Sandy Hook Final Report Finds No Link With Games

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Sandy Hook Final Report Finds No Link With Games

Connecticut

The final report of the investigation into the Sandy Hook School shootings says the killer had "significant mental health issues" but makes no mention of videogames as a factor.

The final report into the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass murder was filed today by State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III. While not intended to "convey every piece of information contained in the voluminous investigation materials," it nonetheless provides a detailed look at the facts of the case, including the background and mental state of the shooter, Adam Lanza.

Lanza was, unsurprisingly, a fan of violent videogames, and police found numerous games in his home including Left 4 Dead, Metal Gear Solid, Half-Life, Battlefield, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Doom, but his real gaming passion appears to have been Dance Dance Revolution, which he played on a very regular basis for hours at a time in the lobby of a local movie theater. The report also notes that at one point, his favorite game was Super Mario Brothers.

He also suffered from a number of psychological issues, diagnosed from the late 90s into the 2000s, including "speech and language needs," as well as seizures; in 2005 he was diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder and "was described as presenting with significant social impairments and extreme anxiety... he lacked empathy and had very rigid thought processes."

His high school writing assignments "obsessed about battles, destruction and war, far more than others his age. The level of violence in the writing was disturbing," the report states. "At the same time, when asked to write a poem, he was able to write a beautiful one and presented it in public." He also suffered from "episodes" which required his mother to come to the school, although "there were no signs of violence during any of these episodes and the shooter was more likely to be victimized than to act in violence against another."

Police and politicians were quick to place blame for the massacre on videogames but the conclusion of the report makes no mention of them, or anything else, as a causative factor, and acknowledges that it was unable to establish a motive for the rampage. "What we do know is that the shooter had significant mental health issues that, while not affecting the criminality of the shooter's mental state for the crimes or his criminal responsibility for them, did affect his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others, even those to whom he should have been close. Whether this contributed in any way is unknown. The shooter did not recognize or help himself deal with those issues. He had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders, in particular the Columbine shootings."

The final report into the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is available here.

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So you're saying, video games don't cause violence any more then movies, books and TV does?

image

Well, see you guys next mass shooting when this happens all over again.

I will bet that anti-videogame crusaders will keep using Sandy Hook as an example regardless.

Captcha: learn from mistakes. Unfortunately they won't captcha :(

Next thing you'll know, Fox news will say that DDR is the most violent videogame game in the history.

"He also suffered from a number of psychological issues, diagnosed from the late 90s and in the 2000s..."
"He had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders..."

Oops. Well, they managed to waste what should be a criminal amount of time and money trying and failing to scapegoat the closest thing that wasn't guns, but on the other hand...actually, that's about it. I guess this is where outrage will get you. Not very far.

Pirate Of PC Master race:
Next thing you'll know, Fox news will say that DDR is the most violent videogame game in the history.

Don't give Fox News anymore strange ideas cause they will try to use it as "fact" LOL. Like a father who blamed Minecraft for his son carrying a gun to school? Yes MINECRAFT. What next Farmville promotes unsafe sex and teen pregnancy?

Vindication!

Now with some luck something else will be taking the flak for inspiring violence in people. I vote for the Bible, lots and lots of violence in that.

Paradox SuXcess:
What next Farmville promotes unsafe sex and teen pregnancy?

You do spend a lot of time laying down seeds. *badum tss*

At any rate, while it's not really news to any sane or halfway informed individuals, it's still nice to have this stated in an official way. Maybe someday people will learn and start looking at mental illness/irresponsible access to weapons as potential causes first, instead of going after [media that they personally do not enjoy, but is still consumed by millions of well-adjusted adults].

For a report that ultimately claims to not know the motivation for Lanza's murder spree, it's interesting how they list seemingly unimportant details in a generic manner ("Comedy videos", "Music"), and yet go into detail for certain things, namely:

The model/manufacturer of the specific weapons he had/used
Specific titles of each video game he owned, specific game save files, and a DDR machine

This story just in from the no news to anybody department.

