Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old kid who went on a killing spree in California over the holiday weekend, claimed among his victims 20-year-old Christopher Martinez.
Martinez’s father, Richard Martinez, blamed “craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA” for the death of his son in an angry press conference.
“When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness!’ Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘Not one more!'” he said.
While it’s understandable that a grief-stricken parent would lash out in this way, there are some problems with this narrative.
For instance, the first three victims in Rodger’s killing spree were killed with a knife. That hardly fits the gun control narrative.
Then there’s the fact that Rodger’s motivation had nothing to do with guns. CNN has a chilling timeline of Rodger’s delusions which illustrates that the killer was motivated by classism. He perceived people around him as being happier than he was – more successful economically and socially – because they were richer than he is. He didn’t see himself as capable of obtaining that wealth, so he attacked people around him he saw as happy.
He obsessed about winning the lottery, and threw tantrums when he didn’t.
The attacks leading up to this weekend’s events were harmless – at one point he describes going after a group of people in a park with a water gun filled with orange juice – but he obviously snapped, with horrifying outcome.
So the cause of the murderous rampage wasn’t guns. It was insanity, frankly, mixed with class envy and a desire to win the lottery to get rich.
If we want to stop these sort of tragic events, we have to address the motivations rather than the implements. Elliot Rodger didn’t kill a bunch of people because he was able to get a gun. He killed a bunch of people because he had unresolved mental problems.