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Together We Rise: Isla Vista After the Shootings

There’s a good chance that just about everyone here at UCSB and SBCC knows someone involved in last night’s tragedy. Tens of thousands of people, rocked by this one individual’s actions. Several of our friends are in the hospital and six more, dead (not including the shooter).

There will, of course, be talk over the next few days as to how we as a community can stop this kind of thing from happening in the future, whether it’s gun control laws or mental health awareness. But all I can really say today is that the level of friendship people have shown and the amount of love going around following last night is just unbelievable.

It’s sad that it takes a tragedy like this to remind us how important the people and relationships we have are, but we need to use this as a time to show each other that we’re not just contacts in a phone or friends on Facebook; we’re not just kids in class or people you see at the gym. We’re family. And now more than ever, we need to remind ourselves just how much we really do care about one another.

Isla Vista is stronger than one man’s actions and we will overcome this tragedy. We will not be defined by the actions of a few disturbed individuals. Today is a day of mourning for Isla Vista, but tomorrow the sun will rise once again and we will rise with it.

Emile Nelson is the Opinion Co-Editor for the Daily Nexus.

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33 Responses to Together We Rise: Isla Vista After the Shootings

  1. raoul duke

    May 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    This kid’s parents did this to us. They paid and bribed him to stay away from them and his siblings. They unleashed him on us.

    I am so mad I coudl spit when I hear that they “ran here to halp us and warned the cops”.

    The parents did this.

    • Michael Boyd

      May 28, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Matthew 7: Judging Others

      7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

      • raoul duke

        May 29, 2014 at 1:11 am

        Thus sayeth the bible…

        Hooray for you. You found comfort in the knowledge that this monster’s parents and siblings survived to live in anguish over the work of their child.

        If I was a believer in fate, which is a Pagan idea, then I may have ended up in the same boat as you are in. However, as a Christian, I believe that the child and the parents exercised free will. It was their decision, and for those decisions, they should be held to account.

  2. Ex IVer

    May 27, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I realize there have been some infamous incidents in IV since my days there 30 years ago. This stands out as a watershed event. Echoing an earlier poster it is time for IV to assert itself and insist on self rule. Meanwhile our hearts go out to the victims and those who care for and know them. May the healing begin.

    • raoul duke

      May 29, 2014 at 1:23 am

      I survived the rugby riots, 6 Halloweens, .25 cent beers at McBurly’s, the Painted Cave fire and sundowners at The Graduate.

      People were tougher back then. I think IV has gotten soft. The student population had been pacified and dis-armed by the ultra left, and abandoned by post hippie professors to weep in their hands as the cruel cruel works comes knocking at the door.

      The cops can’t protect you the way you want, and you will not have utopia without the jack-booted cops trampling your weed burning civil rights and liberties. Can you imagine the kind of control that would be put in place if the UCSB police and IV lefties were allowed to mold society? Do you reallly think they will be dope friendly, but violence and gun tough?

      I no thinks so.

  3. Nik Kordic

    May 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Even as an alumni of UCSB this tragedy feels close and personal. I can’t imagine what students and residents must be going through. Knowing that he had multiple incidents with the police makes it worse. After shootings like this the police are always absolved because there was no warning, no reason for them to pay attention, but in this case he was involved in multiple incidents. IVFP claims no knowledge of the YouTube videos, but family notified the police they were concerned. He was undergoing intensive therapy, he owned registered fire arms, he was involved in multiple violent incidents. IVFP is not responsible for the murders he committed, but they should be held accountable for preforming their duties so poorly that it is embarrassing and boarders on criminal.

    In our shock and grief we are missing how the IVFP is passing responsibility to insufficiently strict gun laws and their implementation. The reality is it is a failing on behalf of the officers and their superiors. It is legal for them to enter homes without a warrant to ticket under age drinkers, but they have no tools to prevent this? Why wasn’t a check run to see if he owned fire arms after multiple violent incidents? Why wasn’t his mental state investigated when family members contacted officers?

