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Now, About those School Yard Shootings . . .

Patrick Edward Purdy: Perpetrator of the Stockton Schoolyard Massacre

COMMENT: So, another lone nut has gone off and slaughtered a bunch of people in cold blood. With regard to the Connecticut massacre of 12/14/2012, we are not in a position to say if there is anything more to the story than we have been told.

(There were initial reports of a second shooter. The shooter’s mother–owner of the firearms and one of the victims–was a “prepper”–the current term for “survivalist,” a paramilitary right-winger. That does NOT mean that there necessarily was more to this than we have been told. That is certainly a possibility that must be explored. In this context, one should note that none other than Mark Fuhrman was FOX News’ in-house expert called upon to debunk the report that there was more than one shooter. As we have seen, there is a significant body of evidence pointing to Mark Fuhrman’s probable guilt in the O.J. Simpson case. Head of a white-supremacist group within the LAPD, Fuhrman retired to Sandpoint Idaho, an epicenter of the neo-Nazi movement in this country.) 

What we can say is that the entire phenomenon has not been properly analyzed. 

(Before proceeding, we should observe that two concepts that have almost become obsolete and/or irrelevant here in “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” are mind-control and the agent-provacateur.

With our media establishment having giving itself over to the sensational and the ultra-violent, with so many young people playing violent point-and-shoot video games, with so many people on drugs and with so many examples to copy, it shouldn’t be too surprising that people are going off like this. Add in improperly-vetted psych drugs, behavior-altering street drugs [which are epidemic] bad food [including gmo’s] and various forms of electromagnetic radiation, there are a number of variables that might or can affect human behavior.)

We note in passing that there have been a number of changes in the “human psychological ecology” in recent years. For example, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of autism in this country. That has not been caused by assault weapons. The point in this context being that there have been environmental factors introduced into American society that are causing significant changes in human behavior. These must be factored in as we evaluate the school shootings.

We also note in passing that these incidents spawn “copy-cats” who emulate the behavior of the killers.

A very important and largely overlooked book On Killing by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman (a former paratrooper and Army Ranger who taught psychology at West Point) makes some important points:

  • Colonel Grossman expresses the view that the key variable in the rising epidemic of gun violence perpetrated by relatively young people is the point-and-shoot video games and high-body-count movies and TV programs.
  • Colonel Grossman sees those as closely replicating the behavior modification programs employed by the Army to get a higher percentage of soldiers to fire their weapons.
  • He notes that youth gangs have existed for decades and that they had access to drugs and alcohol and plenty of firepower–sawed off, pump-action shotguns are very deadly and have been around a long time. Virtually as effective at close range as an assault rifle.

We would note that the presence of firearms–including military-style assault rifles– is not the key variable in analyzing this country’s epidemic of gun violence. In both Israel and Switzerland, military reservists keep their selective-fire military weapons in their homes and those countries have a low level of gun violence. If the presence of assault rifles alone was the key variable, those countries would be experiencing the same type of epidemic and they are not.

In past discussion, we have noted an intelligence community connection to the gun control movement in the United States, as well as influence of the Third Reich’s gun control laws on our own. Interestingly and significantly, the paramilitary right-wing has mobilized around its opposition to gun control, which it views (not entirely incorrectly) as “government suppression.” It doesn’t occur to the denizens of the paramilitary right that they may well be pawns of that very government.

It is important to remember that the issue of gun control is yet another consideration further sowing division and dissension among Americans–something of great interest to the Underground Reich.

It is very important to note that some of the supposedly random shootings that have plagued America have been the work of Nazis and White Supremacists.

Almost a quarter of a century ago, we analyzed the Stockton school yard massacre perpetrated by Patrick Edward Purdy, who had literature from the Aryan Nations and the Moon organization in his possession when he perpetrated his act.  

You can listen to both halves of the show (Miscellaneous Archive Show M55: “Purdy’s Last Stand”) here: 

http://emory.kfjc.org/archive/misc/m_55a.mp3

http://emory.kfjc.org/archive/misc/m_55b.mp3

We’ve also analyzed the Littleton, Colorado massacre at Columbine high school . Perpetrated on Hitler’s Birthday (the neo-Nazis love anniversaries) there appears to have been much more to this than meets the eye.

An excerpt of the description for FTR #150  reads: Introduction: Teacher Al Wilder was dis­missed from Columbine in 1996 for show­ing his senior class on debate and logic excerpts of the Bernardo Bertolucci film 1900, an his­tor­i­cally and soci­o­log­i­cally pen­e­trat­ing look at the rise of fas­cism in Italy. Even­tu­ally rein­stated by the school board, Wilder was told that the film was “too con­tro­ver­sial” and con­tained vio­lent and sex­u­ally explicit con­tent. The con­tro­versy drew the atten­tion of major film direc­tors such as Mar­tin Scorcese and Milos For­man. Bertolucci him­self tes­ti­fied via tele­phone on behalf of Wilder. Not­ing that a deci­sion to sus­tain Wilder’s sus­pen­sion would pro­pel the U.S. down the road to “amne­sia,” Bertolucci voiced dis­may at the depar­ture from tra­di­tional Amer­i­can val­ues con­sti­tuted by Wilder’s dismissal.

The pro­gram presents the pos­si­bil­ity that Nazi ele­ments (inside and/or out­side of gov­ern­ment) may have tar­geted Columbine High because of the con­tro­versy over 1900 (the film is anti-fascist). Attempts by the right to cen­sor the cur­ric­ula of schools have been increas­ing in recent years. The shoot­ing focused national debate on the issues of cen­sor­ship of the media and video games (blamed for the mas­sacre by some observers), as well as gun control.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: indi­ca­tions that the two gun­men may have had help; the curi­ous behav­ior of the police in the case; com­par­isons to Patrick Edward Purdy (see Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M55), another “school shooter” with Nazi incli­na­tions; the film Har­ris and Kle­bold made for a class, directly fore­shad­ow­ing their killing spree (they were not able to show the film because of its vio­lent con­tent) . . .”

On the same day as the Newtown shootings, another, similar incident appears to have been executed by a member of a white supremacist biker gang–The Invaders.

“Indiana man Who Threatened to Kill Students Had 47 Guns, Police Say” by Wesley Lowery; Los Angeles Times; 12/16/2012. 

EXCERPT: Police in Indiana said they found a stockpile of 47 guns hidden throughout the home of a man who had threatened to set fire to his wife and then walk to a nearby elementary school and “kill as many people as he could.”

Von I. Meyer, 60, was arrested at his Cedar Lake home Saturday afternoon on suspicion of felony intimidation, resisting arrest and domestic battery.

Police in Cedar Lake, less than 100 miles from Chicago, said they were called to the man’s home early Friday after he threatened to kill his wife and open fire at Jane Ball Elementary School, located less than 1,000 feet from his home and connected by a series of trails through a wooden area.

The threat came the same day 26 people, including 20 students, were shot and killed by a gunman at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Police identified Meyer as a member of a local motorcycle gang, the Invaders, and said his arsenal was hidden throughout his two-story home. . . .

“The Blotter: August 2008” Southern Poverty Law Center; Intelligence Report; Fall 2008 [Issue Number  131].

EXCERPT: . . . . More than 30 members and associates of the Invaders Motorcycle Club, a white supremacist gang founded in 1965 in Gary, Ind., were arrested on drug trafficking charges during raids throughout Northwest Indiana, Missouri and Colorado. DEA agents seized chemicals used to make methamphetamine, 35 firearms, and paraphernalia bearing the gang’s logo — a swastika with “SS” lightning bolts. . . .

COMMENT: As incredible as it may seem to some, there are elements of the Nazi and fascist movements that see these “lone-wolf” mass killings as vehicles for destabilizing society. In the Nazi tract Siege by James Mason, the efforts of some of these mass killers are lauded. The bold-faced excerpts in the passage that follows highlight the philosophy and motive apparently underlying the endorsement of such slaughter.

“How Black is Black Metal?” by Kevin Coogan; Hitlist; February/March 1999 [Vol­ume One, Num­ber One].

EXCERPT: . . . . One year later, [Michael] Moynihan was more preoccupied by literary than legal matters. His Denver-based Storm Press published Siege, a 400-page anthology of the writings of James Mason, the Nazi fan of Charles Manson. In his acknowledgments, Moynihan (“Michael M. Jenkins”) thanked (among others) both Adam Parfrey and Anton LaVey • for their help in facilitating Siege’s publication.

Mason argued in Siege that National Socialism had lost its violent, revolutionary edge. “We want to see crime and chaos rise to such a degree where the System becomes no longer viable and falls apart,” he wrote. In a tract called “Smashing the Pig System,” he growled: “If a bunch of Black Nationalists rob a Brinks truck, if they kill some System Pigs, WHO CARES??!!”

Siege also paid homage to white racist “lone wolf” assassins like Mason’s former ANP colleague Joseph Franklin, who specialized in shooting interracial couples (“race traitors”); and James Huberty, who massacred a largely Hispanic clientele at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Diego. Mason felt that the lone wolves were merely expressing healthy “Viking berserker rage” against “Big Brother.” He especially liked the fact that, since they acted alone, these lone wolves were very difficult to catch. Siege also glorified Charles Manson. Mason even created a Manson-inspired successor group to the NSLF called the Universal Order in an effort to transcend the traditional “left-right spectrum.”

In his introduction to Siege, Moynihan also highlighted Mason’s call for a unity of extremes against the System:

At this point in history there were no such things as “innocent bystanders.” The degeneration and decline of the West had long since passed the point where such ideas had any meaning. Now it all boiled down to whether you were working “for” or “against” the System, and anything which helped further augment instability in society – no matter what comer it came from, or what “opposing” (i.e.. Left Wing or Marxist) group might be responsible. The break with conservatism and “Right-Wingism” (the categories most people invariably believe Nazism falls into) had now been made once and for all…Mason will reiterate that he wishes the best of luck to anyone willing to attack the System head-on.

For all its crudeness, Siege echoed Franco Freda’s radical Evolan call for total social disruption in La Disintegrazione del Sistema. . . .

COMMENT: Note that the publication of Siege was assisted by Adam Parfrey, whose Feral House imprint has considerable cache in elements of “alternative culture.” As noted in FTR #437, Feral House publishes “counter-culture fascist” tracts like The Lords of Chaos, in addition to promoting books of interest to students of para-politics, such as America’s political assassinations. Feral House also caters to Manson Family afficianados and Satanists among other subcultures. 

As we noted in FTR #437. . . . Another cen­tral point of dis­cus­sion is Moynihan’s long time friend, pro­fes­sional asso­ciate and polit­i­cal fel­low trav­eler Adam Par­frey, the owner of Feral House and a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence on the alter­na­tive pub­lish­ing scene. Coa­lesc­ing in the Abraxas Foun­da­tion, an alter­na­tive music/occult/fascist/Social Dar­win­ist think tank (their descrip­tion), Par­frey, Moyni­han and Boyd Rice have inter­twined musi­cal and polit­i­cal cul­tures with a coun­ter­cul­ture fas­cist ide­ol­ogy. (Rice is pic­tured at right and above, with Nazi asso­ciate Robert Heick.)

