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When the facts are not known it is far too easy to jump to conclusions as with yesterdays murderous rampage.

What are the facts so far?

Santa Barbara County sheriff Bill Brown said three men had been killed in Rodger’s apartment prior to the beginning of the shooting spree. They were stabbed “repeatedly with a sharp object” in “a horrific crime scene”
The three shot dead were named as Katherine Cooper, 22, and Veronika Weiss, 19, UCSB students who were shot outside a sorority house, and Christopher Ross Michael-Martinez, 20, another UCSB student who was shot at a delicatessen.
On Saturday evening Dr Stephen Kaminski of the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital said four injured people had been treated and released and seven had been transferred to a trauma centre. Of those individuals two were in good condition, three in fair condition and two in serious condition
The killer apparently suffered from Asperger syndrome and had been under psychiatric evaluation and was considered to be very mentally disturbed.

Yet:

Brown said all the guns had been legally purchased from federally licensed dealers and registered to Rodger.
He also used knives and his car as a weapon.

What this says to me are two things.

1] There is a lack of help for severely mentally disturbed members of our society.

2] The gun laws at present fail completely even when they are apparently applied.

You can add in all the hate, fear and loathing of various groups around the world, and yes, much of that is to blame as its effects on fragile people can be horrifically frightening.

The only observation that I have is that once again we fail to recognize the signs, possibly due to lack of resources, possibly due to lack of caring.

On 30 April, Brown said, deputies made contact with Rodger to check on his welfare after a request from a family member. Brown said it had been “determined that he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health hold”.
The warning signs are often there, yet we seem incapable or unwilling to have adequate mental health care.

That is the only conclusion [thus far] I can draw from this tragic event.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: My heartfelt condolences to all (137+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ejoanna, Free Jazz at High Noon, MTmofo, fumie, rexymeteorite, serendipityisabitch, tardis10, expatjourno, kaliope, kfunk937, Portlaw, La Gitane, joegoldstein, onionjim, spacejam, BarackStarObama, AlexDrew, Pluto, Yellow Canary, howabout, Superpole, Gooserock, JayRaye, jadt65, Bob Love, TexMex, NancyWH, Smoh, YaNevaNo, Kristina40, eyo, Steven D, indubitably, yawnimawke, ExpatGirl, historys mysteries, ChemBob, alx9090, Texknight, Linda1961, Friend of the court, ctexrep, doroma, The Geogre, Pinto Pony, Tinfoil Hat, coquiero, We Shall Overcome, eagleray, OllieGarkey, FindingMyVoice, DRo, allie4fairness, Lady Libertine, The Marti, zerelda, Susipsych, skod, Sylv, cv lurking gf, reginahny, Homer177, karma5230, kartski, Its a New Day, loretta, Spider Stumbled, congenitalefty, Remediator, CroneWit, WisVoter, guyeda, Siri, puakev, Only Needs a Beat, miracle11, Kevskos, Jollie Ollie Orange, TheLawnRanger, peachcreek, basquebob, JDWolverton, collardgreens, Wreck Smurfy, Bonsai66, se portland, millwood, thomask, Cronesense, VPofKarma, shesaid, leonard145b, rapala, KayCeSF, Rhysling, Sun Tzu, annieli, fixxit, shaharazade, claude, mconvente, martinjedlicka, Meteor Blades, KenBee, freakofsociety, FarWestGirl, Dirtandiron, marina, Risen Tree, revsue, River Rover, TracieLynn, jbou, jaf49, Mr Robert, Munchkn, GAS, Hammerhand, Darmok, camlbacker, bythesea, dksbook, keyscritter, DB55, NoMoJoe, mmacdDE, Boris49, Jay C, FiredUpInCA, emmasnacker, Catte Nappe, greengemini, leeleedee, blueoasis, andalusi, i saw an old tree today, BlackSheep1

    involved in this tragic event.

    "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

    by LaFeminista on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:42:00 AM PDT

    •  Here in So. Calif. the mentally ill are bused in (11+ / 0-)

      from other states and dropped off to fend for themselves. Mental Health Services are notoriously awful here. There is even a documentary on Netflix about it (but I can't remember the name, sorry).

      The huge Central Public Library in Downtown Los Angeles is basically a refuge for the homeless and mentally ill. To walk through it is one of the more bizarre (but not most) things I've experienced living here in Southern California.

      So it does not surprise me in the least that this guy was off the radar evn with obvious warning signs. In fact I think if it weren't for the strict gun laws here this would happen MUCH more often.

      If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

      by DoctorWho on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:17:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SoCal is not alone, here in France it is (6+ / 0-)

        to say the best, poor.

        Some think I am stigmatizing those with mental health problems, the exact opposite is my intent, we need a far better understanding and care for those that have real problems.

        Some even seem to think I am pardoning the gun lobby, the exact opposite is my intent.

        "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

        by LaFeminista on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:52:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't this part of Reagan's legacy as CA gov? (11+ / 0-)

        If I'm not mistaken, isn't Reagan's governance at both the state and national levels responsible for much of the disarray we see today in treating and caring for the mentally disturbed?

        Certainly seems like that was the case...

        http://www.salon.com/...

        •  Yes, and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jasonhouse, lostinamerica
          If I'm not mistaken, isn't Reagan's governance at both the state and national levels responsible for much of the disarray we see today in treating and caring for the mentally disturbed?
          Reagan started the trend in the 60's as governor, but looking at the big picture, we have a several decades old race to "austerity" in terms of social spending (but certainly not the case in MIC and security spending), money flowing to the top and eroding what little the poor and middle class have, trade agreements which are pro-global corporation and anti-worker, aided by the faux liberal part of the Democratic party that has been in control for quite some time, all of which leads us to a less and less functional society.

          That brings us to the current state of affairs, which is a totally corrupt and damaged Republican party, a Democratic leadership which is currently led by a corporatist, and a growing ability of money to buy elections and lobbyists using money and revolving doors to further cement outcomes.

          In my view, the bottom line is the current state of "social spending" is a Reagan legacy to be sure, but the full credit should go to decades of voter acquiescence and legalized political corruption.

  •  It is obvious that he needed help (42+ / 0-)

    but I am forced to wonder why we as a society (here stateside at least) don't reflexively pose the same questions when a person of color is accused of murder (not of you, of course, LaFem, I am sure you agree with me. I am speaking generally).

    Fact of the matter is, many people who commit violent acts needed help prior to committing said violent act. If we don't get everyone in the US, or at least the vast majority, some minimum standard of access to mental health care, enact new gun regulations, and quash the context in which these hate groups (lookin' at you MRAs, gun nuts, conspiracy theorists, doomsday preppers etc) can influence vulnerable, lonely people, I fear the violence on this scale will continue.

    •  The variance on how these tragedies are (32+ / 0-)

      viewed based on race have always disgusted me.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:54:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm outta here, if this whole thing is going to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allie4fairness

        ignore the gaps in the law, pay lip service to mental health issues, and then settle on race-blaming.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:13:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm having trouble (6+ / 0-)

          understanding your point except to note how hostile you seem to be to have a discussion about mass shootings like this in the context of race ("race-blaming?"  Really?).  Do you think that race is irrelevant and that the only thing that should be discussed with respect to another white kid shooting up a bunch of strangers is "gaps in the law?"

          What is "this whole thing," do you mean the comments section of this diary?  You're here, if you want to make a point about "gaps in the law" then make it.

          What is your point?

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:24:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm hostile to racism. (0+ / 0-)

            In the urban areas with which I'm familiar, the complaint is that white gun crimes get all the media attention -- because whites matter -- but minorities killing each other gets no media attention becasue minorities don't matter.

