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Santa Barbara killings: murder by the book

When Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon at point-blank range, he was carrying a copy of Catcher in the Rye. This was also among a very few volumes found in the apartment of John Hinckley Jr. — although, of course, the infamous stalker attributed his attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan much more to the work of Martin Scorsese. Nonetheless, it’s important that after we blame Taxi Driver for that attempted homicide, we note the fatal shooting of 21-year-old actress Rebecca Schaeffer was effected by an assailant carrying J.D. Salinger in his jacket.

Talk about murder by the book. After all, everybody is these past few days. Since the fatal shooting of four men and two women in Santa Barbara, California, apparently by a man named Elliot Rodger, who also committed suicide, the role of cultural influence is again under scrutiny.

According to commentators, this 22-year-old read some misogynistic pamphlets and websites. It is held by many commentators that his alleged actions were not, in fact, the result of the same ultra-individualised extremism that has driven white Americans to kill each other since one who signed the Mayflower compact took out a blunderbuss in the middle of an argument. This violence, it is said, is not part of the occasional American tradition of believing aberrant shit and shooting guns at people in its name. This violence is the work of misogynistic websites.

Here is a post at The American Prospect describing how “pick up artist” writing shaped the mind of a killer. Here is a post at The Daily Kos asserting that Rodger was influenced by the Men’s Rights Movement. Here is a crayon drawing at the New Statesman by someone who should probably have taken a break rather than deciding to “make no apologies for the fact this piece is full of rage” and go on to describe the “ideology” that fuelled this crime. Society, say the writers, endorses this kind of hate-crime.

In short, and in the fast habit of the morally panicked, the internet and what remains of news media “know” why this crime was committed. On ABC1’s Q&A last night, author Tara Moss summed broad feeling up when she noted that the alleged assailant had told us that misogyny was his motive in his last video.

This view requires that we accept not only that the act of violence was the logical end to a normative hatred of women but that Rodger is a reliable narrator. This is bit like according Holden Caulfield the same status. If this were high school English, we’d all get an F.

We’d fail, and we’d end the fictional lives of Salinger’s Holden and Scorsese’s Travis and, while we were at it, we’d take back the Beatles White Album from iPhones everywhere because, as you know, this was the trigger for the Manson Family’s murder of Sharon Tate and eight other souls. Probably the Bible, too, given that Jim Jones’ fondness for it led to what would be the single largest loss of American civilian life by human design until September 11, 2001, which, as everybody knows, was the work of the Koran. Also, as it happens, the reading material for the Boston bombers.

Are we up to speed, yet? In summary: The Bible kills. The Beatles kill. Columbine was the work of Marilyn Manson. Aurora was down to Batman. Sandy Hook was only made possible by video games.

When Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza, an ardent player of Dance Dance Revolution, did his worst to the babies of Connecticut, President Barack Obama responded by proposing measures that would prevent raving loonies previously charged with bloody murder from buying semi-automatics. These controls were defeated in the US Senate. Perhaps the US Violent Content Research Act, which proposes proving a link between novelty dance games and mass shootings, has a better chance of passing.

It must do, because we have begun to believe so ardently that madmen have a violent genealogy that has less to do with owning a gun in what has long been the world’s most violent liberal democracy than it does with vice.  We have begun to seek comfort so ardently in the simplest accounts of history’s most complex age. Who knows why people without any obvious reason to do so kill?  Who knows why rampage killers affix their unstuck sickness to a particular cultural peg?

The Guardian knows. Here it is offering “further proof that misogyny kills”, that the unwholesome literature of an unwholesome time is responsible for something that has been happening since the birth of criminal records. As Jessica Valenti has it (and she is careful not to call the alleged assailant mad for fear that it will “stigmatise the mentally ill”; she’s not so worried about stigmatising an entire nation), guns don’t kill people. Misogyny does. Stop the “victim-blaming”. Start the victim-claiming.

Way to change the public conversation. Way to hinder much-needed support for those gun control measures well-regarded studies tell us save lives. Way to kickstart that kind of feminist Godwin-ing that begins in the gut and ends in social scientism.

Whenever we hear about bloodshed in the cult-and-gun-happy United States, we are absolutely confused and absolutely sure in succession. First, there is the instant in which we know this horror is beyond the reach of our understanding. Then, we acquire instant expertise in forensic and social psychology and begin to explain exactly why it happened. And then, actual grown-ups start writing oblivious and frantic things like PolicyMic’s “What Elliot Rodger Said About Women Reveals Why We Need to Stamp Out Misogyny“.

