New information links Sandy Hook tragedy to violent video games

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A New York Daily News article published on Sunday finds new evidence suggesting Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was tremendously influenced by the culture of the violent video games he played.

“I don’t know if you saw the latest in the Sandy Hook story,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Pat sent me a story yesterday that is absolutely phenomenal to me, and it’s phenomenal to me because nobody is covering it.”

The Daily News’ coverage corroborates the idea that Lanza’s attack was not a spur-of-the-moment decision, but rather a well-calculated and thoroughly thought out attempt to carry out a mission similar to the video game persona he had created.

The article cites an anonymous source described as a “law enforcement veteran,” who claims authorities recovered a massive spreadsheet – a 7 foot long and 4 foot wide document written in nine-point font – from Lanza’s home. The document contained “obsessive, extensive research… about mass murders of the past, and even attempted murders.”

“It was the names and the number of people killed and the weapons that were used, even the precise make and model of the weapons. It had taken him years,” Glenn explained. “Now, they don’t believe this was just a spreadsheet. They believe this was a ‘score sheet.’ This was the work of a video gamer and this was his intent, to put his own name at the top of that list. They believe he picked the elementary school – this is the police, believe he picked the elementary school because he felt it was the ‘point of least resistance’ where he could rack up the greatest number of kills.”

All of this information and more was reportedly shared by Colonel Danny Stebbins, of the Connecticut State Police, during the International Association of Police Chiefs and Colonels mid-year meeting in New Orleans last week.

The source in the Daily News article explained:

“The fascination (Lanza) had with this subject matter, the complete and total concentration. There really was no other subject matter inside his head. Just this: Kill, kill, kill.”

“It really was like he was lost in one of his own sick games. That’s what we heard. That he learned something from his game that you learn in (police) school, about how if you’re moving from room to room — the way he was in that school — you have to reload before you get to the next room. Maybe he has a 30-round magazine clip, and he’s only used half of it. But he’s willing to dump 15 rounds and have a new clip before he arrives in the next room.”

“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.”

“The thing you need to understand is he laid this out years before, and it all is from being murder obsessed because of video games,” Glenn said. “Now, where is the President on this?”

“You’re not going all Bloomberg on my video games, are you,” Stu interjected.

“No. No, I’m not,” Glenn continued. “I’m not coming to your house and confiscating, I’m not telling anybody not to make them. I’m not doing anything. I’m telling you get away from them… There’s a big difference between Pong and what, like, Adam Lanza is getting into.”

“We’re not saying that all video games or, you know, or any video game will make all kids evil. Nobody’s saying that,” Glenn clarified. “And I’m not saying also that you need to go shut them down or anything else.”

“You’re an adult,” he concluded. “I believe in maximum liberty, maximum personal responsibility.”

  • Sam Fisher

    Crazy people do crazy things Glenn. Charles Mason was set off by beetle’s music. Should we ban all their music because of that? People like this could be set off by anything. I have been playing for years. I never shot anyone I have not killed anyone. I have not lost touch with reality. Sure they are getting worse but if you don’t like them don’t buy them. If you don’t understand the rating system then ask a conservative gamer like me. Their will always be there in the shadows waiting for something to set them off whether it was a video game movie or crapy sixties music.

  • snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    The man lived in the world of violent video games, and yet as far as I am aware of, hardly any news media has released the information about his ‘research.’

    One matter though, it is not the games, nor guns, nor music, nor anything else that makes a person go out and kill people; I used to be a hunter and willingly stopped using a firearm once I was diagnosed as bi-polar (for my safety, not others),

    I have neighbors who have found out about my bi-polar who still to this day, twelve years later since they were informed ‘wait to hear he has up and murdered everyone in their sleep.

    It is the choices we make that we have to answer for in the end.

    • landofaahs

      He should have been in a mental institution along with the other progressives.