            So now we're to believe that the greater attention given to white-committed mass murders isn't because the killers are white, but instead because there is some mysterious "white folk defect" which results in a greater number of white-committed mass murders.

            I made my point: I'm hostile to racist race-blaming.

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:39:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  THe variance on how *everything* is ... (3+ / 0-)

        viewed based on race has always disgusted me.

        To prevent these tragedies the focus should be on guns and less on race or mental illness. The remedy is not to take guns away from the "mentally ill" or stigmatize them further; nor is it to talk about how white people have it so sweet.

        •  I made a comment further down on this (8+ / 0-)

           

          I don't think one set of people is to blame (9+ / 0-)

          its a combination of factors and they way our society has evolved. I dont think there is a 100% effective method of protection but believe more safeguards and one thing is moving away from the gun culture entirely. I'm not talking about banning I'm talking about removing the desire to own one in the first place. The other one is properly following up on  people with mental health care needs.

          "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

          by LaFeminista on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:32:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ugh (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric K
          The remedy is not to take guns away from the "mentally ill" or stigmatize them further; nor is it to talk about how white people have it so sweet.
          So examining this shooting in the context of white privilege "white people having it so sweet" is not appropriate?  Why?  Why is discussion of racial context so "disgusting" to you?

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:29:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  We don't care that he needed help. Not as a (14+ / 0-)

      society. If we did, it would change. "He needed mental health care" is a way for people to distance themselves from the act. Blaming skin color is another way. Minorities and the mentally ill are both getting shot dead on a monthly basis (if not more) by the police who are supposed to protect them. That doesn't change. The mentally ill and minorities are both treated like refuse to be disposed of in our society. There's no need to compare outrages; there's a need to change them.

      •  Albuquerque (6+ / 0-)

        "the mentally ill are both getting shot dead on a monthly basis (if not more) by the police who are supposed to protect them."

        "Just when you think you've lost everything, you find out you can lose a little more." Bob Dylan

        by weezilgirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:04:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We need help. We should admit it and seek (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kfunk937

        help.  As a country, we need to own up to our inadequacy in coping with our inability to respect people.  People of color, women, lesbian, gay, transgender, immigrants, children, the sick, the aged, the vulnerable.

        What are we doing wrong?  This needs to be investigated as a crisis intervention.  A Presidential Commission multi-disciplinary action to find solutions both short and long-term.  

        Gun control for starts, yes, mental health care, yes.  But we are, as a society, not teaching respect for people.    

        the dog you have, is the dog you need. - Cesar Millan

        by OregonWetDog on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:17:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the problem is that people of a paler persuasion (10+ / 0-)

      get all bent out of shape when they think their tax money is being spent on people of color.  Check out the recent debate on public assistance and the "color" of the debate, though it is mostly white people who benefit from such public support

    •  I think it was a step in the right direction that (11+ / 0-)

      his family asked the local authorities to make a wellness call, but this was not a family without resources.  I seriously doubt the killer didn't have health insurance.  His family lived in the area.  Couldn't his family have requested an involuntary 48 hour observation?  I don't know the law in California.  I do know that if our son was posting anything akin to what the killer was posting, or anything that caused me to think to do a wellness check, I'd be taking every action I could to lock him up for his and others' own welfare.

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:34:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd be taking every action I could to lock him up (11+ / 0-)

        ...

        On 30 April, Brown said, deputies made contact with Rodger to check on his welfare after a request from a family member. Brown said it had been “determined that he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health hold”.
        Somewhere in the diaries and threads concerning this issue there was a quote saying that the police said that Rodger appeared to be the most balanced, polite and not showing signs of emotional mental health imbalances. Yes ....

        This rings a bell with me. I don't want to describe a situation I went through in that regard, just say that I believe, if a family member asks for help from the police to "calm" a situation of another family member showing signs of such emotionally destabilizing behavior that it becomes a threat to both, him and his family, the issue is not just taken care of by trying to "lock someone up for a day or two to observe that person".

        The person in question of being "mentally sick" is perfectly capable of switching his thinking and behavior in split seconds and can convince the police that absolutely nothing is wrong to the point that the police can ask the family what they are supposed to do with this person.

        Before that happens the family itself has to "calm" down the police, which comes with pistols pulled in the expectation the situation is so dangerous they might need to "shoot" the "mentally sick" person. So, as a family member, who seeks help, you have to "handle" both sides in this equation. A very sick situation in itself.

        Later on you can observe even the "mentally sick" person showing off with their capabilities to "trick" out the police and showing off that no call for help to the police will result in anything the caller want to be resolved.

        So, in short, it's not that easy...

        If the family of Rodger had succeeded in having him hold in an "involuntary mental hold" the most that could have happened is that Rodger would have had 24 hours of time to convince the world, he is the most charming and reasonable young man and nothing is wrong. Gullible healthcare personal do what they are supposed to do and the young man will be released. Nothing concerning his mental health problem will have been "resolved" or "treated".

        If then the family, who knows better, has no health insurance, the family is completely at loss to get any meaningful help. Most probably, as those issues are often caused through dysfunctional relationship issues within the family itself, the family members would also need "mental health care help". In a dysfunctional family you don't get all the members who should get help to agree on the fact that they too need help. It's not that easy.

        So much for locking up someone for a day or two. Solves nothing, just may have helped to prevent a shooting spree, that I agree on. That doesn't mean it could happen again in the future.

        We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little.- We are simply dramatically stupid - Manfred Max-Neef - I agree with him.

        by mimi on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:32:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  correx: doesn't mean it could NOT happen again/nt (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bkamr, KayCeSF, Jay C

          We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little.- We are simply dramatically stupid - Manfred Max-Neef - I agree with him.

          by mimi on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:35:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are psychologists/psychiatrists (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            indubitably, mimi, bkamr, sethtriggs

            who would agree with you.  For example:  The prisons are filled with pedophiles who trick doctors, family members, etc.  Only the victim(s) know the truth until finally the pedophile is proven to have abused many.  Your statement about dysfunctional family members not uniting to treat a member with mental problems is also valid as a problem in determining what is actually going on.

            I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

            by KayCeSF on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:35:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  high-functioning psychopaths in general (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theRoaringGirl, KayCeSF, bkamr

              Psychologists generally believe that therapy will only teach psychopaths how to fake "normal" or worse, teach them how to actively manipulate the perceptions and emotions of other ... which is arguably the whole point: teaching the patient how to be aware of other people's emotional states, recognize connections between their own behaviors and someone else's, etc.

              Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

              by Visceral on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:39:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  "Families" have no legal authority over children.. (8+ / 0-)

        who are no longer minors. There are some tragic stories about parents who have cared heroically for a schizophrenic throughout adolescence... and then get shut out by the legal system when the kid turns 18.

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
        he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

        by jjohnjj on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:25:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Once a child turns 18 (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          revsue, bkamr, NoMoJoe, Jay C, sethtriggs

          the family has no right to medical or other information about the child unless he or she signs a release. The family may not even know what the diagnosis is for their child, what medications they're on, or what the stipulations of their treatment might be. Not unless the patient permits it, even if he or she is living with family, who need that information to be able to deal with the patient on a daily basis, to cooperate in therapy, to get them to appointments, refill their meds, etc.

          I hate to say it, but too many rights are accorded to people who, because of mental illness, may exercise them in ways that could hurt themselves or others. Only by court order are people forced to take medications or into treatment, and you can see how that might not work. Where to draw the line in dictating how a mentally ill person lives and operates is the quandary.

    •  I'm with you on the second paragraph but (6+ / 0-)

      these questions were in fact posed about Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter.

      There is a difference between murder and mass murder. We don't have a lot of context for making a judgement on your first paragraph because the vast majority of mass shooters are white.

