CT School Shootings: The Day After

Update: Peter Lanza, the father of Adam and Ryan Lanza and former husband of Nancy Lanza, has issued this statement:

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured," Peter Lanza said. "Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired."


More information is coming out about yesterday's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is a place to discuss them. [More...]

First, as we learned last night, Mrs. Nancy Lanza was not a teacher at the school.

This morning, police told CNN that Adam Lanza had all three weapons with him inside. He was not let into the school, but broke a window to gain entrance. He may have tried to buy a gun on Tues or Weds of this week, but was refused due to an unspecified issue with his permit or identification.

Please keep your comments relevant to yesterday's shootings. There are open threads for your views on gun laws.

< Conn. School Shooting: 27 Dead, Including 20 Children | CT School Shooting Victims Named >
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    Why was the brother handcuffed? (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by citizenjeff on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:01:36 AM EST
    What - if anything - authorized cops to handcuff the brother?

    Isn't the traditional reason (none / 0) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:30:33 PM EST
    ...for the all purpose roust called "conspiracy to mope?"

    Talk about wildly differing facts (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:42:37 AM EST
    From one day to the next

    One of the lessons of yesterday, for sure, (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Peter G on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:12:03 PM EST
    is how the instant news phenomenon (originally a cable issue, now Web as well) is at war with the journalistic ideal of digging out and then disseminating the truth.  And then, those erroneously reported "facts" become the basis of conclusions and perceptions, or worse become the basis for opinions on important social policy issues.

    I feel for the victims and their families deeply (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:37:33 PM EST
    We are not running the news at all because a small vulnerable person lives here.   Getting most of my info from reading Jeralyn because she gathers it all together short and quick.  Feel for his brother too, seems like he was another victim yesterday.

    Why did the mother (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by brodie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:32:15 PM EST
    keep guns in the house where she lived with a son whose mental health she was apparently concerned about?  Or why did she apparently keep them where he could get at them?

    Just an obvious question that occurs to me at this early stage; not trying to shift all the blame from the son onto the mother, but it could turn out she played an important if unintentional role in the outcome if, say, her passion for guns and shooting (as reported by ITV) trumped all common sense concerning her son's mental stability.

    Yes, I wonder about this, too (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Towanda on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:42:21 PM EST
    and about much else in the apparently dysfunctional family dynamic.  Why did the brother, Ryan, not have any contact with the shooter for more than two years?

    Gandhi use to talk about using (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:45:17 PM EST
    "soul power"..For all the b.s about this being "a Christian nation" very, very few people seem to believe it on the deepest level..

    And, if "perefect love casteth out fear" why are the guns - and Freudian Gun Fetishists - coming out of the proverbial woodwork here?


    What can be said (none / 0) (#3)
    by Slayersrezo on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:12:07 PM EST
    Other than its a tragedy and that I do wish our news sources would treat these stories more responsibly and stick to repeating "official" statements for the first 3 to 5 days , until the initial investigation is completed. It would help stop the spread of rumors and sometimes downright lies  or stupid misunderstandings that are constantly being spread when these cases are first covered because everyone wants to be the first with a 'scoop' or provide the 'comprehensive' coverage.

    I will note that this, too, seems to be an attack with illegal guns.
    I will also note the guy apparently had mental issues and that maybe more mental health coverage would do this country some good.

    And the Norquists of the world.. (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:27:40 PM EST
    living in their pschological, if not physical, gated communities, still say we shouldn't "rob people" and "throw money at the problem" every time someone attempts to mount a concerted effort to increase services for the mentally ill in this country..

    And "No man is an Island" has become Everyman-an-Island  as some sort of grotesque/perverse Libertarian ideal..

    Imo, these terminally alienated, disturbed young men are canaries in a hyper-competitive, dog-eat-dog coal mine we've been developing in this country..


    I hope that media (and we) do not confuse (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Towanda on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:40:43 PM EST
    Asperger's syndrome, reportedly suffered by the shooter, with the mental illness(es) from which he also reportedly suffered, such as a serious personality disorder, according to his brother.

    As we discuss this, let's remember -- and perhaps help to remind the media -- and let's especially remember here, where one of our blog hosts is among many of us with family members on the autism spectrum -- that Asperger's, autism, etc., are not the same as mental illness.