Still violent material including video games can be a fixation for people like Lanza with mental issues. This doesn't mean that they are a cause or motivator but they can serve as a warning sign something isn't right inside a persons head. I sincerely hope people will not use this and other zebra hunts to ignore signs of aberrant social behavior until it's too late.

So, a guy who murders a bunch of kids had serious mental issues. Oh, my, who could have possibly guessed that such a thing might be? I mean, people who go on shooting rampages are normally such healthy, well-adjusted individuals, which explains how a lack of adequate mental health care in this country has been an unaddressed issue for so long.

For anybody who can't be bothered to download the report, here's an excerpt from the conclusion:

Many people have asked why the shooter did what he did on December 14, 2012. Or, in the vernacular of the criminal justice system, "Did he have a motive to do what he did?" This investigation, with the substantial information available, does not establish a conclusive motive.

What we do know is that the shooter had significant mental health issues that, while not affecting the criminality of the shooter's mental state for the crimes or his criminal responsibility for them, did affect his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others, even those to whom he should have been close. Whether this contributed in any way is unknown. The shooter did not recognize or help himself deal with those issues. He had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders, in particular the Columbine shootings[...]

So it's, "We don't know what drove him to do it," followed by, "Oh, he had access to guns and training, had mental 'issues' and was fascinated by Columbine."

I guess we'll never know.

I'm going to be really heartless and say that more of these "accidents" are going to happen before society is willing to grow up and give blame where due. A classic case of ignoring a problem until it's to big to ignore.

Not that people are ever going to stop killing one another. Unless you find a way to destroy free will.

Andy Chalk:
Super Mario Brothers.

Good Sir, I do believe a Found that link between violents and videogames. Allow me to present exibits A and B...

I thus put forth a motion to ban all games that feature this...this... Monster...

For the good of the children...

What can be said? We live in a sensationalist media-crazed world that loves to omit and ignore the weight of evidence. It goes that you can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink. So is the way with conclusive study of causative factors. The anti-gaming community will be back to their antics immediately, assuming they momentarily paused in the first place.

So the long and short is that there were red flags and warning signs everywhere that this kind might pop, and yet they were all ignored. Violence in his writing, multiple mental health issues, obsessions with weapons, battles, and violence, and a fascination with frickin' Columbine. Granted, it's sad that his mother was the first victim of his killing spree...but you're really have to hope she'd keep the weapons securely locked away so that her disturbed son in particular wouldn't have access to them.

RJ Dalton:
So, a guy who murders a bunch of kids had serious mental issues. Oh, my, who could have possibly guessed that such a thing might be? I mean, people who go on shooting rampages are normally such healthy, well-adjusted individuals, which explains how a lack of adequate mental health care in this country has been an unaddressed issue for so long.

The did say that they didn't know if his mental issues had anything to do with it.

Doing something terribly wrong isn't proof a person has mental illness.

"He had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition..."

I kind of assume this when I hear about anyone shooting people.

FizzyIzze:
For anybody who can't be bothered to download the report, here's an excerpt from the conclusion:

Many people have asked why the shooter did what he did on December 14, 2012. Or, in the vernacular of the criminal justice system, "Did he have a motive to do what he did?" This investigation, with the substantial information available, does not establish a conclusive motive.

What we do know is that the shooter had significant mental health issues that, while not affecting the criminality of the shooter's mental state for the crimes or his criminal responsibility for them, did affect his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others, even those to whom he should have been close. Whether this contributed in any way is unknown. The shooter did not recognize or help himself deal with those issues. He had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders, in particular the Columbine shootings[...]

So it's, "We don't know what drove him to do it," followed by, "Oh, he had access to guns and training, had mental 'issues' and was fascinated by Columbine."

I guess we'll never know.

I can understand that they would hesitate to just say he was insane and that's all we need to know. We can't provide empirical evidence as to what exactly motivated him, but we can certainly see the effects of mental health on the decision making process and what it can drive someone to do. Reports like this have to be conclusive. For people like us who are allowed to reach a conclusion based on common sense, it seems silly to not just say too many guns plus untreated mental illness equals mass shootings. I wish legislators would take reports like this, beat each other over the head, and agree to pass some meaningful gun control laws and increase funding for diagnosing, treating, and assisting people with mental health issues.

