Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The killing of six people around the University of California, Santa Barbara campus did not “come out of nowhere.”  There was plenty of warning that murderer Elliot Rodger, who killed himself when cornered by police, was a disturbed person and contemplating violence.  His family sought help,  but it appears that they were refused because therapists and law enforcement personnel put more weight on means of violence than on threats of violent behavior.
Chicago Tribune coverage of the killings includes a mind boggling quote from a family friend, indicating that years of therapy did not lead to institutionalization or other intervention because the future killer didn’t appear interested in guns,
Elliot Rodger had seen therapists off and on since he was nine years old, Astaire said. He was reserved to the point of seeming to have trouble communicating with “an underlying sadness about him, a frustration,” he said.
“There was no suggestion that he had any interest, any liking for guns,” Astaire said.
Worse, it appears that the local police were contacted by concerned family members just last month, and declined to get involved because they didn’t see any firearms issues,
Police had interacted with the suspected murderer before Friday.
Officers interviewed Rodger on April 30 in a welfare check requested by his family, Brown said. Officers concluded he was “polite, courteous” and downplayed any difficulties. Rodger told officers he had problems in his social life.
Authorities did not find a history of guns, but did say Rodger had trouble making friends.
But the threats of violent behavior were clear and present,
Shifman said family members called authorities several weeks ago after being alarmed by YouTube videos “regarding suicide and the killing of people.”
Although he killed his last three victims with drive-by gunfire, Rodger’s first victims were stabbed, yet the very same news story that details this makes guns the focus (emphasis added),
The gunman who killed six people in a furious shooting rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara began the spree by stabbing to death three people in his home, police said tonight.
Got that?  Although it was three stabbings and three shootings, the crime is defined as a “shooting rampage” by a “gunman.”  Why not a “stabbing rampage” by a “knife wielding madman”?
This is not just some slightly odd guy who exploded without warning.  People close to him did the responsible thing for years, seeking therapeutic treatment and ultimately reporting their own flesh and blood to the police to spare others danger.  But they were ignored.  Because guns, not behavior, were made the issue by those in positions of authority.

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