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
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.
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… Read more »
According to this morning’s Washington Post article the deputies who visited Rodger’s apartment did everything required but neither saw the posted videos before or after the visit, checked the available California database for weapons purchase, requested permission to enter his apartment or performed any follow up.
“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… Read more »