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Isla Vista killer not a ‘gunman,’ just a monster anti-gunners can exploit

Wilted flowers hangh from a bullet hole, a reminder of the carnage left by suspected mass killer Elliot Rodger in Isla Vista.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

While today’s New York Daily News identifies all of his victims, the quickly emerging profile of mass murder suspect Elliot Rodger, detailed by yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, reveals a narcissistic, spoiled monster who planned his crimes far in advance, killed half of his victims with a knife and was a product of the “me” culture but hardly the “gun” culture.

His “manifesto,” which already has been visited more than 2.2 million times, includes an account of his first experience shooting at a gun range. It was an experience that made him sick to his stomach. “I paid my fee and left the range within minutes, feeling as if I was going to be sick,” he wrote. That is more a reaction from an anti-gunner than someone familiar with firearms.

His butchery is already being exploited by anti-gunners who somehow overlook the fact he fatally stabbed three people. Moms Demand Action’s (MDA) Facebook page is talking only about how “the NRA enables mass murders like the one in Santa Barbara” and how “gun violence kills twice as many children as cancer,” and about “a horrific drive-by shooting spree that has reportedly left 7 dead and 7 wounded in Isla Vista.”

But as previously reported by Examiner, it will be hard to use this incident to push California-type "universal background checks" and waiting periods, as might have been the case with backers of Washington's Initiative 594, because the suspected killer bought three handguns at retail in California. He went through the background checks, and even the state-mandated waiting period.

MDA further declares, “The mass shooting on Friday was the third in America in just four months.” The Christian Science Monitor talked about a “shooter,” as did the Washington Post’s headline. The narrative is about a “gunman,” but the profile is of an elitist whose “mother provided me with a better car to drive in Santa Barbara, a BMW 3 series Coupe.”

“I have always wanted this,” he wrote, “since I cared a lot about my appearance. I had been asking my parents for a more upper-class car ever since I found out that there was a car hierarchy, and that some students at my college drove better cars than others. Now I was one of the students with a better, high-class car.”

But this was not simply a spoiled-rotten Southern California college snob talking. This was a Manson-level killer-in-waiting who, according to his own words, planned to “dump the bag of severed heads I had saved from my previous victims, proclaiming to everyone how much I’ve made them all suffer.”

“Once they see all of their friend’s heads roll onto the street,” he fantasized, “everyone will fear me as the powerful god I am. I will then start massacring everyone on Del Playa Street.”

While he was planning this carnage, he was pampered. He had a therapist. Now people in the gun community are wondering why it took so long for everyone around him to figure out that Elliot Rodger was evidently a self-tormented, homicidal time bomb.

By contrast, the victims of Friday night’s murder rampage enjoyed life and made friends. George Chen, Cheng Yuan Hong and Weihan Wang were all stabbed to death at Rodger’s apartment. Katie Cooper and Veronika Weiss were killed standing next to one another across the street from a sorority house. Christopher Michael-Martinez was hit while standing inside a mini-mart.

Rodger’s “manifesto” is a pathetic autobiographical narrative in which he confesses his unease at handling a firearm, even though he bought one “quickly and hastily, at a local gun shop.” Under California law, that’s not possible, and he acknowledged that almost immediately, noting that he had to wait before picking up his gun at the shop.

Amid all the planning for his “Day of Retribution,” Rodger talked about spending $1,500 on a new laptop to replace one he had destroyed by accidentally soaking it with wine, but making up a story so his mother would reimburse him. He played the lottery hoping to get rich, which he believed would make him attractive to the women he desired, yet hated.

He traveled First Class with his mother to England. He lied to his parents about dropping out of college so they would continue financially supporting him. He bought his handguns with savings from “all of the money that my parent’s (sic) and grandmothers were sending me.” This support was enough to allow him to save more than $5,000 after he moved to Santa Barbara.

In the end, the money didn’t matter. His accounts reveal a person who was worthless on the inside and no amount of riches could buy for him the fame, or infamy, he has now achieved. His only value now appears to be as a tool for gun prohibitionists looking to capitalize on the carnage.

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