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.