Parfrey’s sig­nif­i­cant and grow­ing pres­ence in the con­spir­acy pub­lish­ing field is worth not­ing. Feral House polit­i­cal books–much of their inven­tory deals with cul­tural, not polit­i­cal, subjects–tend to be uneven: many vol­umes have excel­lent mate­r­ial mixed in with dri­vel, some of the books are quite good and oth­ers ludi­crous and insane.

What is impor­tant about the use of con­spir­acy the­o­ries in the con­text of a proto-fascist polit­i­cal view is the con­fu­sion that can result for those who come to real­ize that in fact, Lee Har­vey Oswald did not kill Kennedy. This aware­ness may leave some in a rel­a­tivis­tic political/intellectual uni­verse. “Maybe the Holo­caust didn’t hap­pen!” In the era of the big lie, Par­frey and oth­ers who mar­ket some polit­i­cal truth mixed in with the vilest of fas­cist ide­olo­gies are truly dan­ger­ous and are sow­ing the seeds of doom.

Although Par­frey and com­pany have deep con­nec­tions to fas­cist and Nazi ele­ments and have worked exten­sively to fur­ther some of those ele­ments’ projects, one should not be too quick to label Par­frey a fas­cist him­self. Rather, he might be termed a “fel­low trav­eler,” whose efforts on behalf of, and asso­ci­a­tion with, Nazi/fascist ele­ments may be due to Parfrey’s devo­tion to the pro­mul­ga­tion of “extreme culture.”

Defy­ing easy def­i­n­i­tion, “extreme cul­ture” could be said to be defined by any­thing that is edgy, over-the-top and, more often than not, offen­sive and/or unbelievable. . . .

COMMENT: In a related consideration, Parfrey and his associate Boyd Rice helped start a website called Unpop Art, which caters to the “extreme culture” touched on above. Significant elements of that culture are overtly or quasi-fascistic, with some of them even extolling incidents such as the Columbine shootings. The website and its operators also present material of interest to the Manson Family accolytes mentioned above.

Again, we should note that exponents of “extreme culture,” such as the Unpop Art crowd should not necessarily be viewed as fascists per se. They may be motivated by degeneracy rather than ideology. Perhaps they just have “too many birds on their antennae.” 

Nonetheless, the effect of this sort of thing on the growing number of people in this society who aren’t wrapped too tight is to be seriously contemplated. If, say, an Adam Lanza is exposed to this sort of thing, what might be the effect?

The last item for consideration here is an incident that took place in Weimar Germany and which served to further destabilize that imperiled society. In the early 1920’s, a case broke in the German city of Hanover that shocked and horrified the German citizenry. An ostensibly feeble-minded gay man named Fritz Haarmann went on a spree in which he murdered more than a hundred boys, butchering their corpses and selling the flesh in meat pies. Haarmann used Hanover police department ID and a front as a “detective agency” to help perpetrate his horrors.

In addition to discrediting the nascent gay rights movement in Weimar Germany, the Fritz Haarmann episode discredited the Weimar authorities.

The slaughter of so many young innocents inclined people to wonder how such a thing could have happened and what needed to be done to to put things right. 

“We need order! Can’t ANYONE or ANYTHING stop this?” might be an accurate encapsulation of popular sentiment at the time. 

Having children murdered, particularly at Christmastime no doubt affects Americans in a similar fashion.

Listen to the account presented of the Fritz Haarmann incident (in the spring of 1987) and compare it with what is happening today.

Are some of these school massacres serving as a contemporary “Fritz Haarmann” incident? Are people echoing the cry of the citizens of Weimar Germany? Will the American people experience the same fate as the Weimar citizenry?

We analyzed the Fritz Haarmann incident in Miscellaneous Archive Show M13, “The Pink Triangle: Gay Rights, Reproductive Rights and the Third Reich.”

The two sides of the program containing discussion of the Fritz Haarmann incident are:

Side A:  http://emory.kfjc.org/archive/misc/m_13a.mp3

Side B: http://emory.kfjc.org/archive/misc/m_13b.mp3

Presentation of the Fritz Haarmann episode begins around 39 minutes into side A and continues into side B.

M13 draws on the book The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War against Homosexuals by Richard Plant.

 

 

 

Discussion

31 comments for “Now, About those School Yard Shootings . . .”

  1. One of the more notable aspects of the coverage of this event has been the degree of outright disinformation that’s been making it’s way into the coverage. And it looks like Fox is possibly leading the way on a new motive. Yesterday there was a big “Fox Exclusive” report citing a family friend that heard that the shooter was aware of plans by his mother to have him forcibly institutionalized and that he was very angry the plans and this is what triggered the event. While that’s very possibly the motive there’s also a big problem with this “Exclusive” report:

    Lohud.com
    7:06 PM, Dec 18, 2012
    Newtown massacre: Pastor refutes son’s account on Adam Lanza’s motive

    NEWTOWN — A Connecticut pastor is refuting a Fox News report quoting his son as saying that the gunman who massacred 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to a psychiatric facility.
    The source, Joshua Flashman, 25, is the son of Richard Flashman, a pastor at Beacon Hill Evangelical Free Church in Monroe, Conn., where a few of the victims’ families attend church.
    “I’ve just spoken to Josh,” Richard Flashman said in a statement tonight. “As the Fox News article indicates, the information Josh spoke to them about was hearsay and not confirmed. I suggest you do not run with the story. I am perplexed why Fox would run with it in the first place.
    Fox News also cited a senior law enforcement source confirming that Lanza’s anger at his mother over plans for “his future mental health treatment” is being looked at as a possible motive for the deadly shooting.
    The pastor said he was not the source of his son’s information. His secretary, Eileen Bell, added, “It was nothing from a confirmed source.”
    Later in the evening, two state police troopers arrived at the church to take a statement; Bell would not say from whom.
    Police said Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, inside the home they shared in Newtown. He then shot his way into the school and opened fire, killing 20 first-graders and six staffers before turning one of the guns on himself. It was one of the worst mass shootings in the nation’s history.
    Authorities said they’ve uncovered “significant evidence” but have not revealed a motive for the shootings.
    Joshua Flashman is quoted by Fox News as saying, “From what I’ve been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed. Adam was apparently very upset about this. He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him off.”

    Now, speculative reporting is somewhat unavoidable at this point given the scope of the tragedy and how little information is known so far. But it’s worth pointing out that I was watching the Greta van Sustren show expand on this story last night on Fox News, adding to the story from the pastor’s son that the targeting of the classrooms may have been caused by the shooter’s jealousy over the time volunteer time the mother spent in those classes in the last year. There was NO mention of the refutation of this story by the source’s father and this was a live show that running at 10PM Eastern time (I saw the rerun three hours later). The timestamp on the above story is 7 PM (and I think that’s an Eastern timezone article), so it’s likely that Fox would have known that this was a contentious report (especially since the father said he told Fox not to run it). Are we seeing myth-building at work?

    It’s important to note that, even 10 years after Columbine, there is still the persistent myth that the shooters were outcasts intent on getting revenge for their outcast status. That also turns out to be not at all true based on the volume of evidence:

    Debunking the myths of Columbine, 10 years later
    COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL
    April 20, 2009|By Stephanie Chen CNN

    What do you remember about April 20, 1999?

    If you recall that two unpopular teenage boys from the Trench Coat Mafia sought revenge against the jocks by shooting up Columbine High School, you’re wrong.

    But you’re not alone.

    Ten years after the massacre in Littleton, Colorado, there’s still a collective memory of two Goth-obsessed loners, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who went on a shooting rampage and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher, injured 23 others and then turned their guns on themselves.

    Journalist and author Dave Cullen was one of the first to take on what he calls the myths of Columbine. He kept at it for a decade, challenging what the media and law enforcement officials reported.

    “Kids had never been attacked in this kind of way until Columbine,” he recently told CNN. “I just had to find out what happened to those kids.”

    Cullen’s book,”Columbine,” was released this month — just in time for today’s 10th anniversary of the shooting at the Colorado high school. While tackling popular misconceptions, Cullen also gives a riveting account of what happened that day and how the survivors view the event that marked their lives forever.

    Cullen concluded that the killers weren’t part of the Trench Coat Mafia, that they weren’t bullied by other students and that they didn’t target popular jocks, African-Americans or any other group. A school shooting wasn’t their initial intent, he said. They wanted to bomb their school in an attack they hoped would make them more infamous than Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

    The Columbine tragedy left a lasting mark on many Americans, largely because of the media’s around-the-clock coverage in the days and weeks following the shooting. Columbine was named the top news story of 1999 with nearly 70 percent of Americans saying they “followed [Columbine] very closely,” according to a Pew Research Center study.

    When media coverage faded, reporters and investigators soon learned that some of the initial reports were wrong. Cullen writes about the misperceptions: “Facts rush in, the fog lifts, an accurate picture solidifies. The public accepts this, but the final portrait is the farthest from the truth.”

    Officials at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office agreed that the Trench Coat Mafia, among other myths, were false. Lead investigator Kate Battan said the 10-year anniversary offers a chance to clear up the misconceptions.

    Five months after Columbine, Cullen wrote an article published on Salon.com revealing that most members of a group dubbed the Trench Coat Mafia had graduated years earlier.

    The Trench Coat Mafia was a nonviolent school group of computer gamers established a few years before the shooting, Cullen said. They feuded with the jocks and wore black trench coats. Harris and Klebold were not members, Cullen concluded after talking to students at the school and analyzing police documents. Neither boy appeared in the Trench Coat Mafia’s yearbook group photo in 1998. iReport.com: How did Columbine affect you?

    The two killers were far from normal teens. Harris was a psychopath and Klebold battled depression, according to psychologists cited in the book. Even so, they also weren’t the extreme social outcasts and loners depicted in the early days of media coverage.

    Records released later by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office showed that Harris and Klebold had their own circle of friends. Klebold took a date to the prom, riding with a dozen friends in a limo, just days before the shooting.

    “I don’t believe bullying caused Columbine,” Jeff Kass, who covered the story for the Rocky Mountain News, told CNN. “My key reason for that is they never mentioned it in their diaries.”

    After a decade of research, including hundreds of interviews and relentless requests for evidence and documents, Kass also released a book this month called “Columbine: A True Crime Story.” It provides comprehensive profiles of the killers and their motives.

    Kass was able to get Klebold’s college application essay through public records requests. The essay indicated he was a complex teen, who acknowledged hanging with the wrong crowd during his sophomore and junior years.

    Cullen, the original Columbine debunker, theorizes that the public was afraid to believe Harris and Klebold weren’t total outcasts. By identifying them as goth loners who were “weird” or “oddballs,” it was easier to set them apart from other students and for schools to distinguish future potential shooters, he said.

    “The bombs were inconsistent with what we remember,” Cullen said. “We dropped the one that was true and kept the myth.”

    Kirsten Kreiling, president of the Columbine Memorial Foundation, said she believed the initial reports that the killers were in the Trench Coat Mafia and targeted jocks. So did many other people in the community. Ten years later, Kreiling, who has diligently kept up with news reports on Columbine, knows those initial reports were false.

    She realizes many people still accept the myths and hopes the truth of what happened at Columbine will some day replace the popular misconceptions.

    “Understanding what happened can help us try to prevent these things from happening again in the future,” she said. “If you don’t understand history, you are doomed to repeat it.”

