Did someone really go on a killing spree because he couldn’t get laid?

27 05 2014

I have wanted to write of the latest massacre in Santa Barbara, but I haven’t been able to unjumble my thoughts. I’m numbed with the reality that mass killings are now commonplace. How is this acceptable? So many things in the news have overwhelmed me lately. I’ve been shocked and the details are so unfathomable that I turned off the news and lost myself in a fantasy book about a utopian culture this weekend.

But my brain wouldn’t turn off the thoughts. The horror remains. I tried to write cohesively and after sitting for an hour looking at a blank page, I gave up. So here are my random thoughts that I’m compelled to get out.

  • The Whys? Our crazy gun culture; misogyny; lack of help for those with mental health needs; an entitled segment of society; a paralyzed political system corrupted by money; the 24-hour news beast that must be fed; the list goes on and on.
  • The paradigm has changed. My daughter just graduated for the largest, most diverse class ever from Louisiana State University, with more women in that class than men. What’s significant is that this happened at a large Southern university. I love the South, but we’re not known for progressive social movements, so for this to happen here, it means it is happening everywhere. This American century is going to be about how we accept the diverse nation that we are.
  • So what do those in power fear? Loss of power and as the paradigm shifts they cling to the old way of thinking more tightly.
  • The young man who killed so many in California was part of an “alpha” male Internet group that is so anti-women that the Southern Poverty Law Center follows them for fear of the hate crimes they may commit.
  • As this country continues this diverse shift in our population, there has been a systematic assault on women’s rights. Louisiana just passed a law making it harder for women in this state—one of the poorest in the country—to have a safe abortion. I heard a startling statistic recently that crime actually started to go down 15 years after Roe v Wade. The theory was that when a child is wanted and loved and cared for, they are less likely to turn to crime in their teen years than a child who was unwanted.
  • It’s an easy jump from this hate crime in Santa Barbara to the other side of the world with the Nigeria #bringbackourgirls crisis, where a terrorist has kidnapped young schoolgirls. The biggest threat to this man’s world view was an educated girl. Who is it the Taliban feared? A young 14-year-old girl who loved education. What did they do? They shot her in the face to shut her up. But they couldn’t quiet her words and that young girl from Afghanistan was honored with a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. There probably will be more killing of women as we assume an equal position in the world. But it won’t stop the rising tide and it won’t shut us up.
  • I don’t believe in saying the murderer or terrorist’s names. I believe they thrive and often act for the publicity. I don’t want them remembered for their heinous act.

I hope that in the near future we look back on this violent era as a time that preceded a shift in human consciousness to one of living together in peace. I found a TED talk that reports even though it may not seem like it, due to the constant bombardment of bad news, that we are now living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence. If you need that bit of hope, check out, Steven Pinker’s, “The Myth of Violence” 

I wrote a post 10 Small Things I Can Do Now after the Newtown massacre in which I listed all the victims names.

I honor the lives of those taken in California and pray that the madness will end.

Weihan Wang

Cheng Yuan Hong

George Chen

Katherine Breann Cooper

Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez

Veronika Elizabeth Weiss

Advertisements

Actions

Information

34 responses

27 05 2014
Lisa Perry

Connie, I can say I’m not even sure how to express my thoughts to your post because my responses to what’s happening in the world has been riddled with anxiety and a few years ago, I decided to “tune out the noise”. It is not completely gone as I still learn about the significant events through friends and family with FB and such. The plethora of thoughts and emotions that come up just reading your post, is overwhelming. I decided then that I will focus on MY segment of the world, hoping that I can spread a little laughter and hope. I am in awe of how the people in this country can and DO pull together in times of tragedy (regardless of the “goood opinion” of the talking heads.
As always, I enjoy reading your posts and am also perplexed..and in awe..of what people in the world are capable of.
Hugs!

28 05 2014
conniemcleod

Lisa, I’m a bit of a news junkie, but every now and then when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the world, I go on a news fast. My days are much calmer if I don’t start them out with the barrage from the morning shows. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I wish we had the answers. We can spread love, I do believe that’s what it all goes back to.