      Tell Warner Brothers Pictures that Rooney Mara is #NotYourTigerLily.

      by ExpatGirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:22:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sadly, Rodger did have access to mental health... (36+ / 0-)

      ...services, and in fact:  "He had multiple, and I'm telling you multiple, therapists..."

      ...Alan Shifman said. "He had a social worker who as recently as last week was concerned and who's the one that actually called the police."

      Speaking in front of Peter Rodger's home, Shifman told reporters that the shooter's family alerted authorities after Elliot Rodger posted a series of disturbing, ranting messages on YouTube...

      Unfortunately, as many families of adult children with mental health issues have found, even when an adult family member has the means to pay for mental health services, getting that adult to seek out and to voluntarily accept treatment is complex.

      When a Mentally Ill Child Becomes a Mentally Ill Adult, insurance coverage is a significant issue, but unfortunately, it's not the only issue.  The other issue that has not been adequately addressed is that the medical and legal systems, and society at large, have not yet found a way to balance the safety of society at large and the right of an individual to refuse treatment.

    •  because--and this is one area where I DO agree (0+ / 0-)

      with the NRA libertarians who sometimes post on this site--(the only one)

      We really only pay attention to white suburban shootings, even though the only account for about 2% of the overall gun violence.

      This is to our peril.

    •  For whatever reason a lot of these mass shooters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg, murrayewv

      happen to be white males. I'm not really sure why that is.

      The frustrating thing here is that this could have and should have been stopped.

      He was posting under his real name on multiple sites. Eventually he made clear death threats against people under his own name. If he was living at home someone should have at least searched his room and considered having him taken in for observation.

      Even before that his videos and posts (under his own name again) were enough to make people wonder if he was going to kill a bunch of people.

      His family had money and resources, so it's not like they couldn't afford to get him help. Apparently he was seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist.

      This should have been stopped and it wasn't.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:02:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they sent him to college.... (0+ / 0-)

        and he dropped out after not fitting in well.  Sadly, well off families often send their mentally ill kids to college.  Colleges aren't able to deal well with these young people, and it can be a real problem.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:40:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I read though the family at least (0+ / 0-)

          tried to help him. I honestly can't judge them because they may or may not have been good parents.

          He was apparently in therapy. The police were called on him. He reached out to all the people on the internet and basically was crying out "I'm a dangerous, possibly mentally ill person and I'm very angry and I want to kill people" and this was brought to the attention of at least the police and for some reason no one was willing or able to stop him.

          Once your kids turn 18 and move out what can you really do? You can cut them off and not give them money but you can't FORCE them to attend counseling.

          When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

          by PhillyJeff on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:05:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You don't have cops evaluating a person's state (29+ / 0-)

    of mind. You bring trained professionals in mental health care and treatment. Saying you sent a cop and he said "the guy looked OK" is like asking a 10-year old to look out the window and tell you what the weather will be like tomorrow.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:50:19 AM PDT

    •  And in the same second (14+ / 0-)

      gun advocates claim that what was needed was more guns. Their idea is that everyone has a gun and when someone starts shooting, we all jerk our own peices out and start blazing. Good idea, eh?

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:01:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ask anyone who's been near (4+ / 0-)

        If you've been near pistol shots, you'll know that you're in your day. .  . 'What's for dinner? Where is traffic? Which class is coming up?'. . . and a noise happens. If they're rifle shots, the noise is different, but even if you've been around fire arms, you won't process it. You're not thinking, "Guns."

        Until your eyes tell you that the world has gone wrong, or your ears tell you something else -- sirens, screams -- your brain will try to reconcile what's going on with what's normal. You won't grab your handy gun, cock it, and take the safety off, calm your breath, and take aim.

        Now, this guy was moving in a car. Had the people on the street all been NRA attendees who were strapped, I'd bet a paycheck none of them would have drawn until he'd gone on down to the next victims. If they'd fired at that point, they'd have just been tossing more bullets into the air.

        (By the way, in warfare, is it the case that all of the enemy die and none of the allied troops do? After all, those are perfectly trained good guys with guns facing bad guys with guns knowing when and where the encounter will happen.)

        "man, proud man,/ Drest in a little brief authority,. . . Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,/ Would all themselves laugh mortal." -- Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II ii, 117-23

        by The Geogre on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:09:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  except some mix it up (4+ / 0-)

      This guy stabbed three people in his apartment before going out and assaulting another 11 or 17(???  I have read various reports and it is still unclear in many if the 3 in the apartment are part of or separate from the seven total dead) with his car as well as guns (He had 3 semi-autos).

      This may seem a bit irrelevant but it appears among mass murderers that serial murderers tend to prefer more "personal" forms of murder such as strangling or stabbing while spree killers seem to prefer guns.   The question now is, granted, that there appears to be an upsurge in spree killers (when Charles Starkweather was viewed as an aberration for a generation) but has there also been an increase in serial murders as well?

      in other words, is murder in general on the upswing or is it only spree murders and if so, why in either case?  

  •  We fill gaps with fantasy. (7+ / 0-)

    That lets us know what our fantasies are, but isn't something that should be used for argument, much less action.

    In murder news, many facts are wrongly reported.  A few of those will never be corrected.

    Narrative, alas, has a life of its own in our collective consciousness.

    I support your restraint, and applaud your implication that it should be widely practiced, especially here on dKos:  let's be cautious, and right.

    Vote rape. Vote torture. Vote War Crimes. Vote with the American top 1%.

    by Yellow Canary on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:31:05 AM PDT

  •  I think one tenet of the gun control debate (15+ / 0-)

    is changing - the one that says if gun control is implemented then only criminals will have guns. That has always been a simplistic, yet effective argument.

    Almost all stories of heinous mass killings with guns have involved people who are NOT criminals but who are disturbed mentally, for which state we have no adequate public policies in place.

    Mentally ill people cannot be identified and treated in any meaningful way prior to the acts, so the rest of us have to go about our daily lives knowing that at any moment a mentally ill person may shoot up the mall, the restaurant, the school, the theater, the street, the highway or anyplace else we may happen to be in the pursuit of our daily, peaceful lives. We all live in repressed fear and we all seemed resigned to the fact that we might be gunned down and killed because the gun laws of our country allow it to happen.

    We also have been treated to increasing stories of aggressive private individuals using their guns inappropriately, to shoot at people texting in theaters, to take out their road rage, to lure and kill burglars, etc.

    The one aspect of gun ownership that I am personally sympathetic to are people who maintain a firearm as a last resort if someone should break-in and threaten them in their own home and for people who carry large amounts of cash or other valuables in the course of their work who might be a target for robbery.

    But things are so out of control with the almost daily random shootings that I almost wonder if I personally might actually  feel safer knowing that only the criminals have the guns, because at least they use their weapons in traditional criminal activities that usually have some profit motive and which are not wreacked randomly at the public at large.

    If I were a benevolent despot who could write and enforce the laws at my own whim, I think I would craft a law that said people could maintain a firearm in their own home if they chose to, for their personal protection (and to fend off any government trying to disarm them, I throw that in for the 2nd Amendment aficionados)  but that any private person found with a gun outside of their own dwelling would be subject to having the gun confiscated and possible criminal charges, with the one excepted use being for the people I identified who have a proven need to protect themselves because of their work.

    I would see that as a common sense work-around that would make our society safer.

    I can see the flaw in the logic immediately however which is that the mentally ill person won't care about the law and will continue to take their guns to the outside to randomly kill people.

    So there is NO answer. I give up. We have created a crazy violent society where we may all lose our lives at any moment. This is what our country has devolved to. UNLESS we find a way to identify and treat the mentally ill.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:31:21 AM PDT

    •  Most people who kill with guns are not (5+ / 0-)

      mentally ill.