What Elliot Rodger Said About Women reveals that the guy was a nutter-butter created by goodness-knows-what fusion of chemicals with numb hate, and that a person with a long history of psychiatric therapy was able to access a gun. These are not the actions of a person, despite the author’s desperation to locate him in an evil-guy continuum, which form the endpoint of patriarchy. These are the actions of a person only a very few experts are qualified to assess within a broader social and psychological context. But the internet knows what he was doing because, of course, “The gunman knew exactly what he was doing”; there’s Moss’s reliable narrator again.

On this widely read assessment goes: the media should not dismiss such people as madmen but acknowledge that their actions are an “extension of toxic masculinity ideals that are institutionally reinforced”. The media should do this quickly and often. The media should not deny that “many school shootings could qualify as hate crimes against women and girls”. The author goes on to cite one example of such a crime, bringing her misogyny total to two. Which is still one fewer than Catcher in the Rye. Or, you know, two if we count the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald also liked a bit of Salinger.

But no matter. According to “research” (aka a blogger who used a Wikipedia entry as the basis for some Excel pie charts), school shootings claim a greater number of female student victims than male student victims. And the media do not report this (mild, improperly sourced) statistic because of misogyny. The same misogyny that links all acts of disdain or harm directed at women — soon to include, I imagine, this article — and that pulled the trigger on four men and two women last Friday in California (five men when you include the gunman).

The DIY sociology continues apace. We can’t be sure what to make of the figure in an amateur data set that tells us that more male teachers than female teachers are slain in this, the 180th anniversary year of US school shootings by students. (The first was male on male, if you’re interested.) But it probably has something to do with misogyny. Because this week, all murders are the product of misogyny. All murderers know exactly what they’re doing. All murders have their roots in misogyny, because men mostly do murder. And men know what they’re doing. And we know what men are doing. Misogyny.

The tone of this analysis might be novel; the shape of it is familiar.

Charlie Manson and his girls were spurred on by The White Album, an artefact of a permissive era. Lanza was moved to kill by the video games of a violent era. Some 900 people in the People’s Agricultural Temple died by the perversion of Christian tenets in a godless era. Here’s the formula: the social ill that currently preoccupies me is the basis for that horrible thing. We know what they are doing. And so do they.

Rodger “knew exactly what he was doing”. Just like Charles Manson did, presumably, when he attempted to spark a race war by instructing his “family” to go to a house in a tony white suburb and “totally destroy everyone … as gruesome as you can“.

We can say that Manson was probably a racist. What we cannot say is that his crimes were the “extension of toxic ideals” that are institutionally reinforced. If you want to look for evidence of just what horror racism in America can achieve, you don’t need to go to Benedict Canyon. Go a few kilometres away to South Central Los Angeles or Google the US Census Bureau. And it is there where you might find the evidence for sexism, too.

That’s the thing about the everyday horror of social inequality. It’s boring, and it never makes headlines. Most of the violence it produces is niggling and slow and diffuse, not hard and fast and centralised. And it doesn’t manifest, as much as we might will it to, in the bloodthirsty actions of people who are the product of influences too various and convoluted to be easily explained or understood.

Make no mistake, this PUA stuff is icky. Sexism is real. But to say that these things led to these particular deaths is radically myopic. To say that all aggression enacted toward a woman is misogynist is just plain wrong. Not only does this latest giddy hypothesising fail to (a) buoy a pending bill for gun control and (b) acknowledge that white US citizens have been in the habit of bizarrely killing each other in small numbers and for peculiar reasons shortly after stepping off the cult-ship Mayflower. It actually makes feminists looks as stupid as the people who want to see Dance Dance Revolution banned in connection with massacre. And, to borrow the rage of all the commentators previously quoted, that makes me Unapologetically Angry and Full of Grief. As a feminist and as a critic of cultural goods.

This is not an attempt to minimise the extraordinary tragedy in Santa Barbara wrought by inexplicable horror or the ordinary tragedies wrought by the fictions of gender and race. Rather, it is an urging not to blame cultural goods for social ill. It is a plea not to see books, pamphlets, websites, records or sensationalised report of murder as anything but a possible illustration of ill, not its origin.

