The police in Santa Barbara dropped the ball.

I have learned of even more stupidity involved in the Isla Vista shooting. You know how the police went to visit Elliot Rodger a few weeks before his Day of Retribution? Yeah, it turns out they knew he had disturbing videos on YouTube, but the police did not watch those videos. Why not? Because didn’t consider him a threat. See, they got the call from the mental health service, they went to his apartment and talked to him at the front door, and since they figured he was a nice kid, they just walked away and nobody took a look at his YouTube channel.

If they had considered him a threat, they could legally hold him in a psych ward for 72 hours for observation.

Not that he didn’t have mental health care already. He was in therapy, but he didn’t let it do him any good. He was prescribed meds which he did not take.

If he’d done that initial period in a hospital, though, someone might have figured out just how awful this guy really was. If someone, at that stage, had known how much of a danger he posed, he might not have been in a position, less than a month later, to leave a trail of bullet holes around Isla Vista.

Also, if the police had treated him like a threat at the time of the visit, they would’ve checked his apartment, and then they would’ve found his guns. If they’d taken away his guns, some people would still be alive and unharmed who now are not.

Now, contrast that negligence with Prof. Cooper’s analysis at Salon, on the role of white privilege in the Isla Vista shootings:

Can I go ahead and scream yet? A black or brown man would have been violently hauled into a jail and locked up at the first sign of such machinations. His property rights would have been thoroughly violated, and no matter how “polite” and “courteous” he might have been with officers, no reports would have reflected such language.

These coded terms mean that these officers were incapable of seeing this clearly troubled young white man as a threat. How many mass killings must it take to recognize that white male entitlement is potentially deadly? How many YouTube videos must one post outlining an attempt to do harm before it is taken seriously?

How many mass killings, indeed?