, 2013 / 11:51 pm

      The above in response to neocon’s link to McCain and the guy in the blue shirt.

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