And it is a reminder that the First Amendment is the good one. It’s the Second we have to worry about.

This is my statement,

Holden Caulfield.

33 responses to “Santa Barbara killings: murder by the book

  1. Men killing women does not demonstrate that the killers were mysogenists. Neither does the fact that in the preponderance of murders the perpetrator was a man and the victim a woman.
    It is generally acknowledged, however, that as a result of social, cultural, bio-chemical and genetic factors, men are more predisposed to violent acts against others (of whatever gender) than are women. This in no way condones or excuses violence by men, but, after all, it was the male who was better equipped to hunt and kill, a role still played even in this day and age. It’s no accident that contact and violent sports are dominated by males, both as participants and spectators.
    Given that our most powerful emotions and passions are experienced between males and females, it is not surprising that the great majority of killings involves couples in an existing or prior relationship and that the killers are men and the victims are women.
    No doubt some of those killers could be mysogenists, but the male/female killings statistics do not show that mysogeny is the underlying cause of the killings. They merely show that men are more likely to kill and women are the more likely victims.

  2. Trying to make sense of a senseless killing is not very sensible. HR rightly mocks attempts to do so.

    It’s a pretty straightforward idea, not to hard to comprehend.

    It’s as silly as saying all this post-facto rationalisation is a result of watching too many CSI shows.

    On the other hand …………….

  3. Elliot Rodger said his actions were “retribution” against women, but don’t listen to him – he’s “nuts”. It’s all about the nuts. And the poor menz. Ask Razer’s pal Sam de Brito. WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE POOR LONELY MENZ! HE’S BIN DERE, JUST LIKE ELLIOT. SAM CAN RELATE TO THIS MURDERDER BECAUSE HE’S BEEN LONELY TOO AND KNOWS OTHER LONELY MENS SO TALKING ABOUT WOMEN FOR FUCKS AND KEEP THE TOPIC ON DA MENZ.

  4. Thanks for your insights Helen, they were useful for me!

    I’ve been feeling rather frustrated since waking upon Monday morning and reading the piece by Clem Ford and then similar commentary on blogs and Twitter. I was confused as to why, as I am a committed feminist (La Trobe Womens Studies circa 90s!) who believes strongly in the existence of misogyny globally, and how this requires exploration. So it seemed strange to me that I did not respond at all to the ‘rallying call’ to the seemingly most popular feminist reaction to these murders.

    I felt that this call was to immediately ascribe how this individual in Santa Barbara represented the end-result of a misogynistic culture, and given copious evidence (including the republishing of horrible woman-haters’ tweets, itself a problematic decision I believe) as to why he was so. However, I felt quite differently. I feel that this a very complex issue that would take time to interrogate and discuss on many levels. I believe this man’s thinkings (as represented by his ‘texts’ and actions) are certainly valid to be discussed and analysed in terms of what they mean culturally, what they represent/how they came about, and misogyny well might be hugely part of this – but the ‘rushing in’ and ascribing it simply to cultural misogyny – and getting REALLY ANGRY about it – 24 hours after the event took place – seems bizarrely narrow-minded to me: and almost manipulative.

  5. I find it incredible that so much of the commentary on this terrible tragedy has focused on the usual suspects in modern culture wars: guns; NRA; misogyny. Hardly a word is put forward looking at the most significant issue- the complete failure of the mental health system in the United States and that fact this this person was very sick and should have been detained to a secure facility until he was no longer a risk to himself or the community. I find it truly disturbing that commentators think they know why and what this deluded, psychotic, individual was thinking or what his motives truly were. Well you dont.

    “”…On Sunday, Santa Barbara’s county sheriff, Bill Brown, blamed failures in mental-health treatment for the fact that Rodger’s behaviour had worried people around him and precipitated three contacts with police, most recently last month, but had not caused an intervention that might have averted the slaughter.

    “I think the fact of the matter is, there’s a general lack of resources in community mental-health treatment generally,” he told CNN on Sunday. “There’s also probably a lack of notification by healthcare professionals in instances when people are expressing suicidal or in certain cases homicidal thoughts or tendencies.”

  6. Of course analysing social context in these things is a hairy business. The factors are endless and they cannot be teased apart with absolute accuracy. Does that mean we should desist in speculating on how cultural constructs might influence individual behaviour? How is that an intellectually or morally superior position, as implied by your tone?