    Though it can seem like IVFP is just there to stop the fun when I was a student, I never blamed them for policy and laws they had to enforce. I actually felt like they understood and didn’t persecute students. After these murders and the departments lack of any professional action, I feel betrayed. I thought they wanted to keep students safe and ticketing kids was something they had to do, but now it seems that’s all they do. Glorified meter maids.

    I hope there’s a Nexus reporter who will look into the interactions the murder had with the police. I hope they transcriptions of the family told the police and what actually happened when officers “checked up” on the killer. The students, family of the victims and the community of families that live in IV should know the names of the officers that failed to perform actual police work, that failed to protect them. Superior officers should not be spared either.

    While students killing students on this level is new, murder and attempted murder in IV is not. UCSB sends letters home to parents who’s kid received an open container violation or underage drinking violation, but murders and attempted murders happen ever year. I am not making up stories when I say that one of my friends was jumped and nearly stabbed to death on the embarcadero loop, or that someone in my dorm was hospitalized and put into protective custody because he shot and not safe in the hospital. The Mexican gangs actively sell drugs in IV and frequent houses which the police have identified as gang active. The school and the police treat students as revenue generators.

    This massacre needs to be mourned and the community needs to heal, but I hope the massive failure committed by the institution and the police, who work and share information, is not ignored or forgotten. Issuing $3,000 tickets to someone who bought a keg because someone underage drank from is not the most effective way to create a safe community. Keeping known gang members out and following up on unstable students who have publicized their murderous intent is.

    Go get ’em Gauchos

    • Pleasestop

      May 27, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Can we please stop pointing fingers right now? ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU ARE CLUELESS about what took place or even how law enforcement works. I am all for a reasonable and objective look at what took place so we can find ways to prevent this in the future.

      I know this is difficult to digest right now but the police are not the focus right now. Healing is the focus.

      Secondly your “facts” are all assumptions. For starters… Police were stripped from their authority to deal with mental health issues over a decade ago. Police can only detain suspected mental health issues. Then the county comes out and evaluates… NOT the police. The police know evil and disturbed persons but their powerless to do anything. Also, searching the room required a warrant… which they were never going to get because their hadn’t been any crime. This is much different from an open party with crimes being committed. It is lawful to own guns and its a total guess if IVFP did a weapons check but it wouldn’t have mattered since IVFP could not have done anything about the weapons anyway. Besides… weapons checks are automatic so its likely they did check their weapons.

      But bottom line is that no one else but Law Enforcement was there and yet there are a couple of people on this page who are making a who list of assumptions. This is not the kind of healing we need right now… or ever. This is a tragedy everyone is feeling including IVFP. We need to support them and each other. If any mistakes were made we need to approach them with forgiveness and not anger.

      • Alan Phipps

        May 28, 2014 at 10:48 am

        Thank you! I am rather grateful that the police were around and available last Friday to intervene.

  4. UCSB Alumni

    May 25, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I’m an alumi of UCSB, Class of 1997 and a sorority girl. This broke my heart because I know that IV isn’t like this and neither is SB. This guy (I refuse to acknowledge his name) was NOT crazy or schizophrenic. He was lucid and had enough awareness to lie to officers during the wellness check. He postponed this slaughter because he got sick on April 26th. He knew exactly what he was doing and he didn’t “break” from reality.

    His parents are partially to blame because they KNEW that he is mentally unstable. With the wealth his parents had he should have been at a mental facility. Britney Spears got a 5150…why didn’t he? Why didn’t his parents ask the court for a conservatorship? Instead they shipped him off to Goleta with a brand new BMW and his warped sense of entitlement, a couple of therapists, and THEN became worried with his manifesto was received. They were driving to SB when the rampage began. Why weren’t THEY doing the welfare checks on their son? This asshole had no business being able to walk freely in society.

