Do mentally ill, multiple victim killers purposefully pick targets where victims are most vulnerable?: The case of Elliot Rodger

26 May , 2014  

With all the discussions about mental illness, one has to understand how much care and planning these killers engage in.  Here is something from Elliot Rodger’s manifesto that no one seems to understand the importance of:

The first thing I had to consider was the exact date it will take place. Valentine’s Day would have been very fitting, since it was the holiday that made me feel the most miserable and insulted, the holiday in which young couples celebrated their happy lives together. The problem was that Valentine’s Day was only a month away. I needed more time than that. Also, on Valentine’s Day most young couples will be spread out in various restaurants in the city instead of being packed together at parties in Isla Vista. Another option was Deltopia, a day in which many young people pour in from all over the state to have a spring break party on Del Playa Street. I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops.

Rodger was apparently planning this attack for over 1.5 years, and this planning is quite common. During the fall of 2012, when he was 21-years-old he wrote:

At this point, it fully dawned on me that the possibility of having to resort to exacting this Retribution was more real than ever before. Without the prospect of becoming wealthy at a young age, I had nothing to live for now. I was going to be a virgin outcast forever. I realized that I had to start planning and preparing for the Day of Retribution, even though I hadn’t yet had any idea of what day that would be. . . .

The recent Aurora, Colorado Batman movie theater and Sikh Temple shootings are by no means the first times that killers targeted gun-free zones. Few appreciate that Dylan Klebold, one of the two Columbine killers, was following Colorado legislation that would have let citizens carry a concealed handgun. Presumably, he feared being stopped during his attack by someone with a weapon. In fact, the Columbine attack occurred the very day that final passage was scheduled.

And the killers’ concern that they would be stopped before many people were killed is justified. Many mass public shootings have been stopped by permit holders. Look at some of the cases: Shootings at schools were stopped before police arrived in such places as Pearl, Miss., and Edinboro, Pa., and at colleges like the Appalachian Law School in Virginia. Or consider attacks in busy downtowns such as Memphis; churches such as the New Life Church in Colorado Springs; malls in Portland, Ore., and Salt Lake City; or outside an apartment building in Oklahoma.

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10 Responses

  1. MarkPA says:

    As a noble experiment in Progressive-ism, we ought to build a regression model on all the apparent variables: gun-free-zone; apparent mental-health issues; reported mental-health issues; NICS database entry; weapons used; evidence of Marxist/socialist/Progressive/Democratic political indications; State’s Brady score in gun-control; membership in NRA; time-to-plan; etc.
    Granted, a lot of blood will be shed in this noble experiment in order to get adequate degrees-of-freedom so as to achieve good T-statistics. But, if we are to do science really well – by the book – we don’t want to connect-the-dots too soon.
    Could CPRC begin to compile the raw data available to-date and publish it? As statisticians and econometricians we shouldn’t attempt to jump the gun and run the regressions prematurely. Nevertheless, the public might be able to draw some first impressions.
    E.g., if there is ample evidence of planning in most cases than that suggests that a 5-day waiting period lacks efficacy. If it was apparent to intimate and casual acquaintances of the perpetrator that he needed aggressive mental-health intervention then the relevant issue is NOT executing the background-checks; rather, it is in identifying the mentally-ill and getting them registered in NICS and getting them treatment.
    The UCSB use of a knife and a BMW; the Waseca MN use of pressure-cooker bombs; the Boston Marathon bombs all suggest the importance of substitution-effect. Likewise, evidence of copy-cat behavior seems to be relevant. Shouldn’t we ask ourselves – as a society – whether publication of the “score” and perpetrator’s name/image promptly after the incident has a positive benefit-cost calculus?

  2. […] “Another option was Deltopia, a day in which many young people pour in from all over the state to hav… I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops.” […]

  3. […] “Another option was Deltopia, a day in which many young people pour in from all over the state to hav… I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops.” […]

  4. […] “Another option was Deltopia, a day in which many young people pour in from all over the state to hav… I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops.” […]

  5. […] kidding. When you read through the common threads of how recent mass shooters chose their targets, one thing emerges with remarkable clarity: they choose targets where then *know* guns will not be present. When you obtain your Utah Conceal […]

  6. […] The reality is that one sense, these people are mentally ill – but not in a schizophrenic way. They are not connected and the people in their lives miss the signs of impending violence. But in another way, they are not mentally ill or insane – they are intensely angry, calculating, planning, thoughtful, articulate people who know exactly what they are doing. It’s just that they really don’t care about the morality of killing others. They are filled with evil and they eventually act out their evil in the form of killing others. Elliot had choices and could have realized that the reason no one paid attention to him was due to deficiencies in his personality and character. Instead, he chose to blame women, thinking that sex was the ultimate form of acceptance. He blamed everyone but himself. And his hatred for women grew to the point where he concluded in a twisted logic, that killing others before he was killed was the only way out of his pain and the only way justice would be served on those who had committed acts of injustice against him. Twisted logic, to be sure – but he’s still thinking very clearly about where to carry out his Day of Retribution – in a gun-free zone where he can kill as many as possible. He planned his attack for over 1.5 years – something that is not uncommon for these mass killers. […]

  7. […] who killed three people in Santa Barbara California that same month explained his own choice. In his 141-page "Manifesto" Rodger turned down targets because he worried that someone with a gun would cut short his killing […]

  8. […] prohibited. For example the manifesto of the University of California Santa Barbara shooter stated he didn’t target one area because there were too many police.  Again, a similar instance is seen in the diary of […]

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