Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy Hook Shooter's Home

March 28, 2013 -

Update: Keen-eyed readers may have noticed that two items among all the crap that was hauled out of the Lanza residence were an "NRA certificate for Nancy Lanza" and a copy of the "NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting."  This has lead many to assume that the Lanza's were NRA members.  As such, the National Rifle Association was quick to release the following statement:

"There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association. Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory."

That last sentence strikes us as particularly amusing in light of the arguably reckless, false and defamatory statements the NRA made about video games and the video game industry a mere week after the shooting.

Original Story: Connecticut State Police have released the search warrant for Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza's home, but very few game related items were collected, despite a wildly speculative report from the New York Daily News report that cited a "law enforcement source" close to the situation. In that report the anonymous source claimed that Lanza was a deranged gamer who had a gigantic spreadsheet with stats from other mass shootings.

"They don't believe this was just a spreadsheet," said the source at the time. "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."

But looking through the list of confiscated items, there doesn't seem to be a mention of a gigantic spreadsheet or any specific video games. That part of the New York Daily News report may be related to an unnamed witness. This Yahoo News story reports that the FBI interviewed an unidentified resident who described Lanza as a "shut in" and "avid gamer who plays Call of Duty" and rarely leaves the house. The witness also told FBI agents that Lanza had a "gun safe containing at least four guns." He or she also said that Lanza had attended Sandy Hook Elementary School, and "that the school was Adam Lanza's 'life.'"

Superior Court Judge John Blawie ordered parts of the documents redacted after state prosecutors requested that the identity of a key witness not be revealed for another 90 days. Other information in the document was also redacted. The information was released after parents and community leader in Newtown and the state complained that they were being informed about the investigation after other people in other states - namely law enforcement agencies at a conference in New York - were being given details.

So what items were confiscated by police? Apparently a lot of guns were found in a gun safe in the garage, as well as several samurai swords, assorted knives and some exotic bladed weapons. Police think that Lanza had been planning on doing something for quite some time. A number of other items were confiscated from the shooter's bedroom as well.

They also confiscated medical records, Lanza's writings, and other written material.

As for electronic devices, the police documents show that they confiscated one damaged Seagate 50 GB hard drive, a custom built computer with no hard drive, one PlayStation 2 game console with a controller and an 8MB memory card, one Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop, an Apple iPhone, an Xbox with a partial serial number, a hard drive platter, a shoebox containing "video game parts" and accessories, a Transcend Storejet 160 GB external USB hard drive, one Verizon LG phone with battery, a Brother fax machine, an Ivera USB device, an Xbox 360 console, a Western Digital 80GB hard drive, a garbage bag containing a GPS device, a list of local gun stores addresses, 12 CD-R and DVD-R discs with unknown content, a plastic case with 29 CD-Rs, and vehicle paper work.

The document does not list any specific game titles, nor does it list any gigantic spreadsheet.

We'll have more on this story as it develops. You can check out the 50 page document on the Investigation here (in PDF format).

Source: Weston Daily Voice and Yahoo News by way of Andrew Eisen.

-GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen... um, contributed to this report

 


Comments

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Well what was listed as collected from the shooters home is likely present in 1/2 the homes south of the Mason-Dixon line.

The difference being that less than 1% of the people south of the Mason-Dixon line are bat shit crazy enough to kill someone.

Anyone trying to throw video games under the bus for this has a personal agenda against video games.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

I think we wouldnt be having this conversation if the NRA came out and instead of fingerpointing, they would focus on the 1 sole fact of this matter. That this guy had mental issues and needed proper medical attention. 

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Except they've opposed restrictions on gun ownership by the mentally ill, and it was in living memory when they said they need guns more than normal people (and they've always said all normal people need LOTS of guns).

They don't want that dialog to happen any more than they want it discussed that these two people were collecting guns in preparation for something other than the crime eventually committed with them, which is exactly what the NRA tells people to do.

They also don't want discussion of whether or not this guy was a member to happen too much, because they risk discussion of why the NRA's membership is so high when polls show them to be unpopular even among gun owners. And of course, that's because their actual membership is tiny, the vast majority of members who join do so because nearly every local gun club and a great many firing ranges have arrangements with the NRA restricting their services to NRA members only.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Lolz, You are a respected member right up until you go on a shooting spree, then we don't know you.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Heh, I wish that were true. I've seen them claim they were leftist as soon as the shooting happened.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

NRA is denying he's a member according to one site I saw (shrug). 