    I should add that Fox’s panelists were continuing to emphasize the shooter’s apparent autism without noting the possibility that there were other factors compounding the shooter’s mental condition in the coverage I saw yesterday. One must assume those panelists don’t themselves have any kids on the autism spectrum (and are generally just assholes) because if an autism/mass killer myth emerges from this event the consequences could impact some of the most vulnerable members of this society.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 19, 2012, 8:27 am
  2. That “counterpsyops.com” looks like it has some down­right false infor­ma­tion on their site. Most of their posts are b.s., but their infor­ma­tion on the LIBOR scan­dal looked like it could be true.

    Don’t know if this is accurate or contributes to any deeper understanding of this tragedy. Found a link about how the father of the Newtown, CT mass murderer and the father of the Aurora, CO theater shootings were linked. The 2 fathers were supposed to be involved in a hearing or something of that nature.

    According to this link :http://counterpsyops.com/2012/12/17/libor-scandal-link-fathers-of-two-mass-murderers-lanza-holmes-were-to-testify/

    “Both men were to testify before the US Sentate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.”

    Now that link for the full article has been removed or moved somewhere else. Again, I don’t know how accurate or legit the site is. Just sad.

    Posted by Rose | December 19, 2012, 1:26 pm
  3. @Rose:
    That site is pushing a hoax story. And it’s just one the hoaxes and misreporting that has already emerged.

    It’s also worth noting that last night’s Greta van Susteren show also had a segment on the suspicions that the shooter had help. Her guest was none other that Mark Fuhrman. The second shooter was part of the initial report by a teacher at the school who there were two shooters running past the gym. Early CBS news reports of an eye witness that describes a man wearing “camo pants” and a dark jacket being taken into custody and saying that “I didn’t do it” to the parents as he was passing by as he was escorted in handcuffs by the police. The eyewitness tells the reporter that “he’s sitting over there in the police car right now” and points off camera, so there appeared to be a pretty unambiguous report of a man in camouflage pants and a dark jacket that was taken into custody and early reports of two gunmen at the school. Memory is a complicated thing, especially during mass casualty events. But if a second shooter is reported by a teacher during the shooting and a man is marched past eyewitnesses wearing “camo pants” and a dark jacket and taken into custody, it’s just irresponsible of the media to just forget that this happened and never provide an explanation.

    Also, according to this recent dated local CT news report(note that this is reported as if it was written on Friday, Dec 14th, but it’s also listed as one of the “top_stories” in the link URL and has a December 18th online publication date and a December 19th date in the URL – the date it was accessed by me – so the dates are screwy on this site but this also appears to be a small, local news organization so that’s not to be entirely unexpected), the police had yet to determine if that second person arrested was working with the shooter or coincidentally walking into the school at the same time:

    VoicesNews.com
    School Shooting
    Leaves 27 Dead
    in Sandy Hook

    by Megan Spicer and Jean Dunn
    Published:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 12:29 PM EST
    SANDY HOOK — According to the New York Times, 27 people were killed today, including 20 children, Friday, December 14, at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dickinson Drive.

    Sandy Hook School is an elementary school of more than 450 students, ages approximately 5 through 10, in kindergarten through fourth grade.

    Also dead is the shooter, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who lived with his mother Nancy Lanza in Sandy Hook.

    Mr. Lanza also killed his mother in their home.

    Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance termed the incident “a tragic situation with a wide crime scene.”

    At a 1:42 p.m. press conference, Lt. Vance said “the situation is secure” and “the public is not in danger.”

    He did not confirm the number of deaths, saying only that there were “several fatalities at the scene, both students and staff,” including the school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung, according to CNN.

    Lt. Vance confirmed that just after 9:30 a.m., Newtown Police received a 911 call for an emergency at the elementary school. Newtown Police contacted the Connecticut State Police, requesting assistance.

    On- and off-duty troopers responded, along with a large number of first responders from throughout western Connecticut.

    Immediately upon arrival, police entered the school and began an active search for the shooter.

    “Our main objective was to evacuate the school as quickly and efficiently as possible of any and all students and faculty,” he said.

    Once the school was searched, a staging area was set up behind the Sandy Hook Fire Department which is a quarter-mile from the school.

    Parents were told to pick up their children from the staging area provided they supply identification.

    The scene at the staging area was one of heartbreak. Many parents were on their cell phones.

    As they were leaving the staging area, many of the children were wearing their parents’ coats and jackets because they were not allowed to go back into the school to get anything.

    Lt. Vance indicated that no additional information on the fatalities will be released “until there is a complete and proper identification.”

    “The shooter is deceased inside the building,” he said, noting “a great deal of law enforcement activity in and out of state, covering all bases relating to that individual.”

    Many law enforcement agencies are working together to answer questions about what happened, he said.

    Early on, state police advised that the shooter, an adult, was dead, with two handguns found at the scene; later reports mentioned a Glock and a rifle. Multiple canine units were brought in to be sure there was not another shooter at large.

    It was eventually learned that he had four guns, which were legally owned by his mother.

    That search has since been called off.

    Officers believe one person fired the shots, but a second person seen leaving the school was taken into custody to determine if he had any role in the shooting or was coincidentally walking into the school when the shooting began.

    CNN reported this morning that the principal, vice principal and school psychologist went into a hallway after hearing gunshots. Only the vice principal returned to the room, shot in the foot and crawling, to call 911.

    The vice principal said there must have been “100 rounds, at least,” according to a CNN report.

    President Barack Obama was first notified of the situation at 10:30 a.m. by his national security advisor and was updated throughout the morning.

    According to reports, staff and students heard multiple gunshots over the loud speaker during morning announcements. Teachers immediately locked classroom doors and corralled students in the corners of rooms.

    Venesa Bharaliu, 9, told Voices she and some friends were walking to the art room when they heard the gunshots over the intercom.

    “We tried to close both doors, but one didn’t lock and then we went into the office and covered ourselves,” Venesa said.

    She added that police told the children were to close their eyes and hold hands with the people next to them while they were lead out of the school. Venesa, however, was not holding anyone’s hand and said she saw “police carrying big guns.”

    A reverse 911 call advised parents to stay home, near their phones. A second reverse 911 call told them to come to a staging area behind the Sandy Hook Fire Department, where they were reunited with their children.

    Tom Kelleher of Sandy Hook was in disbelief that a shooting of this severity could happen in Sandy Hook. His 8-year-old daughter was safe.

    “Not here, not this school,” Mr. Kelleher said. “This is very unusual.”

    Therese Lestik of Sandy Hook received the call from the school and then saw what had happened on the news before getting into her car to reach the school and her daughter, Eva, who is in kindergarten, as soon as possible.

    “I’m in complete shock, Ms. Lestik said.

    School districts in many neighboring towns put schools on lockdown, including Newtown, Monroe, Bethel and Brookfield.

    Lockdown at other Newtown schools were lifted at 12:30 p.m.

    Three people were taken to Danbury Hospital, where a strong police presence remained outside the emergency department. One of the three people was a teacher who was wounded in the foot.

    The emergency department at Danbury Hospital was put on lockdown to control the flow of people, to protect the confidentiality of patients and to allow staff to work uninterrupted.

    In a press conference Friday morning, Danbury Hospital President and CEO John Murphy offered his heartfelt sympathy to all affected by the tragedy.

    While confirming that three victims have been brought to the hospital, he declined to give specifics.

    Dr. Patrick Broderick, chairman of the hospital’s emergency department, said the three were all evaluated and managed by the hospital’s trauma service.

    The hospital had been alerted that patients would be transported and teams were on standby and ready to care for patients when they arrived.

    Given the complicated history of past mass killings and how little information we have available about the Newtown shootings at this point it would be absurd to rule out the possibility that the shooter had help, especially of the man in camouflage pants and a dark jacket just happened to be trying to enter the school at the same time. Instead, on the same day of the attack the media and investigators embraced the idea of a single shooter without ever resolving the undeniable fact that a second person was taken into custody near the area of the mass killing. Recall that the arrest of the shooter’s brother, the one originally identified as the shooter, sort of took over as “the second person in custody” meme as the story unfolded. If there’s any follow up regarding the man taken into custody that day I haven’t been able to find it. So, unfortunately, we have to continue considering the possibility that there was more going on here than the consensus narrative suggests. It’s a consequence of mass media mass amnesia.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 19, 2012, 10:15 pm
  4. Here’s a belated followup on the “exclusive” Fox News report that was pushing the idea that fear of being involuntarily institutionalized by the shooter’s mom is what prompted the event. This was supposed to by coming from someone close to the family. As we saw, however, the father of the individual that provided Fox News with this info refuted the idea as unconfirmed and stated that he told Fox not to run with it. They continued to run with is last Wednesday night(Dec 19th), with Greta van Susteren revisiting the topic in a brief update on the unfolding investigation. That brief update included only a handful of items and one of them, of course, was a reference back to the “exclusive” Fox News report. So it’s worth noting that the source of this “exclusive” report doesn’t appear to condone it either:

    Heavy.com
    Joshua Flashman: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know
    posted 12/18/2012 by Paul Farrell

    Joshua Flashman of Stratford, Connecticut, is the source cited by Fox News as providing a possible motive of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza. Fox suggests that Adam learned his mom, Nancy, was planning to put her disturbed, 20-year-old son in a psychiatric facility — and additionally Adam was jealous of the young children she volunteered with.

    It’s a tidy explanation for why Adam “snapped” and why he targeted young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    But who is Flashman and does he really have inside knowledge? Did Fox overreach with its use of his comments? Here’s what we know about him.

    3. He Was Not Intimately Acquainted with the Lanza Family
    Flashman was quoted by Fox News as saying:

    Adam Lanza believed she cared more for the children than she did for him, and the reason he probably thought this [was the fact that] she was petitioning for conservatorship and wanted to have him committed. I could understand how he might perceive that — that his mom loved him less than she loved the kids, loved the school. But she did love him. But he was a troubled kid and she probably just couldn’t take care of him by herself anymore.

    But how well does Flashman know the family? He offers some clarity in the comment section of this article:

    “I knew OF Adam Lanza. I was aquainted with his older brother Ryan growing up, because he was my age and my grade. I saw the Lanzas around town, and Adam was always just Ryan’s awkward little brother.”

    “I told the reporter about what was being said in town. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

    And on Twitter, after the Fox reports, he wrote:


    I told a reporter what the people in town were saying about Adam Lanza’s motive, & next thing I know, I’m

    “intimately aquainted” with the Lanza family and knew Adam’s motives first hand. Funny, I didn’t know that!

    Oh, and @dailykos … Fox approached ME and spent TWO DAYS trying to convince me to go on the record. But I just wanted to get on tv, right?

