Leading gun rights attorney told Guns & Patriots that deranged college student is to blame for Santa Barbara killing spree and any knee-jerk reaction to blame guns is misdirected and dangerous.
“The easiest way to stop a deranged killer is to have a gun,” said Richard L. Feldman, president of New Hampshire-based Independent Firearm Owners Association. “Had one of the three knife victims had a hand-gun, they could have potentially shot the culprit and stopped the killing.”
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office in a statement identified 22-year old Elliot Oliver Robertson Rodger as the deceased suspect in the mass murder on May 23 that left six people dead and 13 wounded in the seaside town of Isla Vista where the suspect was living.
The mass murder includes 12 crime scenes in ten different locations. Rodger died from a gunshot wound, possibly self-inflicted, said the statement.
The Sheriff’s Office said it is reviewing a 140-page manifesto written by the suspect and videos he posted on YouTube prior to the shootings. Although the complete video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” was removed from YouTube, a portion is still on-line at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Rodger’s appears in the video saying: Tomorrow is the day of retribution. The day I will get my revenge against humanity.
“The best place to stop a deranged killer were his parents and family – those who knew him best,” said Feldman who is the author of “Ricochet: Confessions of a gun lobbyist” and a former staffer in the Reagan White House. “California already has one of the most strict gun laws in the nation it will only be a matter of days before the state legislature calls for new gun restrictions.”
Gun control laws are not the answer to complex mental health issues, he said. “Killings like this one did not happen before the 1960s before gun control laws. “Mass shootings are not an indictment of the gun but an indictment on society.”
The father of one of the victims blamed the murder of his son on lax gun control laws and the National Rifle Association, he said. “Using the N.R.A. as a scapegoat does not solve problems.”
An underfunded mental health system is in dire need of implementation, he said. “We want to keep firearms out of the hands of crazy people.”
The firearms recovered at the suspect’s vehicle were all legally purchased, said Feldman who is a former police officer.
“Three 9mm semi-automatic handguns were recovered from the suspect’s vehicle. Two of the guns were Sig-Sauer P226 models, and one was a Glock 34 long-slide. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms assisted the Sheriff’s Office in confirming that all of the weapons were legally purchased from federally licensed firearms dealers and were registered to the suspect,” said the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office in a statement.
The media and the anti-gun politicians will look to the gun to solve problems, but refuse to focus on the real problems in the mental health system at their own detriment, said Feldman. “Angry, deranged individuals are to blame for mass killings, not the 125 million people who own guns and didn’t shoot anyone today.”