      And to shift the focus onto the mentally ill is yet another dodge -- even as the NRA is lobbying to repeal laws prohibiting the mentally ill having guns.

      What the NRA wants is as much gun violence as possible, so it can continue to push its lunatic "everyone should have guns" politics of fear.

      Because that's all this is about: selling more guns this year than last, and more next than this.  It's not about the Second Amendment or "liberty"; it's about MONEY.

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:31:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't dispute your statement (4+ / 0-)

        I said that the majority of the random, mass killings appear to be committed by the mentally ill - and really, isn't anyone who would do such a thing proving the illness by the act? No rational, non-mentally ill person would , with the one exception of an actual terrorist with some kind of political or ideological goal, and one could still argue that violent zealotry is just another variation of mental illness.

        You say that the NRA wants gun violence in order to sell more guns. I don't know whether that is true or not, but regardless, we are getting rapidly to the destination of the road we are all going down in turning into a hopeless, depressive, nihilistic Mad Max society.

        Did you know that the US has been a place for non-US citizens to invest and park their money in real estate investment? Do you know how much of the US economy depends on international tourism? At what point does the rest of the world simply avert their eyes and turn away from us as a society too dangerous to invest in or visit? How will we keep thumping our chests as "the greatest country in the world" if the rest of the globe views us as simply a zoo filled with wild armed Homo Sapiens Americus. Will they visit us in armored Humvees like they are going to Lion Country Safari?

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:57:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not that the NRA "wants gun violence"... (0+ / 0-)

          ...it's that they don't give a damn about the consequences of using their considerable political influence to roll back even the most permissive gun laws.

          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
          he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

          by jjohnjj on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:43:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Most of the shooters in these shootings (0+ / 0-)

      were the proverbial NRA "good guys with a gun" until the moment they started shooting innocent people. Since the NRA won't even allow mental health screenings guys like this can still get guns easily anyway.

      Think about it - when you were 18 did you have a connection that could get you an illegal gun? Especially when you're an upper-middle class suburban kid like this guy. Maybe he can score some weed, but guns?

      Next step is registering guns to every owner and if your gun is used in a crime by another you get charged unless you can demonstrate it was stolen etc. Now if this shooter gets someone to buy the gun and give it to him that guy gets charged with something.

      When that starts happening people will think twice about buying guns for unstable people.

      Sure it's not going to stop ALL shootings. Lanza stole the guns from his family (I believe). If they didn't have guns in the house, tragedy might have been averted. But it's a start.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:20:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We should be careful about "pre-screening". (7+ / 0-)

    I could see how something like "evaluate a person/lock them up" could really be misused.

    I think in a world where the essential "cause" of death is birth, we are going to have to learn to accept that fact. I know that may sound "cold" to some of you, but really, truly, NO ONE gets out alive.

    We may all wish to die in our sleep, peacefully (assuming you're not a Klingon Warrior), at a ripe old age with all of our faculties and abilities still in tact, but the truth is, a certain percentage, statistically, are going to die in a nasty, horrible manner. That is the nature of our reality. No one likes to confront this fact and everyone wants to place blame and try and prevent death. Truth is, you can't always do that.

    Even the "guns did it" can't be used in toto this time. True, guns make killing more efficient and I am for more and better gun laws...but this dude killed people with knives and a car (at least injured, not positive if anyone was killed with the car), too.

    There are LOTS of people who act exactly like this guy, up until the point he actually started killing people. In a world with nearly 700 billion, a country with nearly 400 million, you are bound to have some pretty "weird" people...people who never harm anyone.

    I'm of the personal belief that pretty much anyone can "snap". I know that no one ever thinks they or anyone they know will. And, that's mostly true. But I also believe that "anything another person can do, you can do" works both for "good" and "bad" things.

    I know for me, the LAST thing I want in our world is some sort of "Minority Report" or "Person of Interest" type scenario. Seems we're heading that way anyway, and that is more frightening to me than anything. We tend to think that "big data" and our algorithms are infallible...but I get a LOT of ads that don't apply to me at all. I'm sure many of you do. Think about that for a bit.

    People want "control", but that is largely an illusion. If you really sit back and contemplate our situation in Universe, tiny beings populating a tiny world orbiting a tiny star in what amounts, for all practical purposes, infinite space...well, I think we all get that life is pretty tenuous at best.

    Only thing I'll end with is...go hug your loved ones and try to do good out there. Your time here is short under the best of circumstances and there are NO guarantees.

    "For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy." -Bhagavad Gita

    by joegoldstein on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:31:47 AM PDT

    •  correction...I mean 7 Billion... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Namazga III

      not 700 billion.

      "For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy." -Bhagavad Gita

      by joegoldstein on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:11:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry hon, but anyone seeing "multiple (3+ / 0-)

      therapists" should not be able to legally purchase a gun.  And their fucking parents should know better too.

      There is no "look into the crystal ball" here.  The kid had issues and was seeing professionals about it.  That should have put him on the NICS database so that no legal firearms seller sold to him.

      That did not happen.

      THAT is one of the biggest problems here.  

      Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

      by PsychoSavannah on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:26:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i think he was referring more to locking them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joegoldstein

        up or institutionalizing them based on acting a bit odd or writing strange things.  I could be wrong, though.

      •  I'm talking about locking people up... (0+ / 0-)

        not limiting access to guns.

        I don't have a problem with making access to guns much more difficult. I think access to guns should be more difficult.

        I do have a problem with "pre-crime" scenarios limiting a person's freedom.

        For one thing, I don't think it will do any good. For a second thing, I believe it will be used in politically motivated ways.

        "For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy." -Bhagavad Gita

        by joegoldstein on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:32:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You could talk to this guy for one minute (0+ / 0-)

      and realize that he really shouldn't have access to guns.

      Look at his videos - he was trying to be sympathetic and get people to like him and he comes off like Pat Bateman from American Psycho.

      I actually saw a thread (pre shooting) where someone trying to help him told him something like "I'm glad you took those videos down. They made you look like a serial killer." (He actually responded that his parents made him take the videos down but he was going to put them back up).

      People saw this coming. If there was even a brief mental health screening for gun ownership this guy fails.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:23:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  small observation: mental illness carries with (12+ / 0-)

    it a stigma other diseases do not.  If you have an MI everyone understands.  Suffer from HVD or have TIAs, and you get sympathy and well wishes.  Suffer from a form of progressive dementia and you face ostracism and fear, with people watching your every move to make sure when you need to be institutionalized for your own good and your possessions split among the family.  You face the prospect of going before a judge or psychiatrist and proving you are competent.  
    That is not as easy as you think.  Try this  test               http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/...  

    I think a score of 27 is expected.  This has been one of my arguments about guns and mental illness,  Exactly which mental illnesses should preclude gun ownership and can we accurately diagnose these conditions or is psychiatry still more art than science?  After all, there are lab tests for diabetes; do we have similar tests for paranoia, for example?  At this point, we are unable to determine who needs to be driving and who does not and that would seem to be a much easier bar to cross.

    Cuts in mental health, both research and treatment since Reagan has lost us 30 years of possible progress.  If we are indeed going to treat mental illness with the same alacrity we do an outbreak of measles, then we need to increase funding for research and treatment immediately.  With our current DC Kool Kids in Congress we have no prospects of this  

  •  I Read His Manifesto (11+ / 0-)

    All of it.

    He was just manipulative enough to pass the test with the cops and those around him.

    That said, its rare that you see a criminal document his entire life leading up to the time he committed the murders. It's a shame he didn't realize he had an aptitude for writing. He might have taken a different path.

    And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:47:14 AM PDT

    •  I read all of it, as well. (3+ / 0-)

      It was interesting, but it sort of makes all of these discussions seem like vapor.