    • Draxx

      snowleopard, that is taking responsibility for your own actions (or potential actions and being proactive)!  That is a huge problem in America / World is that not enough people are willing to take responsibility to for their actions!  And banning guns is not the solution to individuals problems with coping, and taking them away might actually put their families in more danger from lack of having a means of protection if they completely snap… 

  • landofaahs

    Did they ever come out and tell exactly what weapons were used in the evil act?  I have not found anything that says exactly what the children were shot with.  Me thinks no “assault rifle” was used.

    • J.w. Appling

       There was a ar15  but most of the kids were shot with Police model pistols.

      “A large quantity of unused ammunition was recovered inside the school, along with three semi-automatic firearms found with Lanza: a .223-caliber Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle (with a 30 round magazine), a 10mm Glock handgun and a 9mm SIG Sauer P226 handgun. Outside the school, an Izhmash Saiga-12 combat shotgun was found in the car Lanza had driven.[19][21] At home, Lanza had access to three more firearms: a .45 Henry repeating rifle, a .30 Enfield rifle, and a .22 Marlin rifle.[11][71][72][73]”
      Copied from wikipidia.

      • J.w. Appling

         In close quarters a pistol is far deadlier than a rifle.

        • Anonymous

          It’s why alot of mafia professional criminals perfer the Uzi, since most of their business is done away from prying eyes and often in close quarters.  Having a Automatic weapon in such a compact size is extremely useful.

  • Kanak Attack

    Alright, I have to comment on this one because I do not agree with Glenn on this for a number of reasons.  First of all, I’ve never played a shooter style game where the other player gets your points when he kills you.  I don’t know what this police officer is talking about.

    Why is it okay to go after video games but not okay to go after guns?  Glenn you’re moving away from the underlying principle of freedom that you’re always telling us about.  If you give one side the power to take a freedom away from something you don’t necessarily agree with the other side will use that same power to take another freedom away from something that you DO agree with.  Just because you don’t like video games doesn’t mean you should start blaming this kid’s actions on them.  It’s as ridiculous as blaming guns on this kid’s actions.  He was sick before he played video games, he was sick before he ever handled a gun, and he was STILL sick when he shot all those children.

    The combination of mental illness, bad parenting choices, and not having a stable home with two parents caused this kid to do what he did.  No moral compass is the cause of his actions; nothing else.

    Video games are just that, GAMES.  They’re a social interaction between people and are becoming more and more so as online play becomes more and more popular.  People plays video games today for the same reason people played board games before the age of the video game.  I don’t recall people blaming bad behavior on board games. I’ve played a lot of Battleship in my day, I don’t feel the urge to go blow up a bunch of sailors or plant a bomb on a boat.

    • Anonymous

      It is just as illogical to believe that feeding your mind on images of violence and killing won’t affect you mentally as it is to believe that feeding your body with a steady diet of Big Macs, soda, and junk food won’t affect you physically. 

      Some people can handle the mental or physical junk food better than others, and of course Lanza’s mental illness was a factor in his actions, but EVERY image you take into your mind affects you, even if you don’t immediately perceive what the consequences will be.

      • Roronoa Zoro

        Haha…. no. Prove what you just said. I fuckin dare you.

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree. If video games were a cause for such brutality, USA would have all kinds of similar shootings every week. The kid, in his own mind, became obsessed with  violence, much as some evangelists are obsessed with the bible. The root cause of that violence was his state of mind, nothing else.

      • Anonymous

         America does have similar shootings every week. children are gunned down every day in alarming numbers. and mass murdered are increasing. How many mass shooting were there last year vs how many two years before? Remember Columbine? It shocked everyone. The whole nation mourned. The last shooting it took the murder of dozens of children for Americans to really be shocked. Another Columbine scale shooting would not be all that noticeable today. And this does not even count the fact that we now have little children committing rape. The state of mind is the source but the not always the motivator.

