Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 00:13 a.m. EDT, 25 May 2014
SANTA BARBARA, California – In the early morning hours of Saturday, 24 May 2014, the tranquility and safety of the community of Isla Vista was shattered forever when one of its own, Elliot Rodger, 22, took to the street shooting indiscriminately out of his BMW at innocent and unsuspecting victims.
The Los Angeles Times broke the story based upon information provided by a police official that Rodger’s shooting spree resulted in 7 dead, including him, while seven others were wounded. He allegedly drove through the streets of the Isla Vista neighborhood of Santa Barbara firing from his car and trying to run down pedestrians.
What makes this story more than a human interest piece is the dynamic between privilege versus the ordinary and what this escalating gun violence says about us as a country.
I could revisit the issue of gun control in America, but the NRA and its powerful lobby, along with the Second Amendment to the Constitution which grants individuals with ‘the right to keep and bear arms,’ makes winning this argument about as successful as winning an Olympic Gold metal while running through wet concrete.
Instead, there is the question of why Rodger, the son of privilege and heir apparent to Peter Rodger, an assistant director on the 2012 film “Hunger Game,” would feel the need to take such drastic measures by embarking upon his killing spree.
Mass murders have unfortunately become a too often occurrence in our society which has become increasingly fluid, and the community ties that so closely bound the country in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s dissipated, leaving many adrift in despair and loneliness.
This void has been filled with Internet ‘communities’ where people can ‘friend’ and be ‘friended,’ but ultimately what is needed most – human touch and intimate interaction is unavailable. Couple this with increased economic pressures, changes in social mores, and “do anything to anyone so I can get ahead’ attitudes, further complicates matters.
Many people, but not all, increasingly feel isolated. Some of this can be attributed to the effects of income inequality which retards upward mobility, and for others the lack of access to higher education due to the prohibitive costs, also breeds hopelessness.
Add to this the belief, as heavily marketed and promoted by the media, that you can be anything you desire you just have to take it, leaves many feeling inept and in extreme cases impotent.
This is not an excuse for murder, mass killing, or suicide, but I believe it to be a contributing factor to the desperation and isolation that is the pressure cooker churning out more mass murderers decade after decade.
According to Mother Jones’ article, “A Guide to Mass Shootings in America” there have been since 1982 “at least 70 mass shootings across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. Thirty-three of these mass shootings have occurred since 2006.
Published: 25 May 2014 (Page 2 of 2)
Seven of them took place in 2012, and another five occurred in 2013, including in Santa Monica, California, and at the Washington Navy Yard. The first five months of 2014 brought another bloodbath at Fort Hood, Texas, and mass killings in northern and southern California.”
Then last month, April 2014, in Overland Park, Kansas, Frazier Glenn Cross, who also went by Frazier Glenn Miller, a 73-year-old Missouri resident killed anyone and everyone in his reach, as he acted upon his racist beliefs by trying to kill Jews at a local community center.
With so much violence on television, Internet, and in the movies, and the constant threat of domestic and foreign terrorism, people are becoming inured to these killings, which often capture the public's attention and news cycles for 24 to 48 hours before moving on to the next trending item.
I think that it is important for us to remember that these men are average, they could be your coworker, your husband, your son or boyfriend, and they are becoming the greatest internal threat to the safety of American citizenry since 9/11. This partial list of 2012 mass killers includes average men who but for circumstance, probably would have continue to live anonymous existences.
- 14.12.12 - Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother dead at their home then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary school. He forced his way inside and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults before committing suicide. Total injured and killed: at least 28;
- 27.09.12 - Andrew Engeldinger, 36, upon learning he was being fired, went on a shooting rampage, killing the business owner, three fellow employees, and a UPS driver. He then killed himself. Total injured and killed: 8;
- 5.08.12 - U.S. Army veteran Wade Michael Page, 40, opened fire in a Sikh gurdwara before he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a shootout with police. Total injured and killed: 10;
- 20.07.12- James Holmes, 24, opened fire in a movie theater during the opening night of "The Dark Knight Rises" and was later arrested outside. Total injured and killed: 70.
Today, Rodger has been added to this list, for trying to take out his pain of rejection, isolation, and loneliness on innocent people who may have been suffering the same feelings as him, but chose not to violently act upon them.
He justified his actions in a YouTube manifesto in which he proclaimed that "… I've 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 22-years-old and still a virgin, never even kissed a girl.” (Source: Chicago Tribune)
And now he never will………Return to Page 1 » Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor-in-Chief: @ayannanahmias
- Son Of 'Hunger Games' Assistant Director Suspected Of Mass Murder At UC Santa Barbara, Posted Most Chilling Video Ever Just Hours Earlier (radaronline.com)
- Mass Killer's Final Video - Elliot Rodger's Retribution (stateofglobe.com)
- California Drive by in BMW in Santa Barbara: Son of "Hunger Games" Assistant Director suspected of drive by "mass murder of six. Left video threat on You Tube (Video) (themoderatevoice.com)