    Anyways, I’m so angry that this happened to IV and the community of UCSB. I know I’m not the only alumni who is grieving with you.

  5. Sgrad

    May 25, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I’d just like to thank Sheriff Bill Brown for ensuring, despite the fact that I had YEARS of responsible experience carrying a firearm in the Midwest, I was UNARMED and HELPLESS in the face of a psychopathic rampage. Thank you Bill Brown, you are certainly keeping Santa Barbara County safe.*

    *Only applies to those wealthy enough for private security firms or within earshot of an on duty police officer.

  6. Michael Boyd

    May 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    What more beyond home rule for Isla Vista/UCSB could have prevented this weekends tragedy for Isla Vista?

    Would the response from Isla Vista’s own law enforcement agency have been different then this weekend’s response by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office? I don’t know, but what I do know is the solution requires Isla Vistians and UCSB to internalize the lessons learned from this tragedy and I hope those lessons learned makes Isla Vista/ UCSB grow-up and recognize they have responsibilities to each other. This relationship how ever must be built on love and trust and wanting to take care of each other; not IV versus UCSB anymore.

    My Physics Diploma was signed by UCSB Chancellor Huttenback [a convicted felon] in 1985. This was around when Desmond Tutu a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid spoke on campus to a packed audience of thousands. I still remember his words well , like he spoke them yesterday “until all of us are free, none of us are free”.

    My suggestion to you of Associated Students is turn the lemons in to lemonade now. Isla Vista/UCSB home rule will internalize the youthful force to one common cause that could never be imposed from outside the community. The County and the Sheriff’s Office problem isn’t due to any lack of resources or personal, but due to the fact they are trained for riots in Isla Vista and viewed therefore as an occupying army of outsiders, not as Isla Vistians protectors, and they haven’t been seen differently since the Bank of America burned down in the 1970s.

    That’s how long we’ve fought for home rule for Isla Vista/UCSB, so we could practice our own brand of community policing through our own City government one that was more humanistic as opposed to militaristic like it is now.

    Isla Vista/UCSB City government is needed now more important then ever.

    God bless and my sincere condolences to everyone.

    Lets not waste this opportunity to learn from this tragedy.

    Mike Boyd

  7. Abby Haight Arnold

    May 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I lived in Isla Vista from 1971-75, attended UCSB, and consider Isla Vista one of my hometowns. This tragedy has sparked so much communication among those of us with roots and wings in IV—“together we rise” (thank you, Emile) goes far beyond the 2014 community. I for one will follow Chris Martinez’s father in whatever action he takes. One thing we have learned is that we need to intervene when someone is acting crazy and threatening violence. The other is that we need to end this handgun madness immediately. Here in Santa Monica we are this week observing the anniversary of last year’s similar shooting that started with incidents of domestic violence and ended on our community college campus. My heart is with everyone who is affected by this horrible incident. May we say “never again” and then do what needs to be done to make it so.

  8. Kelly Buchanan

    May 25, 2014 at 3:05 am

    I am a 1979 alum, now living in Australia, and I am very very sad.

  9. bob

    May 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Send your horrid brat to UCSB, oh wait, CCSB. Cuesta/Poly basically the same scenario. I have dealt with exactly these same brats with exactly the same rich LA parents.

  10. B. Gonzalez

    May 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I’ve just come from the candlelight vigil. It seems the message from the mostly white male microphone holders is, “Don’t point fingers, reach out to stressed people, and if only someone had given this boy a hug, this would have been avoided.”

    I would like to point some fingers. When a man makes an announcement that he’s going to kill some women because he’s a virgin, that he feels he was entitled to sex and relationships, that is not a man who deserves hugs. This is what the Men’s Rights movement tells people, that they’re entitled to sex and relationships because they’re such nice guys.

    If you want solidarity from the community, you’re going to have to address white male privilege first. You’re going to have to slap some fedoras off some MRAs. I’m pointing the finger at most of you, but especially that murderer.