        Let me explain it this way. In Nazi Germany during the early years the average German did not like Jews, but they worked with them and lived next to them and tolerated them every day. Then subtle things changed. News reports began to be anti-Semitic. Books for children were published that depicted Jews as dangerous and in only a few years the dislike Germans had for Jews became hatred and fear. The foundation was the initial mental state but it was altered and built up by the introduction of propaganda. Video games can have the same function

        • Anonymous

          Actually, not quite true.  According to actual historical records, mass murders are DECREASING.  There were 42 incidents of mass murders in the US in the 1990’s.  The first decade of this century saw that drop to 26.  These are according to actual historical records, by the way.  Mass murders are actually going down.  They’re gonna happen no matter what because there will always be crazy people in this country and we can’t find them all.  However, they actually are going down, which is a good sign that the mental health in this country is getting better overall.

        • Roronoa Zoro

          Are you implying that the video games are causing this.

    • Brendan

      Glenn Beck is just saying that violet video games can turn kids more violent.  He didn’t say ban all video games but that parents and people should be aware and cautious and realize the effects they could possibly have on young vulnerable
      minds.  True this tragedy was a combination of mental illness, bad parenting choices, and not having a stable home with two parents but one of the bad parenting choices was allowing her son to play violent video games for thousands and thousands of hours.  I play these games myself but believe moderation is key.

      • J.w. Appling

         Before there was this type of games these sick kids would masturbate to slasher films.
         Its not the medium but how a person reacts to it that should cause alarm.

        • Anonymous

           Wrong. Because the slasher films are not grounded in reality. These video games are. This is an important difference. Besides there is huge difference between masturbating to a movie and slaughtering dozens of human beings.

          • Adam Jenson

            You think video games are grounded in reality?  Are you out of your mind?

          • Tory Quinton

             Yes, and psychologists agree with me. A movie is purely external. What happens on screen does not happen to you. You are simply receiving the information from the screen. When a murderer attacks in a movie it may shock us, but we do not experience the attack psychologically the same way as if we were actually attacked.

            Video games by contrast put us directly in control of the action. We cease to be mere spectators unattached to what we see. In a first person shooter the gun is on display, held by a hand that leads off screen creating the convincing illusion that it is you who are holding the gun. This is why they call them first person shooter. When the game is designed to have a psychological impact on the player as well as the physical act of pulling the trigger (with he game controllers) and the experiential act of seeing a direct outcome of an action you took, then you have effectively created a Neural system that is tricks the brain into reacting as if it were reacting to a real event.

          • ScaryLogic

            These games are not grounded in reality… have you even played them?

    • Privatier

      Yes, games might be just GAMES to some peple, but they can become a reality to the
      ones with mental problems. All of these killings, were a product of mental disorders of one kind or another…most all basicly ‘loners’ , repressed personalities, etc. If you took
      away the guns, they would find other ways and means (weapons)  to carry out their
      fantisies. Why don’t those that want to abolish guns, want to do the same with these
      videos? Most guns owners are very responsible with them,,,as you say you were with
      the violent video games. The fault is not with the choice of weapon,,. it begins with
      the mentality of the person holding it.  

    • Erica Hallett Long

      If you listen attentively, Glenn very clearly states he’s not advocating “going after” video games.  I believe his point is just that.  Progressives are “going after” guns based on Sandy Hook and other tragedies where guns are used.  Now that it’s painfully obvious that this young man was obsessed with kill-theme video games, why aren’t they “going after” those video games?  Glenn is merely pointing out the same false logic that progressives pick and choose to follow or not on an issue-by-issue basis.

    • Larry

      Yes Kanak this kid was sick, but video games can affect people the same as some board games can.  Glenn isn’t saying to get rid of the games he is suggesting not playing them that is different then wanting to get rid of guns because of what this kid did.

      Most people can play these games and have no problems, you didn’t obsess on the games you played but board games such as Dungeon and Dragons have  and I’m sure there others that have caused problems with people, that being said you have to consider the mental state of the person is it appropriate for them to be playing the games.