1 06 2014
Chloe Jeffreys

You are not alone, Lisha. I also have tried tuning it out because I just feel so powerless. But being on social media makes that nearly impossible now. And I’m starting to wonder if having a platform does create some sort of power to change things.

27 05 2014
Laurel Regan

I hear you.

28 05 2014
conniemcleod

Thanks for stopping by.

28 05 2014
kimtb

Connie, thanks for writing this. As a parent of two daughters who are in college, and a Californian with many friends at UCSB (my brother, brother in law and sister in law all went there), this has hit very close to home. So close that I’ve had a hard time connecting with the news. This morning my husband toll me we couldn’t afford NOT to connect with this story. I believe the combination of lack of mental health recognition and care, easy access to guns and culture of violence has put us, and especially our children, in a war zone of sorts. You’re right, we can fight with love, but I think we need a little more right now.

28 05 2014
conniemcleod

I agree that we need action behind our words. But for now, I have to move beyond the paralyzed feeling that has me wanting to hide from the world. Thanks for stopping by and I’m so sorry that this hit so close to home.

28 05 2014
middleageddiva

He went on a killing spree because he was mentally ill in a way we aren’t set up to handle. The signs were there and our system couldn’t deal with it. That’s the scary thing to me.
Carol
http://www.carolcassara.com

28 05 2014
conniemcleod

Carol, it is very scary to me and sadly it will happen again.

28 05 2014
Cathy Chester

I. HATE. Guns. Let me repeat that: I hate guns. Your post is all I would have said had I written about this, Connie. I am so tired of the gun culture. They scare me every single day.

28 05 2014
conniemcleod

Cathy, I hate them too.

28 05 2014
Haralee

So tragic. Mental illness and the availability to buy guns is ridiculous.

28 05 2014
conniemcleod

It’s incomprehesible

28 05 2014
Lisa Garon Froman

Yes, we live in challenging times. I loved the way you honored the victims by posting their names, Connie. Lovely.

28 05 2014
conniemcleod

Lisa, I appreciated your take on the #bringbackourgirls in your blog this week. Yet again, our heads (and hearts) are in similar places. Thanks for stopping by.

28 05 2014
Susan Bonifant

If we could resolve the “why” for each of these killers, we still wouldn’t resolve the “why” for others. Mental illness hides. As long as it does, we’ll be shocked by these events. But if I believe the cause lies in the individual, responses like yours reassure me of our humanity en masse.

29 05 2014
conniemcleod

Susan, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I believe there most want to live in peace and harmony. Though it does seem that the world has gone crazy. I have to believe that the sane among us will continue to say enough is enough and our actions will eventually make that happen.

29 05 2014
Felicia L. Jones

Connie, truth be told I rarely get to the end of any piece I read, no matter the subject. But I was so moved that I actually got to the end of this one. I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, lived in Isla Vista and am actually numb to the whole event. This scares me, as I am a person that usually connects deeply. But I have become inured with the frequency of such events.I don’t find in anymore unfathomable that it happened in SB than I do elsewhere because it can happen anywhere now. I have had to learn to shut it all out for fear my heart will become permanently broken.

29 05 2014
conniemcleod

Felicia, I’m so honored that my words spoke to you. I see your “shut down” as a healthy reaction to the real horror that is going on, especially since you are one who connects deeply. It happened in your hometown and it can happen anywhere. There are many stages of grief, we are in the early stages. I believe our prayers and actions for peace will one day turn into reality. I have to believe that.

29 05 2014
pamelavmason

More than any other emotion ( besides grief for the innocents ) I’ve felt outraged:
…that a young man’s sense of entitlement for a woman on each arm was so large that he posted his intent on the internet and carried it through
…that media was accessible to him and played over and over, ad nauseum, by every station, every outlet, thus helping him achieve another of his goals: infamy
… that nobody was able to discern the extent of his mental illness, and that the professionals, the parents, the gun sellers and law enforcement were unable to help him and prevent this. Like an earlier commenter said,” mental illness hides”.
But y’know what?
So does evil. And that’s what this was, in my opinion.
Every time the news carries another viewing of his youtube video, I turn it off.

My sincere and deepest condolences to these parents.