    Are you sure, that along with gun laws, there are no grounds to suspect that gender and misogyny are significant factors in understanding this event or events like it?

    Are you sure, when of the 22 mass murders committed in the US over the last 30 years, 21 of them have been male?

    Are you sure when in the US (between 2000 and 2010) 78% of people who killed their opposite sex spouse were male? (That’s well over 3 times the number of women who killed their opposite sex spouse.)

    Are you sure, when in Australia, 80% of the victims of intimate partner murders are women? The statistics are similar in the UK.

    Is there not a pattern here?

    And, are you sure that gender and misogyny are not significant factors when before murdering the six women in Santa Barbara the murderer, Elliot Rodger, had posted these words in a YouTube video:

    “It’s not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls have never been attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It’s an injustice, a crime, because I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy, and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men, instead of me, the supreme gentleman.”

    “I will punish all of you for it,” he said before erupting in an almost satanic laugh.

    “On the day of retribution, I will enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB, and I will slaughter every single spoiled stuck up blonde slut I see inside there. All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would have all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them. While they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes. I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one. The true Alpha Male.”

    Are you sure his words were not a touch misogynistic?

    Come on Helen. Your approach to this topic has been more than a little bit intellectually flaky. And worse than that, it is dangerous and divisive to play the naysayer on feminist analysis in a world where misogyny and sexism are globally endemic.

    1. Agreed. It is foolish to dismiss the role violent misogyny played in this. He was undoubtably ill, probably with some kind of narcissistic or borderline personality disorder but hey I’m no doctor. Whatever the case his mental illness manifested in a grotesque display of hatred towards women. A hatred many men share with him that is propped up and fuelled by the rape culture we live in. Really disappointing to read this Helen and see you cast aside the most blatantly obvious explanation for this tragedy. And I am yet to read any feminist analysis of the shootings that promote easy access to firearms for all!

  7. As one who is born female accumulates life experience, it can be unsettling and even chilling to discover just how many men view women. I can only say that I’m glad that I’m no longer a young woman – I’m glad to (mostly) be rid of creepy male attention and the accompanying presumption of entitlement to my time, attention and body. Of course, that is only a portion of male attitudes and entitlement that women have to deal with, and I worry about the kind of society my young nieces will grow up in.

    Helen, if a necessary part of your mechanism for dealing with woman-hate is denial of the harms it can cause, then you are entitled to it, and you can keep it, along with your gleeful vituperation of ‘feminists’.
    And I suppose careful analysis of matters under discussion would make it much harder for you to regularly produce shallow, male-pleasing, man-appeasing denialist crap like this.
    But for many other women in the world, myself included, misogyny is something rather more significant and dreadfully protean than it is pecuniary opportunity. Maybe you could give that a thought from time to time, if you have one to spare.

  8. This whole incident put me in a dark place on Sunday night, being both a male and an Aspergian (who has had violent outbursts). I made the error of watching a couple of Rodger’s YouTube videos, and the eerie loneliness and melancholia of my early years came flooding back – take out the BMW and you’ve got someone similar to my younger self. An even worse decision was read the Twitter reaction, not a lot of Aspie bashing but a lot females declaring they fear me because of my deformed chromosome, which made me feel quite dirty, an outsider simply based on my physical being, not on any knowledge of me as a person.

    1. It’s sadly ironic that non-Aspies are the ones who have mind-blindness when it comes to Asperger’s, Brian. I think that’s slowly changing.

  9. In response to Glen comment above: be aware – the majority of people with severe mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators of crime, including people suffering from psychosis.

    A very good article, thank you Helen!

  10. Excellent article. Barking mad people with access to guns is a very bad recipe. This man was a narcissist who wanted to go out with a splash. The thing that constantly amazes me is that there are so few incidents like this in the United States. A small, but statistically significant, proportion of any population suffer from psychosis – making high powered weapons available to them is a guarantee for tragedy. Only in America!

    1. Except Rodgers was very much the product of the UK’s abysmal culture. Cannot agree with Razer’s ‘oh look how smart I am, differentiating myself from the article in the Guardian. Because three of the five victims were his ‘successful with women’ Asian male housemates, this racism actually underscores his ‘women are all sluts because they don’t like me’ absolutely explicit rantings.