    Certainly, the syndrome can result in mistreatment by others that may exacerbate mental illness.  And  about treatment, I do wonder whether we will read more about the diagnosis or, with the complicating factor of the syndrome, misdiagnosis.  There is much to be learned amid the unbearable sadness and stories about twenty little learners who lost their lives, but we must learn to save the next ones from being the next ones.


    please put urls in html format (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:07:28 PM EST
    long ones skew the site and I have to delete your comment. You can also get a short link from tinyurl.com. Thanks. Please repost without the long url.

    Yes, it is on the autism spectrum (none / 0) (#21)
    by Towanda on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:22:46 PM EST
    and I know that the DSM drops and adds and drops more than some of my worst students -- and that the change is not yet in effect, not yet published . . . and that it is going to cause a lot of grief for some families, as legislation and regulations will need to change, too, at least in this country.  Note that the DSM is not followed in all countries.

    Plus, I'm not a psychiatrist.  From what I see in discussions in my field and family, many of us who also work with PwA's, people with Asperger's as many call themselves, still will respect that self-designation as useful, since they do, and still will find it helpful shorthand vs. "high-functioning autist," until "H-FA's" comes into general usage.  Or not, if the DSM changes again.  

    The point remains, either way:  Autism is not a mental illness.


    Someone forgot to tell Pete Williams of (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Anne on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:25:19 PM EST
    NBC, as he referred to it tonight on the news as a "mental disorder."

    Imagine his ears have by now burst into flames from hearing from all those who know that it is no such thing.

    Seems like it would be such a small thing to get something like that right, but I honestly think they just don't care.


    "illegal guns." (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:19:45 PM EST
    What do you mean by this?

    reports say legal guns, registered to mom (none / 0) (#20)
    by DFLer on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:16:02 PM EST
    Yes, registered to mom (none / 0) (#23)
    by Slayersrezo on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:08:44 PM EST
    Which means he wasn't supposed to have them.
    A firearms store turned him down earlier in the week.
    I didn't really feel it was necessary to clarify what I meant as I didn't regard that as more important than a passing mention, but more than one person seems to have picked up on it, so here's your clarification.

    seems to me that you were trying (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by DFLer on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:04:09 PM EST
    to imply that stricter gun laws (say, against automatic bushwhacker types) wouldn't have helped in this situation. Perps would find the firepower illegally.

    Apparently that is not the case here.


    Yes (none / 0) (#31)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:04:57 PM EST
    Slayersbozo, there should be a Congressional investigation regarding gunwalking in every model NRA home in America. It should be held NOW!

    Being in his possession, given his age... (none / 0) (#24)
    by unitron on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:33:34 PM EST
    ...made them illegal, despite them having apparently been legally purchased.

    Had assault rifles been banned, for example, (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by DFLer on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:05:43 PM EST
    they would not have been available to him, as mom would not have been able to purchase.

    Do you think he would have then just used (none / 0) (#37)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:18:30 PM EST
    the other guns?

    can't know....assualt rifles spit out many bullets (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by DFLer on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:14:18 PM EST
    at a fast tempo....one can hide behind that.

    Single shots, maybe not.


    The two pistols he had shoot just as fast (none / 0) (#39)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:28:21 PM EST
    as the bushmaster. No difference in the tempo of spitting out bullets.

    Recent report (none / 0) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:42:09 PM EST
    Relative: Adam Lanza's Mom Pulled Him Out of School

    The aunt of Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza said the shooter's mother pulled him out of Newtown's public school system because she was unhappy with the school district's plans for her son.
    Marsha Lanza, who is Adam's aunt and Nancy's ex-sister-in-law, told Evelyn Thomas of ABC-owned-and-operated station WLS in Chicago that Nancy had once been a classroom aide at the Sandy Hook school. link

    About the mother-Nancy Lanza (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:58:03 PM EST
    From the New York Times
    (1) Was a gun enthusiast, purchased guns, liked to talk about guns, took her son to shooting ranges.
    (2) Home schooled her son Adam, did not like the school and (heard on television, though it is not mentioned in this article), was not happy with the general direction in which the country was moving.