    So if you wondering whether or not this was in instance of Fox News was just being opportunistic in running with a “hot” story OR if this was an example of Fox News making up the “news”, it would appear that the latter is the case.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 26, 2012, 8:57 pm
  5. I will always believe that these masacers are an extension of the MK-ultra program. In this case it is to get the guns. Remember one of the first mustachioed paper hanger operations is to remove the the ability of the general populace to resist. This did happen in Nazi Germany

    Posted by Harry Pecha | December 30, 2012, 6:45 pm
  6. @Harry Pecha: I’m not so sure of that myself, though. Remember, the Nazi gun control laws didn’t target ALL Germans….just those who weren’t “Aryans”, including & especially the Jews:

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1791/did-hitler-ban-gun-ownership

    Posted by Steven L. | January 2, 2013, 1:05 am
  7. And here’s one more close call on what appears to be a planned school attack by a white-supremacist student:

    Ledger-Enquirer
    Russell County Sheriff: Admitted white supremacist teen planned to bomb high school

    Published: January 6, 2013

    By LARRY GIERER — lgierer@ledger-enquirer.com

    Russell County High School student Derek Shrout, 17, will be in court this afternoon facing a felony charge of attempted assault after he was arrested for allegedly planning to use homemade explosives in a terrorist attack on fellow students at the school in Seale, Ala.

    Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said Sunday a search of Shrout’s home Friday found about a couple dozen small tobacco cans and two large cans, all with holes drilled in them and containing pellets.

    He said other ingredients to complete the small bombs — such as black powder, butane and fuses — were not found.

    Taylor said the devices were just “a step or two away from being ready to explode.”

    Shrout described the bombs he was making in a journal, Taylor said, and, if completed the way Shrout described, the bombs would have blown up.

    Taylor said Shrout claimed the writing in the journal to be fictitious, but Shrout’s parents, whom Taylor called “very cooperative,” allowed a search of the house and the bomb materials were located.

    Taylor said the two big cans had “Fat Boy” and “Little Man” written on the side. It is a play on words. “Little Boy” was the code name given the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, and “Fat Man” was the code name for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

    The sheriff said it is believed the bomb-making information was found on the Internet.

    Shrout, currently being held in the Russell County Jail, admitted to being a white supremacist, according to authorities.

    “He has a lot of pent up anger toward blacks,” Taylor said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 7, 2013, 7:41 am
  8. Ladies and gentlemen! Behold, Glenn Beck jumping Alex Jones jumping the shark! The double shark jump is quite a sight to see.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 9, 2013, 11:03 am
  9. And now on the heels of the Alex Jones CNN freakout we have stories of Sandy Hook “Trutherism” which appears to be mostly fixated on the theory that it was all an elaborate government false flag hoax using actors and no one actually died…including the shooter. And all of this is coupled with growing rhetoric from politicians and media outlets pushing the “Obama is a dictator like Hitler and Stalin because he wants to go on a power/gun grabbing Executive Order spree” memes. So we can be pretty sure that the Sandy Hook False flag “the government did it to grab your guns” theories should be infecting the mainstream right-wing sooner or later and that means it’s only a matter of time before we start hearing the “get ready for civil war” rhetoric.

    And 321

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 10, 2013, 3:38 pm
  10. And now, a look back at Wayne LaPierre’s “thoughts” on the slippery slope jagged cliff of gun control:

    Media Matters for America

    NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Used Right-Wing Media’s Nazi Comparison To Warn Of “Mass Executions Of Gun Owners”
    Blog ››› January 11, 2013 4:12 PM EST ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Conservatives in media have been quick to draw comparisons between the Obama administration’s reported proposals to crack down on gun violence and the actions of Adolf Hitler to suggest that President Obama will engage in firearm confiscation. These historically inaccurate comparisons owe part of their genesis to the National Rifle Association, which has compared proposals to regulate firearms to orders during the Holocaust.

    In his book, America Disarmed: Inside the U.N. & Obama’s Scheme to Destroy the Second Amendment, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre likened the United Nations Small Arms and Light Weapons Destruction Day, held on July 9, 2001, to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels’ order that books authored by Jews be publicly burned.

    LaPierre then suggested that the burning of guns could “help set the stage for mass executions of gun owners” just as Goebbels’ order precipitated the mass killing of Jews.

    July 9 was not the first time bonfires were lit to destroy resistance to the power of the government. Nazi “Germany’s Josef Goebbels ordered all Jewish books to be burned in public in May 10, 1933. University towns were centers of Jewish Books Destruction Day.” As the Völkischer Beobachter (Populist Observer) reported on May 12, 1933, “The German student body of the Berlin universities assembled yesterday for a torchlight procession on Hegel Platz. They formed up, accompanied by a truckload of 25,000 books and writings harmful to the people. The procession ended at Opera Platz where as a symbolic act, these un-German writings were set aflame on a pile of logs.”

    The burning of Jewish and un-German books was followed within a few years by the burning of Jews and other supposedly un-German people. Jewish Books Destruction Day helped change popular consciousness so as to pave the way for genocide. Likewise paving the way for genocide was the systematic disarmament of Jews and all other opposition elements, in Nazi German itself and in conquered territories.

    How long until a U.N.-declared official day of hate is celebrated with governments actually killing people? [America Disarmed: Inside the U.N. and Obama’s Scheme to Destroy the Second Amendment, Pages 106-107]

    LaPierre concluded by asking, “Will the mass burning of firearms help set the stage for mass executions of gun owners?” [Page 108]

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 15, 2013, 8:18 am
  11. Glenn Beck thinks a civil war is coming. He warns his base not to form anti-government compounds and then states that Waco and Ruby Ridge were primary there fault of the government.

    So we’ve now entered the “I’m warning you all not to do this! *even though you would be justified*”-phase of the far-right’s rhetorical push towards a violent insurrection.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 16, 2013, 9:25 am
  12. Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 16, 2013, 10:04 am
  13. If you thought this was scary, you probably don’t want to read the ‘update’ here. Let’s just say that the use of code words is starting to become optional.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 17, 2013, 9:15 am
  14. Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 19, 2013, 1:57 pm
  15. Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 21, 2013, 3:51 pm
  16. It’s kind of fascinating how the NRA has adopted a strategy of saying you can’t trust the White House’s gun control proposals because Obama secretly wants to take your guns away. It is this lack of ‘trust’ that caused the NRA to reverse their long-standing advocacy of universal background checks, fearing that it will become a gun-owner database that will allow for future gun confiscations. But, Wayne LaPierre recently reminded us, the NRA would support a universal background check system as long as it includes a weakening of mental health privacy laws so we can create a federal registry of the mentally ill. He also seems to want to police the ability to pick up people off the street they deem to be mentally ill and forcibly institutionalized and some sort of massive sweep of the inner cities by federal agents to round up and jail anyone thought to be a gang member. Yep, the NRA won’t trust the federal government with the powers associated with the creation of a national gun-owner database unless that power also comes with the dramatically enhanced federal abilities to track the official mental health status of citizens and enhanced police powers to forcibly commit people and preemptively jail those thought to be part of a criminal gang. Yep, those are the solutions he’s peddling to an audience that is increasingly concerned about an oppressive federal government:

    Fox News Sunday
    Capt. Mark Kelly, Wayne LaPierre on chances for compromise in gun control debate

    Written by Chris Wallace / Published February 03, 2013 / Fox News Sunday

    Special Guests: Capt. Mark Kelly, Wayne LaPierre

    The following is a rush transcript of the February 3, 2013, edition of “Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace.” This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I’m Chris Wallace.

    The debate over guns gets even more intense.

    LAPIERRE: So, let’s talk about the rest of it. You fix the mental health system. Every police officer knows people on the streets that should be institutionalized because after they’re institutionalized, they are out there walking around in the street. We need to change our civil commitment laws. We need to change the mental health system, fund it and make it work. Get these people, interdict them and get them into treatment. We’re not doing that.

    I still would like to see mental health records computerized, but we can’t get that done. I’ve got a transcript here with Senator Schumer, from 20 years ago, on “Face the Nation,” where I begged him to help us do it, and they still haven’t done it. And, the NRA has been fighting to get it done.

    WALLACE: All right. You oppose gun control as a form of government tyranny. But in the Senate hearings, this week, you offered a different reason for it. Let’s take a look.

    LAPIERRE: Right.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    LAPIERRE: What people all over the country fear today, is being abandoned by their government. If a tornado hits, if a hurricane hits, if a riot occurs, that they’re going to be out there alone, and the only way they will protect themselves, in the cold, in the dark, when they are vulnerable, is with a firearm.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    WALLACE: Do you really think that that is a more serious threat, marauding bands of Americans during a hurricane or a tornado, do you think that’s a more serious threat to the average American than the steady drum beat of gun violence and sometimes mass gun violence?

    LAPIERRE: We want to stop gun violence, that’s what we’re trying to do. So here’s the threat. There are 25 violent crimes a week in this country. We need to take a city like Chicago and nobody wants to do it but the American public will get it when I say it. Chicago, 89 of 90 in the country in terms of enforcing the reasonable federal gun laws NRA supports on the books against felons and drug dealers and gangs with guns, the people doing the killing.

    We are all obsessed with the Taliban and we ought to be. What about the gangs? They are ruining neighborhoods all over the country? We need a federal task force, if it takes 500 agents, if it takes a thousand agents, go into Chicago.

    I know, Eric Holder doesn’t want to it. He says it’s a cookie cutter approach.

    I know Rahm Emanuel doesn’t want to do it. He sent people up on the hill when a Clinton administration was there, saying they are guppies and they can’t be concerned with drug dealers with guns.

    Every gang member on the street of Chicago, starting tomorrow morning, let’s pick ’em up, we’ve got a federal law to get them off the street and put them in prison, and that would cut crime and we’re not doing it.

    Now, the issue of how to handle a failing mental health system and topics like forcible institutionalization are genuinely difficult topics that need to be addressed. Not that fixing problems with the mental health system will actually do much to prevent gun violence but they should still be dealt with just in principle. But you have to wonder about the mental health status of NRA supporters that are super paranoid about being put on a gun registry because they fear the federal government is secretly plotting to confiscate their guns (and then impose some sort of Kenyan Muslim Socialist communist dictatorship) unless this same feared federal government as enhanced abilities to declare you insane and forcibly institutionalize you. You also have to wonder if Wayne LaPierre meant to include all the gangs out there or just the inner city ones.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 5, 2013, 12:21 pm
  17. According to unnamed sources (so don’t be too surprised if this turns out to be inaccurate), the Newtown shooter was obsessed with far-right Olso killer Anders Breivik:

    February 18, 2013 6:32 PM
    CBS News
    Newtown shooter motivated by Norway massacre, sources say

    By
    Bob Orr, Pat Milton

    Law enforcement sources say Adam Lanza was motivated by violent video games and a strong desire to kill more people than another infamous mass murderer.

    Sources say Lanza saw himself as being in direct competition with Anders Breivik, a Norwegian man who killed 77 people in July 2011.

    Breivik killed eight with a bombing in downtown Oslo. He then moved to a nearby island where hunted down and fatally shot 69 people, mostly teenagers attending a summer camp.

    Two officials who have been briefed on the Newtown, Conn., investigation say Lanza wanted to top Breivik’s death toll and targeted nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School because it was the “easiest target” with the “largest cluster of people.”

    Evidence shows that his mind, sources say, Lanza was also likely acting out the fantasies of a video game as he killed 20 first graders and six adults at the school. For Lanza, the deaths apparently amounted to some kind of “score.”

    But Lanza ended his killing spree sooner than he intended. Unlike Breivik, who surrendered, Lanza killed himself as police closed in. Just before his suicide, Lanza fired some shots at police in the school’s parking lot.

    Officials have not publicly revealed what led them to the motive, but sources say investigators have found evidence Lanza was obsessed wilth Breivik.