    • Anonymous

       I don’t think you read the article closely. Glenn specifically said that he was not suggesting games stop being made, or confiscated or even regulated. Here is  the mistake too many people make. Video games in and of themselves do not turn anyone into a killer. But there are some people who are marginal, troubled individuals who would normally go through life as an odd person, strange maybe, perhaps even sinister but not actually dangerous. To these people video games are very, very seductive and do in fact alter the brain enough to open up the door to what ever demons, real or metaphor exist within. For these people video games do in fact turn them into killers by desensitizing them to violence and by creating a space where violence can be separated from reality with no real risk. After all if you die in a video game you just restart. Film, the closest thing to video games do not even come close to creating this environment.

      “The combination of mental illness, bad parenting choices, and not having
      a stable home with two parents caused this kid to do what he did”

      These things were the field into which the seeds from the video game were sown. There is never a single cause for violence.

      “Video games are just that, GAMES.”

      And that is why you are mistaken. Think about it like this. You and I meet, we speak, then I pick up a gun and hunt you through a city, taking shots when I can. Along the way I murder a few other people, maybe they were good, maybe they were bad, I just don’t know. Then I find you,and I shot you in the head and you are dead…. Then, we do it all over again, maybe several hours every day. And we call it a game. Well sorry but it is not a game and even for people who play and don’t commit murder there is little doubt that it has a negative effect. From higher aggression to a dramatic increase in ADD. It even creates short term symptoms that mirror PTSD. When you spend several hours playing a violent video game, and I mean those that are based in realism, not so much the fantasy games, your brain is rewired on a short term basis in a way that is identical to soldiers coming out of combat. For most people this lasts only a few minutes, or a few hours but for some, those like Adam Lanza it works its way into the bran and becomes normalized.

  • Draxx

    Some people are born with Chemical Imbalances in the Brain, and they do things that others will go through a lifetime and never even contemplate doing the same things. 

    My friends younger brother is a good example of what I am talking about, he was born with a lack of Endorphins/Endocrins that calm a person down from a hightened state of anger.  At the age of four he attacked their mom with a butcher knife when she refused to let him have another cupcake after dinner.  Luckily he was yound and small so that his father was able to take control of the situation before someone was seriously hurt.  Later, after a couple months of testing (mostly psychological and blood test), a psychologist asked his physician to do some extensive brain chemical testing for things like Seratonin/Melatonin and such.  It was a very rough time for their family, but eventually they found out which chemicals he was lacking, and gave him supplements to keep his brain in balance.  Those pills really helped him a lot, but unfortunately he had to make sure to ALWAYS Take Them!  When he was twelve years old, he thought he didn’t need the pills anymore and only pretended to take them.  They discovered what he had done Only After He Threw His Older Brother Through A Sliding Glass Door (my friend ended up have 237 stitches and a couple of months recovery from it)!  My friend was always quietly terrified of his younger brother after that, because you never really know if the pills are working or even that he is taking them…  I can’t imagine how he would have turned out if he had been playing games like Grand Theft Auto (which my son is forbidden to play, and games like it)!  It would Not Have Been Because of the Game Necessarily That Made Him Dangerous, But De-Sensitizing Him To Violence Would Have Made His Actions Worse!  It is definitely debatible whether or not it would have affected him so adversely, and a chance that is better avoided…

    To this day he has to take those pills or be a threat to those around him…  I am sure that he is not a completely isolated case of chemical imbalance!!!  Maybe Lanza suffered the same condition, was bi-polar to an extreme, and played violent video games and the Combination Is What Made Him Do Such Horrible Things!