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

So apparently he had way more in the way of weapons than he did video games.  Also included in the evidence?  A registered NRA membership card.

Uh-huh.

Let's see Wayne LaPierre try to backpedal his organization away from this one.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

I don't see a membership card.  I could be overlooking it but all I see are an "NRA certificate for Nancy Lanza" and a copy of the "NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting."

For it's part, the NRA said: "There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association. Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory."

I find that last part particularly funny in light of other statements the NRA has made about video games and the games industry.

 

Andrew Eisen

 

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

The fact remains that, member or not, you have something NRA-approved and/or NRA-published in this list.

The NRA themselves are now attached to Lanza and his 'training' for this, just as much if not more so than video games are.

And, despite the NRA's insanity, video games do not kill people. Guns, on the other hand...

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Have to  agree with Craig.  While you're right in that a certificate is not the same thing really as a membership card, Andrew, this still implicates the NRA with Adam and nancy Lanza.

Besides, with sheer amount of guns that were found in that house, I can't imagine how they could NOT be members.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

"Besides, with sheer amount of guns that were found in that house, I can't imagine how they could NOT be members."

I own every Nintendo home console.  I own hundreds of Nintendo video games.  Nothing but Nintendo, in fact.  I am a humongous, raging Nintendo fanboy!

But I am not a Club Nintendo member.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Nintendo doesn't go around to game stores and rental places offering special merchandise and a cut of membership fees in excahnge for requiring a Club Nintendo card to buy games. The NRA does.

The NRA has arrangements with nearly every local gun club in the US and thousands of gun stores and firing ranges restricting their services to NRA members only or offering strong incentives for members. Most NRA members are only members because of these arrangements.

For example, in my city (one of the five largest in Michigan), there are four stores that sell guns. Two of them will only sell to NRA members (but you can join and pay your membership right there), one makes an exception for police and veterans, and the fourth one costs over twice as much. There is only one firing range open to the public, and non-NRA members must pay by the session, while members can pay the same amount for an unlimited one month pass. There are two gun clubs, and both are NRA-only. There is one annual gun show, and only NRA members are allowed to sell at it. There's no member restriction to buy at it, but many of the vendors won't sell to non-members anyway.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Nice to know but that doesn't change anything.  Owning guns doesn't make someone an NRA member (which I know you didn't say, I'm just circling back to an earlier point).  As I've mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I know half a dozen gun owners who frequent a local shooting range and only one of them is NRA.

The NRA says the Lanzas were not NRA members and indeed, no membership documentation is known to exist.

We know the mother visited the Tinstar Shooting Range in Oklahoma but I don't see anything on its site about having to be an NRA member to use its services.  Don't see anything about discounts either.  Also, its account page does not have an entry field for an NRA membership number.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Got me there, Andrew.  But with the case of Nintendo, they don't actively encourage or compel people who buy their products to join Club Nintendo.  On the other hand with the NRA, if you own even a single gun, they encourage you to join their group.  Sometimes they try to promote the target shooting events and the camaraderie that comes with it.  But they also use that, "If you don't join us, who's going to stand up for you when the government tries to take your gun away?" argument.  It's kind of like in those protection/extortion rackets you see in the movies and TV shows where the mobsters come into a store and say to the owner, "Nice store you've got here.  Be a shame if something happened to it."

That's kind of what the NRA does.  They kind of strongarm people into their membership, even if they don't 100% agree with everything they do.  But those scare tactics about the government taking the guns away does help to drive up membership.  It would be like if we in the ECA tried to get members if we told people the government was going to censor video games if they didn't join us.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

"But with the case of Nintendo, they don't actively encourage or compel people who buy their products to join Club Nintendo."

Yes it does but it certainly isn't belligerent about it.

Anyway, I don't find it surprising that the Lanzas weren't NRA members because I know half a dozen people who own multiple guns and go to shooting ranges regularly and only one of them is an NRA member (maybe two, my uncle lives in Phoenix and I never asked him).