    •  I read a lot of it too--it seems to indicate (0+ / 0-)

      many points where intervention COULD have saved him.  i think perhaps if he had learned to interact with/read people much earller--late primary or secondary school--he might have turned out ok.

      Tragic for all, in the end....

    •  Was he really that manipulative? (0+ / 0-)

      Everyone who saw the videos and read his forum posts were convinced he was a creepy narcissist and many people actually worried or joked about him snapping and killing people long before it actually happened.

      That was him posting under his own name trying to get sympathy or respect online.

      If you straight up asked him "are you the pinnacle of evolution? Are women all evil sluts who are beneath you and need to be punished?" the guy would say yes because he clearly believed it and thought other people would believe it also.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:26:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps tasking Police Officers with (14+ / 0-)

    evaluating the mental stability of those in need of a well-check due to mental instability is less than a good idea.

    My sister suffered from mental problems, ultimately dying in King's Park Mental Hospital on Long Island in NY.  Anyone living with a schizophrenic can tell you. When not in crisis mode, Bonnie was completely lucid, the best, most loving, intelligent, helpful, honest and hard-working woman you'd ever be likely to meet. She could easily convince anyone of her complete and utter normalcy.

    When the switch would get flipped however, her mind was not hers to control.  I don't blame her for any of her actions, including some downright horrible things she did to my sister and I, 12 and 15 years her junior.  She could not help lift herself out of those times any more than a drowning man alone in an ocean whirlpool can expect to survive.

    I just don't think police officers have enough training with mentally unstable folks to recognize those in need of help.  I lived with one for 18 years, and I doubt that I could, at any given moment in the day.

    Life on two wheels is life in balance

    by YaNevaNo on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:07:12 AM PDT

    •  Severe mental illness is profoundly fightening (8+ / 0-)

      to behold, experience and be subjected to, perhaps even more so when it comes and goes unpredictably and uncontrollably. I've known people who could be wonderful and pleasant one minute, then all of a sudden turn into a monster who came out of nowhere.

      It's not really the job or within the reasonable capability of police officers to tell if someone's mentally ill except when it's blindingly obvious, which is often not the case. They're supposed to react to and deal with actions, not motivations. It's the job of the broader society to deal with actual mental illness. A job it's failing at, of course, perhaps because we're still stuck in our adolescent phase of development, wanting only the fun and pleasing things and avoiding the less pleasant ones. We are a profoundly immature society, and it shows.

      So sorry about your sister. Her story is way too common.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:46:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, allie4fairness, SheLawyer
        It's not really the job or within the reasonable capability of police officers to tell if someone's mentally ill except when it's blindingly obvious, which is often not the case. They're supposed to react to and deal with actions, not motivations. It's the job of the broader society to deal with actual mental illness.
        Word.
        •  And I would add (0+ / 0-)

          in the rural county where I grew up there were 4 people who had severe issues. Just getting them some help initially took years then in two of the cases it only came after they did something that threatened others.

          Even then they were released with no real safety net. If they hit a rough patch it was back to square one with trying to get help.

          It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

          by PSWaterspirit on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:51:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I too lived with someone who was mentally unstable (9+ / 0-)

      when I was a child and who had what we referred to as a "switch" that got flipped on and off. In my case, you could actually tell when the switch was flipped because she got what we called "shark eyes" - large, flat, blank, devoid of expression, eyes.

      Aside from these "episodes" she comported herself normally for the most part and was perceived as a delightful, vivacious, and intelligent person by family outsiders.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:11:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really sorry to hear that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YaNevaNo

      I've heard that the medications to treat those diseases have really severe side effects and it's hard to get people to continue taking them.

      I wish there was something better we could do.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:27:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No background check? (3+ / 0-)

    Based upon the record before the spree, and the symptoms, a background check system would probably have prevented him getting guns.

    And if the reports are true about his videos, and the like, then he would certainly have been prevented getting guns.

    And all you can think of is the issue of mental illness!?

    This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

    by JJustin on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:10:56 AM PDT

    •  Apparently you missed this (10+ / 0-)
      2] The gun laws at present fail completely even when they are apparently applied.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:17:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually I didn't miss this. What I did miss was (0+ / 0-)

        your going beyond that assertion to evaluation of the weaknesses and gaps in the law.  Instead you left it at the appearance that having the laws at all is futile.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:23:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would prefer if a person had to prove (9+ / 0-)

      a real need for a given weapon, such as hunting or target shooting. The former severely limits the kind of weapon that qualifies as such, while the latter should require that this weapon be kept permanently stored at a given shooting range. I don't think that ANYONE should be able to just buy a firearm because they just feel like it, without specific and just cause. That's insane, and not the sort of "freedom" that is consistent with the public good.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:39:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Home defense is a perfectly valid reason. N/T (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allie4fairness
        •  No, it's not (5+ / 0-)

          Way too many incidents of accidental shootings of self, family members and strangers, way too few of legitimate acts of self-defense. This is a classic bullshit reason to own a gun by insecure paranoid types.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:29:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Defensive gun use happens many times per year: (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.businessweek.com/...

            When a weapon is used in self defense, the injury rate of the defender declines precipitously:
            http://www.usnews.com/...

            •  Your "proof" is not what you think it is (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              indubitably, JJustin

              Being as it is based on NRA-selected "research" that relies on self-reporting, which is about as reliable as a balsa wood revolver:

              At one end of the spectrum, the NRA cites research by Gary Kleck, an accomplished criminologist at Florida State University. Based on self-reporting by survey respondents, Kleck has extrapolated that DGU occurs more than 2 million times a year. Kleck doesn’t suggest that gun owners shoot potential antagonists that often. DGU covers various scenarios, including merely brandishing a weapon and scaring off an aggressor.
              The article then goes on to offer a contrary view:
              At the other end of the spectrum, gun skeptics prefer to cite the work of David Hemenway, an eminent public-health scholar at Harvard University. Hemenway, who analogizes gun violence to an epidemic and guns to the contagion, argues that Kleck’s research significantly overestimates the frequency of DGU.

              The carping back and forth gets pretty technical, but the brief version is that Hemenway believes Kleck includes too many “false positives”: respondents who claim they’ve chased off burglars or rapists with guns but probably are boasting or, worse, categorizing unlawful aggressive conduct as legitimate DGU.

              It then cites a government-conducted  survey with much lower numbers:
              Hemenway finds more reliable an annual federal government research project, called the National Crime Victimization Survey, which yields estimates in the neighborhood of 100,000 defensive gun uses per year.
              It doesn't mention if these were legitimate and necessary defensive gun uses. I'm guessing that the number of those is even lower, vastly outnumbered by the number of illegitimate and unnecessary defensive gun uses, along with offensive gun uses, which are of course always illegitimate and unnecessary.

              I'm not saying that there aren't legitimate defensive reasons to own and even use guns, but not nearly as many as the NRA and gun fanatics like to claim.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:13:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  "Home defense" is a bullshit argument (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade, JJustin

          By bringing a gun into the home you are doing far more to jeopardize the lives of yourself, your family, loved ones, friends and neighbors. Guns are used for home killing far more often than this myth of defensive gun use.  
          "Home defense" is right up there with "voter fraud". The supposed "remedies" for both only make things worse!

          +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

          by cybersaur on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:25:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nobody needs 3 handguns and 34 extra clips (5+ / 0-)

          ...with ten rounds each for "home defense".

          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
          he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

          by jjohnjj on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:47:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually not, based upon the statistics: (0+ / 0-)

          most of the time the "Home defnse" rationale ends up being death/s in the family by crime of passion, crime of negligence, and a spouse, a toddler or two, or the whole family ends up dead.

