Correcting preconceived notions about guns in the aftermath of the #UCSB murders

Posted by: ST on May 25, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Facts matter.

In the aftermath of the horrific stabbings and shootings at the hands of deranged University of California at Santa Barbara student Eliot Rodger that left 6 dead (not including the murderer) and 13 injured, National Review writer Charles C.W. Cooke provides some much needed clarity on the talking points being thrown around by predictable knee-jerk reactionaries:

From USA Today:

Rodger stabbed to death three roommates at his apartment before starting his shooting spree, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown at a news conference.

“It was a pretty horrific crime scene,” Brown said of the murder scene at the apartment.

After slaying his roommates, Rodger went to a sorority house and knocked loudly on the door, Brown said. No one answered. He then shot three women outside the house, killing two and injuring the third, the sheriff said.

Twice deputies engaged him in gunfire, the first time wounding him in the hip as he drove, Brown said. The rampage ended after the young man exchanged fire with deputies and hit a bicyclist before crashing into parked cars.Rodger then fired on random people at multiple other locations nearby over a 10-minute period, police said.

“It would appear he took his own life at this point,” Brown said.

Thirteen people were injured — eight from gunshot wounds, four from being hit by his car and one who suffered a minor injury whose exact cause was not clear yet, Brown said.

Brown added that Rodger had three semi automatic handguns–a Glock 34 and two Sig Sauer P226s– as well as more than 400 rounds of ammo when he died.

The suspected shooter purchased all his firearms legally. They were registered to him.

Ezra Klein, not exactly a rock-ribbed conservative, unwittingly assisted Cooke on the inevitable cries of “we need more gun control!” coming from the left and their allies in the mainstream media:

Not exactly what gun control zealots wanted to hear. Cooke continued:

As I wrote on Twitter this morning, it’s easy to pile on and knee-jerk react in the era of “insta=reax” to what happens in the world. I’m just as guilty of it as the next person. Few people seem to take the time to carefully read and analyze the existing available information on any given developing situation before spouting off, which leads to a lot of irresponsible garbage being written – like the Daily Kos’ lengthy, ridiculous (not to mention shamelessly politically opportunistic) diatribe about how Elliot Rodger’s deadly rampage was the fault of all alpha males aka conservative men. As Cooke demonstrated, the opposition (us) needs to be better than that and come at the various (and typical) arguments tossed out for consumption armed with the facts rather than emotionalism. Sympathy for the victims and their respective families is understandable, necessary as part of the healing process – but regurgitating old, tired emotional arguments that have little to no merit for the sake of scoring cheap political points in an attempt to influence policy in the wrong direction is most definitely not.

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4 Responses to “Correcting preconceived notions about guns in the aftermath of the #UCSB murders”


  1. Steve Skubinna says:

    It’s a given that when something like this happens, the initial reporting, and thus much of the subsequent analysis will be wrong. While the mechanisms are in place for immediate media coverage, human frailties get in the way and introduce error, misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and sometimes deliberate misrepresentation.

    Remember Columbine, when afterwards outrage coalesced around the jocks and popular kids who supposedly had tormented Dylan and Klebold? Well, first of all that didn’t happen. Second, even if it had, it wasn’t the jocks and popular kids who went on a shooting rampage.

    The crotchety old poops among us remember the hysteria surrounding role playing games (specifically Dungeons and Dragons) in the late seventies and early eighties. Much of it was sparked by a comment made by a private investigator to journalists. That comment has since been attributed to careless speculation, but apparently the investigator did not think the D&D explanation was likely and wanted to avoid drawing attention to what he considered the most likely explanations, for fear of endangering the missing student.

    Today the internet spreads misinformation at lightning speed, so that we now hear of six sorority girls gunned down. The death toll is bad enough, three men stabbed, one man shot, two women shot. What difference should it make, one might ask… it makes all the difference in the world if you can torture the facts to fit your narrative. Thus the loathsome Piers Morgan and Michael Moore will not denounce our knife culture and demand background checks to buy cutlery, nor will the left pause blaming the Republican war on women.

    The template is set. And if this miserable failure of a human being must become a white male Tea Partier with NRA life membership and Limbaugh, Breitbart and Beck posters in his bedroom, then so be it. Who cares about truth when you’re pushing Truth?

  2. A good place to start analyzing motives and accurately assessing the causes of this particular incident (they are not all the same) would be to take a good look at this kid’s home life. Obviously he was maladjusted, over-accommodated, spoiled, and seemingly undisciplined.

    It is a safe bet that while the shooting incident was going down his parents could not tell you within a five-mile radius where that kid last took a crap.

    The parents of the Columbine shooters Steve mentions were sued in civil court for negligence when it became known the plans and “manifesto” were right upstairs on one of the perpetrators’ home computers.

  3. Dana says:

    The left never waste a “crisis” to push their own agenda.

  4. Carlos says:

    Since this yo-yo was a UCSB student, I assume, if he had any political beliefs at all, they were leftist/liberal/socialist.

    (Tongue in cheek): And since the vast majority of mass murderers by shooting are of that ilk, may I suggest that a mental fitness test be required of any Democrat-leaning person applying for a C/C or gun purchase? Seems to me that would solve the majority of these mass murders.

    But I suppose such a suggestion would be called “profiling,” and Lord knows, we can’t have anything like that, especially if it makes the least bit of sense (like at airport screenings).

    And oh, BTW, the next time someone uses T. McVeigh as an example of a far-right lunatic that committed a horrific mass murder, gently point out to them that McVeigh’s political belief system was much more in line with National Socialism – a Nazi. Just like Dear Leader. And they both were/are racists of the worst kind.