Letter from the Editor / Opinion

Address the Problem, Not the Symptom

People always search for answers in the wake of a disaster such as the one that befell the Isla Vista community on May 23. The problem is that people are looking to the boy who committed this gruesome act to find these answers. Unfortunately, in giving this disturbed individual’s memory so much attention around the world, we are reinforcing a dangerous precedent: If someone wants to be famous or have his or her message heard, one of the most effective ways of doing that has become the use of brutal, senseless violence. People show time and time again that they listen when tragedy is involved.

This boy’s video offers nothing interesting and his manifesto even less so. The only things to be gathered from either are that this kid led a very disturbed life. He offers no new perspectives on sexuality, gender relationships, bullying or truly anything. People are upholding him as an example of what society’s view of women leads men to do, but in reality his actions are his responsibility and his alone. No doubt misogyny played a role in this tragedy, as did psychological disorders and gun control issues; but, in truth, this case is a result of a combination of several factors, not a product of any singular problem.

Why does someone need to murder six students and shoot up another 13 in order for people to start talking about how crazy it is that people feel like they are owed sex, obedience or affection? Why do we need to see so many bright futures extinguished to understand that current gun control laws are ridiculous? Things need to change. There is no question about it. But if we base our discussions and our thoughts upon this murderer’s actions, then his views live on every time we correct ourselves, because “we don’t want another thing like that to happen.” We must have the intention to change the way we think about sex, women, gun control and mental health because it’s necessary and we want to — not because we’re scared of what happens if we don’t.
Emile Nelson is the Opinion Co-Editor.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, May 29, 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.

Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students

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4 Comments

  1. “We must have the intention to change the way we think about sex, women, gun control and mental health because it’s necessary and we want to — not because we’re scared of what happens if we don’t.”
    Emile Nelson is the Opinion Co-Editor.
    As a dad who lost a son to suicide at UCSB five years ago this senseless carnage at Isle Vista reminds me of how mental health seems to come into our conversation out of sink. Nelson’s commentary fails to place the topics in order of importance, mental health on all of our campuses and community must be first in line if we hope to stop the waste of lives. So many question need to be answered so that we can avoid such tragedies in the future.
    We have a sick 22-year-old who fell throw the cracks and using a sick logic went on a rampage in IV and when the dust settled seven dead, 13 injured and a campus and community in turmoil.
    My life is dedicated to gaining understanding of how a young person can wonder so far from reality. What happen to this person that caused this loss of life.
    Lets not forget that as long as we fail to address the problem of mental health these tragedies will continue.
    My hearth and prayers go out to everyone concerned, the victims, their families and all of the students and residents of IV.

  2. raoul duke says:

    Posers like this guy need to be culled from the herd. He was allowed to chill in IV, and then he attacked the very lifestyle he wanted, but could not make happen. He was a dwebe and should never have been allowed in Capri, much less had his lease renewed without proof that he was engaged in completing classes. What is Capri? Did they rent just cuzz he had money? Chang’s parents better sue them for putting him in with that dork.

    • Bob Sumner says:

      Does the Capri Apartments have a resident manager?
      Many apartment buildings in IV used to have active resident managers and no longer do. Maybe that could help. A concern that residents might have about another resident or roommate could be brought to a manager rather then usually the only next step which is involving the police which many in the Isla Vista community are hesitant to do. That’s a concern as well.
      Did any of the (apparently) seven officers who went to Rodger’s apartment three weeks ago take a look at the videos that he had posted on Google and that were the source of his mother’s concern? The posted videos were in my opinion hardly consistent with his “big misunderstanding” story the officers chose to accept.
      Thanks to the Isla Vista community and UCSB for stepping up dramatically and doing the right thing. Thanks to the officers who protected our lives Friday night. Thanks to the media who finally split town.

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