    • Check

      May 25, 2014 at 12:11 am

      I agree that privilege and misogyny are a part of this shooter’s action…, but parents are burying their kids and right you’re focusing on playing connect the dots and going after semantics. There will be another time to get on the soap box. Maybe one of those white males who who got on the microphone lost their best friend or their girlfriend last night. Have some respect.

      • B. Gonzalez

        May 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm

        I believe we disrespect his victims when we imply that all he needed was a hug or we reduce all of his actions to his mental illness. The sickness he had was not just his own sickness. It’s in our whole society. I want all the killers to be brought to justice, not just that coward. Where is the justice against the people who told him he was owed sex? Where is the justice against the people who allowed him to own a gun? What about the people who read his misogynistic rants and did nothing?

        I’m sure everyone, especially the administration, would like nothing more than to bury this event. Let’s not bury the truth alongside the murdered.

        • UCSBgrad

          May 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm

          White male privilege? Because only white males think they deserve sex and relationships. There are absolutely no rapists or murderers from anybody but entitled white men (I hope you read the sarcasm in that). This kid was half asian and he did this because he despised white blonde privileged people, especially women. This boy was intelligent, articulate, mixed race, rich, and a total sociopath with no regard for anyone other than himself. You are disgusting and are disrespecting everyone affected by it with your insensitive rhetoric. Especially the white male who was murdered.

    • Anon

      May 25, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Increase the number of weekly visits to your psychiatrist.

    • bob

      May 25, 2014 at 10:31 am

      I believe you to have a very salient point. The kid’s the result of an unintended pregnancy by a British film director who chases, and gets, some serious exotic tail, Malaysia, Morocco, what have you. Meanwhile the kid couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison. Don’t wring your hands too long over this one. I’m not sure anything could have been done despite our longing that this shouldn’t have happened. I do not mean to trivialize this event. Chris Martinez went to my high school and by all accounts was a great kid, but what if he wasn’t? Does that matter? They all say “don’t blame the parents”. I say differently. I’ve come across quite a few of these punks in my line of work and the common thread is the parents, and anything to do with LA and money represents the worst. And are the little bastards going to end up at CCSB pissing and moaning rather than behind the counter at the 7-11 accepting their lot in life? Absolutely.

      • alex

        May 26, 2014 at 1:46 am

        serious exotic tail. Huh.

    • B

      May 25, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Sorry, you’re reaching. This kid was seriously mentally ill. MRAs might have given him a venue to vent his frustrations but they didn’t make him kill anybody. Read his manifesto and see how completely batshit he really was before you go pointing fingers. When you’re done with that, maybe you should learn about causation. It sounds like they don’t cover that in Women’s Studies.

      • B. Gonzalez

        May 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm

        When a white male commits murder, he’s always “crazy”. Yes, he was mentally unbalanced. But if he’d not been under the impression that he was entitled to sex, an impression that Isla Vista’s rape culture and MRA rants reinforce all the time, would his mental unbalance have caused this? I’m not saying that this murderer’s actions had a single cause. I’m saying that one of those causes, white male privilege, is within our power to challenge.

        • B

          May 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm

          Niceguys have been spouting the same bullshit since the beginning of civilization. In the past, it was confined to their circle of equally pathetic friends. Now they have the internet. MRA crap is created by the mindset that these creeps have, not the other way around.

          When a crazy person commits murder, he is crazy. You can’t discount the mental illness that all of these murderers clearly have just because you want to make a point about white male privilege. Believing stupid antisocial bullshit doesn’t make you kill people. Being crazy makes you kill people.

          Like I said, read his manifesto if you want to analyze his character. He had very severe narcissistic personality disorder. He believed that women should sleep with him because he was the ideal specimen of humanity, not because some pasty nerds on the internet convinced him.

          You should redirect your outrage somewhere that it will help. Trying to latch on to every bad thing that happens dilutes the message, and denying mental illness as the primary factor in these murders is just being dishonest.