          Clue: merely making an assertion -- as you do here -- is evidence only of the assertion.  

          Asserting an assertion is not proof that the assertion is true.

          This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

          by JJustin on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:21:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  While his thoughts and actions MAY have been (7+ / 0-)

    influenced by these "white men's movements", it appears to me that they were mainly driven by his profound mental illness, and, possibly, by the various overt and covert messages put out by a society that privileges men over women, and white men over everybody else, setting up those men who don't "succeed" according to its norms and rules to be unhappy, frustrated, angry and hateful, and to vent these negative feelings via various acts of anti-social behavior, that can be as mild as having a passive-aggressive personality, to being verbally and physically (but not lethally) violent towards others, to, in extreme cases, fatally violent sprees such as this.

    This man was clearly sick, but so is our society, that in so many ways tells white men that they're "entitled" to certain things, be they attractive women, prestigious high-paying jobs, nice cars, good looks, etc., and that if they don't get them, it's not their fault, but others' fault. It's unfortunately not hard to see how certain mentally unstable men could turn murderously violent within such a social and cultural context of white male privilege. Add to that the easy availability of guns in our society, and its glorification of violence and the "lone wolf hero" who acts on his own and doesn't take shit from anyone, and such horrors are all but inevitable, and will continue to be so.

    I'm not trying to mitigate the evil of what this man did, but our society is not without blame either, and has to eventually address these and other failings within it. We need to grow the fuck up and end this culture of "Me first and fuck you", that assholes like Reagan and Bush II exploited and promoted. I'm sorry if I'm making this political, but everything is political in the end. For every psychopath who shoots people to vent their anger, there are dozens if not hundreds or thousands who abuse others in less lethal ways, because they feel like it and believe they're entitled to it and it gives them a cheap and cowardly sense of power and control. And our society encourages this.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:34:30 AM PDT

  •  I work with someone who has (4+ / 0-)

    high functioning Asperger's. He is usually very pleasant and it's a good environment for him---small college, everyone knows each other, like a (very large) family---we bicker constantly, go to each others' funerals, have big baby showers, know two minutes later if one of us gets in a fender bender, etc. etc.

    Still, because he has little to no understanding of personal boundaries, women at my place of employment have, in fact, called the cops or reported him to HR for stalking and harassment.

    I also think he might be pretty easily manipulated, and I could see that, were he involved in the PUA/Body Beautiful thing, there could easily be disastrous consequences.

    But I dunno. I'm just speculating.

  •  you can read his 'manifesto' (9+ / 0-)

    here: http://www.scribd.com/...

    He talks of how white womens with black men is horrible, how a gun makes him an 'alpha male', how womens breeding should be controlled by men, how women are inferior beings who use their sexuality to gain status and brainwash/corrupt men and how they all deserve to be in concentration camps and starved to death.

    He had assaulted other couples in the past, attempted to push women off of a 10 foot ledge at a party, been visited by police due to the nature of his videos, told others about his violent fantasies, been referred to multiple counselors and psychiatrists and placed on numerous medicines and antipsychotics (which he refused to take).

    All in all he was very entitled, and given everything he wanted by his parents. (much like Lanza, they seemed to throw money at him rather than want to deal with him).

     

    If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.

    by LieparDestin on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:45:26 AM PDT

    •  Yes throwing money at him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs

      That's what I get from the statement that he had multiple therapists. We threw money at him so our hands are clean all you grieving parents who are thinking about a wrongful death tort.

    •  The Violent Misogynist ideology at SPLC (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, sethtriggs

      The Souther Poverty Law Center (SPLC) tracks Violent Misogynist organizations/websites as hate groups.  The rhetoric you cite --

      He talks of how white womens with black men is horrible, how a gun makes him an 'alpha male', how womens breeding should be controlled by men, how women are inferior beings who use their sexuality to gain status and brainwash/corrupt men and how they all deserve to be in concentration camps and starved to death.
      SPLC describes the Violent Misogynist movement's ideology/rhetoric in this report --

      http://www.splcenter.org/...

      -- and identifies a number of groups/websites here --

      http://www.splcenter.org/...

  •  My question is (3+ / 0-)

    Why are we calling rich, white murderers "sick" while people like Lee Malvo or Ted Bundy are called "evil"? Asperger's doesn't excuse this behavior and such a diagnosis is not indicative of violent tendencies. We can fairly blame gun laws and weak politicians vs the strong NRA for his access to some of the weapons he used but not for his using them on innocent people. In your piece you blame the lack of help for mentally disturbed folks and the ease of access to guns and both a very fair, (so don't comment that I must be pro gun because my history does not support it), but you apparently have no blame for the perpetrator or his upbringing. It just seems to be the norm in our society to hold wholly responsible people like Lee Malvo, while tacitly excusing people like Elliot Rodger. Sometimes it's subconsciously done as in this post and other times it is done to pro-actively excuse someone like in the case of George Zimmerman, who got the benefit of the doubt, (manufactured for his benefit), to keep him out of prison. Clearly, obviously the kid was in need of help but his parents are quite wealthy so help was available to him but he didn't get it. Not because he didn't have access but for some other reasons that don't include poverty or any other factors out of his or his parents' control. I'm not going to engage in rehabilitating this killer after the fact. Lots of people who actually didn't have access to mental health care have been brutally executed for their crimes. This guy had help available and chose not to get it. I have enormous respect for you La Feminista and only an idiot would dismiss what you have to say but I would have added a third line that lays some responsibility on rich, white privilege. The kind that excuses wealthy white people when they do things like driving drunk through crowds of people or raping their own three year old daughter repeatedly or allows them a license to hunt down and kill black teenagers who have tea and Skittles. Elliot Rodger needed help, yes but I hold him responsible for not getting it, not the laws that didn't allow him to be involuntarily committed because his parents said he was dangerous. If the law allowed for that, a huge number of young people would be committed against their wills for engaging in any behavior of which their parents don't approve.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:57:06 AM PDT

    •  I do see a lot of people excusing his (5+ / 0-)

      behavior, but I also see a lot of people saying what I'm thinking: that he was a nasty, entitled, evil jerk who knew exactly what he was doing.  

      •  You see what I've seen (3+ / 0-)

        As I pointed out, yes, he had issues, yes he had easy access to his weapons of choice but neither of those things are an explanation. The explanation is that he was just as you described and he's probably never wanted for food or resources and has probably never had to face an real consequences for his behavior. I'm not saying that this post is wrong in the facts, just that it only explains how he did it but not why he thought he should.

        "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

        by MargaretPOA on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:22:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i'm not sure I see 'excusing'--I do see trying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indubitably

        to understand.  As I suffered from similar feelings in the past I can recognize some of them.  Luckily I got some help and generally managed to sort myself out.

        There are a few people (guys) I've read in these threads who have tried to share their personal difficulties and have been called 'rape apologists' by others for doing so. I don't think that's fair.  Actually I think it's downright cruel...and it's sentiments like that that HELP to disconnect socially maladjusted guys from the social interactions that could really sort them out.

        I actually know someone who was a real creepy basket-case for years....I mean REALLY creepy.  As in would stalk women, follwo them around at 3 am---that sort of creepy.  Somehow he managed to sort out his dating issues, and now he's, to be honest, completely normal and a great guy.  Our group of friends was, to be honest, gobsmacked by the change...

        •  It happens. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, Namazga III, ferg, andalusi

          I'm PTSD, female, with a history of horrible drug and alcohol problems, etc., lots of social anxiety and a very shy person forced to move into an extroverted world, family problems up the wazoo, etc. etc.

          I did horrible things in my past and really freaked a lot of people out. I did things no one who knows me now would believe I did.

