In a recent “report” titled “Misogyny, Extremism, and Gun Violence” (archived), Everytown Research pulled its usual scare tactics, neatly formatted like a Big Four firm deliverable. Its report is what you would expect – a mishmash that lumps together “misogyny,” “incels,” “far-Right,” and “Armed Extremism” – and calls online misogynistic subcultures an “imminent public safety threat.”
The report describes the isolation and victim mentality that men in the incel community suffer from and the self-radicalization they go through.
Core to the incel worldview is the belief that people are unable to move from one tier of desirability to another; consequently, a self-identified incel sees himself as existing at the bottom of the social hierarchy, unable to improve his circumstances. With no hope of change or betterment, someone who agrees with this worldview may feel isolated and powerless, leading to despair that provides a foundation for extreme action. An incel who has been radicalized into blaming women or people of other races for their hopelessness may then use violence against these groups to express this.
The report ties the misogyny of the incel community to guns.
“The ease of access to guns in the US, and their consequent use in acts of violence, makes them a weapon of choice for extremists generally, and misogynistic extremists are no different.”
Thus combining misogyny, extremism, and access to guns, the Everytown report creates marketing literature for gun control. The report touches upon specific acts of misogynistic violence, particularly the Isla Vista attack.
For groups of radicalized men who see violence as a means to make their rage visible, firearms are easily accessible and impactful tools. Guns can, and have, turned years of hate into deadly acts of mass violence. For example, the self-identified incel who killed six people and wounded 14 others in a rampage in Isla Vista, California, had been involved in a series of public assaults before the shooting, but it was his purchase of a handgun that he said was his “first act of preparation” for his planned attacks.
In May 2014, a 22-year-old self-identified incel fatally stabbed his two roommates and another man in his apartment. […] He then shot and killed another person in town and hit multiple people with his car.
Despite acknowledging that the Isla Vista attacker also used assault knives and an assault car in his rampage, Everytown doesn’t make a demand for confiscating knives, suspending driver’s licenses, and impounding cars. There’s no mention of the Toronto van attack, which was perpetrated by another incel using a van and resulted in a higher death toll; granted, that happened in Canada and not the United States, but the idea of restricting everyone’s Second Amendment rights because of incel behavior is ridiculous.
Reading between the lines, however, I think Everytown has made a solid case to get these involuntary celibates off their extremism on-ramp by implementing the old-fashioned advice every responsible father gives his son: find a good woman, get married, have kids (in that order), and take good care of your family. Inasmuch as the government has a role in that, which I don’t think it does, that’s making a case for the federal government’s very own eHarmony.gov. (Expect it to work as well as the Obamacare website at launch time.)
“The future prospect of the Men’s Movement raising enough money to exercise some influence in America is unlikely. But there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly—firearms.”
Written and posted by the man who shot Judge Esther Salas’ family on a men’s rights website years before the shooting.
How about breaking that monopoly? Arming women would be another solution to addressing incel violence, something that Everytown and its friends at Moms Demand, Brady, and Giffords wouldn’t warm up to, given their opposition to firearms ownership. (Everytown’s claims that they support gun ownership is contradicted by its track record of applauding and endorsing gun grabbers like Beto “Hell, yes, we’re coming for your AR-15” O’Rourke.)
Armed women can defend themselves and don’t need the government to take care of them. Carol Bowne would have had a chance to fight for her life if she had been armed with a gun. Jaime Caetano, armed with a stun gun, was able to defend herself.
The world is a complicated place, and there are many theories as to why American society seemingly has so much dysfunction. Everytown has one hammer, and that’s gun control, and it wants to hit everything with it because it thinks it looks like a nail. Whatever is plaguing those young men who join online incel communities, gun control for the rest of us isn’t going to solve the problem.