    They’ve also recovered what they called a “trove” of video games from the basement of Lanza’s home. Sources say Lanza spent countless hours there alone, in a private gaming room with the windows blacked out, honing his computer shooting skills.

    Lanza also made multiple visits to nearby gun ranges with his mother, Nancy Lanza, where they practiced together with actual weapons. Three guns, all registered to Nancy Lanza, were used in the Sandy Hook massacre. Lanza used a fourth weapon to kill his mother before his attack on the school.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: In response to this piece, Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police told CBS News that the investigation into the motive for the Newtown shooting has not been completed and therefore any statements about the shooter’s intent is mere speculation

    It’s unclear just whether or not the shooter was obsessed with simply “out scoring” Breivik with the number of deaths or if it included an obsession with Breivik’s far-right politics. He’s been described as “politically conservative” by family and friends and the “prepper” movement certainly has its share of far-right members but up until this report there didn’t appear to be anything that strongly suggested he was a Breivik-league far-right nutjob. Note that, at the end of the report there’s statement by the investigation’s spokesperson Paul Vance that the investigation into the motive is ongoing and any statements about intent are speculative. So who knows at this point how strong the Breivik-obsession evidence really is but it sure sounds like the investigators found quite a bit of Breivik-related content.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 18, 2013, 7:44 pm
  18. @Pterrafractyl–

    Good find! It will be interesting to see where this goes.

    Best,

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | February 18, 2013, 9:43 pm
  19. @Dave: It looks like the investigators are continuing to downplay the Breivik theory so it’s really unclear how accurate it is. Paul Vance even described the report as ‘hideous’. It also sounds like there’s been some limited success in extracting info from one of the computer hard drives leading to subpoenas for computers of individuals in contact with him through online gaming. In addition, the shooter’s mom had recently met a new boyfriend and the guy would sometimes stay at the house, so there could be an eyewitness to the home life that’s been missing up to this point but there’s almost no info on this individual. So there are some significant new developments but nothing confirmed :

    Sources: Lanza wanted to eclipse Norwegian mass murderer
    Hearst Connecticut Newspapers | February 18, 2013 | Updated: February 18, 2013 10:12pm

    NEWTOWN, Conn. — When Adam Lanza blasted his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School, his goal was to kill more than the 77 people slaughtered by the Norwegian mass murderer in his 2011 rampage, two sources familiar with the shootings investigation have told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers.

    After he had gunned down 20 first-graders and six teachers and administrators, Lanza was thwarted when police arrived swiftly at the elementary school, prompting him to take his own life.

    The 20-year-old shooter’s desire to eclipse the death toll amassed by Anders Breivik in his July 22, 2011, bomb attack and gun rampage in Norway was first reported Monday by CBS News, which cited two unidentified sources in its account.

    The accounts were strongly disputed by State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance. “The whole story is inaccurate,” Vance said. “The motive has not been determined. This is all coming from unnamed sources. It’s all speculation. It’s hideous.”

    None of the sources detailed how authorities learned of Lanza’s intentions, but in recent weeks investigators have made substantial strides. Hearst Connecticut Newspapers reported Sunday that technicians were able to restore one hard drive to a computer Lanza used. That success, in turn, unlocked information that led them to obtain subpoenas for computers used by individuals believed to be in contact with Lanza through online gaming activities.

    Another smashed hard drive has proven more challenging to rebuild. It is still being reconstructed by federal Defense Department technicians.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 19, 2013, 3:07 pm
  20. @ PTERRAFRACTYL

    It remains to be seen if these reports are true, but there is the definite opportunity for Nazi fellow travelers to recruit susceptible individuals through these web connected ‘point and shoot’ video games. Not just the simulated killing, but the ever more expanding and ever more intricate virtual universes begin to displace the real world. Add to that the connectivity of these games which provide great recruitment potential, and you’ve got niche sector for Nazi networking and mobilization.

    A good fictionalization of this potential is a subplot in the novel Daemon by Daniel Suarez.

    Posted by GrumpusRex | February 21, 2013, 9:58 am
  21. @Grumpus: I suspect the reports on Breivik came from someone working in the FBI given that the leak/speculation from “law enforcement officials” happened after investigators headed to DC to brief unidentified authorities. Plus and the investigators appear to be rather livid over the whole thing. And who knows how to interpret it if it really was the FBI involved in the leak. The evidence given by the sources appeared to be based on the presence of some news clippings about Breivik at the shooter’s home so it sounds like investigators probably weren’t exaggerating when they characterized the report as “speculative”.

    And in the spirit of speculation, and regarding the possibility of using online gaming for far-right recruitment, you have to wonder just how much information is potentially available on an individual if the only information you have about them is their IP address (which might be provided in the game). And you have lot’s of money. With online marketing technologies, laws, and the sheer volume of already-collected data getting to the point where entire browsing profiles associated with an IP can be sold to anyone willing to pay and with minimal regulations it’s not inconceivable that we’ll have a future (or present) where someone could potentially buy a reasonably accurate mini-psychological profile of you just by matching your IP address with the collection of digital marketing profiles held by a growing number of private companies. And if indirect profiling of our activities ever gets too predictive – good enough to predict “this person might be ideologically driven to be capable of violence and/or just kind of nuts and manipulable” – not only will society be faced with another temptation to engage in “precog” surveillance of itself, but it will become that much easier for groups to find and recruit vulnerable psyches. Double ugh.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 25, 2013, 9:11 pm
  22. Just FYI, Obama is raising a private black army and he’s coming for you and everything you hold dear:

    Alternet
    Paranoid Gun Nuts Claim Obama is Raising a Private Black Army to Massacre Whiten Americans
    Radio bigot says, “they will claim anyone resisting the black force they are doing it because they are racist.”

    February 25, 2013 |
    By Brian Tashman

    Gun Owners of America president Larry Pratt appeared Tuesday on the Talk to Solomon Show alongside conservative blogger Greg W. Howard, of Twittergate fame, for another chance to spew anti-Obama conspiracy theories.

    Pratt predicted that President Obama may begin confiscating guns in order to provoke a violent response to justify further oppression, which host Stan Solomon feared would lead to the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people.

    Pratt once again insisted that Obama is acting like King George III, a sentiment with which Solomon concurred, saying, “That will happen quickly and they will wipe those people out to set an example.”

    But Solomon wasn’t finished: “I believe they will put together a racial force to go against an opposite race resistance, basically a black force to go against a white resistance, and then they will claim anyone resisting the black force they are doing it because they are racist.”

    Howard agreed: “You may be right because he has been sowing the seeds of racial hatred; we were healing quite well as a nation on racial issues until Obama came along and now we have a lot of racial discord.”

    After arguing that Obama is “not American” and not a natural born citizen, Howard maintained that Obama may begin “wiping out a few hundred people who own guns, pull a large scale Waco or a Ruby Ridge type incident” and have it “tinged it with racial overtones.” But just in case Obama goes through with his plans to “take down” the Internet, “people are setting up phone-trees all over the place” to stop Obama in his tracks.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 26, 2013, 8:36 am
  23. A new round of media updates from anonymous sources “close to the investigation” has been hitting the news. It looks like the shooter had been collecting information on all sorts of mass murderers, not just Anders Breivik. It also sounds like the 2nd hard drive could take 6 months to 2 years to recover, so we can probably forget about any of that drive’s info getting used for the eventual final report. They also have had some success tracking his past movements using cell phone data and found that he made a number of trips to a mall in April and May that are characterized as atypical for someone that never leaves the house (which has led to speculation that he may have been casing the mall for an attack). More drip drip drip from anonymous sources:

    The Stamford Advocate
    Source: Lanza studied previous mass killings
    John Pirro
    Updated 10:51 pm, Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    NEWTOWN — Anders Behring Breivik was not the only mass murderer with whom Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza was obsessed, according to a law enforcement source.

    State Police investigators who executed search warrants at the Yogananda Street home where the 20-year-old Lanza lived recovered reams of documents related to “virtually every mass murder” in the United States and abroad, the source said.

    Lanza exhibited particular interest in the October 2006 shooting at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pa., in which gunman Charles Carl Robert IV took hostages and shot 10 school girls, five of them fatally, before killing himself.

    “There was a lot of material on the Amish case,” the source said.

    Hearst Connecticut Newspapers previously reported that police had uncovered evidence leading them to believe Lanza was attempting to surpass the Norwegian killer’s total.

    Breivik murdered a total of 77 people, eight of them by setting off bombs in downtown Oslo before he shot and killed 69 others, many of them teenagers, at a summer camp on Utoya island in July 2011.

    The latest disclosure, coupled with evidence of how Lanza expertly deployed his AR-15 Bushmaster rifle in murdering 20 first-graders and six adults at the school after earlier attempting to destroy his computer hard drives, lends credence to the belief that he had been planning the deadly Dec. 14 assault for some time.

    The source also said investigators have had some success in tracing Lanza’s movements prior to the shooting by using cell phone technology. Of particular interest, the source said, was a number of trips he made to the Danbury Fair mall the previous April and May.

    “For someone who almost never left his house, it was really out of character,” the source said.

    Investigators had been handicapped in determining a possible motive for Lanza’s rampage because he destroyed the hard drives of the two computers he used before driving to the school. Another source familiar with the probe told Hearst last month that FBI technicians were able to glean some data from one hard drive but that reconstructing the other hard drive may take another six months to two years.

    Meanwhile, Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III said he is hoping to have a report on the shootings by June.

    Also note that the courts sealed the search warrants and police records, so anonymous sources might be the only sources for a lot of the details of this case for the foreseeable future:

    Search Warrants for Adam Lanza’s House, Car Still Sealed; Police Records Too

    Published: Tuesday, March 05, 2013

    By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN
    Associated Press

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — There is no doubt who is responsible for the Newtown school massacre. The shooter is dead and the prosecutor handling the case has said he does not expect any charges.

    Yet authorities are continuing to keep search warrants and police records secret. Media outlets have pressed for the release of more records, which could shed light on a crime that has revived the national debate over gun control and could change the way guns are regulated.

    Prosecutor Stephen Sedensky III successfully argued in December to keep search warrant affidavits and applications related to Lanza’s house and the car he drove to the school sealed for 90 days, saying disclosure would jeopardize an ongoing investigation. He said at the time no arrests were anticipated but had not been ruled out.

    News media advocates say the records should be unsealed, arguing the public has a right to see such records, which include what was found in the house and car. They say records may be sealed only when an investigation would be hurt by disclosure.

    “There seems to be absolutely no reason that they would need to. It’s not going to jeopardize the case in any way,” said Linda Petersen, chairwoman of the Freedom of Information Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists.

    William Fish, an attorney who has represented the news media in high-profile cases that were sealed in Connecticut, also said the sealing does not appear justified since no prosecution is likely. He conceded, however, that “it’s not a surprise to me that a court has in fact sealed the records just because it’s so horrible.”

    Newtown police denied requests by The Associated Press for 911 calls and any police reports involving Lanza or his family. State police also declined to release records, citing the pending investigation.

    Sedensky, the prosecutor, noted that authorities have disclosed details about the weapons used in the shooting: a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle was used to kill the children and educators and a handgun to kill himself. He said he advised Newtown officials not to disclose the 911 calls.

