Did Media Coverage of Breivik Lead to Newtown Massacre?

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


The current claims bylaw enforcement sources are that Lanza was treating mass murder as a video game score that he felt compelled to beat Breivik at. Breivik had his own gaming obsessions and seemed to be living in an imaginary world where he was the leader of an army of crusader knights.

Crazy people are basically crazy. Still it would appear from this that Lanza knew entirely what he was doing and that the obsessive publicity that the media gave to the Breivik case may have inspired the Newtown massacre.

 

Naturally we won’t be calling for a video game ban or a media ban, because attacking the First Amendment because of a madman’s actions is wrong. But somehow attacking the Second Amendment isn’t.

 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.

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.”

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

It’s rather unlikely that Lanza shared Breivik’s confused muddle of politics. Rather he wanted to be the world’s biggest serial killer.

He apparently chose the Gun-Free Zone of a school because it was an easy target. And like Breivik he targeted the underage.

If the media had not provided compulsive coverage of the Breivik shootings, would Adam Lanza have developed an ambition to top his ‘score’?

  • Viet Vet

    It is proper for the "media" to report such things as the Norway travesty, but in an effort to make hay with it, they sensationalize it and beat it to death. That doesn't affect normal people, but has a huge effect on crazy people.

  • tagalog

    When I heard the news story about Adam Lanza wanting to beat the record of Anders Breivik, my first thought was "this story is going to have legs, all right."

    What could be better? Breivik was a crazy fascist, a right-winger by most lights, and Lanza was devoted to violent video games. Those two things will give this story real life and it will be played until the grooves on the record are worn smooth (for the folks who were born after records, please excuse the anachronism – the metaphor just means 'worn to death').

    On the other hand, he chose the Sandy Hook school because it was known to be a gun-free zone. This story has everything. Too bad there were no high-capacity magazines or background-check failures in it. Or maybe that's good too — depends on the spin, I guess.

    The news story said Lanza used 3 firearms in his spree. I thought the AR-15 was left in the trunk of the car he used and he only used the two pistols. What's the final thingie on the use of that godawful assault rifle?

    • Viet Vet

      I have never been able to pin that down. The last thing I have on it is an MSLSD news report that there were 4 handguns found in the school and the so-called "assault" rifle (it was just a Bushmaster semi-auto) was left in the car and was never used..

      • tagalog

        I bet you my last $20 that the fact that you can't pin that AR-15 issue down is that he didn't use it, but reporting that would disrupt the current gun control narrative, so it's being ignored and allowed to be buried.

  • Ar'nun

    Here is the CT State Police response to the article sited here; “"A Connecticut state police spokesman dismissed the report as inaccurate speculation."

    This is simply an attempt by the mainstream media to make a tie between Adam Lanza and Right Wingers. Doesn't anyone think it is funny that Lanza killed himself, left no manifesto or note, and yet all these weeks later suddenly this pops up? Brevik was labeled a right winger. All reports indicate Lanza was a 19 year old autistic kid who could barely function on his own. I doubt he even knew who Breivik is, and it would be more likely he was trying to beat James Holmes, because that story happened in the US, got a lot more coeverage here in the US, and was more recent. Plus, Breivik used explosives too, Lanza did not.

  • Ghostwriter

    Let's be honest here. Lanza was a loon. That's all there is to it.