Sunday, May 25, 2014

Isla Vista Updated: The American Way and the Price of Freedom

Today all the sordid and terrible details are pouring out of southern California.

Thanks to newly released information, we now know, Elliot Rodger had been off his rocker for years. In fact, according to his 106,000 word "manifesto" he bought his first firearm in December of 2012 and a second in the spring of 2013. He initially planned a deadly attack for November of last year, but, in moment of doubt, put it off until Friday.

According to his bloated screed, titled "My Twisted World" his rage against women had been mounting since the moment he reached puberty. He lusted for many, particularly blondes, but found them utterly unapproachable. He railed at them and the guys they dated. He retreated into the world of online gaming and spent hours dwelling in a realm of fantasy and stylized violence. His favorite was World of Warcraft.

NBC reports his family wanted him to be more independent so he moved to Santa Barbara at age 19. According to an attorney representing them, Elliot had been treated by numerous medical doctors and psychiatrists.

In July of last year he got into a fight because, as he walked around the streets of Isla Vista, he began pointing his forefinger at couples, pretending to shoot them. The police investigated after he ended up in a hospital ER. As always, he tried to portray himself as the victim, but they determined he was at fault. They didn't pursue the issue though and no charges were filed. On April 30th of this year Rodger's parents asked police to check on him because of the nature of the videos he was posting on Youtube. According to Santa Barbara Sheriff, Bill Brown, deputies found him, "polite, shy, and having a difficult social life," but they decided there was nothing to worry about.

In Elliot Rodger's own words, "If they had searched my room that would have ended everything. For a few horrible seconds I thought it was over."

Yesterday Brown told the media, "It is very apparent, the severe extent of how disturbed Mr. Rodger was."

The Sheriff's Department now says they found three hand guns and 400 rounds of ammunition in the car with him. Various media outlets are reporting, Rodger died of, "an apparent self inflicted gun shot."

The authorities found his first three victims, all male, who have yet to be identified, at his residence. They had been stabbed to death.

He drove over to the Alpha Phi sorority house, which he bragged he'd staked out on numerous occasions, and pounded on the front door. In a stroke of good fortune no one would open it for him. Frustrated, he turned and saw three women walking down the street. He shot and killed, Katherine Cooper and Veronika Weiss and wounded the third. Then he climbed into his BMW and began his deadly tour through town.

As he passed by a deli, Rodger opened fire on a crowd of people milling around outside on the sidewalk. Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez was killed. By the time the lunacy was over, 13 more people were injured--eight by gun fire, four others were hurt when he rammed them with his vehicle. It is unknown at this time how the 13th person was injured.

Last night UC-Santa Barbara students and others held a candle light vigil. According to the organizers, "This is a time to reflect on, honor, and celebrate the lives of those we lost."

Yes, we Americans are well versed in conducting these sort of ceremonies. That's because crazed people with guns are everywhere in this country and this type of demented barbarity happens all the time here. However, the gruesome truth is, while we are pros at mourning, we steadfastly refuse to do any thing about the guns.

Let's face it, Elliot Rodger had been utterly bats for half his life. For years he had been descending into a darkness which no one on the bright side of the moon can fathom. He knew it, his parents knew it, his doctors should have known it, and the cops would have realized it if they'd just opened his fucking bedroom door. Yet, despite all the mounting evidence, he was still able to load up with three semi automatic hand guns and 40 ten round clips of ammunition just as easily as he could have bought an Icee at a local 7-11 store.

Bill Brown wasn't the only person addressing the media yesterday. Christopher Michaels-Martinez's father, Richard Martinez also spoke to them. He told the press and the rest of us, this: "The talk about gun rights. What about Chris' right to live? When will enough people say, stop this madness. We don't have to live like this. Too many people have died." He then collapsed to his knees in tears.

Indeed. Too many people have died.

The real tragedy is many more are bound to. You see, there are powerful forces who will cruelly argue, Elliot Rodger's right to own a gun trumps, Chris Michaels-Martinez's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

They will then call their grotesque politics, The American Way and themselves, patriots.

As for the innocent dead? Well, they are the price we pay for our freedom. Their deaths, while sad, fall into the category of acceptable casualties.

Will someone please tell me how we dare call ourselves civilized?


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