Nice Guy, Mass Murderer

There was a shooting spree in Santa Barbara last night. I have gathered the following information from The Washington Post, LA Times, LAist, USA Today, and Radar Online.

Elliot Rodger, age 22, was the son of the 2nd unit director of The Hunger Games, Peter Rodger. Just two years ago, he was present on the red carpet at The Hunger Games premiere alongside his father. Elliot Rodger has been identified as the shooter who killed six and injured seven more until he was found with a bullet in his head after crashing his car into a parked vehicle. The black BMW that crashed with the shooter inside has the same license plate number as the car on Elliot Rodger’s Facebook page. With that positive identification, it’s okay to say we know who he is.

The time from the first 911 call to Rodger coming up dead was about 10 minutes. The shootings were spread out over several locations. The casualties and chaos included this charming anecdote:

One woman named Sierra also spoke to KEYT, saying “she was approached by two men in a black BMW. The driver flashed a small black handgun and asked ‘Hey, what’s up?’ Sierra, who was visibly shaken, said she thought it was an airsoft gun and kept walking. She said seconds later, she felt something buzz by her head and quickly realized they were bullets. Three or four of them.”

Doesn’t quite sound like a “madman” to me. Sounds more like he was very much in possession of his faculties. This here also happened:

A BMW took a sharp turn in front of the Habit, Becker said, and moments later a third round of shots was heard. Becker and his friends moved toward the restaurant’s kitchen but were told to wait in the seating area by employees.

He estimates there were at least 13 to 15 shots total at three locations. The locations were about 100 yards from one another.

Becker said one of his friends who came into the restaurant after the shootings saw a police officer trying to resuscitate a bloody male who was hit.

Another woman came into the Habit crying and said her sorority sister had also been struck.

When Becker emerged from the restaurant about 30 minutes later, he saw three light-colored body bags.

Somehow I think those people would’ve been safer in the kitchen.

The sorority sister being shot is a vital component to this story. Elliot Rodger made several YouTube videos about how lonely and frustrated he was. The last one was just a few hours before the shooting. This is what he had to say:

“For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I have been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires, all because girls have never been attracted to me.

“Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, never to me.

“I’m going to punish you for it.

“I’m going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blonde slut that I see inside there. All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them.”

There was something about him being the “supreme gentleman” while attractive women throw themselves as “obnoxious brutes.”

Let it not be said that no one could have possibly foreseen a mass shooting by this guy. Someone did see it coming:

An earlier video posted by Rodger was noticed by Redditors a few days ago; one comment said, “If this isn’t a troll, then I bet we find out this guy is a serial killer. I’m getting a strong Patrick Bateman vibe from him.”

The police were previously alerted that this kid was a danger to others and possibly himself:

Alan Shifman, attorney for Peter Rodger, assistant director of The Hunger Games series, said the family was told their son is dead after killing six people late Friday night. The family had not yet seen his body.

Shifman said family members called authorities several weeks ago after being alarmed by YouTube videos “regarding suicide and the killing of people.”

Police interviewed Elliot Rodger and found him to be a “perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human,” Shifman said. Authorities did not find a history of guns, but did say the 22-year-old had trouble making friends, he added.

But the sheriff says:

The shooting is “heartbreaking,” Brown said. “The problem with an incident like this is, it’s obviously the work of a madman.”

I’m sure it’s so much simpler to look at this and say, “Yeah, dude was cray-cray” than to note that he was full of misogynist entitlement. He was lucid enough to put on a nice polite face for when the cops interviewed him. People with mental illness are over-represented as victims of violence, rather than as perpetrators, but I suppose it’s possible that Elliot Rodger would’ve benefitted from a stiff cocktail of drugs and daily sessions with a qualified therapist. And then we have this pig-fucker here reported on Jezebel selling his PUA services in response to the mass-murder.

So, this is disgusting. A dating coach is spamming all of Eliot Rodger’s videos with an important message: This could have all been avoided if Rodger had used his services. Because that’s the issue here, that Rodger didn’t know how to pick up women.

I don’t think he went on a shooting spree because he couldn’t get laid. I think he couldn’t get laid because women sensed something deeply unpleasant about him. That deeply unpleasant thing was that he was a dangerously self-entitled, sexist piece of work who believed (attractive) women were put on Earth to jump on his cock. Not to be sexually available to men in general, mind you: JUST for him. If they say no to him, they’re spoiled and stuck-up, and if they say yes to other guys, they’re sluts. When he couldn’t get heaps of hot blond pussy to line up for him just because he stared longingly in their direction, he decided that the universe had wronged him and that the proper course of action was to put bullets in a randomly selected bunch of pretty young women regardless of whether he had ever tried speaking to them before.

Note the irony in complaining about “obnoxious brutes” getting all the love, when he’s the one who carried out a mass murder.

He’s a younger version of George Sodini. (Oh, someone hand me the eye-bleach; when I type “George Sodini” into Google, one of the auto-complete suggestions is “George Sodini hero.” This is why I’m giving you the Jezebel link.) His whole motive is, “How dare those bitches fuck guys who aren’t me. I’ll show them!”

I see folks bringing up Margaret Atwood’s distinction between men’s and women’s anxieties: Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.

That’s relevant to this. I’d even say it’s not quite adequate to describe the depth of dehumanization of women we see in guys like Elliot Rodger and George Sodini. Misogynist violence usually kills women who have been in the killer’s life. It’s mostly a matter of men who kill their wives or girlfriends, and sometimes take the children with them. What we have here is a brand of misogynist violence that threatens women who are total strangers to the killer. Rodger was not interested in targeting women who’d laughed at him, or turned him down, or walked away from him. He did not choose his victims based on anything they’d done to him. All they had to do was be female.

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