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article imageOp-Ed: Many factors contributed to Rodger's massacre

By Ben Morris     May 30, 2014 in Crime
Santa Barbara - Whenever a mass murder occurs in America, the tragedy is politicized before the bodies of the victims reach the morgue. Instantly the cause of the massacre is simplified, by wrongfully placing the blame on a single entity.
In response to the murders committed by Elliot Rodger, bloggers, journalists, and social media heads have blamed misogyny, mental illness, and guns while they simultaneously dismissed other mitigating factors in order to push their agendas. Progressives have cried about guns until they are knee deep in their own tears. Feminists have been screaming misogyny until they are blue in the face, while others have blamed different factors as the sole reason for Rodger’s rampage.
All of those bloggers, journalists, and You Tube stars are missing the point.
The anti-gun progressives claim America is a cesspool of gun violence, ignoring the fact Rodger stabbed three people to death, and also used his car as a weapon as part of the rampage. The tool of his massacre has been labelled as the mitigating factor in Rodger’s crime, as well as similar acts of mass murder. That belief is disputed by facts.
According to a study Pew Social Trends shows gun murders are dropping. In 1993, seven out of every 100,000 people in America were murdered by guns, nearly twice the amount of numbers from 2010. Even non-fatal violent firearm injuries have dropped from 725.3 in 1993 to 181.5 in 2010. These numbers come at a time when an Economist/YouGov poll shows a vast increase in gun ownership. Furthermore, a Harvard University study showed, “-there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime,” yet gun control is argued as the only solution to prevent these tragedies.
Progressives have used a tragedy involving some gun use to yet again argue for unconstitutional legislation that would rob Americans of their property rights as well as their right to protect themselves. Singling out the gun gets liberal media outlets their viewers and page views. The gun is the boogeyman. When any crime or death is linked to a gun, progressives will jump at any opportunity to demean guns, and gun owners, because according to them every gun owner is culpable when a deranged man shoots his firearm into a crowd.
While one set of progressives blame guns, many feminists have taken the opportunity to target misogyny as the only cause for Rodger’s actions. Only two of the six people he murdered were female, and although Rodger was clearly sexist, the target of his hate was not directed to only females. Rodger had a strong hate for popular jocks who held the hands of their girlfriends and made out with them in public. His lack of a sex life did not illicit hate to the women who did not fulfill his sexual desires, American culture contributed heavily to his loneliness.
The measure of a man is determined by how much money he makes, how popular he is, and how often he has sex. If a man doesn't know how to grill, or fix things around the house he is deemed effeminate. Men are supposed to be mentally and physically strong. As he learned he didn't fit this criteria, his sadness turned to anger. Rodger's arrogance stemming from his wealth, showcased the proficiency of an entitlement culture that demands respect and material goods without earning the respect or possessions. The culture he lived in told him wealth would get him girls, but when that world deemed him undesirable, and pathetic, his life was deemed pointless.
We are social creatures who value the friendships we make in our lifetimes. When we don’t have those relationships our lives are meaningless, and when we don’t have that meaning some of us commit suicide, some of us wallow in misery, and some of us resort to revenge to get the attention we don’t have, but crave.
Elliot Rodger was a name no one knew before he committed murder. The same goes for James Holmes, Jared Loughner, and the others who have shot up crowds of innocent people. These were men with mental health issues that were not treated efficiently. James Holmes saw three mental health professionals before he shot up a movie theatre in Aurora Colorado, even confessing to one of his doctors that he fantasized about killing people, yet he was not placed in a mental institution. Adam Lanza who killed 20 children in Newtown Elementary had mental health issues from the time he was a child, where he refused to seek any help. Seung-Hui Cho made jokes about killing himself, intimidated female students, and suffered from a severe case of mutism. His depression and anxiety was debilitating. The three cases above made some blame mental health care for the murders in another attempt to simplify the causes in very complex crimes.
Even one journalist noted nearly every mass killer was on anti-depressants, placing the blame solely on pharmaceutical companies who over medicate patients. Blaming mental health care, and pharmaceutical companies is entirely simplistic given the millions of Americans who suffer from depression are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. There is more to the story than simple mental health issues.
Rodger, Holmes, and Lanza were ghosts, who were desperate for attention. With 24 hour news stations, social media, and easily accessible Internet service, those who did not know Rodger beforehand continue to talk about him, giving him the fame and notoriety he so desperately craved. In a fame obsessed society that portrays celebrities as Gods, people do anything to get a taste of fame. In their lonely and demented minds these killers planned their massacres with the intention of getting revenge, and attention. They have become well known, and thoroughly studied which is exactly what they wanted.
The media jumps on mass murders based on the ‘if it bleeds it leads’ mantra that has now been infested with an anti gun agenda that pumps the public with fear. By blaming a single cause in these tragedies, commentators practice intellectually laziness that is driven by an obsessive need to push a personal agenda. Eliminating guns will not end mass murder; magically eradicating misogyny will not bring peace into the minds of future mass killers. In order to end these mass killers, American society must look deep, and into every dark and dusty corner to provide proper health service, empathy and to change a culture that places collectivist expectations on others that cause them to act out violently.
The issue is not black and white, the solution will not be easy, by concentrating on one factor, the public is doing nothing to prevent future massacres.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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