    Danbury Superior Court Judge John F. Blawie on Dec. 27 granted the 90-day seal on search warrant affidavits and applications after concluding that the state’s “interest in continuing nondisclosure substantially outweighs any right to public disclosure at this time.”

    Sedensky said he has not decided yet whether to seek an extension of the sealing. A police report on the probe may not be ready until the summer, he said.

    In denying a request by the AP for police reports and 911 calls, the Newtown Police Department said releasing the documents was prohibited by state law “as information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action.” AP’s request sought all police calls for service to the Lanza house and to Sandy Hook Elementary School, 911 calls and any police reports involving Lanza and his family.

    Police Chief Michael Kehoe has said there were only two calls to the Lanza house several years before the shooting. One was in 2006 in which Lanza’s mother Nancy reported someone rang the doorbell and ran off and the other was to report a larceny in 2003 that turned out to be in another jurisdiction, Kehoe said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 15, 2013, 1:48 pm
  24. There was a recent article in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post about a 7-foot-by-4-foot “spreadsheet” of past mass killers found in the Newtown shooter’s possession as well as conclusions by the CT police that he had spent years planning this attack . The anonymous law enforcement source also strongly implies that investigators think that the shooter was employing some sort of “violent video gamer” rational in his actions. As this article from The Atlantic points out, it’s one of those news reports that makes it pretty clear that young avid video game players are going to be increasingly portrayed as “mass shooters waiting to happen and in need of mental health interventions” within the NRA/GOP-oriented wing of the US political spectrum in coming years:

    The Atlantic Wire
    Since When Is the NRA Writing the Definitive History of Adam Lanza?

    Alexander Abad-Santos 3,606 Views Mar 18, 2013

    The biggest non-exclusive exclusive in Monday’s news cycle was New York Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica’s one-source article blaming the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre on video games and Adam Lanza’s seven-foot-long spreadsheet of death. The story is thinly-sourced tabloid fodder at its worst, and, worse than that, it paints an unsubstantiated portrait of Lanza as “a deranged gamer like this little bastard,” just when the mental-health community and Congress are seeking answers on Lanza, video games, and truth in the face of NRA talking points and the bad newspaper stories that seem based on them.

    Lupica describes his anonymous law-enforcement source as “a tough career cop who did not wish to see his name in the newspaper” but did attend a meeting of the International Association of Police Chiefs and Colonels in New Orleans last week, where a Connecticut State Police colonel apparently spoke and revealed that Lanza had a 7-foot-by-4-foot spreadsheet documenting body counts and attempted killings from other mass murderers throughout history. To be sure, the state police investigation has been shrouded in secrecy — out of respect for the victims and a state of constant misinformation after the December shootings as anonymous law enforcement officials spoke to the news media, Lt. Paul Vance doesn’t plan to release his team’s full report in June. But stoking the fear factor isn’t helping a frenzy that has forced Vance to debunk rumors started on morning shows — especially when it comes to video games and mental illness, especially still when you combine all those with guns and dead little children.

    Lupica’s source doesn’t just provide the selective news detail that the spreadsheet is out there; he actually does most of the news analysis for the paper, all while using the word “gamer” to ID Lanza the way a newspaper would identify someone’s occupation:

    They don’t believe this was just a spreadsheet. They believe it was a score sheet … This was the work of a video gamer, and that it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list. They believe that he picked an elementary school because he felt it was a point of least resistance, where he could rack up the greatest number of kills. That’s what (the Connecticut police) believe.

    And the source, in insisting that Lanza did not plan to get shot by police, ascribes the killer’s plot as something straight out of the “code of the gamer”:

    They believe that (Lanza) believed that it was the way to pick up the easiest points. It’s why he didn’t want to be killed by law enforcement. In the code of a gamer, even a deranged gamer like this little bastard, if somebody else kills you, they get your points. They believe that’s why he killed himself.

    The source also compares gun and “gamers” with porn and rapists:

    In the end, it was just a perfect storm: These guns, one of them an AR-15, in the hands of a violent, insane gamer. It was like porn to a rapist. They feed on it until they go out and say, enough of the video screen. Now I’m actually going to be a hunter.

    And Lupica’s source is pretty confident that Lanza learned all about a “tactical reload” through his penchant for video games (even though videos of a “tactical reload” show up all over YouTube):

    They believe he learned the principles of this — the tactical reload — from his game. Reload before you’re completely out. Keep going. When the strap broke on his first weapon (the AR-15), he went to his handgun at the end. Classic police training. Or something you learn playing kill games.

    Just for the record, “disturbed” and “mentally ill” did not appear in the digital version of Lupica’s 1,075-word article or in any of his source’s quotes, although “insane” popped up once once, “deranged” once, and “game” or “gamer” was in there 12 times. Also for the record: The story doesn’t mention any efforts to confirm anything with Connecticut State Police, or the specific connections between violence and video games. While we’re on that topic: There is no specific connection between violence and video games. The scientific record is threadbare. Adam Lanza did not shoot up that school just because he played video games. And when you plot gun-related deaths and video-game consumption on a graph, it looks like this — a downward slope, and a whole lot of gun violence in America:
    [see graphic]

    Vice President Joe Biden’s task force has tried not to make judgments on the gaming industry, even as its leaders face a mountain of threats from the National Rifle Association. And the NRA loves to say that video games turn people into killers almost as much as it likes to say Adam Lanza’s name: “There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse,” Wayne LaPierre said in his odd, unnerving, and gaming-oblivious speech after the December shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. (The NRA, it should be noted, has its own video gamesjust not for preschoolers anymore.) And the gun lobby has continues its familiar messaging, even as LaPierre hasn’t actually visited Newtown or looked to fund more scientific research, as the White House is calling on Congress to do. The NRA is too busy calling on Congress to fund more teachers with guns at the schools it says need them across America.

    At his speech at CPAC over the weekend, LaPierre said that the administration’s plan to address gun violence included a continued effort to “prevent mental health records from being added to the check system” — the very background-check system the NRA may have just successfully lobbied to death, even as the lobby has very publicly endorsed one version of legislation that addresses mental health and the checks. For the NRA, mental health isn’t an issue — it’s something to be lumped in with video games and background checks as a weapon. Indeed, as we learn more about Lanza’s actual mental health, Congress is learning from parents and experts at official hearings that cops and more guns aren’t going to help figure out how to confront mental illness as it does and does not relate to gun violence. And yet this is what LaPierre said at CPAC: “It is troubling and saddening how quickly this debate has deteriorated from what would truly help make people safer to what has proven to be the decades-old agenda of those bent on destroying the Second Amendment.”

    The role that violent video could might play in triggering violent actions in that tiny subset of the truly mentally vulnerable is going to one of those issues that really never goes away, especially as gaming technology becomes more advanced and immersive. It’s an emerging technology that’s going to become even more immersive over time (imagine when graphics become indistinguishable from the real world) so we should expect this debate to eventually morph into a larger debate over what impact virtual reality-like technologies might have on human psyches in the future. It’s sort of like a predecessor to the upcoming transhumanism debates that future technologies are likely to unleash and like the current debate over video games and violence, we should probably expect future debates over immersive technologies, mental health, and violence to be filled with similar kinds of mindless and damaging rhetoric like we see coming from that NY Post article and folks like LaPierre. The debate over the potent for violence emerging from video games is also somewhat analogous the debates surrounding the Drug War and whether or not illegal drug use will lead to violent crimes and the general downfall of civilization.

    If history is our guide, Americans should probably expect a protracted, decades-long period where the government continues to blunder though one public policy failure over another while never really doing anything meaningful to reduce gun violence and generating enormous profits for powerful industries. It’s one of those things the US excels at. History may be a pretty accurate guide, but it’s usually doesn’t take you where you want to go.

    Today’s violent video games clearly aren’t a large risk for the vast majority of “gamers” because the US would have already descended into some sort of Mad Max hellscape by now given the number of gamers already playing them. But the question of whether or not video games now, or in the future, truly do pose a real risk for a tiny number of mentally vulnerable individuals isn’t going away because, like any technology, questions of its impact on society are sort of ever-present. Any robust civilization needs to be self-aware, to some extent, and that involves trying to understand how what we do and what we build impacts ourselves and others. It’s one of the many reason’s humanity’s apparent collective inability to critically self-examine itself is so perilous as we proceed forward. Even when we ask the right questions, humanity’s track record on providing sane answers seems to chronically involve decades or centuries of perpetual blundering until a generation comes along that say “ok, this is dumb, let’s try something else”.

    Progress can happen, though, so at some point we should expect the debate over gun violence, mental health, and video games to move past its current LaPierre-ization. For instance, it’s pretty much a given at this point that the last few decades of Republican Party hysteria over a variety of social issues has seriously eroded the future of appeal of that party to Americans under the age of 30. To a large extent, the embrace of extreme social conservatism that historically was the norm (opposition to gay rights and abortion, advocacy of creationism and other forms of Biblical fundamentalism in schools, etc.) didn’t just fail at appealing to the bulk of the US youth vote, it actively pushed away a large number of potential voters that might have otherwise been receptive to the GOP’s signature form of socioeconomic-Darwinism (another area humanity seems doomed to blunder on for decades to come). We’ve finally hit that generation that said “this is dumb, let’s try something else” on a whole host of issues that played well, politically, throughout the 90’s and 00’s. Maintaining those policy positions will come at an enormous long-term costs for the GOP and this is why the GOP needs a serious “rebranding” and soon.

    So you have to wonder about future attitudes towards gun control on this nation in the upcoming generations. Recent studies have suggested that a surprisingly high number of youths (high school or college aged), plan to own a gun at some point, so it might seem like a safe long-term move by the GOP to maintain an amped-up gun fetish as part of their official party “brand” going forward. But the effectiveness of that strategy over the long haul kind of depends on the real world impact that the GOP’s “brand name” policies are going to have on the lives of the next generation. We really don’t know what the kids of the future are going to think about having militarized schools, especially when they get older and learn that the reason they had to be frisked and probed and prodded growing up was so crazy Uncle Wayne could keep his powerful toys in order to more fully immerse himself in his weekend “Armed Insurrection” games. The kids might not actually appreciate that. Similiarly, it’s very unclear how young males, especially socially awkward nerdy young males that are maybe a little depressed (i.e. most teenage males), are going to enjoy being routinely “checked” by the future “mental health buddies” that the NRA desires so that robust mental health records can be recorded, shared, and mined and that future law enforcement agencies can pick out those deemed to be perhaps somewhat “at risk” for random, unprecedented violence. Sure, those deemed “at risk”, won’t be immediately sent to counseling or anything…they’ll just be quietly tracked in the mental health system and quietly observed in order to ensure they don’t exhibit any more immediate “warning signs”. And those individuals being tracked will quietly know this as it will be pretty obvious to everyone who is considered “at risk”. And, increasing, kids will know a friend that gets “flagged” and tagged as “at risk”. You have to wonder which party/social movement those future young voters will want to thank for that?

    And don’t forget, guns are only one type of potentially destructive technology platform that future “deranged gamers” could conceivably use to carry out a mass killing. What about “at risk” youth/young adults that take an interest in computer programmer and security. They might be able to take down an entire power-grid. Should they be tracked too? Tracked quietly, of course, but done nonetheless…you know, just in case.