      This is the one case where the fall back on blaming the vicious NRA, while totally justified in every other massacre in the US does not work. This totally British spoiled Brat would have been just as able as those UK horrors of Islamic hatred who killed Lee Rigby, of taking out the five people, using weapons other than guns, which in fact he did with three of his victims.

      Leave this one to the Rodgers terrified and very concerned parents, who failed to persuade the SB police to act,and now have six bereaved families to contend with. They, unlike you, Razer, had the wits to acknowledge the very sick misogyny that justified the killing of both women and Asian males

      1. So now it’s ‘misogynistic’ to kill Asian males? I don’t get that. There will always be sick puppies in society who are mentally ill and take out their angst on others…. and fact: guns make it waaay easier to do this. Also if you want abject sexism that everyone seems to tolerate, take a look at the objectification of women in pop videos next time you are at Fitness First.

  11. I know it was only in the context of throwaway lines, but the unthinking acceptance of official myths (Lee Harvey Oswald; 9/11; the Boston bombings) only serves to reinforce a false narrative and detracts from what was otherwise a thoughtful piece of journalism.

  12. Madmen cannot think with logic….they view the world through warped eyes with twisted logic. Yes he was misogynistic – but because he was mad. The same way some serial killers believe the government is out to get them, or the CIA, or whites or blacks or Jews or any other population subgrouping.

  13. Helen, you are *sorely* misjudging the entitlement that young men are encouraged to embrace in the current climate. To minimize the role of MRA-style thinking in this revolting act refuses to acknowledge just how toxic their ideas are. Blame both; the NRA are responsible for countless acts of terror and murder. But in the case, NRA + MRA are the triggers. Don’t underestimate the utter contempt these men have for women.

  14. Misogeny doesn’t kill. Neither do guns, alone. Put hate and guns together in the hands of the deranged and bango. It’s the US’s obsessive need to defend itself from itself that’s doing the killing. Though it has to be recalled the majority of citizens do not support the loose mad gun laws, I understand. So, is it US-style democracy that’s doing the killing?

  15. Helen, love your work most of the time, but have to say that the analysis here is pretty shoddy. You say according Rodger’s misogynist writings a role in his killings to be a “bit like according Holden Caulfield [or violent video games, Marilyn Manson, etc] the same status”. Well… No it’s not. The other massacres you have mentioned were committed in the absence of an explicit reasoning about why the crimes were committed. Rodger’s massacre has far more in common with Anders Breivik’s massacre than Columbine or Sandy Hook. Does his avowed intention behind committing the horror mean nothing more than the ramblings of conservative commentators linking Marilyn Manson or video games to an otherwise inexplicable crime? By extension, your logic would suggest that Breivik’s crime was not really political or racially motivated, but about… guns, and “inexplicable horror”. 9/11 was not really about Islamic terrorism or blowback on US imperialism, but about… airport security, and “inexplicable horror”. We can theorise about other causes and obviously there are ramifications for gun control etc. But to ignore the explicit intentions of an author altogether is not the way to get an A in English class.

    You could put Rodgers down to, as Jean Kittson noted on Q&A: “mentally ill”. Of course, the line between “mad and bad” was explored ad nauseum in the wake of the Breivik massacre: see As noted in that article:

    “It is tempting to think that Breivik’s crimes were so extreme that he had to be “mad”. How could he think he was performing a “duty” to his country, that such violence was “necessary”? According to this logic, the criminal acts tell us everything we need to know. And criminal responsibility appears to be a trade off between the severity of someone’s mental incapacity and the magnitude of harm resulting from their offence.”

    Put another way – I presume you would accept that a rapist/murderer (ie, that Adrian Bayly guy) is firmly in the category of misogynist – not insane, not some sort of product of a troubled childhood or an underfunded Parole Board – but someone who uses violence against women as a means of asserting his supposed dominance over them. Why look at Mr Rodgers, and in spite of all evidence to the contrary in the form of his videos, internet postings and long manifesto – yell “inexplicable!” “gun control!!”

    I think maybe being deliberately contrarian and obtuse (which is generally great by the way) has blinded you to the crumbling logic of your piece.

