May 27 2014

How Misogyny and Gun Laws Intersected in the Isla Vista Massacre

A mass shooting in the Santa Barbara County town of Isla Vista on Friday resulted in 7 people dead, including the suspected perpetrator, and 13 injured. Twenty two year old Elliot Rodger, a young man of half-Chinese, half-white descent, is alleged to have stabbed his three male roommates and then turned to a sorority on the UC Santa Barbara campus where he killed another young man and two women. Rodger also struck several people with his car as he drove around Isla Vista shooting at people before ending his own life. Shortly before the killing spree, Rodger posted a 137 page document detailing his life story and his motivation for the killings, as well a 7 minute YouTube video.

Rodger’s mother warned authorities about him after he began posting disturbing video earlier this year but the young man managed to convince the police that there was no reason to detain him.

Elliot Rodger has been linked with the so-called “Men’s rights” movement. In his video and written “manifesto” he lamented being constantly sexually rejected by the white blonde women he was attracted to and resented men who enjoyed popularity with women.

The killings have also prompted New York’s Republican Congressman Peter King to call for enhanced background checks for gun sales. Richard Martinez, the grieving father of Christopher Michael-Martinez who was among those killed, made an impassioned plea at a press conference.

GUESTS: Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, based in San Francisco, Katie McDonough, assistant editor for Salon, focusing on politics, culture and feminism. She wrote the commentary, “Elliot Rodger’s fatal menace: How toxic male entitlement devalues women’s and men’s lives”

Visit the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence at

Click here to read Katie McDonough’s writings.

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