I don’t know what else that could have prevented yet another mass shooting in Santa Barbara. Doing errands all day yesterday, I didn’t do my usual surfing of the news until last night and was stunned to see another kid had gone off the rails and killed seven people, and wounded seven others.
Because he was lonely.
This boy was a privileged 22 year old, whose dad is a Hollywood director. He became a mass murderer before shooting himself in the head because he wasn’t popular with girls. He was isolated and angry that he was a virgin. Only 24 hours earlier he posted a seven minute YouTube video describing his his sexual frustration and loneliness–“Elliott Robert’s Retribution.”
“Humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species,” Rodger said in the clip. “If I had it in my power I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood and rightfully so. You deserve to be annihilated and I will give that to you. You never showed me any mercy so I will show you none.”
In the video, which has since been pulled from YouTube, Rodger, who described himself as a virgin who had “never even kissed a girl,” also detailed his deep-seated hatred for women.
“College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. In those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness, it’s not fair,” he said. “You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me but I will punish you all for it.”
There’s much more. He also wrote a 140 page manifesto called “My Twisted Life.” He had a trouble past and is said to have been an odd kid, bullied since he was young.
Here’s all I know. Here’s all I can think of. That while we need mental health services to be easily and affordably accessible, and we need gun laws to be stricter, with thorough background checks, that what we each can do, is to be kinder. Instead of shunning the kid that doesn’t fit in, consider the person behind the odd behavior. Teach your children that life is not an even playing field and that it’s not easy for everyone to live in the world. Mental illness is cruel, and kids can be crueler. In the end, we are all human beings, and we need to care just a little bit more for one another. Remember to be compassionate. It’s a small thing, but it’s something we can actually do that might help those people who feel like puzzle pieces without a puzzle.