          So, yes, real change can and does happen, but people have to be handed a rope to pull themselves out. This society isn't very good at that. I was lucky. Your friends was probably lucky, too.

    •  Deciding that people who do bad things (0+ / 0-)

      are just "evil" doesn't really help stop these things from happening. I think it comes from a religious worldview where there is sin and evil in the world.

      No one is excusing his behavior. He did terrible things and by all rights he was a huge asshole in life. But his brain was set up a certain way. He had certain life experiences that caused him to act the way he did. We can't say that other people with the same defective brains and same life experiences wouldn't do similar things.  We need to identify these people earlier, treat them if possible, and try to stop things like this happening.

      Just saying he's nasty and evil doesn't help anything. I don't think we can eliminate "evil" so unless we plan on preemptively killing or imprisoning people we deem "evil" we might as well give up.

      Imagine if the guy didn't kill himself and we found out he had a brain tumor that was causing him to hear voices or have visions forcing him to kill. What if we could remove the tumor and he'd be a normal human being again? What would we do? Do we lock him up even though he's cured? Do we just let him go?

      What if we could give psychopaths a single pill that in one dose would cause them to empathize with others and be normal? What if the pill had to be taken daily, so they might stop the medication and become psychopaths again?

      I think those are more important and interesting discussions than "he's just evil."

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:40:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Asberger's blanket pronouncements in 5, 4, 3... (8+ / 0-)

    Asberger's is an extremely wide rage of things, so far as I understand it. It has been diagnosed from a distance of a whole host of highly successful individuals. It has also been called a form of autism.

    The diarist is absolutely right: if there are conclusions, and there probably aren't, they're not going to come from the killer, and they're not going to come from the question that we're distracted with ("why"). The questions about the killer will only yield tentative and potential answers. The questions we will be able to answer will have to do with,
    a) why we have no half-way choices between incarceration/restraint and no supervision,
    b) why guns are available for all (and we won't even consider how "a good guy with a gun" would have played when a stranger is driving down the street; I've been near a shooter: you don't know that's what it is),
    c) perhaps why we only consider psychiatric issues punitively, as if there is a binary choice between healthy (and thus good) and unhealthy (and thus bad).

    "man, proud man,/ Drest in a little brief authority,. . . Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,/ Would all themselves laugh mortal." -- Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II ii, 117-23

    by The Geogre on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:58:44 AM PDT

    •  I've seen a *suggested* diagnosis (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, LaFeminista, The Geogre

      of strong Narcissism combined with violent anti-social disorder in a comment (elsewhere, lost the link, sorry) by someone whose comment suggested (but did not state) that the commentor was a psychiatric professional.  This was based on the Retribution video.

      I'm not trying to diagnose this young man -- although I am perfectly willing to describe him as a misogyny-driven mass murderer -- but the combination of diagnoses suggested by that comment seems to offer a useful path of consideration of the 'mental health' issues these murderers exhibit.

      Both this guy and Lanza were diagnosed with Asperger's -- but (to my understanding) people with Asperger's are not usually prone to violence, whereas the young white mass murderers (starting from Columbine) we know about tend to be typified by a near obsession with violence and compulsion to carry out their violent plans.

      WHAT IF these guys have some combination of Narcissism, violent anti-social disorder, and perhaps some elements of obsessive-compulsive disorder -- and ALSO have Asperger's?

      Since so much more is known about Asperger's these days, with schools and the medical profession better able to deal with it, and since Asperger's can often be identified during the pre-teen years, it could be that these guys are accurately diagnosed with Asperger's, but that the other possible components are missed?

      Are assessments for indicators of Narcissism, violent anti-social disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder available for school-age children (particularly boys,based on the usual gender of the mass-murderers) and if they are, are they commonly done?  Are they done repeatedly during the teen years, when these proclivities seem to come to the fore (based on peer- and teacher-reports of 'odd behavior' that seems to fal loutside 'normal' parameters of oddness)?  Are there biological markers -- not just question/answer based tests, which could also be useful -- that could be identified by brain-imaging or brainwave-tracking?  Are there genetic markers?

      I expect that the answers to these questions (except for the existence of basic assessment tools) is no.

      So a boy who has been accurately diagnosed as having Asperger's begins acting more or differently oddly in middle school; this is attributed to the Asperger's.  The boy is taken for psychological care and is prescribed anti-depressants, or other drugs in common use.  The drugs alter his brain chemistry, and thus his behavior, but may be useless (or worse, may exacerbate) the problematic biological functioning behind other, unidentified 'mental health' problems.

      The group of conditions I've suggested -- Narcissism, violent anti-social disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder -- may not be the correct group.  But the current (assumed) combination of Asperger's/Depression is not doing anything to reach to the heart of this problem.

      •  I posted below that (6+ / 0-)

        I work with a fellow with Asperger's. Well, actually, I work with 2 that I know of, and they couldn't be more different.

        One has little to no sense of personal boundaries and has actually had the cops called on him for stalking and harassment. He's quite talkative and friendly, but requires some guidance from others to keep from violating boundaries.

        The other is a perfect gentleman who much prefers books and his kitty-cat to us. He's very nice, but he's not terribly interested in other people except as characters in a book.

        I like both very much. They could not be more different, however.

        In short, imo, people with Asperger's are as vulnerable as the rest of us to MI, to the absence of MI, to distinct personality traits that mark them as individuals (as my hideous procrastination and subtle hoarding tendencies mark me as an individual), etc.

        •  Precisely, for both of you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indubitably, Catte Nappe, CroneWit

          "Asperger's" may be a useless label here. I don't want to point to problems with the diagnosis itself, but it seems -- and I'm nothing but a lay person -- to be based on behavior and cognitive capabilities that fall within a range. It's not a narrow range, and the behaviors and cognitive capacities are of a type. As CroneWit pointed out, they just indicate a baseline for an individual, who can then suffer all variety of other personality and affective disorders, and, as you point out, the range only indicates a method of processing rather than a specific set of actions.

          We're going to hear a lot of ignorant stuff, though, on the television. The AMA and APA and the rest need to re-emphasize the "don't diagnose people who aren't your patients" rule, with the proviso, "Even on television." Perhaps they should issue a CME credit: "Keith Ablow and Dr. Phil: Not Actually Doctors."

          "man, proud man,/ Drest in a little brief authority,. . . Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,/ Would all themselves laugh mortal." -- Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II ii, 117-23

          by The Geogre on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:39:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Geogre, CroneWit
            they just indicate a baseline for an individual, who can then suffer all variety of other personality and affective disorders, and, as you point out, the range only indicates a method of processing rather than a specific set of actions.
            Exactly what I was trying (in my feeble way) to say.
  •  i actually read some of this guy's 'manifesto' (5+ / 0-)

    since I'm interested (as a hobby) in developmental/abnormal psych.

    There's a load of insanity--but there's also a load of explanation that can help people see inside the minds of such people.  Adam Lanza didn't leave this---Eliot Rodgers did.

    One thing I learned from it is that a lot of DKos posters started yammering without knowing a damn thing about this case.

    While it's kind of impossible to sympathisize with him, I did kind of get a sense of what made him tick--his social fabric started to fray very, very early on.  I think early intervention of the right kind could have helped.

    Some sky kids are just shy.  Some shy kids are in pain.  You need to talk to them and work with them to see who's who

  •  Mother Jones article. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, LaFeminista, KayCeSF

    "Just when you think you've lost everything, you find out you can lose a little more." Bob Dylan

    by weezilgirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:14:22 AM PDT

  •  My exposure to this story has only been on here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, sethtriggs

    So this is the first time I've heard about him having stabbed the people at his apartment, as well as the first time I've heard about the second shooting location (the deli). Were the people killed at his apartment his roommates or were they friends who were visiting him or what? And the deli shooting, was that just a random person he shot, or did he shoot that guy specifically because he was that guy? I'm asking mostly rhetorically because I don't imagine you have the answers because I imagine the investigation by the police hasn't answered those questions yet. But to this point, I had been thinking he had only just go to the sorority and shot and killed people there; I didn't realize he had killed at two other locations too.