What I do find surprising is that there were no video games.  There were three consoles.  Where the hell are the games?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Two guesses: either the police decided it wasn't worth mentioning in the report or, as was suggested earlier, they might have been pirated and might be on the CD and DVD-R's.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

You can't seize something and not mention it in the report (at least, you're not supposed to) but yeah, I'd considered that the CD-Rs were pirated games (meaning he modded all his consoles), the games simply weren't collected (unlikely as they took the consoles and other related stuff), they mistook the games for various CD-Rs (did he remove the labels?), or he got rid of them (the PC hard drive is noted as damaged.  Was he trying to hide something?).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Guns don't kill people either. You leave a gun on a table and no matter how long it sits there, no one will die. It takes a person to pull that trigger.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

A handgun, used correctly, kills. A game, used correctly, doesn't.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

A gun, used correctly, also hits the bullseye in a paper target.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Like every other tool, guns can be used for ill or for good depending on the hand it's in.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Actually, while rare, there have been accidental guns discharges that have maimed or killed people, without direct human interaction. The closest thing I can find with VG is maybe epileptic seizures... Which, more often than not, do not kill (A good thing too, else I wouldn't be writing this...)

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

A human still has to load the gun and place it somewhere loaded for it to fire.  There has to be some human error involved. Saying guns kill people is akin to saying knives kill people.  They don't unless there's either some human intent, or human error involved in the operation of the device.  Suggesting blame on the death of a person to an inanimate object is silly, with this logic they should ban knives because they might be used for killing someone.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Wow, really? The charging of the gun can't be part of the original setup? By this logic, your next step is "a human still has to create a gun to have it shoot." And if we couldn't affect the odds of inanimate objects killing us, there's a lot of things we'd be doing differently. It's called taking odds into account. See, my point was simply that the two were not *really* on the same footing as one *does* sometimes kill by itself, although those are rare events. But your defense puts it right with the extreme people that refuse to allow a proper argument in by fear their entire ideology gets shattered.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Video games are entertainment.

The purpose of a gun is to kill, end of story. You can spin it, rephrase it, and split hairs all you like, that's what a gun is for, and nothing else.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Or target shooting (recreational or competition).  Or collecting.  Or starting races.

Off the top of my head I know six people who own multiple guns and frequent shooting ranges (seven if you count Tom but I don't because all his stuff is for paintball) but my uncle is the only one of them who kills anything (deer and other edible creatures).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Fine then, if you want to keep playing these pathetic semantic games, guns SHOOT things (and far too often that shooting involves killing). Happy now?

Regardless, none of the 'moral panics' - whether it be comics, music, video games, or whatever other BS somebody will come up with next - do the damage that any gun can do and regularly does.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Now that's a statement I can get behind: unlike with video games, people can easily kill others with guns.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

These arguments can only work on people who don't know guns.

People collect all types of things, but to suggest that any kind of implement is purpose-built for collecting is ludicrous. Races are started by specialized starter pistols. And a handgun, unlike a rifle, is not suited for target shooting. Handguns are purpose-built for killing humans at close range. Anyone who says otherwise is either incredibly naive, or a liar.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

"People collect all types of things, but to suggest that any kind of implement is purpose-built for collecting is ludicrous."

Trading cards.  Disneyland pins.  Skylander toys.  Anything labeled "limited edition."

"Races are started by specialized starter pistols.

Starting races is a starter pistol's purpose.  A starter pistol is a gun. 

"And a handgun, unlike a rifle, is not suited for target shooting."

Tell that to the half dozen people I know who go to the range every other week to fire handguns at targets.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

It's a starter pistol more like a cap gun than an actual lethal gun?

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Starter pistols aren't supposed to be lethal at all (unless you bludgeon someone to death with it) but it depends on the starter pistol.  Some fire blanks, some fire caps.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

I have to disagree, Zach.  I've never bought into that whole "Guns don't kill people.  People kill people" argument, when you consider that a gun's only purpose is to kill.  There's a great article on Cracked.com that really takes apart that whole argument.  I'll put the link to it below.  It's the first one discussed.

The 4 Most Meaningless Arguments Against Gun Control

In short, the way it should be more accurately phrased is, "Guns kill.  And so do people."

