More times than I can recall, but to often for sure, I have written about accounts of senseless violence, usually mass shootings. Last Friday night, Elliot Rodger executed a vile and violent shooting rampage in Isla Vista, California, near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).
Mr. Rodger, a 22 year-old Santa Barbara City College student, murdered six, stabbing three men in his own apartment (two roommates and one visitor), shooting three women at the UCSB Alpha Phi Sorority House (killing two of them), and moving on to a local deli where he shot and killed another man. Then, “according to authorities,” he took his own life. But before he initiated his vicious attack, he wrote a 137 page, 107,000 word Manifesto, which he referred to as “My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger,” detailing his brooding and pent-up anger due to constant rejection by women. He characterized his existence as that of a “kissless virgin.
Several themes or points of emphasis emerged from a summary of what would become Mr. Rodger’s digital introduction to the world. Some of those include:
- A commitment to wage a war on women – “I will attack the very girls who represent everything I hate in the female gender: The hottest sorority of UCSB”
- A bitter form of envy – Elliot Roger around the fringes of Hollywood, but really in it. He was close enough to see the world of the rich and fabulously famous, but never experienced it in a first person way. He resented that his “damnable mother” had not “married into wealth instead of being selfish.” After attending a private Katy Perry party at the largesse of wealthy friends, he was reminded again of the many perks of wealth and fame. About that he wrote, “I couldn’t help but feel a bitter form of envy at all the rich kids at the concert.”
- Sought advice in the art of love from Dale Launer, the writer of “Blind Date,” Love Potion #9,” and “Ruthless People.” – According to Rodger’s writing, Dale Launer tried to teach him how to get a girlfriend. It didn’t work. Ultimately, Rodger felt there was nothing Launer and people like him could do to help him get girls and lose his virginity.
- Believed winning the lottery was the only way out – “I knew I was always destined for great things. This must be it! I was destined to be the winner of the highest lottery jackpot in existence. I knew right then and there that this jackpot was meant for me. Who else deserved such a victory? I had been through so much rejection, suffering, and injustice in my life, and this was to be my salvation. With my whole body filled with feverish hope, I spent $700 dollars on lottery tickets for this drawing. As I spent this money, I imagined all the amazing sex I would have with a beautiful model girlfriend I would have once I become a man of wealth.”
- Realized he needed to start planning for the Day of Retribution – “Without the prospect of becoming wealthy at a young age, I had nothing to live for now. I was going to be a virgin outcast forever. I realized that I had to start planning and preparing for the Day of Retribution, even though I hadn’t yet had any idea of what day that would be.”
- His first “act of preparation” for the massacre was the purchase of his first gun – “I had already done some research on handguns, and I decided to purchase the Glock 34 semiautomatic pistol, an efficient and highly accurate weapon. I signed all of the papers and was told that my pickup day was in mid-December. That fell in nicely, because that was when I was planning on staying in Santa Barbara till. After I picked up the handgun, I brought it back to my room and felt a new sense of power. I was now armed.”
- He would eventually purchase three handguns – Purchased a Glock 34 semi-automatic pistol after failing to win the $120 Megamillions Lottery in September 2012; bought a second handgun in the spring of 2013 when he began to seriously think about the Day of Retribution; a year later he bought a third handgun…just in case one of them jammed
One of the undeniable themes that arose from this “massacre” is Elliot Rodger was a sick individual who hated women…and men. The center of his enmity seemed to be the women who rejected him, but, he also bore a robust resentment for men, the wealthy, and beautiful people, many of whom it seemed to him, managed to get the things he wanted most, but could never obtain.
The bottom line is chilling; seven dead, 13 injured, and countless lives of friends family, students, and others, changed forever. Inside Rodger’s car, police found three semi-automatic handguns and over 400 rounds of ammunition. In the past, I have discussed previous abuses of firearms and the need for appropriate legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in America. That position still stands. However, this time, I have a simpler suggestion. One that even the gun lobby should be able to embrace. I ask that each of you (readers) in your own space and time, observe a moment of silence to honor all the victims of this tragedy, including Mr. Rodger.
“Another Shooting Pervades the American Psyche”…and that is literally, “a crying shame.” I’m done; holla back!
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