I will never watch Elliot Rodger’s videos. I just refuse to give that subhuman animal the postmortem satisfaction. He wanted CNN to run his video in a loop. He yearned for sociologists, psychologists and anyone with a PhD to discuss his psyche. He had to accomplish the very worst of fetes for us to notice him.
And every one of you that watched his videos, debated his motives or used him as an example of larger societal ills allowed him a measure of victory in death that his warped, execrable mind could never achieve in life.
I am aware of the unfortunate irony that my writing a column presents where I cite this maggot also allows him to avoid the anonymity that he so richly deserves for eternity. But Elliot Rodger has already been used as an epitome for every single perceived problem in America. My problem is not just with him—but with those who make him into something larger than he was.
Rodger killed six people—four of whom were men. Yet, he is held up as the exemplification of not only a misogynist country, but also of the predatory, inherently perilous culture of violence that women in college must endure daily.
Three of his victims were most likely killed with either knives or a machete. But those who use every tragedy to advocate the elimination of gun rights try to make this another example of gun nuts shooting down innocent people on a daily basis.
Why must we make homicidal maniacs the embodiment of regular Americans when they are obviously the very opposite of regular Americans?
This is not new. Every time some crazed, entitled whackadoo loses his mind and commits hideous atrocities we get weeks of analysis that suggest they are us. This became the patented modus operandi of the media during the Columbine massacre.
When Columbine happened, many Americans refused to only grieve what had occurred. No, what transpired in Littleton, Colorado in 1999 must have been excrescent to a much more ominous dilemma. Guns, bullying, that new-fangled Internet thingy, suburbia, television…something. Anything!
Heck, let us time machine back a half century ago. It is impossible for some Commie loner to kill a man as dynamic and vibrant as President John Kennedy on his own. That simply cannot be! It had to be a conspiracy conjured up by evil, powerful forces that destroyed Camelot.
This is the human mind. If you cannot accept what is real, make it into something extraordinary.
Elliot Rodger, and those like him, are not normal. Somewhere in their life—they might have even been born with it—a switch was flipped. They walked amongst us, but they hated us. And when they devalued us, ending our lives became their way of telling the world who and what they were.
And this leads me to the question that is at the heart of my thesis:
Why would anyone want to allow these monsters with this level of sociopathy and wounded psychosis be indicatory of any of us?
I am not Elliot Rodger. I can’t fathom his level of entitlement. I have no desire to kill anyone. And while I harbor resentment, anger and animosity towards others for their actions toward me, I chalk it up to being a human living with and around other human beings.
Why are crazy people who do crazy things just like the rest of us?
But read any column in the past two weeks–or see what hashtags have become popular on Twitter–and you would be lead to believe that Rodger was not the exception to the rules over 99% of us live by, but our champion.
Any of us with a gun, the tech acumen to download a video onto YouTube and a lifetime of bad experiences with women is destined to commit atrocities. Rodger was not an exception, he was exceptional.
Elliot Rodger IS America!
I hate to admit this, but sometime in the very near future, another massacre will occur. The perpetrator(s) is most likely going to be a white male, most likely in his 20’s, and most definitely with a paper trail of red flags on his resume to suggest that he (they) were a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
Whomever it is that unleashes their unhinged fury onto us should be allowed to change the way we live. If they use a gun, they should not be given the power to stop the normal ones from protecting ourselves by owning a gun responsibly. If they suffer from a severe mental illness they should not be the catharsis for limiting the rights of those who must go through every day dealing with mental illness and the stigma that still comes with such calamities.
If they shoot women, or make videos detailing their disdain for the superior gender, they should not be held up as the proof that misogyny is omnipresent and permeates society at its core.
Nothing any of these killers does should be thought of as anything but what they are—unfortunate acts of horror committed by sick individuals.
Individuals. Voluntarily apart from the Collective. Unable to accept assimilation. Unreasonable in their desire to do harm to others. In short, not us.
There are real problems with society. I do not make a contrary argument to that fact. We get better. We progress. We deal with problems pretty good. Humans did not become masters of this planet strictly by circumstance. We earned it by evolving.
Why would we suggest Elliot Rodger is the case study for where society is today? He is emblematic of nothing. And I will openly, disdainfully counter anyone that attempts to argue he represents me, you or any of us.
I refuse to give the worst of us the power to represent the best of us. Rodger, and others like him, just do not deserve that privilege.