To me it's completely insane that we're ignoring the people most likely to go out and kill us and that everyone in the US isn't demanding we figure out how to help these people before they act.

What, games don't come into it at all? I'm shocked. In fact, they should do another report, just to be sure. Familiarity with and access to firearms, an obsession with mass murders and significant mental health issues can't have been the ONLY contributing factors!

Oh of course, his most favourite game was dance dance revolution. Well, it's not a violent game, therefore video games have nothing to do with it.

Not that I'm claiming that video games were related to the shootings, but I find it funny that the same people who claim that violent games will turn you into the spawn of the devil would probably scoff at the idea that any other genre would have any affect on you. Why isn't anyone talking about how his parents should have supported his dream to be a pop star?

Yeah, a bit off-topic, and maybe almost insensitive, but I think my point stands.

You mean games have absolutely nothing to do with murders?

What a revelation!

Seriously though, good to see this but it will inevitably fall on deaf ears...

CriticalMiss:
I will bet that anti-videogame crusaders will keep using Sandy Hook as an example regardless.

Captcha: learn from mistakes. Unfortunately they won't captcha :(

Well, it's not like their claims were ever rooted in reality to start with.

AdagioBoognish:
For people like us who are allowed to reach a conclusion based on common sense, it seems silly to not just say too many guns plus untreated mental illness equals mass shootings.

So if there are "too many" guns now what is the "appropriate" number of guns?

I wish legislators would take reports like this, beat each other over the head, and agree to pass some meaningful gun control laws and increase funding for diagnosing, treating, and assisting people with mental health issues.

Not trying to speak ill of the dead, but if his mother had securely stowed her firearms in a gun safe her mentally handicapped and violence obsessed son would not have gotten to them. Why is personal responsibility being overlooked in favor of "ban te gunzzz"? There is already a mandatory federal background check, fully automatic firearms are illegal unless you have a class 3 license, and the law is very clear about where law abiding citizens can carry firearms. What "meaningful" gun control laws would you have them pass?

To me it's completely insane that we're ignoring the people most likely to go out and kill us and that everyone in the US isn't demanding we figure out how to help these people before they act.

Well, if you are talking about a government run mental health program it will probably never happen outside of the VA. There were government run facilities in the late '60s and a few made it to the '90s, but most were shut down out of public outcry at the state of the facilities and the programs themselves. Why should the government even be responsible for their treatment? Is it not a personal condition that a personal physician should monitor?

Now to say that everyone is ignoring the threat is simply hyperbole. There are groups working on the mental health side of things (diagnosis, treatment, and further study) and there are those who work to help educate people of the warning signs of potentially life threating violent behavior.

So now let me ask you a question after I give you some background. I carry a canceled .45 caliber handgun. I follow all laws such as; I am over 21, I passed my ATF background check, I know where I can and can not take my firearm, I can't be impaired at all while carrying (legal/ illegal drugs, alcohol, ect), I can't carry on school grounds, I must declare I am carrying to any law enforcement that approaches me (even if they are just coming over to say hi and interact with people), I know when I can and can not draw/fire my firearm, ect, ect, ect. I have to drive someone I know to their high school because they broke their leg and can't safely get on the bus and I have to leave my firearm at home because I'm a law abiding citizen. So now the question. Is the gun control law forbidding me from carrying my handgun on school grounds doing any good if a shooter who has ignored the law was to start their shooting rampage in front of me? If I was carrying I could end the threat right then and there, but because I'm following the law there is nothing I can do and many more innocent people are going to die because of it. Gun control FTW, right?

The moral is that at this point you can't get rid of guns. If a law was somehow passed to confiscate every gun in the US and for the sake of this example people were ok with it, you know what would happen? The law abiding citizens would turn in all of their guns and the criminals would continue, surprisingly enough, to be criminals ignoring the law.

Are they really saying that insane and unstable people, might be insane and unstable? And that they can do horrible acts without any hesitation?

I am sure FOX will soon report that there must have been mistake in the report. Or if they report this at all.

I say it here first! Dancing games make you insane, well... You have to be insane to play them to begin with.

