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Customer Discussions > Politics forum

Adam Lanza's Motive

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Showing 1-25 of 245 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 23, 2012 7:36:20 PM PST
neonpisces says:
With all the discussion about 2nd Amendment rights, this question seems to have gone by the wayside. Odd, because it's the most profound question that arises from the massacre.

Why did Adam Lanza premeditate and then carry out his murders with the level of cruelty that he did?

Theories range from rage against his mother to the effect of psychiatric medication. The fact that he was not functioning as a normal adult is obvious and is indicated by the nature of his crime. It reeks of psychosis.

However there is a huge number of dysfunctional, if not psychotic, young men, living with their parents in this country, undergoing some form of pharmacological intervention, with access to firearms. If these were the only reasons we'd see a massacre every week.

What made Lanza different?

Rather then enveloping this horror in, frankly speaking, paranoia about the loss of rights, shouldn't we try to figure this thing out?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 7:38:57 PM PST
nameinuse says:
He destroyed the computer hard drives at his mother's house before he set out. This says to me he was probably communicating with someone online about his plans.

I can't think of any other reason for doing that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 7:43:41 PM PST
Well, the fact he had mental issues, was severely withdrawn, had a survivalist gun nut mother who took him shooting and played games like 'Call of Duty' constantly might have been an influence.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 7:44:36 PM PST
nameinuse says:
Probably. But that's no reason to destroy the hard drives.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 7:46:33 PM PST
Oh I'm sorry niu, I inadvertently replied to your post when I meant to reply to OP. Yeah, the hard drive thing is a mystery.

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 7:49:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2012 6:37:47 AM PST
Sometimes all we can do is bow our heads before the Mystery.

Both people -- and possibly, with the school psycholgist, three -- who could possibly give us any insight are forever beyond our reach.

There will be speculation -- some from me -- but no trial, possibly not even enough for an inquest worthy of the name.

Whatever Nacy Lanza's sins, she has paid for them now. We cannot, in the savage old phrase, dig her up, slap her, shoot her, and bury her again.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 8:01:17 PM PST
neonpisces says:
Yeah...that's another question. I can see a parent teaching their kids how to deal with guns, particularly if hunting and gun sports are a part of their lives and they want to pass it along.

I can see collectors who have a passion for guns wanting to share that with their kids.

But training with assault weapons has only one purpose. What sort of family decides that a fun-filled Saturday afternoon would be to teach the kids how to decimate human beings? Lanza did not just know how to fire his rifle, he knew how to juice it up to make it more deadly; he bought ammunition that would cause the most damage.

"The rifle was rigged so that he could shoot faster and the type of ammunition used was a type designed to expand its energy from within the victim's body to inflict as much damage as possible." - ( This takes knowledge and training.

You don't get this from "Call of Duty". However you might pick it up when Mom takes you to the range.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 8:06:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 8:10:13 PM PST
nameinuse says:
No prob, venus.

His computer is undergoing digital forensics and it's the main focus of the investigation right now. You can't reasonably explain something so insane, but maybe they'll be able to identify what the catalyst was, get some insight as to why he chose the school and determine whether someone else was complicit in the killings.

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 9:37:44 PM PST
It's going to take SMARTER Minds then ours to figure out why...if ever!

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 9:48:13 PM PST
Tomcat™ says:
Yes! If you can't think of another reason or "motive" for something, the reason you did think of MUST be the answer!!

God Bless Internet Morons.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 9:49:44 PM PST
OldAmazonian says:
In fact, almost any repeating gun could have killed as many or more. The problem isn't the availability of hardware. The problem is keeping people from going crazy, or at least keeping crazies from wanting to kill. Solving that one in our crazy-making environment will be a lot more work than banning arbitrary classes of weapons could possibly be.

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 9:49:54 PM PST
He probably tried to destroy the hard drives just to preserve his privacy, knowing that everyone would be picking through them after his suicide mission.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 9:54:42 PM PST

I heard on the internet that Adam Lanza had found out his mother was going to have him committed. He also was reportedly jealous of the SHES schoolchildren, feeling his mother loved them more than she loved him.

IDK how valid these suggestions are.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 9:57:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 10:01:58 PM PST
nameinuse says:
I think it's still more likely he was preserving someone else's privacy.

A person who kills 26 people in an elementary school is a person who wants notoriety, not privacy. Hard to imagine he was overly concerned about preserving his image. KWIM?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 10:35:31 PM PST
I don't know about ordinary people, but people with Asperger's don't like people looking into their private business. Even if he wanted notoriety, he wouldn't want his privacy invaded.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 10:39:34 PM PST
nameinuse says:
I know people with Asperger's are at higher risk of developing schizophrenia. In fact, many psychiatrists want to reclassify it from a pervasive developmental disorder to a personality disorder type A schizoid, schizotypal, paranoid. They think it has a genetic link to autism but has more in common with schizophrenia, particularly the paranoid type.

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 10:53:43 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 23, 2012 10:53:56 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 11:02:11 PM PST
Well, that comes as news to me, since my brother and I inherited it from our father, and my brother's son and my daughter inherited it from us, respectively. I have never heard anyone attempt to reclassify it from a genetically-linked autism-spectrum disorder.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 11:10:10 PM PST
nameinuse says:
The APA has announced they may reclassify it in 2013. We won't know what they've concluded until the report comes out.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 11:10:24 PM PST
I hadn't heard that either and I hope not, considering one of my nephews was diagnosed with it.

