A new PBS Frontline report draws our attention to a possible inspirational figure for the Newtown shooter, Adam Lanza: Anders Breivik, the Norwegian fascist Muslim hater who murdered dozens of children at a Norwegian Labour Party youth camp.
This theory, like all theories about Lanza, is pretty much an educated guess. But Police did find several articles about Anders Breivik’s crime in Lanza’s room. Some sources have suspected that Lanza saw himself as in competition with Breivik for the greatest number of “kills”.
In the immediate aftermath of the Newtown shooting, journalists and pundits struggled to make sense of Lanza’s motives for the attack. For example, many blamed Lanza’s autism for the shooting despite the fact that autism usually makes people less violent. And of course, violent video games remain a convenient scapegoat – people have emphasized how Lanza spent hours a day playing them.
Lanza wiped his computer’s hard drive before the attack – so we don’t know if he, like Breivik, was reading far-right Islamophobic blogs like Gates of Vienna or Jihadwatch. Or was Lanza fascinated with Breivik targeted children? We might know soon – police are attempting to retrieve data from Lanza’s computer’s hard drive.
Whatever Lanza’s motives were, it’s clear that something about Breivik fascinated him. It’s too soon to see if a similar far-right ideology drove him to violence, but this would certainly seem to indicate such.