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

I read that the other day when you posted it to Facebook. However, I still don't see how any of that means that a gun will just go off by itself and kill people. A gun is an object that requires someone to act upon it for it to perform its function. Until there is an action, there is no reaction.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

True, yes.  But if we're going to apply scientific principles to it - in this case "An object at rest will remain at rest" - then I would say that as an an inert object has potential energy, a gun by itself with no one around to use it still has the potential to kill.  No one has come around yet to pick it up and fire it.

There are lots of objects that you can use to kill someone with that have other uses: a hammer, a screwdriver, a drill, a saw, a piece of glass, a lead pipe, a crowbar or a two-by-four.  But a gun?  One use, and one use only: to kill.  The day that I see someone using a gun to hammer in a nail, I'll concede my argument.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Here you go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ENZioGLjMI

Btw, I'm just being a douche here.  Don't take me seriously for a moment.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

As I've mentioned before, I know a good half dozen people who own multiple guns.  Only my uncle uses them to kill things (deer and such).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

I'd say, more accurately: "Guns don't kill people.  People kill people with guns."

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

or heat....can't forget those murderous ovens nor the people stupid enough to store guns inside them :P.

---------
There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Riiiiiight.  Somehow I don't think even the most gullible of the public are going to swallow that one.

On page 10, right there in black and white, one of the very last items on that page is "Adam Lanza National Rifle Association Certificate."  Pretty damning stuff there if you ask me.  And I would think the NRA would have a hard time trying to make anyone believe that Adam Lanza or his mother weren't NRA members when that's right here on that report for all the world to see.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Not damning at all.  That's an NRA Certificate, not a membership.  The NRA's site doesn't say anything about offering certificates for membership.  So what's the certificate for?  Who knows? The mother's certificate is part of the same line item as a receipt for Timstar Shooting Range.  It could have very likely come from completing an NRA-certified handgun class.

Hell, I could print myself out an NRA Certificate.  It wouldn't mean anything.

Might the Lanzas have been NRA members?  Sure.  Could the NRA be lying about this?  Sure.  But there's no evidence to support that at this point.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Now we're debating the difference between a certificate and a membership.  Sounds like the next version of the Birther debate.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

"Now we're debating the difference between a certificate and a membership."

Well yeah.  They're two completely different things.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Yup. Two completely different things - one more damning than the other:

An NRA membership means only that they paid the NRA dues. Any idiot can do that.

An NRA cerificate likely means the NRA passed them as responsible gun users.

Which is worse for the NRA? Certainly not the former.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

I think its pretty obvious, why would they have a NRA Certificate if they weren't members? I cant imagine any other situation where they wouldn't have, not only a certificate, but a NRA Handbook on gun safety. If they really weren't in the NRA, the NRA would say just what the certificate is and say its not a membership card.

And the certificate could just be police language for membership papers. It makes more sense that they were NRA members with that certificate through sheer logic than not members. 

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

"I think its pretty obvious, why would they have a NRA Certificate if they weren't members?"

I already gave an example: "The mother's certificate is part of the same line item as a receipt for Timstar Shooting Range.  It could have very likely come from completing an NRA-certified handgun class."

"And the certificate could just be police language for membership papers."

Have you seen an NRA membership card?  I have.  It's a card.  It's the size of a driver's license.  I find it exceedingly unlikely that anyone would call it a certificate.  'Cause it's not.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Why are we debating what something is or isn't based on a two-word description? Have you seen what it was that they picked up and labeled "NRA Certificate"? No. Andrew has shown that there is reasonable probability that the certificate could be any number of things aside from a membership card.

Why would they have a NRA book and certificate? Perhaps as Andrew said, they took an NRA approved gun safety/training course and an NRA book and certificate of completion with an NRA seal came with it.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

An NRA membership means only that they paid the NRA dues. Any idiot can do that.

An NRA cerificate likely means the NRA passed them as responsible gun users.

Which is worse for the NRA? Certainly not the former.

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

Or a certificate could mean that they were able to fill in enough correct bubbles on a paper test to pass. 

Just as a College degree is no indicator of competency, neither is an NRA "certificate".

Re: Connecticut State Police Detail Items Taken from Sandy ...

I'm sorry, did you say a College degree was *not* an indicator of competency?

Just say it's not a *proof* of it, I'll be 100% behind you, but it is certainly an indicator of competency. Taking two people equal in all thing but the diploma, I'll hire the person with the diploma in the field, rather than another or none.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician