Center for American Progress

Sandy Hook Shooting: The Speculation About Adam Lanza Must Stop
In the News

Sandy Hook Shooting: The Speculation About Adam Lanza Must Stop

The incontrovertible facts of the Lanza case are, for now, what we as a nation should be focusing on as we come to terms with the Newtown tragedy. All the rest is just talk.

There are a number of things we think we know about Adam Lanza, the Newtown, Connecticut 20-year-old, who last Friday murdered his mother, then shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first-graders and six adults before turning a gun on himself.

We’ve been told, by a former classmate, that he was “weird.” We’ve been told, by a family friend, that he played a lot of violent video games. And we’ve also been told by such sources that he had a “developmental disorder,” that some say was Asperger’s Syndrome.

From this, a narrative has emerged of a troubled young man, induced into violence by his preferred choice of media, and failed by an inadequate mental health system. This narrative has caught on so successfully that, as of Wednesday, a Gallup poll found far more Americans believing that events like the Newtown tragedy could be avoided through increased federal spending on mental health screening and services than by banning the sale of assault weapons.

The above excerpt was originally published in TIME. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Judith Warner

Senior Fellow