    WP article about Nancy Lanza (none / 0) (#30)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:28:32 PM EST
    The motive for the mass killing was unknown, but officials told NBC's Pete Williams that they were investigating a report that someone had an "altercation" with four staff members at the school on Thursday - three of whom were killed the next day.

    Now there are reports (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:47:54 PM EST
    he carried the two handguns and the Bushmaster into the school, and left a 4th gun, a rifle, in his car.

    And the Medical Examiner said (none / 0) (#15)
    by rdandrea on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:25:33 PM EST
    that all of the wounds he saw in the 7 autopsies he personally performed (there were 10 technicians involved in the autopsies) "came from the long gun."

    Do we know how he was buzzed in? (none / 0) (#25)
    by smott on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:38:25 PM EST
    I read they had installed new security procedures involving all visitors going through some security door...?

    I read somewhere that he broke in (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:50:50 PM EST
    They are saying he broke a window to get inside. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Angel on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:21:28 PM EST
    Early autopsy reports thus far (none / 0) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:00:22 PM EST
    the report by the ME is each of the seven victims checked so far had between 3-11 gunshot wounds all by the .223-caliber Bushmaster assault rifle.

    Comment disappeared?! (none / 0) (#32)
    by Andreas on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:28:55 AM EST
    I only would like to know if there was a technical glitch or if it was delibarately deleted.

    did you miss the last line? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:38:30 AM EST
    Please keep your comments relevant to yesterday's shootings. There are open threads for your views on gun laws.

    I did *not* post anything on gun laws (none / 0) (#34)
    by Andreas on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:20:48 AM EST
    Gun laws are relevant to the massacre. But there are far more fundamental issues involved.

    Anyway: my posting did not contain anything on gun laws but some paragraphs from this article:

    School shooting in Connecticut leaves 27 dead, including 20 children
    By Kate Randall, 15 December 2012

    But maybe you belong to those who deny that the ruthlessnesss and murderous activities of the American capitalist class has nothing to do with all those massacres for which the United States are know arround the world.


    Venn Diagram... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Eddpsair on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:07:37 PM EST
    Lanza had many unused magazines and many people still left alive.  If so, that points to a malfunction of his long gun.  The reason I mention it is that ALL of these shootings, Giffords, Colorado Theater, Oregon Mall and this seem to have a common thread.  Weapons malfunctions that the shooter could not clear.  

    Clearing weapons malfunctions is not rocket science.

    As a retired Marine and a Cop, and firearms instructor in both venues, this tells me that the shooters tend to be more "gamers" than shooters.  

    Yes, I know that the mother took him shooting, but a couple of trips to the range does not make one proficient.

    I am waiting to see the evidence, but those in the other shootings, the after market, extended magazines, that go beyond designed weapon specs jammed while they were being fired.  Those magazines are often notoriously unreliable but are similar to video games.

    I am not trying to defend the firearms nor indict the gaming community, I am just saying the problem seems to be more complex.  I read an article written before the  shooting that discussed children seeing 18,000 violent deaths and 21,000 shootings on TV pror to reaching age 18 .  That does not include gaming.

    LtCol Dave Grossman's work (Pulitzer nominated) where he explains the science of desensitizing our youth to killing for battle field purposes is instructive.

    The commonality for Lanza with this genre, is that he was young troubled loner, very bright, a novice shooter, a gamer, and likely felt disenfranchised, rightly or wrongly.  

    IMO, guns are only one facet of the issue.   IEDs, arson, mass poison...   All those are within the capacity of these intelligent but troubled kids.  So I submit we need to look deeper at the Venn diagram of intersections of all the factor or the only thing that will change is the weapons of choice.   Guns are quicker  once someone hits a trigger point.   But perhaps the unintended consequence  is that  If we don't address all the issues, a more thought out and deadly attack with arson, bombs or poisoning the school cafeteria will be the next default position...

    The majority of troubled kids don't  murder.  Not all gamers are desensitized to killing.  The majority of legal gun owners never kill anyone.  But this intersection seems to be the commonality.  

    I am no psychologist and don't even play one on TV.  But the pent up rage to be able to shoot your mother 4 times in the face is remarkable.  When bullied today, schools are relatively powerless to act.  Ask any teacher.  So perhaps these kids have to take it and take it and take it until one day they snap...