On May 23, 2014 in Isla Vista, California, Elliot Rodger murdered six people and injured thirteen others before taking his own life.  These words are from his “manifesto” e-mailed moments after he began is killing spree:

Elliot Rodgers
Elliot Rodgers

“I don’t know why you girls are so repulsed by me.” “I am polite. I am the ultimate gentleman. And yet, you girls never give me a chance. I don’t know why.”

“I deserve girls much more than all those slobs,”

“You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male.”

The e-mail titled “My Twisted World” and the video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” that he uploaded to Youtube speak to the personal issues Elliot was dealing with that led him to commit this horrific crime.

The Rodger’s family attorney stated that Elliot had been “receiving psychiatric treatment” for years for a never diagnosed mental illness.  Rodger claimed that he was “increasingly bullied” during high school.  After high school Rodger became more and more isolated, claiming that he was unable to make friends.  Women rejected him, men taunted and picked on him.  Not exactly the picture of an “alpha male.”

So exactly when did Elliot Rodger become ” the superior one?”  Was it when he picked up that semi-automatic handgun?  Did he become the “true alpha male” when he “racked the slide” and chambered that first round.  Was it when he stabbed and killed the three males in his apartment? Questions?  Yes.  But the answers can be found within the questions.

I don’t want to hear that three people were killed by stabbing, that most were injured by the car he was driving.  These are facts, but facts that belie the truth.

The truth is that having a gun was all the empowerment Rodgers needed to pursue his horrific agenda. Elliot had a beef with the girls who “never give me a chance.”  He had a beef with the “slobs” that get the girls he deserve’s much more.  All of these girls and slobs were having a party inside his head, and he wasn’t invited.  Poor thing. So he decided that he was going to show them.

So  now 7 people are dead, including Rodgers, more are injured and America is, once again, in shock.

Now some will say that “only” four people died directly from gunfire, the rest by stabbing and the injured were hurt by his vehicle, but let’s not continue to deceive ourselves.  The empowerment of this person was a direct result of having a gun.  The gun made him “the true alpha male.”

I wondered why Wayne LaPierre was, and is, so out front in defense of the NRA for it’s complicity in our gun violence problem.  I’ve concluded that this is by design.  As long as we see Wayne LaPierre and the NRA as the problem, we are not looking at where the real problems lay.  LaPierre and his cohorts are not the whole problem, a part of it perhaps, but, they are part of a planned mis-direction.  As long as we are looking at them we are not seeing that the real problem is living next door to us, driving down our streets, eating beside us in restaurants, sharing a pew in our churches.  “Good guys with guns,” becoming “bad guys with guns,” sometimes right before our eyes.

I’m not suggesting that we ignore LaPierre and his cohorts, just [that] we not become so distracted by them, by our animus toward them, that we not focus on “what is” the real problem.  The NRA hasn’t killed anyone.  They just sit back, relax, and then ultimately laugh all the way to the bank as we continue to fight for the right to kill one another.

They laugh because the joke is indeed on us.

They are the ringmasters in this circus, and we are the clowns.