The attacks carried out by a spoiled son of Hollywood who murdered six people and wounded 13 more in Santa Barbara, California this past Friday night, are being used by frothing collectivists as a call to action in their endless crusade to strip Americans of their right to be arms.
It matters little to them that the 22-year-old attacker, Elliot Roger, was a deeply disturbed individual that had been in therapy since the age of eight years old. They do not care that his condition apparently worsened during his teen-aged years, to the point Roger was in therapy on an almost daily basis. The rambling manifesto he left behind showed Roger to be a narcissist, misogynist, racist who felt himself to be perfect, and who despised almost everyone else. He’d hoped to murder family as part of his attack, including his six-year-old brother, whom he feared would be more popular with women than he had been. Obviously, the battery of therapists that had seen Roger over his 14 years of treatment either failed to discover how dangerous he was, or they failed to communicate how dangerous he was to the proper authorities.
In a rational world, rational people would focus on how someone as depraved, delusional, and full of hatred as Elliot Roger managed to avoid being identified as a lethal force threat, despite having been treated for mental illness since he was an elementary school student. It is quite clear in hindsight that Roger, like most spree killers and mass killers in world history, was a deeply disturbed individual. We must look critically at his therapy records to see if clear warning signs were missed. Likewise, it is worth asking yet again if we need to reconsider the balance of mental health rights and medical privacy against the threat posed to the general public by the mentally ill.
In a rational world, rational people would wonder how Roger was contacted by Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department personnel because of threats to commit violent acts, and no one in the SBSD thought to check his name against the state’s handgun registry and take the fact that he owned weapons and was discussing mass homicide into account. In the manifesto he left behind, Roger himself stated that if law enforcement had simply searched his room, his plot would have been uncovered before he could have carried out his attacks.
California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States, and by some measures, the strictest. Roger passed both state and federal background checks for all three of his firearms. He purchased only “California approved” handguns that were approved by an anti-gun Attorney General. He complied with the state’s mandated 10-day waiting period for each firearm. He took the state’s required safety course for each firearm, and obtained a Handgun Safety Certificate after passing a written test. He passed the state mandated safe handling demonstration for each purchase. He complied with the state’s one-handgun-per-30-days rule. He purchased only the reduced-capacity magazines mandated by California law. Quite obviously, even some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation entirely failed to prevent Roger from arming himself. Since even the strictest legally permissible gun laws failed, it is obviously time to stop scapegoating firearms, firearms owners, and firearms laws.
It is past time that we start looking at the failures of the mental health system, the failure of the mental health system to communicate with law enforcement, and the failure of law enforcement agencies to use the tools already at their disposal to conduct more thorough investigations.
Of course, that is assuming that our societal intent is to prevent these murders before they happen. At this point, it almost seems that some want there to be more bloodshed, in order to use them to attack our sacred liberty.