    Tomorrow’s youth is the demographic that’s pretty much guaranteed to be the primary focus of any new “mental health”/video game violence screening regimes that we should expect to emerge over the next few decades. Yes, many of the mass killers of late have been older adults, but older adults that don’t currently have mental health records indicating a risk aren’t likely to be the targets of any new screening regimes. Kid’s, on the other hand, are just a much more natural cohort to keep routine records on as they develop. And the profit potential for such regimes tracking kids is just too large for our current political system to resist. The writing is on the wall with respect to the politics and policy inclinations of today’s politicians. Today’s adults can fight back politically against having their own privacy invaded in the name of public safety. Kids and teens can’t hire lobby or threaten to vote for the other party and they are an enormous potential revenue generator. Some sort of new screening of America’s youth is more or less guaranteed at this point.

    History pretty much demand that we do so…otherwise how would be complete the cycle of one profitable policy blunder after another until a new generation says “ok, this is dumb, let’s try something else”? At least one generation of kids is going to have to grow up under such a system before they can vote for something different. This is how we progress. Sadly. And since these new “mental health” screening regimes with an orientation toward video game-playing socially awkward males are also likely to be part of the new NRA/GOP “brand” in the minds of today’s and tomorrow’s youth, you have to wonder if we aren’t seeing the GOP once again embrace temporarily expedient politics that will allow the party to continue appealing to a still politically-significant but shrinking older political demographic at the cost of turning the party into an even bigger youth pariah in the future. Especially if the black helicopters never arrive:

    TPM
    Terry Moran To Karl Rove: ‘You’re Scaring People’ On Gun Issue

    Pema Levy 10:35 AM EDT, Sunday March 24, 2013

    ABC News anchor Terry Moran argued Sunday that Republican strategist Karl Rove is unnecessarily “scaring” people when it comes to the gun control debate by talking about gun registries.

    “You wanna get something done, then stop scaring people, don’t say we’re gonna keep a registry of all these guns,” Rove said during a roundtable discussion on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.

    “Stop scaring people,” Moran interjected. “If you’re scaring people with this Orwellian sense that black helicopters and the government if we register guns are gonna confiscate Americans’ guns. That kind of paranoia fuels –”

    “With all due respect, it is not paranoia,” Rove said, cutting off Moran.

    “Who’s going to confiscate all the guns in America?” Moran said.

    “People have a fear of this. Why do it? Why do you need it?” Rove said.

    At issue is whether a new background check law would require licensed U.S. gun dealers keep paper records of private gun sales. Gun dealers have already been keeping sales records since 1968. Creating a national registry is prohibited by federal law.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 24, 2013, 2:35 pm
  25. A correction: The awful article about those dangerous “gamers” discussed above was from Mort Zuckerman’s New York Daily News, not Murdoch’s New York Post. My bad! The video games made me do it.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 25, 2013, 9:01 am
  26. Another correction: Remember how the original reporting said the shooter was wearing a bullet-proof vest but then investigators later said that, no, it was just a utility vest? We now have an explanation for that reporting discrepancy: It looks like the bullet-proof vest emerged from the first responder reports. There were also three classrooms initially reported attacked, but that was later revised to two. It’s a reminder that in such an extreme situation major revisions of what was encountered might take place. The vest and classroom count discrepancies are amongst the most understandable instances of misreporting that’s taken place in this entire tragedy. Everyone responding to it would be immediately traumatized.

    Less understandable is how the vast majority of the news articles in the last week covering the March 28 release of documents by State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky (warrants, etc.) and all reported that the shooter had a bullet-proof vest. The newly released documents said it was a bullet-proof vest but they were also the newly released initial first responder reports. This is a minor detail but one worth clarifying because it was rather confusing how it was suddenly reported again in the last week that the shooter was wearing a bullet-proof vest. It was also a fun mass amnesia moment.

    So anyways, it was a utility-vest:

    Bloomberg
    Newtown School Shooter Lanza’s Rifle Had 14 Rounds Left
    By Phil Milford & Chris Dolmetsch – Mar 28, 2013 12:14 PM CT

    The man who shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, at a Connecticut elementary school in December spent less than five minutes in the building before taking his own life, leaving 14 unspent rounds in the magazine of his rifle, state authorities said.

    Sedensky released more information today on the killings at Sandy Hook, which led to nationwide calls from gun-control advocates seeking tougher firearms laws. An investigation into the incident is continuing and no decisions have been made as to whether to prosecute anyone for related crimes, Sedensky said.

    “This is an active, ongoing investigation,” Sedensky said. “No conclusions have been reached and no final determinations have been made. The estimation of completion in the summer remains.”
    Governor’s Comment

    In a search warrant description from state police detective James McGlynn, the school and the home of Nancy Lanza presented horrific scenes when police arrived.

    As officers entered the school, “numerous school children and school personnel were located deceased from apparent gunshot wounds in the first three classrooms” and the shooter was found dead on the floor of the middle classroom “dressed in military style clothing, wearing a bullet-proof vest.”

    At Nancy Lanza’s house they found “a deceased middle-aged white female lying in a supine position on a bed in the 2nd floor master bedroom” with “an apparent gunshot wound to her forehead” and a rifle on the floor nearby.
    Two Classrooms

    Subsequent investigation showed there were shootings in only two classrooms and Lanza was not wearing a bulletproof vest, Sedensky, the prosecutor, said in today’s statement.

    Also seized were “written documents” by Adam Lanza, including “personal notes, memoirs and thoughts” later turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for analysis.

    Warrant-return inventories include a paperback book entitled “Train Your Brain to get Happy,” and a New York Times article from Feb. 18, 2008, on a school shooting at Northern Illinois University.

    Police also found an “Adam Lanza National Rifle Association Certificate.”

    Here’s that Feb. 18, 2008, New York TImes article about the Northern Illinois University (NIU) shooter. The 2008 Northern Illinois University shooter, Steve Kazmierczek, was originally portrayed as a shy loner but it later came out that he he had been institutionalized in high-school for his obsession with white-power and Satanism. As an adult grad student he apparently had an obsession with gruesome horror movies (as was James Holmes) and was covered with tattoos of the Saw Movie guy and other things of that nature. That all came out much later. There were those reports about the classmate that said the Newtown shooter had a website dedicated to Satan. I don’t think those reports were ever confirmed, but given that the Newtown shooter had a real fascination with the 2008 NIU shooter and Brievik (who was also a far-right nut-job) and the “prepper” background, it will be interesting to see if any interest in far-right ideologies emerge in the Newtown shooter’s background in the final report that’s supposed to be out some time this summer.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 2, 2013, 11:16 pm
  27. It seems Congress is discovering that creating a national database of those deemed to be “too crazy” to own a gun is a horrifically complex issue because it inevitably involves “drawing a line” on what is a legally acceptable state of mind. That can be a suprisling soul-wrenching topic. It’s also a topic that’s likely to remind us that are some phenomena that are harder to find the harder you look:

    Gun Control Debate Clouds Definition of Mentally Ill
    The Senate will soon consider legislation to keep the mentally ill away from guns, yet some states already set their own parameters

    By Elizabeth Flock
    April 3, 2013

    Who among the mentally ill should not be allowed to have a gun?

    That was the question debated by mental health experts, members of law enforcement, gun control advocates and gun violence researchers in a conference at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore last month. “There are mental illness diagnoses that do increase your risk of violence,” says Josh Horwitz, who organized the event and is executive director of the gun control group Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “But identifying which [diagnoses] those are and who those people are is going to be difficult.”

    The consequences for trying to link a diagnosis to violent behavior became clear after it was revealed that Newtown shooter Adam Lanza was possibly autistic. The autism community came out in full force to debunk any report that tried to draw such a link. And recent research shows the risk of violent acts committed by those with mental health diagnoses as part of the total population was just 3-5 percent.

    And yet the same question of gun access for the mentally ill will be posed to members of the Senate when they come back from recess Monday and consider legislation that asks for tougher gun background checks for those deemed mentally incompetent.

    Few in the gun control debate agree on the answer to the question, but most say the current system isn’t working.

    Current federal law says any person who has been formally committed to a mental institution, such as by court order, or who has been adjudicated as a so-called “mental defective,” cannot get access to a gun.

    Those standards aren’t condoned by mental health professionals, who say the term “mental defective” is deeply offensive, as well as not clearly defined. Gun control groups, meanwhile, say the law doesn’t do nearly enough to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them. And even gun rights groups have problems with the current system, with the NRA saying recently that states needed to do a better job at submitting names of the mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS). The NRA is right that states haven’t been great at compliance – almost 20 states submitted fewer than 100 mental health records to the database as of October 2012, according to research from the gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

    It’s worth noting, in the NRA’s defense, that they did warn us all about a new danger that might arise if and when the US Federal government implements the much more “inclusive” list of people with any sort of mental “issues” into a single national database: Hackers. A robustly populated single national database of that nature could be quite a tempting target. And just last month the NRA warned us all about this hacking possibility…in their own special way.

    Continue…


    So while there are problems with the current system, most groups involved in the debate disagree about how to fix them. And nowhere is that fight playing out more vigorously than at the state level.

    For example, in Maryland, a state-created task force on guns recently released a report that recommended mental health professionals be required to report patients who are suicidal to local law enforcement. But as The Baltimore Sun reports, that recommendation didn’t sit well with medical professionals, who worried the requirement would violate doctor-patient privacy privileges.

    The same concerns are playing out in New York, where legislation with a similar bent recently went into effect. The New York Safe Act of 2013 requires mental health professionals to report a patient to county governments if they believe he or she is “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.”

    Honberg says he also believes the legislation is “one more factor that could make people reluctant to seek help.”

    Some states had already instated tough gun control policies for the mentally ill before New York.

    In California, if a person is placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold in a facility, then that person can’t purchase firearms for five years after they were admitted. That person is also reported to the NICS database.

    In Georgia and Mississippi, gun rights are restricted not only for those involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, but also for people who brought themselves to the hospital.

    While this fight continues to play out at the local level, the Senate will return from recess to legislation proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that would require better reporting of those considered mentally ill to the national database. Specifically, that includes people who have been criminally charged and found not competent to stand trial, people criminally charged and found not guilty due to insanity, and people committed to a psychiatric hospital.

    “[The legislation] makes an effort for clarity for states about who they’re supposed to report,” says Honberg, who supports the bill. But perhaps more importantly, he says, “it’s effort to try to link reporting to dangerousness, as opposed to generalized stereotypical assumptions about mental illness.” Honberg is keen to point out that research shows mentally ill people are not violent.

    That’s a point many gun control groups can agree on. Horwitz suggests that this debate could move forward if the focus was shifted away from mental illness and onto other factors that research has shown to directly correlate to violence.

    Why don’t we focus on people with violent misdemeanors, who are at much higher risk of recidivism? Or…alcohol problems, substance abuse?” he says. “No one is saying if you have schizophrenia then you shouldn’t have a gun… There are just too many unchecked guns.”

    Oh dear. It’s not a good sign when the organizer of the national conference set up to discuss these issues wants us to expand the search for the “too crazy to own a gun” category beyond the mental health realm and into the areas of alcohol and substance abuse. Because why set up laws that reduce people’s incentives to get mental health treatment alone when you can also reduce the incentives to get drug and alcohol treatment? We could just legalize drugs, treat it as a health issue, and watch drug-war-related gun-crimes plummet while making it far more likely for someone to seek treatment, but that would be too sane an approach to reducing gun-violence. Instead, we have serious consideration of the NRA’s “armed guards in schools (and eventually other public spaces)”-solution.