  • Anonymous

    Those violent video games are just as popular in Europe….
     Europe has the violent video games and movies… they have bullies… they have absent fathers and broken homes… they have all the social ills of America…

    They also have very high rates of atheism and very strict gun laws. 
    Aren’t you surprised they’re not awash in blood? Because any “real” American will tell you that only “god” and guns will keep you safe…
    Course that theory takes a bit of a blow when Americans have seen not only many school shootings but even CHURCH SHOOTINGS! Including one in which the guy leading the prayer service was shot WHILE PRAYING! I mean, what….was he doing it wrong or something!?

  • Anonymous

    Really Glenn, blaming video games for this violence?  That is no different than blaming guns, and not the person, for these massacres. 

    I feel bad for your children that they aren’t allowed to enjoy video games, gaming has been a huge part of my life and I have been playing games since I was 6 or so (going on 20 years now), yet I have no inkling to go out and mass murder because my gaming ‘persona’ is bleeding into my reality.  I have played some pretty violent games too. Heck, I even played the Grand Theft Auto games, yet I don’t want to go and run people over with my car.

    Seriously Glenn, I agree with you on most things, but you are no better than Hilary blaming video games for violence back in the 1990’s.

    Also liberal media is covering this, saw a piece about this last night on CBS. Absolutely disgusted me that they were trying to pin this almost entirely on video games. So you are now siding with liberal media Glenn? 

  • Anonymous

    Here we go again. Its not the video games, its not the guns, and its not the moives. This goes back to parenting or mental illness. I will lean more towards parenting and teaching between right and wrong. Discpline. I thank my Dad to this day for busting my ass when I got out hand. Its about laying down the proper foundation. I am 35, I have owned several weapons. I am a Iraq and Afganistan war  ARMY verteran of 10 years. I was honorable discharged in 2005. I have played video games since I was 5 and I still do. I love my video games. They help me relax on the weekends. I play very violent, adult games. These games come with age ratings. This is provided for parents to make an educated decision if their children should be playing a certain type of game. Its all about parenting.

  • J.w. Appling

    Blame the guns,blame the games I got an Idea why don’t we look at the mental health system in this country.
     Do you know what all these mass shooters have in common…EVRYONE KNEW they were ticking time bombs that scared the hell out of everyone around them and yet they were never committed.  Guns don’t make people mass murderers. And games don’t make stable people kill. Sick kids like this used to kill animals before moving on the humans. Sick people seek out these kinds of movies and games, but its not the cause of them being sick.
     Its time we stoped being all touchy feely about thier rights and start treating them as the threats they are instead of waiting till the shoot up schools.

  • Anonymous

    If you feed your body too much, you get fat.  If you feed your brain violence, you get violent.  He had evidently, no emotional outlets( I am assuming) and he fed on this.  maybe a normal person can do this violent game thing, I do not watch violence, ever, on purpose. I have walked out of movies.  

  • Doug Barnett

    iwant to take on this one

  • Doug Barnett

    i do agree with most couse ive< seen it frist hand not in a bad way yet.
     but ive seen little men that i was there step dad if you will watch and play these games and come out after and talk about killing the words they used i wont say but they got all of it from the games and there uncle how so happenly been in the services thou i think he shouldnt say it that way but he a man at the age of 37 says he is a vet and has psds but sits and drinks< and shows kid online game of war talking to people across the world at the same time! there is something wrong with us people some can handel it some cant! so whats the answer? i ask

  • Starbrander

    FEMA Did This, Right Down To CrisisActors.Com…..Why Were The Other 2 Shooters Allowed To Sit In The Front Seat Of A Police Cruiser Up Until The Time They Left?

  • Anonymous

    I am a huge gamer and have been for 18 years.  I honestly believe that violent games and movies do desensitize children to violence.  I’ve played and don’t like games like Grand Theft Auto, Modern Warfare, and Red Dead Redemption, because they are excessively violent and crude (and partly because I suck at shooters.  RPGs are better!).  I will say that Assassin’s Creed III is pretty patriotic if somewhat too bloody.  But this is why I respect Mr. Beck and his audience.  Neither he nor those who have commented are suggesting we boycott Ubisoft and Rock Star, censor the games, or lobby to make them illegal.  That’s what makes us different than the liberals.  Whatever our view, we’d rather have a discussion and persuade the other side, not use the government as a weapon to force them into submission.