Well, that's good news. I was almost going to ignore this thread, but I'm glad I gave it a read.

Honestly, if Videogames caused people to be violent, then we'd have reached an armageddon by now. We're well into a point where 1-2 generations are raised with videogames, and since one pixel collided with another, there's been videogame violence. That means a lot of people that should've developed into monsters, yet they haven't.

If there's a problem with someone that they start shooting, odds are they've for problems instead of just one. Those problems stack up. Can games contribute? Maybe! But are they the source? The root? prolly not.

If there comes a day when videogames cease being a scapegoat as TV, books, Comicbooks, masturbation, and such largely have, what's next, though? What's next to be blamed? Youtube/facebook where one can post their violent outbursts?

oh my god, we have to ban ddr, somebody get the president on the line

i highly doubt that this will get any real publicity since the media circus has sucked the issue dry, and will not let the past get in the way of their ratings

I've always said that those Dance Dance Seizure simulators lead people down a dark and twisted path...

AdagioBoognish:
I wish legislators would take reports like this, beat each other over the head, and agree to pass some meaningful gun control laws and increase funding for diagnosing, treating, and assisting people with mental health issues.

A lot of states have. As for the ones that don't, well....It will probably take a tragedy in each and every state for any real change to happen, because that's the kind of society we are.

Pirate Of PC Master race:
Next thing you'll know, Fox news will say that DDR is the most violent videogame game in the history.

Or every other news source, most of which were just as vocal if not more so.

I can't believe people are stupid enough to believe there was supposed to be a link between the two. Sure we all get mad at video games or people online but it's hardly enough to make a person go on a killing spree...

As a 23 year old who lives in Connecticut, plays violent video games, has been diagnosed with Aspergers, and works with children regularly, I'm glad that this is out of the way. There were way too many things I shared in common with this guy for me to feel like I wouldn't be judged based on his actions at some point.

I think instead of Connecticut taxing games and assuming video games cause a problem, maybe they should, oh I DON'T KNOW...RESTRICT GUN LAWS!? I swear, how many more tragedies are we going to go through before politicians and the press realize that giving crazy people guns is the real problem, as opposed to a new form of media. It's funny, I've never seen people use cop dramas as a scapegoat for violence.

I seriously wish research could be done into this so they could rule out video games as a factor. This whole thing is just stupid as dicks.

Rebel_Raven:

If there's a problem with someone that they start shooting, odds are they've for problems instead of just one. Those problems stack up. Can games contribute? Maybe! But are they the source? The root? prolly not.

Homer: Do you want the job done right or do you want it done fast?
Marge: Well, like all Americans... fast!

I think the first thing we have to confront when dealing with the overarching issue is the cultural tendency to look for a single source, a single issue, a single reason. Particularly an easy one. Scapegoating is literally the easy way out: it gives us something to rail against and makes us feel better, and then we can go on with our lives. Because really, isn't hat the end goal?

Games have become an expedient way to do this. And that's the biggest problem of all. Because, as you say, video games may be a cause, but they are not the cause. And even as I write the word "cause," I sort of regret it. I suppose what I mean is a factor. And when they say cause, they mean a primary source. I don't think we'll ever prove that's the case. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think violent people are drawn to violent media. This has actually been suggested by the studies that people use to "prove" games lead to violence.

LegendaryVKickr:

I think instead of Connecticut taxing games and assuming video games cause a problem, maybe they should, oh I DON'T KNOW...RESTRICT GUN LAWS!? I swear, how many more tragedies are we going to go through before politicians and the press realize that giving crazy people guns is the real problem, as opposed to a new form of media. It's funny, I've never seen people use cop dramas as a scapegoat for violence.

I understand why most of the Escapist doesn't know that CT has passed gun laws, but....How do you not know this? You're from CT?

Pirate Of PC Master race:
Next thing you'll know, Fox news will say that DDR is the most violent videogame game in the history.

Nieroshai:
Or every other news source, most of which were just as vocal if not more so.

Yeah, I mean, I don't get why Fox is singled out here. Video games have been to blame for things like this since before Fox News was even a network.

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