  16. This is madness. Why the hysteria over people looking for actual causes? Guns and knives were the means, not the cause. This tragedy provokes thoughful people to examine causes, and this is the reaction?! Yes, it is way past time to act on America’s gun laws, but it is also way past time to act on violent pornographic video games etc., that normalise and glorify the worst misogyny imaginable. For every NRA not screaming 2nd amendment, there is a libertarian nut screaming free speech.

  17. Did you read his manifesto? It wasn’t about guns, or interest in guns. Here’s some choice quotes.

    After I picked up the handgun, I brought it back to my room and felt a new sense of power. I was now armed. Who’s the alpha male now, bitches? I thought to myself, regarding all of the girls who’ve looked down on me in the past.

    Everything my father taught me was proven wrong. He raised me to be a polite, kind gentleman. In a decent world, that would be ideal. But the polite, kind gentleman doesn’t win in the real world. The girls don’t flock to the gentlemen. They flock to the alpha male. They flock to the boys who appear to have the most power and status. And it was a ruthless struggle to reach such a height.

    The most meanest and depraved of men come out on top, and women flock to these men. Their evil acts are rewarded by women; while the good, decent men are laughed at. It is sick, twisted, and wrong in every way. I hated the girls even more than the bullies because of this.

    Women are sexually attracted to the wrong type of man. This is a major flaw in the very foundation of humanity. It is completely and utterly wrong, in every sense of the word.
    p. 84

    Women are like a plague. They don’t deserve to have any rights. Their wickedness must be contained in order (to)[sic] prevent future generations from falling to degeneracy. Women are vicious, evil, barbaric animals, and they need to be treated as such.

    I am the true victim in all of this. I am the good guy.

    He was all about utter hatred for women, while at the same time he felt he should entitled to their attention.

  18. It’s not about the weaponry, it’s about his sense of grievance and his sense of entitlement. He was a 22-year-old virgin (so? big deal) he hated women because they didn’t fancy him. He believed women should be punished for that and be killed. How is that not a misogynist response to something every man (and woman) should take as the norm – women may or may not want to have sex with you and that’s the way it is. Get on with it.

  19. I generally agree with everything to say and it’s a wonderful anecdote to all the hysteria. However I feel like this article gets a few basic things wrong (beside the fact that three victims were stabbed, not shot). There are few writers solely blaming these killings on misogyny- which was clearly a factor. More so, the outpouring of anger and related hashtag is a response to normalised misogyny and violence towards women.It’s chilling to hear the same words out of the mouth of a spree killer as a man who threw a drink in your face when you refused him sex. Not every man is a misogynist, not ever misogynist is a killer. But the fear many women feel is very real.

    1. I agree. The role of misogyny as a catalyst or enabler in this crime can’t be discounted, especially as the investigation into what occurred has only just begun. It appears from what I know that the killer was unbalanced however being exposed to a steady flow of negative portrayals of women, which I believe can be easily be shown to exist, may have been the factor that turned this unstable mind to this task.

  20. Thanks Helen. We need your common sense. Of course this horror isn’t caused by icky websites any more than it is caused by the existence of guns. He stabbed 3 of his victims to death. That said, I believe it is important to examine the role played in this and other tragedies by the state of gun laws, the culture of playing out personal angst through violence and cultural misogynistic views of women perpetuated through patriarchal social structures.

    A bigger concern is that by focusing on the titillating nature of these high profile mass killings and celebrity murders, we ignore the thousands who are killed and harmed daily in regular “domestic violence” that has a much more easily demonstrable straight line connection to the regular structures of patriarchy. It would be cool if the commentariat of the left could focus on these issues a bit more.

    Please keep blazing away with your unfashionable logic. It provides an important counterpoint to the lemming rush to categorise every event into simple, emotionally resonant terms.

    Oh, and the cat photos xxxxx

  21. Another great piece, Helen, which sums up far more eloquently the discomfort I’ve felt about the commentary about him this week.

    1. I totally agree. Yet another instance of Americas chronic myopia regarding civilian gun deaths.

      The brontosaurus in the room is that America’s politicians and a significant proportion of the populace ignorethe fact that, without a gun, almost all of these “white boy” massacres would not physically be possible. They also ignore the ongoing deaths in the black and latino population driven by poverty and ignorance.

      It is a telling statistic that, since the 1980’s, more people in the USA have died at the hands of gun wielding citizens than have died in all wars ever fought by the Americans, including the War of Independence.

      When will they wake up!!!


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