  • Angela Rich

    If someone with a sick mind plays these games it will effect them. In the name of freedom we must not ban anything, but pay attention to what your kids are playing and if there behavior changes. Alert the proper authorities if necessary. And for God Sake, lock up your guns and get them out of the house if you are dealing with a sick intividual in your home.

  • Erica Hallett Long

    If you listen attentively, Glenn very clearly states he’s not advocating
    “going after” video games.  I believe his point is just that. 
    Progressives are “going after” guns based on Sandy Hook and other
    tragedies where guns are used.  Now that it’s painfully obvious that
    this young man was obsessed with kill-theme video games, why aren’t they
    “going after” those video games?  Glenn is merely pointing out the same
    false logic that progressives pick and choose to follow or not on an
    issue-by-issue basis.

  • Anonymous

    I’m rather curious as to the credibility of the claim, because as an avid player of video games, something seems fishy about it.

    Firstly, most of the games that are FPS that have suicide in them usually have penalties associated with them. Most of the modern COD games will usually have you wait longer to get back into said game session after doing so, along with a point penalty.  In the first person medieval combat simulator Chivalry, if you accidently get yourself killed in alot of game modes you won’t come back until the round is over, then your team will be angry at you since your stupidity caused them to be outnumber and thus easier to surround.  That is about the extent of what happens with that game mechanic when pretaining to anything particularly violent and visceral.

    Secondly, let us look at the results that consistently have come back from various groups of doctors, psychaitrists and scientists from many diffirent countries, creeds and political backgrounds over the last two decades and beyond.  They have shown that competative play of any video game causes increased aggression in normal, stable people.  However this can also be said of -anything- competative humans do, it is a natural reaction too it and does not equate to violence. Then you have the desensitization of the game’s content, which however should not be mistaken for apathy.  Again this is something that happens with anything a person does, the more they are exposed to it, the less likely they are to freak out and lose their cool in an extreme situation and is not a bad thing.  Then you have the increase in both hand-eye cordination and decision making skills in alot of games, as well an additional increase in mental functions dependant on the genre of the game. 
    So with both of Glenn’s points of argument nipped in the bud, it goes back to the mental stability of the person in question, like it was so eloquently stated by the fine people here.

  • Anonymous

    Game’s that kill, let’s be real here if you think that rape,murder,theft,shooting,stabing,running from the cop’s is a game you need a little moral fix up .
    If buy chance any one of these crime’s have ever happened to you or a loved one would you think of it as a game no i guess not keep up the good work remember when your mom,grandmother,sister,dad,brother,friend’s and don’t forget dear old grandpa getting the living s/it kick out of him !!
    Just start the game over and it all goes away? remember we are not all the same think of it like this some people have a little trouble with reality so just maybe there practicing to visit someone you care very deeply for .
    If your child got blown away would you still play and don’t lie it would piss you off and you wouldn’t think for more than a second about the game you would think of the bastard that did this to your heart and that’s not anywhere near what i would consider even close to a game.
    Did practice,practice,practice, help any of the dead

  • Adam Jenson

    Did you ever play “cops and robbers” or
    “cowboys and Indians” as a child?
    Parents and grandparents have been playing that for years when they were
    kids, and guess what? They *gasp* used toy guns, shot their friends, and played dead (unless you had one of those friends who could never lose and would refuse to play dead). Funny that sounds a lot like video games, and everyone realized IT WAS JUST A GAME!

  • Adam Jenson

    The bible is filled with violence, dose reading that make you violent?  Unlike video games the violence in the bible was real.  Games are not real, Lord of the Rings is not real, people can tell the difference, its just a game.

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