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View Full Version : UPDATED Connecticut elementary school shooting - 20+ dead (incl gunman)



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Rob
12-18-2012, 08:29 PM
There are a heck of a lot of people who as teens and young adults are not socially comfortable. More than a few of the descriptions of this guy from acquaintances sound like they could be describing me when I was that age. Its kind of chilling, really. Most weird non-communicative kids do not end up like this guy.

Right, there are a lot of things about this guy that people are pointing to:
Social disorder (whatever it was - different diagnoses mentioned)
Meets the "profile" of computer nerd kids who have been bullied
In and out of school suggests something was happening there
Divorce
Early entry to college can be very scary and stressful to some
Seems to be estranged from father and brother
Mother is reported (perhaps incorrectly since there have been so many errors) as being a "prepper" so there could be a culture of paranoia between the 2 of the them
Didn't seem to have friends
Very dependent on his mother
Reported to spend a lot of time on violent computer games
Conflicting reports on medications
Disruption to routine --Mother is reported to have recently found a "school" for him in Washington State and was going to move him there
(makes me wonder how much of this is made up after the fact)

There are tons of people with some combination of those characteristics and not many turn out like this guy, especially not just going primarily after very small children. This guy, the Amish school shooter, the McDonalds shooter in CA said he hated children, and a couple of others who shot at random elementary schools in the US, UK, Germany are all I can think of.

But I did read that there have been 16 mass shootings in the US this year. That is a lot.

I saw a psychiatrist on TV who studies this phenomenon, and he said that the person is so wrapped in their pain and psychosis that they truly believe they will rid themselves of the pain if they commit the act. Then, when they do it, they have a lucid moment where they realize what they have done -- that moment is what causes so many of them to kill themselves. He thinks that many go in thinking they will cure themselves and come out alive. Not all of them plan to commit suicide.

The Amish school shooter left notes that he wanted to molest small girls so the theory is that if he killed them and himself, he wouldn't molest them and the pain would stop. There were allegations like this against the Dunblane shooter too -- that he had sick intentions against small boys. Awful.

If you go back further than 30 years, I think you find a total of 3 mass shooters who were women. One was an adult postal worker, the other 2 were teenagers firing at their exboyfriends or former teachers and hitting others as well.

skatingfan5
12-18-2012, 08:48 PM
Right, there are a lot of things about this guy that people are pointing to:
Early entry to college can be very scary and stressful to someI had not heard any reports that he was enrolled in college, but as you said, there have been a lot of conflicting reports floating around. I had heard on some news report that he had completed his GED (after leaving public school to be home-schooled).


Mother is reported (perhaps incorrectly since there have been so many errors) as being a "prepper" so there could be a culture of paranoia between the 2 of the themI saw a TV news clip of an interview with a former sister-in-law (who lives in the Chicago suburbs) who said that the mother was concerned about upcoming unrest and economic/social upheavals and that she had the guns in preparation for this happening. Not sure how much of this is/was true, though.

What seemed rather disconcerting to me was that his mother had reportedly taught Adam to shoot a rifle when he was 9 years old. Unless his social/emotion/behavioral problems developed when he was a bit older, it seems like a very questionable course of action. However, if she really was a true gun lover, I suppose she thought of it as a way to bond with her son. :(

BlueRidge
12-18-2012, 08:59 PM
Oh that's what a "prepper" is? Never heard that term.

Jenny
12-18-2012, 09:19 PM
What seemed rather disconcerting to me was that his mother had reportedly taught Adam to shoot a rifle when he was 9 years old. Unless his social/emotion/behavioral problems developed when he was a bit older, it seems like a very questionable course of action. However, if she really was a true gun lover, I suppose she thought of it as a way to bond with her son. :(

I'm not saying I approve of this, but I think it's more common than one might think. People who hunt will sometimes take their kids along on trips at a young age, in the same way they might teach them to fish, build fires, use power tools, even drive before they can actually get a license. It doesn't seem too much of as stretch that someone who enjoys target practice would share that with their children as well. They might also, knowing full well that guns are also dangerous weapons that can do great harm, believe it's a good idea to get their children used to them early - rather than risk them finding the guns, playing with them incorrectly and accidentally shooting themselves or others (as we've seen in news reports in the past).

In this case, hindsight being everything it was a mistake to expose this child to guns, whether or not he would have gravitated toward them anyway. We now know something was seriously wrong with this kid, but maybe at some point his mother thought that sharing this hobby she apparently enjoyed might give her introverted child some confidence (for all we know, it helped her in some way), and perhaps she even had the idea that since he was vulnerable, it might be a good idea if he could defend himself. Lots of parents send their kids to karate classes and self defense classes.

Again, I don't approve of this - just suggesting a possible thought process on the part of the mother.

susan6
12-18-2012, 09:34 PM
We don't know yet, but I think most people are not assuming that Lanza was simply an introverted person. I think most people expect he suffered from a mental disorder of some kind, probably severely.

Females suffering from such disorders don't seem to commit massacres. I don't know if anyone knows why.