    We could also, you know, remind ourselves that one of the best tools we could possibly imagine for preventing “mental illness” is not something specifically directed at mental health at all. That amazing “anti-crazy” tool at our disposal happens to be the “robust socioeconomic safety-net functioning in a society that lacks the grotesque socioeconomic inequality we see in the US today”-tool. Three decades of stagnant wages and increasingly strained social services can create the kinds of unrelenting chronic stresses that can turn an otherwise sane individual into someone that just might “too crazy to own a gun”. Odds are decades of chronic, worsening stress will just make someone really really unhappy and the vast vast majority of people that endure the chronic stresses created by our stupid economy do not become prone towards violence. But if we’re really serious about preventing people without a history of mental health issues from “snapping” and going on a shooting spree, it should be widely acknowledged that stress is generally harmful for humans and the US culture encourages chronic stress, chronic stresses make people unhappy, and being chronically unhappy appears to be one of the near-universal experiences that these spree-killers tend to have. There are indeed some people that are born with a strong genetic predisposition that makes them very likely to develop a serious mental illness but we have to keep in mind that quite a few cases of mental illness are circumstantial. When you have an absurd economy rooted in a “race to the bottom”/”drug war” cruelty you should expect above-baseline levels of insanity to emerge.

    That’s all part of why our national efforts to draw a legal line specifying who is “too crazy to own a gun” is so fraught with peril: creating more stress, especially financial stress, is a core part of the Ayn Randian ideology that dominates DC’s id. The general “mental health” strategy that is likeliest to work – one where we don’t target “the mentally ill” but just try to make like better for everyone in general – is antithetical to the DC mentality. If the proles aren’t living a life filled with chronic physical and financial stresses then society will become weak and mentally feeble (plus, the proles might have time to organize). You have to be kind of crazy in the first place to make the Sword of Damacles of Bankruptcy your national muse so none of this should be particularly surprising. But it’s still depressing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 6, 2013, 6:38 pm
  28. There’s some new details out on the proposed new “mental health” program for schools. It appears to focus on training teachers on how to identify early warning signs of mental illness in kids. The fellow that chaired the DSM-IV has some thought on the proposed mental health screening system for kids. He doesn’t seem to think it sounds like a healthy approach:

    The Huffington Poast
    The Obama Plan — Spending Mental Health Money in All the Wrong Places
    Posted: 04/12/2013 11:19 am
    Allen Frances

    The Obama administration proposes investing $235 million dollars into a new mental health program for our schools that is meant to increase the safety of our children and prevent future Newtowns. The money will train teachers and masters level mental health professionals so that they may detect early signs of mental illness in their students.

    This well-meaning program is a serious mistake for two reasons. First, it is no more than a politically correct, cosmetic solution that distracts attention from what really needs to be done. Second, it will likely wind up doing much more harm than good for the kids who are identified as being at risk for mental illness.

    I really can’t imagine the content of the training programs. There is nothing to teach — no proven way of detecting early signs of mental illness in children and no proven way of preventing it. Predicting violence is like picking a needle out of a haystack. The rarity of the event makes accurate identification simply impossible.

    Most of the kids singled out (and stigmatized) by the early warning system will be ‘false positives’ — not really at risk for violence or mental illness and much better left alone to mature out of their problems. And most future mass murderers will be ‘false negatives’ — completely missed by the broadly cast net.

    And attempts at prevention and early treatment are likely to increase the already rampant overuse of inappropriate medication in children. Many, if not most, of the kids identified will have no more than self-limited developmental or individual differences. But many will get unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment.

    A large Canadian study showed that the best predictor of Attention Deficit Disorder in a boy is whether his birthday is in January or December ( January 1 being the cut off date for school assignment). The horrible conclusion — we are medicalizing as mental disorder being young, being immature, and being male. We should let boys be boys and not have our teachers play amateur psychologist.

    The experience of prevention screening of young kids in New Zealand should be cautioning. Shortly after its initiation there was a dramatic increase in the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder.

    So it sounds like the existing evidence suggests this new screening system won’t actually catch any future spree-killers (or help with mental health issues in general) but it will lead to an even more dramatic increase in the rates of medicating the kids. Plus, now we have a whole new category of society’s problems to blame on teachers. Nice.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 12, 2013, 1:55 pm
  29. Gun ‘R’ US:

    TPM
    More Senators Vote To Loosen Gun Laws Than Tighten Them
    Sahil Kapur April 18, 2013, 11:10 AM

    Fifty-seven senators voted Wednesday to dramatically expand gun rights after the background check legislation was scuttled, a sign that even amid the most concerted gun control push in two decades, there remains more Senate support for loosening gun laws than tightening them.

    The National Rifle Association-backed measure, brought by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) as an amendment to gun legislation, would have made a concealed carry permit in one state valid in other states. In other words, if it passed, California would be forced to let someone carry a concealed weapon in public if they were permitted to do so, say, by the state of Kansas.

    The bill failed as it was subject to a filibuster-proof 60 vote threshold, like all amendments. But thirteen Democrats joined all but one Republican (Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk) in voting for it. It received more votes than background check legislation, which would have modestly tightened the nation’s gun laws and managed to find 55 supporters.

    “This amendment would wreak havoc in large portions of America — suburban and urban areas,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said just before the vote on Cornyn’s amendment. “Because there are no residency requirements, criminals from all states could go to states, Florida is one, get a concealed carry permit and legally — criminals, felons — concealed carry in other states.”

    “Let Wyoming do what they want to do on concealed carry, but don’t impose that on New York, and vice versa,” he said.

    Cornyn said his legislation was “designed to protect the fundamental Second Amendment rights of American citizens who are traveling or temporarily away from home while they hold a concealed handgun license.” He called it “background checks on steroids.”

    Pro-gun proponents love the measure. Similar legislation was brought in 2009 by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and received 58 votes. Democratic leaders worked hard to ensure its defeat this time around, worrying that its inclusion could poison and likely scuttle the final legislation.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 18, 2013, 8:35 am
  30. According to a recent poll, 29% of registered US voters think an armed rebellion might be necessary in the US in the next five years:

    Talking Points Memo
    Poll: 29% Think Armed Rebellion Might Soon Be Necessary
    Sahil Kapur May 1, 2013, 3:53 PM

    Three in 10 registered American voters believe an armed rebellion might be necessary in the next few years, according to the results of a staggering poll released Wednesday by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind.

    The survey, aimed at measuring public attitudes toward gun issues, found that 29 percent of Americans agree with the statement, “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.” An additional five percent were unsure.

    Eighteen percent of Democrats said an armed revolt “might be necessary,” as compared to 27 percent of independents and 44 percent of Republicans. Support levels were similar among males and females but higher among less educated voters.

    The poll also found that 25 percent of voters believe the American public is being lied to about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting by people seeking to promote a political agenda. An additional 11 percent said they weren’t sure.

    The eye-opening findings serve as a reminder that Americans’ deeply held beliefs about gun rights have a tendency to cross over into outright conspiracy theories about a nefarious government seeking to trample the Second Amendment — paranoia that pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association have at times helped stoke. The data help explain why even the most modest gun safety laws face tremendous, intense opposition.

    Now where are they getting these ‘Government takeover’ ideas?:

    Talking Points Memo
    GOP Battles A Threat To Gun Rights That Even The NRA Says Doesn’t Exist
    Sahil Kapur May 1, 2013, 6:10 AM

    Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation aimed at combating a threat to gun rights that even the National Rifle Association has described as pure fiction.

    A bill introduced late last week by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) would ban federal agencies, excluding the Pentagon, from buying more ammunition during a six-month period if it currently possesses more than its monthly averages during the Bush administration.

    The conspiracy theory that incubated the bill is that the Obama administration is trying to buy up bullets so ordinary Americans have less access to them in the marketplace.

    “President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding Americans’ access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Inhofe said in a statement. “One way the Obama Administration is able to do this is by limiting what’s available in the market with federal agencies purchasing unnecessary stockpiles of ammunition.”

    Only it’s false — as no less a pro-gun organization than the NRA declared last year.

    Last fall, the NRA issued a statement saying the claim was being pushed in an “Internet rumor mill” and was designed to “stir up fear.” The “more incendiary authors,” the group said, “suggest that these government agencies are preparing for a war with the American people.”

    “As most gun owners will agree, skepticism of government is healthy. But today, there are more than enough actual threats to the Second Amendment to keep gun owners busy,” the NRA said. “[T]here is no need to invent additional threats to our rights.”

    The GOP-led House oversight committee flirted with the conspiracy theory in March when it asked the Department of Homeland Security to explain its decisions regarding the procurement of ammunition. Republicans described it as an effort to “ensure that U.S. taxpayer funds are being spent effectively.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 1, 2013, 2:29 pm
  31. Well isn’t that special: The NRA just chose a new president/culture warrior to replace David Keene at its annual conference in Houston. Meet Jim Porter:

    The New York Times
    Meet the New N.R.A. President
    By JULIET LAPIDOS

    At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Conan O’Brien noted that Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s front man, is merely its executive vice president, “which begs the question, how freaking crazy do you have to be to be the actual president of the N.R.A.?”

    That’s not what begs the question means; the N.R.A.’s executive V.P. functions as a sort of chief executive officer; and it’s an easy joke. But as it happens the N.R.A. has just elected a new president, an Alabama lawyer named Jim Porter, and he’s, if not freaking crazy, certainly aggressively provocative.

    Among the less inflammatory statements he’s made in the last few years is that the Obama administration “wants to take us …to a European, socialistic, bureaucratic type of government” and that the Democrats have made “a run on our rights, our individual rights.” That’s humdrum by contemporary standards.

    Less humdrum, and currently making the rounds on the Internet is a speech he delivered at the New York Rifle and Pistol Association’s annual meeting in June, 2012. At that speech he called Mr. Obama a “fake president” and Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly un-American.” He claimed that Mr. Holder and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were “trying to kill the Second Amendment at the United Nations.” (For what it’s worth, he was referring to a proposed treaty regulating global trade in conventional weapons supported by every single member state excepting Syria, Iran and North Korea.) And he gave a short lesson in terminology to the assembled Yankees, “Now y’all might call it the Civil War, but we call it the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ down South.”

    For Mr. Porter, shooting = freedom. At the same annual meeting, he said, “Every time you take your nephew to the gun club, every time you take your daughter skeet shooting, every time you take your grandchildren out, we’re passing on the legacy of freedom.”

    Outgoing president David Keene said Mr. Porter was a “perfect match” for the job. “As we are likely to win most of the legislative battles in Congress,” he told The Washington Times, “we will have to move to courts to undo the restrictions placed on gun owners’ rights in New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado.” State by state, Mr. Porter will pass on the legacy of shooting freedom.

    In a tangentially-related story, there was an apparent “suicide by cop” incident at the Bush International Airport in Houston yesterday when a man pulled out an AR-15 and fired two shots into the ceiling. The cause is unclear although mental-health issues appear to be a factor but Glenn thinks it might be an Obama-orchestrated Reichstag fire.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 3, 2013, 9:18 am

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