Random Observations in the Wake of the Isla Vista Shooting Spree

1. Before YouTube took them down, the Rude Pundit watched a few of Elliot Rodger's non-"Day of Reckoning" videos. Rodger, who, as we know, went on a shooting rampage in Isla Vista, near the University of California-Santa Barbara, on Saturday, was fond of filming from his car. With what we know now, it's as if Son of Sam had been able to tweet updates on his stalking. Context is everything, of course. What was once an innocuous, if odd, video of the view through the windshield while Rodger drives down the highway, "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves playing on the radio, becomes a tense, wordless journey into a deranged mind straight out of a horror film.

More genuinely disturbing is Rodger parked at the beach, staring at a couple who are kissing, commenting on how supremely jealous he is of them. Actually, more precisely, he was jealous of the man because he was going to kiss a "beautiful woman" and have sex with her while Rodger talked about how he was denied it. It's a preview of his longer video that he recorded a couple of days later just before he killed six people and himself. Once again, Rodger's view of the world was framed and distant, his understanding of men and women so juvenile and yet so culturally mainstream. The man "has" the woman. Rodger does not. The woman wants to be had by men, just not by Rodger. It's that simple.

1a. Of course, he was driving a BMW.

2. Once, the Rude Pundit was sitting around with male friends, and one of them said how his brother had hit his girlfriend. All of us thought that was messed up. "There should be a 'guy squad,'" the Rude Pundit said, "a group of men who show up whenever a man does something that makes men in general look bad and just beat the shit out of him for fucking it up for the rest of us." We all agreed: when a man acts violently to women, he makes all men look bad.  Still, we should shut the fuck up and take our lumps and not try to weasel our way out by saying dumb shit, like #NotAllMen, because you just look like a desperate tool.

Instead, we should ask, with great despondency and self-reflection, "Oh, white straight American men, what has gone so deeply wrong with you? Are you that scared of losing your power that you feel you must lash out with vicious words and acts against women in order to exert control? Do you feel you are owed sex and must punish the bodies of the women if they refuse? And, if so, how the fuck can you stop yourselves before you kill again?"

3. Of course, Elliot Rodger was mentally ill. Of course, we should do more for the mentally ill. Sure, fine, let's have this debate again. So, conservatives, how about boosting mental health coverage under Obamacare and changing laws to make it harder for people with psychological issues to even buy guns? No? