Let’s Call It a Hate Crime

In just about any comment threat on the Isla Vista shooting you can find on the web, someone is arguing that the shooter was “mentally ill” or “psychotic,” which means that misogyny had nothing to do with the crime. I responded to this in the last post — there’s no indication he was psychotic, and it’s doubtful any court in America would have let Rodger off on an insanity defense.

A few more observations:

First, it has long seemed to me that most Americans know next to nothing about psychiatric disorders, and basic information about mental health and psychiatric disorders ought to be taught in school, maybe beginning at middle school level. If nothing else, it might be useful to know that if your reclusive offspring insists on keeping his windows taped shut and covered with black plastic bags, he probably shouldn’t be allowed access to sharp objects, never mind guns.

Second, it seems to me that if Rodger’s videos showed him ranting about gays, Jews, racial minorities or the government, we’d be seeing a different reaction.

From what I have read, Rodger tried to break into a sorority house, and when he failed he shot three young women who were outside of the house — two killed, one wounded — then started shooting random people, killing one young man. He had already killed three young men who were in his apartment, two of whom were his roommates. So that was personal. The fact that he killed more men than women is supposed to be “proof” that it wasn’t about misogyny, in spite of the fact that he had explicitly said he wanted to break into that sorority house and kill women in it.

Let’s consider that after killing the three not-Jewish men in his apartment, he had attempted to break into a synagogue to kill Jews. He failed to get in but shot and killed two rabbis who were outside, then drove around and randomly shot another man, who was not Jewish. He left behind videos ranting that Jews were ruining his life and he wanted to break into a synagogue and kill them. Would anyone now be seriously arguing that antisemitism was not an issue?

And as far as crazy is concerned, there are entire websites of comments from men not substantially different from what Rodger said in his videos. For that matter, look at politicians. A Florida state lawmaker was ranting last week that the Common Core curriculum would turn students gay. Has anyone checked to see if that guy owns guns?

See also Echidne of the Snakes.

13 thoughts on “Let’s Call It a Hate Crime

  1. I simply can’t understand this hatred of females. My wife and my daughter are so precious to me. I’m totally at loss for words or understanding of what was wrong with that kid.

  2. Kind of a side note, I’ve been a little fascinated with the many aspects of this tragedy, reading various articles posted about it at the LAT. I saw what I thought was a perceptive comment about Rodgers. I’ll paraphrase it:

    Commenter said that while people are focusing on Aspberger’s, he thought what this kid really had was NPD – narcisstic personality disorder. A hugely grandiose self-image, a huge sense of entitlement, and finally blaming others (women in particular) for failing to recognize and appreciate his obvious superiority. Rodgers wrote that he couldn’t get over how these beautiful young women all around him would take up with “obnoxious brutes”.

    Commenter went on to say that people who have some kind of autism don’t write huge manifestos full of complaints about social relations – their thinking is almost wholly in the mechanical, abstract, decidedly unsocial domain.

    He also added that he met Rodger’s father at a dinner party once. He was put off by the father’s condescending attitude, and how – because the father had just completed a film about God – that the father felt he had a unique understanding of God, some special knowledge that no one else had.

    As my mother once said, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    There came a point where Elliot Rodgers stopped accepting the mental health help his parents tried to provide, when he was 18. At that point, he’s on his own, choosing his own course, which led to these pathological net-cells that reinforce the delusions going on in his head.

    There was a point in 2013, when the cops paid him a visit, after an altercation where 1) he tried to push some women off a ledge, and 2) was in turn pushed off the ledge himself, getting bloodied in the process. As we discovered with George W Bush, people who have NPD are very charming and skilled at manipulating others. In his writings, Rodgers reveals that he was terrified that the cops would discover his plan for revenge (as well as his arms cache), but he was able to snow them into believing that everything was alright.

  3. On LG&M, there’s a couple of these MRA and PUA types, spewing their hatred of women. Ugly and vicious stuff.

    And moonbat, I do believe you’re right, and that this kid suffered from NPD.

    Imo – the problem with this kid – and man-boy’s of his ilk – is that a lot of these guys imagine themselves to be superior – aka: “Masters of the Universe.”
    “Alpha” males!