        • Anon

          May 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm

          You are only marginally less crazy than Elliot Rodger’s manifesto.

        • alex

          May 26, 2014 at 1:50 am

          White male privilege? Rape is committed by all races/ethnicities. If you think that men rape out of feelings of rage/helplessness at white male privilege, okay, you have a (one) point. But why is this rage directed at the female? Because she is the “property” of white male privilege? There is still biology, the id, and sexism in the mix of this brew too.

          And very clearly, in this case, mental illness.

        • RP

          May 26, 2014 at 7:03 am

          His mother is a Malaysian Chinese. Just because his father is a white male, B Gonzalez, you assume you can get on your soapbox and rant against “the man”. Elliot was an Anglo-Asian British citizen. Get over it. The man was troubled and his parents did contact the police. Let’s mourn without the rage.

          UCSB alumnus, class of 1990

  11. S MILLER

    May 24, 2014 at 8:58 pm


  12. Sherri Gray

    May 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    My 3 granddaughters have all been students at UCSB and I can tell you that friends all over our country are grieving with you there in Isla Vista and Santa Barbara. As you said, Ms. Nelson, your community will begin to brainstorm about ways to prevent this from happening again–that’s what good people do–move from the horrific problem into solutions. As a licensed therapist, I agree that there is much which needs to be done in the field of mental health. And as a ‘peaceful activist’ who has long been an advocate for tighter firearm legislation, I believe this is where our ‘people power’ lies. We simply MUST have registration and safe storage of guns, at the very least. Tragedies like this are truly senseless and cannot continue. There are thousands of us gun legislation advocates out here, holding you in our thoughts and in our hearts. The song above is written from a mom/grandmother heart because the UCSB students, like all other children who have died at the hand of a madman with a gun, are like my very own…and I know other parents who feel exactly this way.
    I consider myself ‘peaceful’, but i’m committed to solving this dreadful problem (as I know other parents are), so I called my song “We Are Their Mothers’ Army”. It could’ve easily been “We Are Their Parents’ Army” or
    “…Families’ Army” or “….Nation’s Army” — but i wanted the feeling of deep connection to come through. Those children who died are loved by many, and they will not be forgotten. Please listen to the song…


    Love and blessings for healing and comfort to all of you at UCSB,

    Sherri Gray

    • jy kelly

      May 25, 2014 at 7:54 am

      Do you mean regisration like in Nazi Gemany during to 30’s.. Do you actually think that gun owners would actually go down and register their guns after they’ve seen what happen to people when they do ?? LOL…. Molon Labe…

    • gina nichols

      May 25, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      I Send love and healing. Mental illness MUST not be ignored.
      I agree that we as a society, can not lose ONE more beloved person. Please hold and hug those you love and know you are not alone.

  13. aaron smith

    May 24, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    the police came to his home and did not search it. 7 were there to visit him because he leaked some videos online… when you do something like this and the cops take your word for it and they don’t do more digging, it’s a tragedy that could have been avoided… cops need more rights to search when psychos like this guy give themselves a pulpit.

    • alex

      May 25, 2014 at 10:13 am

      I’m not sure that the police could do anymore. Unless the police asked if he could go in and look around, and was invited in, he couldn’t go in without a warrant. And with a warrant you need to have a warrant for something in particular. His parents wouldn’t have thought that he would have weapons or ammunition, so they wouldn’t have been able to provide that information. But yeah, I’m surprised the policeman wouldn’t have asked if he could go in. It’s a usual tactic. And if they do see something, then they could rightfully follow up on it. (Of course here the computer would probably not have been on, and the ammunition and guns would have been hidden from roommates.)

      RIP to the young victims, tragically seemingly NOT the “stuck up” stereotype kids he seemed set out on kill, and condolences to their families, and to the family of the disturbed perpetrator. Take care of yourselves as well, UCSB and SBCC communities!