  •  Just glanced at the YouTube comments... (5+ / 0-)

    ...and the RWNJs are on it:

    [...] but this is fake its a 2nd attempt to take away guns like the sandy hook nra deal again they want your guns ppl this is all a set up [...]
    HOAX HOAX and more HOAX. Just like Sandy Hoax, Just like Boston, Just like all the other....The show must go on and the whole world is a state. Well folks, this is just another 'staged' event.
    And now the feminist come out to play
    Keep giving kids trophies for failure. (Figuratively and Literally) And manics like this will continue to kill innocent people. This is what Liberal Delusion has created
    **sigh**

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:29:24 AM PDT

  •  I'd like to point something out (8+ / 0-)

    To the commentators who are arguing that a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome or a warning from his/her parents should be sufficient to justify involuntarily committing someone. I'm trans and my parents tried to lock me up against my will because they didn't like that little aspect of myself. If we allow young people to be locked away to prevent them engaging in behavior with which the parents don't agree, our facilities would soon be overwhelmed with LGBT kids, Atheist kids, promiscuous kids, pot smoking kids, even kids whose grades aren't good enough to suit their parents. If you don't believe that would happen, then may I suggest that you come back from La La Land. Rodger was absolutely responsible for his own behavior. Ease of access to weapons enabled it and his mental state may have amplified it but self entitled privilege is the cause. This kid wasn't "sick", he was loathsome and vile and his history and associations prove it. It wasn't Asperger's that caused him to frequent "pick up artist" sites that outline how to get away with date rape and it wasn't the mental health care system's inability to involuntarily commit him that was responsible for his lack of any sense of right and wrong. Those things are his and his parents' responsibility solely.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:49:25 AM PDT

    •  I was with you for the first part (4+ / 0-)

      The legal requirements for involuntary commitment are as high a bar as they are for reasons including past abuse of people being committed for the kinds of behaviors you cite.

      But you lost me as you drastically downgraded the impact of mental illness on his thought processes, and then closed with "blame the parents". I've known too many parents and family members who have endured the heart break of trying to eal with a loved one with severe mental illness. The kid was sick, and his sickness led him to many of those vile associations.

      (And no. Aspergers was probably not the only diagnosis)

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:37:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks Catte Nappe- (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA, Namazga III, Catte Nappe

        I really can't believe some of the things I'm reading here. And as you say, I've watched parents struggle with this too, including my best friend.
        "Blame the parents" (especially the mother) has only recently emerged from being the go-to explanation from psychologists. But it seems weirdly popular on this supposedly reality-based website. Too many people ignore the "illness" part of mental illness.

  •  Thanks for posting this. (8+ / 0-)

    I had the same reaction when I read some of the diaries yesterday. As someone who works in the media I know that first reports and reactions can be wrong and/or off base so I try to wait for more information.

     Sometimes I fail at that but I do try.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:26:20 AM PDT

  •  I hated reading Twitter last night. (8+ / 0-)

    Everyone from across the political spectrum was taking this horrific, senseless crime and viewing it through the prism of their pet political issue.

    The RWNJ blamed women's studies programs for emasculating men.  The Gun nuts were making hay of the fact that he stabbed half of his victims.  Feminists were focused on the blatant misogony of his screed.  And lots of folks agreed that he was a privileged white male and therefore very dangerous.

    You want to know what we can learn from this incident?  Absolutely nothing useful.  The disproportionate attention that incidents like this get is bad on two fronts:

    1. It makes people fearful of one another.  Crimes like this are way too common but statistically speaking, they are rare.  
    2. The attention and fame is part of the allure to commit these acts in the first place.  

    This is a crime.  Let the police investigate it.  Let the family members mourn the lost.  And be thankful to be alive.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:34:04 AM PDT

  •  He Wrote A 132 Page Manifesto..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, greengemini

    Agreed.  He was mentally ill, dreadfully disturbed.  However, he kept it together long enough, well enough to gather his scattered thoughts, compile his manifesto, publish it & commit his spree of destruction.

    Blame the police, blame society, blame mental health facilities.......but the ultimate blame rides on the killer's shoulders & in his heart.

    He did the deed.  

  •  OllieGarkey's diary cited in Guardian -- (5+ / 0-)

    OllieGarkey's widely-disseminated diary was cited in a Guardian essay here --

    Rodger was reportedly involved with the online men's rights movement: allegedly active on one forum and said to have been following several men's rights channels on YouTube. The language Rodger used in his videos against women – like referring to himself as an "alpha male" – is common rhetoric in such circles.

    [bold text is the link in original]
    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    This essay also educated me to the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) tracks Violent Misogynists as hate groups.  a list of such websites/groups is covered in this report --

    http://www.splcenter.org/...

    -- while the ideology, rhetoric, and jargon is described here --

    http://www.splcenter.org/...

    •  It wasnt an attack on a specific diary on this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, Darmok

      site, it is against the general rush to ignite feelings before the facts are known in full.

      When it does not involve  a truly tragic event I have no problem with sensationalism.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:45:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Asperger's diagnosis is very premature (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indubitably, LaFeminista, Matt Z

    There look to be a number of psychological elements in his story.  He has some narcissistic traits, e.g., the belief that he is special ("magnificent" in his words).  But it's more complicated than that.  There are also themes involving feelings of abandonment by his mother and stepmother in early childhood.  So far, he looks like a mixed bag.  Let's be careful about labeling Asperger patients as homicidal.

    •  That is not the intent, mental health issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qphilo

      need to be better understood and cared for in our society. We basically as a society abandon them.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:42:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is no way to determine who should have a gun (5+ / 0-)

    without really overstepping the bounds. Better solution is to ban them altogether.

  •  Thank you. I prefer to wait as well. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, serendipityisabitch

    Your reasonable thoughts about this very sad event seem spot-on to me, and much appreciated.

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:24:01 AM PDT

  •  We can't have adequate mental health care... (0+ / 0-)

    ... because certain people assume that means their kind will be "locked up as crazies".

    My point has always been, aren't such people exactly the ones the rest of us should be designating for treatment or, at minimum, disarmament?

  •  Apparently a "lack of help" for this (0+ / 0-)

    mentally disturbed young man was not the issue. News reports indicate that he had lots of access to mental health resources. The larger issue is that the mental health profession has a limited ability to treat or manage personality disorders such as narcissism . . .

    •  Limited ability to treat and manage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, FiredUpInCA

      Not just personality disorders, but things like schizophrenia and bipolar. All the evidence suggests this kid was waaaay past mere narcissism.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:28:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Until it is confirmed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Namazga III, Matt Z

    that he had deal with Asperger's please don't mention it in relation to this individual. The only references to his being Asperger's has come from the PUAHate msg board. There are a lot of people now conflating Asperger's with mental illness and violence because of the boards insinuations about him.

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:07:20 PM PDT

    •  it is part of the whole character profile, though. (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, I agree that people are falsely conflating Asperger's with mental illness, and that the uninformed will be too quick to blame the syndrome, as it were--

      But we can't self-censor either.  That's not right.  It might be irresponsible of us to build character sketches based on a tiny bit of information--but that's what we do--and we might as well draw in the whole picture.  Besides, Asperger's can serve as a severe social block.  Say there are deep underlying psychoses.  Having the syndrome certainly wouldn't help this guy's social integration that perhaps could have helped to stem these psychoses--or at least their terrible results.

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