29 05 2014
conniemcleod

Pamela, I wholeheartedly agree with turning the tv off. If we don’t watch it, then ratings will go down. If it’s not on tv, then they won’t get the “fame” they crave. I really believe that’s why most of these killers do it…for the infamy, going down in hail of bullets, like a movie.

29 05 2014
Aleph One

“The young man who killed so many in California was part of an “alpha” male Internet group that is so anti-women that the Southern Poverty Law Center follows them for fear of the hate crimes they may commit.”

This is not true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He was a member of a group (apparently discontinued) called “PUAHate.” The PUA here stands for “Pick Up Artist,” those manosphere groups that the SPLC is tracking. The killer was a hater of those groups, not a member.

29 05 2014
conniemcleod

thanks for the correction

30 05 2014
Helene Bludman

Connie, I too have been groping for ways to process this latest tragedy. I feel so hopeless. These senseless murders will continue until our gun laws are changed, and that seems unlikely. If Newtown couldn’t effect a change, what will? I will continue to write to my legislators about this, but what else can I do?

30 05 2014
conniemcleod

Helene, I don’t know what to do either. While I want to go and pull the covers over my head, I think it’s important that we stay hopeful that sanity will prevail.

30 05 2014
Lana

Can’t believe this happened again, but I fear there is no end in sight. Mental illness, a lack of sensitivity to violence, easy access to guns. So many problems to be addressed, and no clear answers. Scary.

30 05 2014
conniemcleod

I agree.

31 05 2014
Believer

Connie, I couldn’t make myself read about another killing after Sandy Hook, so I picked your post in the WP reader. I only can say that in a world like ours it’s getting harder to believe in mankind’s goodness and that my dear friend is something to grieve about.

31 05 2014
conniemcleod

I know I’m a bit of a Pollyanna, but I really believe that good always triumphs in the end.

31 05 2014
Jen

I, too, think this is more of a mental health issue. Although I have my opinions on gun ownership, it will not change the violence to hate or ban guns. A “killer” or impaired human will kill and harm others with their bare hands in a rage or psychotic state. And we are all vulnerable to this random violence. It hits close to home for everyone if you consider yourself your “brother’s keeper”. Get people the help they need for us as well as them.

I don’t want to seem political, just practical:
-All humans with mental health issues (most of us on some level) need reliable, accessible health care.
-All humans with physical health issues (most of us at one time or another) need reliable, accessible health care.
The USA needs to come together, find a way and create a system to provide those health care services to all humans (citizens or not) in the USA.
.
I see only one way to make healthcare, mental and physical, available for all and that is single payer. And bring in the VA, too.
We don’t need hundreds of separate systems. One system, one set of rules and stringent oversight to prevent corruption.

Thanks for letting me stand on your soap-box Connie.

31 05 2014
conniemcleod

Jen, thank you for your thoughtful comment. You are always welcome to stand on your soap-box here.

1 06 2014
Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver

What a wonderful post! It’s a crazy world with no end in sight for the craziness. Earlier I wrote about a 25 yr old girl murdered on Tuesday. She was standing in front of the courthouse and was beaten to death with stones. Because she married somebody different than her family had chosen. Her murderers were her father, uncle and cousins. The woman was three months pregnant.

1 06 2014
Chloe Jeffreys

His actions do seem to me to have some parallel with what’s going on in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world in the constant war being waged against the humanity of women. When will it end?!?!

Because of the internet, I do think that for the first time in history women now have the power of their voices, and finally the ability to be heard.

At some point women around the world need to stand up, as Lysistrata did in Ancient Greece, and Leyman Gbowee did in Liberia, and tell the men of this planet that we aren’t going to put up with this treatment anymore.

This man was mentally ill. That’s true. But almost all women have experienced the wrath of a man when she’s refused to give him her phone number, or go out on a date with him. Men’s sense of entitlement to our bodies needs to stop. Just because they are bigger doesn’t mean they own us.

2 06 2014
conniemcleod

What struck me as different in this latest shooting spree was the misogyny. I have never really felt victimized, so while I consider myself a feminist, I’m not often confronted with the reality of oppression on our lives and our world. These murders stuck me in my female core. Now that news of those 2 teen girls in India that where raped and left hanging in a tree. Let’s hope the women of the world will unite to make it a better place. And I hope it’s holding hands with our men.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: