Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Elliot Rodger Massacre -- Reflections

UC Santa Barbara, located in Isla Vista, is a well-kept secret in the UC system.

A beautiful campus where you can bike everywhere, the serene UC became the unfortunate scene of a violent massacre in late May, 2014.

The perpetrator, the young Elliot Rodgers, a sick man full of rage and spite.

Constantly praising and adoring himself in a video camera placed in his car, Rodgers was bitter, hated life. View his video accounts here.

Did anyone mention that he had been in therapy since he was eight years old?

It's time to question the efficacy of psychotherapy.

The more that human beings look at themselves, and thus define themselves by how they feel and what they think, the more frustrated and distorted they become.

Man was never designed to be his own god, and he certainly was not designed to look at himself as the final arbiter of values and realities.
Elliot Rodger
Elliot Rodger

There is a fundamental imperfection in man all by himself, "sin in the flesh", the fallen nature of man.

While modern thinkers want to dispute or ignore this unpleasant reality, the modern dilemma of mass murders and genocide during the most technologically advanced periods of human history belie this smug, humanistic arrogance.

Consider World War I, then all subsequent conflicts, including the Holocaust, the Communist purges of the Soviet Union, the Khmer Rouge, etc.

Man Intelligent is not Man Moral, and the modern temperament refuses to accept this truth.

While Rodger wanted to hate all humanity, he was more likely hating himself, and spent the last year in video and print trying to convince himself and anyone else watching that he was "awesome"".

Elliot Rodger was a deranged young man, venting frustration with the inherent failures of human nature, which are not overcome with more human effort.

He had delusions of grandeur as well as a strong persecution/paranoia complex. In a word, he was schizophrenic. He attacked other people at a college party, thus he was a danger to others as well as to himself.

He needed to be institutionalized.

Where were his parents in the midst of this young man's mess, anyway? They found his manifesto, then raced to the college campus to try and stop whatever their son was planning, but it was too late.

Convinced that life was unfair and that everyone was out to deny him love and pleasure, he unleashed his embittered wrath on the students in his college community.

He stabbed to death three people, first, including his two roommates.

He then shot and killed three other people, in addition to wounding many others.

According to Mother Jones, he had been planning mass murder for years, and he finally realized this perverse plot this year. The local police might have missed key clues, which would have enabled them to stop Rodger's rampage.

Preventing outbreaks of violence like the US Santa Barbara massacre requires more discretion from local law enforcement as well as post-secondary institutions. Getting rid of the firearms would not have stopped this massacre. In states with strict gun control laws, the crime rates skyrocket. In areas where individuals can own a firearm and obtain a concealed-carry permit with reasonable restrictions, crime rates plummet and fewer opportunities for crime and mayhem emerge.

For the discussion on ending human misery of this kind, the discussion must recognize that human beings in and of themselves are fallible, that human nature is static and limited, and that the best defense against potential harm with firearms does not lie in creating a proper environment free of guns, but a healthy respect for self-defense and individual liberty,  balanced with the need for more discretion and enforcement against individuals who pose a danger to themselves and others.

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