No More: How Can We Stop the Shooting Rampages?

Richard Martinez

Richard Martinez

What about Chris’ right to live?
-Richard Martinez

How the hell can a kid like Elliot Rodger plan a murderous rampage for two years without his therapists having a clue ~ until it was too late ~ that he was a danger to himself and others?  Seriously.

I had this conversation on Friday with a therapist.  He runs a large and prestigious mental health practice.  He’s been in practice for decades.  Yet, he honest to God doesn’t have a clue about how to accurately assess when a client is about to blow.  I informed him that it is easy to predict.  Every child abuse and domestic violence survivor can describe the warning signs.  We’re all still alive because we know when it is time to get the hell out of Dodge.


First Clue: Arsenal of Guns = Paranoia

Look at the guys in this photo.  Look at them.  Who the hell needs to take a rifle to a fast food restaurant?  I shudder to wonder how many dead bodies we’d have in Santa Barbara if these guys had been in that deli.  How many innocent people would get caught in the cross-fire?  These idiots would probably shoot each other in their misguided attempt to protect each other.

I can appreciate why someone might want to own one gun.  But, when the “man” in your life starts collecting an arsenal of guns, he’s giving you a clear indication that he’s paranoid.  If you think that you and your family won’t be tomorrow’s headlines, you are living in denial.

Second Clue: Sense of Entitlement and Rage

These guys don’t just “snap.”  This is a myth.

Their rage simmers before it boils over.  It starts with a frustrated sense of entitlement which morphs into a sense of impotence.  In a misguided attempt to regain power and control, they seek out others who reinforce their point of view and fuel each others’ rage.

There’s a reason cops seize computers.  They are looking for the warning signs that they missed until it was too late.  They almost always find a history of research on how to evade gun restrictions and carry out a terrorist attack.  They almost always find a history of diatribes and rage on social media.  These are clear warning signs as certain as a rattle from a coiled rattlesnake.

Elliot Rodger

Elliot Rodger

Third Clue:  I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

We’ve all engaged in self-pity.  A mature person vents for a short period of time before engaging in self-examination and implementing an action plan.  An immature person will blame others for life’s misfortunes and seek revenge.  Most sociopaths have a narcissistic personality disorder.


Clue Four:  Escalating Domestic Abuse

Most shooting rampages are escalations of domestic violence.  Elliot Rodger had a history of abusing girls who rejected him before he stabbed his roommates to death.  Then, he got in his BMW to run people down and engage in a shooting rampage.  Adam Lanza shot his mother before he took her arsenal of guns to Sandy Hook.   John Allen Muhammad abused his wife Mildred and kidnapped his kids before he became the DC Sniper.


How Can We Stop the Shooting Rampages?

If we want the shooting rampages to stop, we must find a more effective way to deal with the terrorists in our homes.  Elliot Rodger’s parents knew he was about to blow, but the cops didn’t take their concerns seriously.  Seven people are dead because the cops were either inadequately trained or made a horrendously bad judgment call.  Ditto for his clueless mental health professionals.

Elliot Rodger’s father was a director on the Hunger Games which was about angry teenagers resorting to violence to ease their frustrations.  If Richard Martinez ever gets to speak to Peter Rodger, I hope he will hold him accountable for the message movies like the Hunger Games send to kids as well as the narcissistic, misogynistic culture in Hollywood.

Finally, we need gun legislation that makes sense.  The problem with most of the current proposals is that they wouldn’t kick in until after it is too late.  I have a hunch that the NRA gun nuts are paranoid that someone will take their guns because this is exactly what we need to do.  Police officers aren’t issued an arsenal of guns.  Most cops get one service revolver.  Members of the military aren’t issued an arsenal of guns.  Most are issued just one rifle.  If those who work to protect us can get the job done with just one weapon, why the hell does anybody else need an arsenal of guns?

Paranoia.  If we want to look for a mental health reason to deny gun ownership to anyone, paranoia should be at the top of the list.



Related links and posts:

Analysis:  What Do Many Mass Shooters Have In Common?  A History of Domestic Violence  Take Violence Against Women Seriously.  It’s a red flag. by Nancy Leong, Washington Post, 6/15/2017

Elliot Rodger’s Previous Attacks on Women, Couples, Good Morning America, 5/27/14

CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL-MARTINEZ’S FATHER GETS IT RIGHT by Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 5/25/14 [debunks NRA arguments and myths]

Sandy Hook:  Is Gun Control the Answer?  12/15/12

Adam Lanza:  Epic Systemic Failure. . .Why We Need to Do Better, 12/21/12

Shooting Rampages:  Domestic Violence Leaves Home, 3/30/09

DC Sniper Sentenced:  It Started with Domestic Violence, 9/16/9

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