Females tend to focus their anguish inward, on themselves, resulting in things like anorexia, bulimia, drug addiction, cutting, and suicide. Males suffering from similar disorders will do similar things, but they also might have a higher tendency to act outward (assaults, murder) compared to females.

cruisin
12-18-2012, 10:07 PM
What seemed rather disconcerting to me was that his mother had reportedly taught Adam to shoot a rifle when he was 9 years old. Unless his social/emotion/behavioral problems developed when he was a bit older, it seems like a very questionable course of action. However, if she really was a true gun lover, I suppose she thought of it as a way to bond with her son. :(

There are some disorders which do not present until the child/person goes through puberty or reaches the age of 18 - 25.

manleywoman
12-18-2012, 11:55 PM
What seemed rather disconcerting to me was that his mother had reportedly taught Adam to shoot a rifle when he was 9 years old. Unless his social/emotion/behavioral problems developed when he was a bit older, it seems like a very questionable course of action. However, if she really was a true gun lover, I suppose she thought of it as a way to bond with her son. :(

I sat next to a kid's Zuca bag at the rink this weekend when I went to skate. It had two NRA stickers on it: one for the national organization, and one for the local state chapter. That kid was an 8 to 9 year old boy.

Having said that, my cousins in Texas . . . three males . . . all learned how to shoot and hunt as kids. They went hunting over Thanksgiving together (they are now in their 40s).

BlueRidge
12-19-2012, 12:09 AM
Hunting is not the problem here. As Sen Manchin said hunters don't need the kind of assault weapons that have been used in this and other mass shootings. Lots of people in rural areas teach their kids to shoot and take them hunting.

Prancer
12-19-2012, 01:36 AM
I saw a psychiatrist on TV who studies this phenomenon, and he said that the person is so wrapped in their pain and psychosis that they truly believe they will rid themselves of the pain if they commit the act. Then, when they do it, they have a lucid moment where they realize what they have done -- that moment is what causes so many of them to kill themselves. He thinks that many go in thinking they will cure themselves and come out alive. Not all of them plan to commit suicide.

Everything I have read has said that mass shooters are actually difficult to classify, other than they are typically white males and seem to fit into three general categories: revenge killings (killing people they know and possibly others who happen to be around); representative killings (murdering representatives of a type of people who have supposedly injured the killer) and complete strangers (because the whole world is against the killer, so it doesn't matter who dies). And most of them suffer from some form of paranoia.

But there are enough exceptions that even those classifications aren't particularly effective.


I had not heard any reports that he was enrolled in college, but as you said, there have been a lot of conflicting reports floating around. I had heard on some news report that he had completed his GED (after leaving public school to be home-schooled).

I believe that Western Connecticutt State University has confirmed (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/adam-lanza-college-courses_n_2315431.html)that he took classes there when he was 16.

As near as I can tell, he was not homeschooled. But it's hard to tell from all the conflicting stories.


Females tend to focus their anguish inward, on themselves, resulting in things like anorexia, bulimia, drug addiction, cutting, and suicide. Males suffering from similar disorders will do similar things, but they also might have a higher tendency to act outward (assaults, murder) compared to females.

Men and women also tend to suffer from different types of disorders; men are three times more likely than women to suffer from antisocial personality disorder, for example.

judiz
12-19-2012, 01:37 AM
The shooter definitely had some symptoms seen with Asperger's but there was something else going on that made him snap, Asperger kids will direct any intent to hurt towards themselves out of frustration, not out of hatred. I find it interesting he chose to kill his mother first after by all accounts she devoted her life to being with him.

BlueRidge
12-19-2012, 01:56 AM
I've read that he had been said to have Asperger's but how do you tell that the symptoms described in the media are Asperger's? They seem like they could be a lot of different things and we don't know enough beyond pretty vague descriptions it seems to me.

Buzz
12-19-2012, 02:00 AM
In an interview the Lanza family's former babysitter said he was told to never turn his back on Adam and to never leave him alone, not even to go to the bathroom. This makes me wonder why his mother would say that, and why she choose to put guns in his hands as a lesson in responsibility. As someone said elsewhere, wouldn't a puppy have been better?

http://www.businessinsider.com/adam-lanzas-former-babysitter-speaks-2012-12

Prancer
12-19-2012, 02:05 AM
I've read that he had been said to have Asperger's but how do you tell that the symptoms described in the media are Asperger's? They seem like they could be a lot of different things and we don't know enough beyond pretty vague descriptions it seems to me.

I thought it was more interesting--and possibly significant, if true--that he had a condition that didn't allow him to feel pain.

But I keep remembering how many, many incorrect things and specious speculation were published and broadcast after Columbine, and how many of those myths persist to this day (I've even read some in this thread) and I try to remember that it will probably be years before anyone has a good, solid theory about what really went on here.

rfisher
12-19-2012, 02:11 AM
Especially, since everybody wants that bit of fame and maybe, just maybe, be on TV so the cousin of the next door neighbor's best friend's uncle has some tidbit of information to offer the press.

4rkidz
12-19-2012, 02:14 AM
I cannot imagine anything that would comfort me more than having a dog to hug at a time of coping with something horrific.

And no, stuffed animals are not the same!

I have great admiration for the people that train dogs to do this and offer them in time of need.

This is the first time I was even aware of this service for dealing with grief and trauma.. I am aware of pet therapy in general but really had no idea of this particular skill.. what a perfect choice for children especially in putting a smile on their face :)