Posted on Dec 24, 2012 12:01:25 AM PST
Ehkzu says:
How's this for a scenario:

1. He was smart.
2. Whatever you call his genetic disorder--and it was obviously genetic--it is highly likely that he couldn't feel empathy for others. Only for himself.
3. People with autism spectrum disorders tend to crave routine. They don't want anything to change, typically. Eat the same thing the same minute of the same hour the same day.
4. Being smart--and/or because his mother told him, trying to make it sound good to him--he figured she was going to have him committed.

Now to a normal person or even someone with autism spectrum disorder but extremely high functioning like ( Temple Grandin, being committed would be hard enough. But it's hard for us to fathom what that would mean to someone as far out on the spectrum as the Sandy Hook shooter was. Maybe the way one of us would feel about being sentenced to life in solitary in a SuperMax prison and fed a diet exclusively of food we hate. Many people would rather die than endure that. Seems like he felt like this about being committed.

5. Kids don't understand what autistic people want or need or how they think/feel, and thus frequently cause autistics great distress without realizing it; and if not counseled and supervised carefully, normal kids will tend to bully/harass what they see as weirdos.

And think about it--we all, even the saintliest of us, keep a list in our heads of every single person/even where we felt deeply wronged/humiliated. Now imagine how long that list would be for someone like the SHES (Sandy Hook Elementary Shooter--I prefer not to refer to mass murderers by name). At age 20 he'd probably accumulated several lifetime's worth of grievances.

6. Normal people have ways of relieving stress and getting over hurts. We regroup and move on. But people vary greatly this way. I recall Michelle Williams (Dawson's Creek actress) who was Keith Ledger's lover and pregnant with his fetus when Ledger killed himself. An interviewer recently asked her how she got past being hounded by the paparazzi while pregnant and grieving. She said "I haven't." I doubt the SHES had any such mechanism. The perceived and real wounds just accumulated.

7. This is more speculative, but with what he had to see as his mother's betrayal, he hated everyone and wanted revenge. Being both crazy and smart, he must have realized that killing all the children in an elementary school would leverage his revenge enormously, as well as acting against the kind of place where he must have gotten bullied/inadvertently "stepped on" constantly. By killing a family's children, he could destroy the happiness--sometimes for life--of that child's parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, plus everyone else who knew the children. Far more leveraged than, say, murdering prostitutes without caring families, like the Green River mass murderer did.

Plus they couldn't fight back. So in that sense he was like the "big game hunters" who go to those wild animal farms in Texas so they can shoot dangerous-looking farm-raised animals who hardly understand what's happening. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

As for destroying his hard drive, I doubt he wanted to protect anyone but himself. It would be consistent with how he probably reacted to his mother trying to get him psychiatric help. Maximum impact from remaining an enigma.

It's hard--and painful--to try to peer under the hood of a murderous psycho. But he wasn't a different species. We all have little bits of what he was made of. Don't think we don't. We just know how to control it.

The biggest difference between humans and our domesticated animals on the one hand and our ape cousins and other wild animals on the other hand is our relatively mild tempers. Humans tend not to fly into murderous rages. Study a chimpanzee troupe and you'll see the difference--less that they're dumber than us than that we're milder than them.

We can shrug away a lot. The SHES didn't know how to shrug.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 12:12:27 AM PST
I don't know how they can question a genetic link, considering not just the fact that one is supposed to have been established, already; but, the fact that it seems to be the single most dominant genetic trait going back at least to my paternal grandmother. And, while some doctors considered the possibility that my brother could be schizophrenic, he was seen by numerous psychiatrists and hospitalized twice, and the ultimate decision appeared to be inconclusive as to what was causing his behavior. But, he has always been quite dangerous, and he controls his family through terror. He once chased his wife all over our mother's lawn trying to run her down in their minivan because he was so furious that she spoke to our father, "behind his back," an example of the mania that someone with Asperger's can have with privacy. He checks their cell bill to ensure that his wife doesn't receive any calls from my number, so she's afraid to answer the phone if I try to call about my daughter's cousins. I've cut off contact with him to protect myself. The local police consider it a good idea that the two of us not get into contact with each other, as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 12:19:58 AM PST
Axiomatic!!! says:
I see a lot of speculation.

There are some checklists for traits of a psychopath if you want to see a general picture of what Lanza was probably like. Anti-social behavior is the most common trait. What pushed him over the edge we may never know.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 12:25:44 AM PST
Ehkzu says:
cobaltspectre, I genuinely sympathize with your situation. Believe me, I don't think guns are the only problem. Some people are dangerous. You obviously know it and most ordinary people know it.

I think it was insane for us to close the insane asylums and toss all the nuts out onto the street. There's no one as dangerous as your brother in my family, but insanity does run in my maternal line, and I've seen the damage such people can to do those around them.

I hope everyone in these forums who wants more gun regulation also agree that we have to return to locking up crazy people and not just let them stand on the street corners howling at the moon and aggressively panhandling old women, or, as in this case, terrorizing a whole family while the police stand by helpless because our laws make it nearly impossible to institutionalize a crazy person until they kill.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 12:29:38 AM PST
My brother is actually an electronic engineer. Just don't get him really mad.
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Discussion in:  Politics forum
Participants:  33
Total posts:  245
Initial post:  Dec 23, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 31, 2012

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