    And if they can’t get dates with the women they want and desire, they hate it that they’re relegated to being nothing but another “Masturbator in the Universe.”

    So, “Alpha” my ass.
    They’re not even “Beta’s” – but sad, angry, hate and fear-filled vicious man-boys much closer to being Omega’s, than any of the earlier Greek letters.

  4. Also too – these evil misogynistic @$$holes hate women, because the women they think they “deserve” don’t want to date men who hate women who aren’t at all interested in dating men who hate them as a group.

    It’s kind of a self-perpetuating hate-cycle.

    Did that make any sense?
    I’ve had a couple of Memorial Day beers to honor and thank our vet’s.

    It’s not possible to have a “Happy” Memorial Day – so, have a “Thankful” Memorial Day, folks!

  5. Echidne’s article was excellent. It deserves to be read and reread.

    I was never a licensed mental health professional, but I have worked with a lot of them. If you look at the cluster B disorders, they all seem to fit together very well. I have known a few people who fit these categories and had a few clients who had been determined, by a licensed professional, to fit into one of them. In the real world, the divisions between the various disorders is far from clear. If I read the list of attributes there is always a “one from column A and two from column B” feel about it. I found it a lot easier to think about them in conjunction with the “dark triad” or “dark tetrad” and of course in the real world, some people manifest the attributes strongly and others don’t. The DSM was basically designed to remove subjectivity, so far as practical, from the act of diagnosis, and to make sure everyone was using a set of terms that were commonly agreed upon.

    As Echidne wrote, “I’m not sure there is any effective current treatment for what Rodger’s manifesto reveals, except for involuntary confinement which could have protected his victims but would not have done much for him.” She is right, these disorders do not respond to treatment well even when they are less pronounced than they were in Eliot Rodgers.

    Sorry, it looks like I lapsed into “rehabspeak,” my sincere apologies.

    My wife has just informed me that my services as a mixologist are required, so I must be off.

  6. He killed his 3 roommates who happened to be male because they were in his way. They were not his real target.

  7. Just finished echidne’s article. I’m still stunned by the deep dark evil that kid harbored.

  8. I also read echidne’s article. There needs to be an award for trying to unravel the psyche of such a repugnant toad. (I make no claim to be objective.) One point she got to but didn’t focus on is that in the 140 page manifesto, there’s not evidence he had a social life marked by rejection. He appears to have expected women to trip over themselves or claw each other with manicured fingernails in a desperate bid to be the next recipient of his DNA. I am willing to be corrected by the evidence but despite the manner in which he placed supreme importance on scoring with women, he had no social skills in even approaching women.

    If what I describe is born out by the evidence, it’s like going postal on the entire school athletic staff and players because you weren’t named starting quarterback despite the fact you never showed up for practice – ever.

    If.. and I say if.. his history of social interaction with women is a litany of dumping verbally on women who did not notice him and seek him out as the obvious ‘Alpha’, then he’s weirder than a guy suffering from rejection. He never attempted to win the notice or attention of a woman he was attracted to. The conceit of such a person is staggering, but I can believe this ‘type’ can do enormous damage without a gun by letting every female who crosses his path that they failed his expectations.

    I have to wonder about the constitutional ramifications of a legal process i think of as a ‘panic button’ which could be hit by family or doctors or clergy or?? when there is a firm indication that a candidate has gone off the deep end. Maybe a 24-hour detention while the police and psychologists did an examination which included a search for weapons and evidence of the inclination to violence.

    The civil libertarian part of me can see the danger of detention prior to the crime and habeus corpus issues. In this case, intervention could have saved a bunch of people. One feature of my proposal is that it ‘works’ even with the rightie defense that he was crazy. Fine, we agree that crazy people should not have guns and separating them from their guns before they use them in a crime of random violence is better than investigation and prosecution after the deed.

  9. “… someone is arguing that the shooter was “mentally ill” or “psychotic,” which means that misogyny had nothing to do with the crime. ”

    I do not follow your reasoning. Some kind of idée fixe or obsession is typical of many forms of mental illness and psychosis is Why not mysogyny? Or are you saying that mysogyny must always be a rational position?

    • priscianusjr — Please go ask your question of someone making that argument. As I wrote in two blog posts you obviously didn’t bother to read, I think it’s a ridiculous argument.

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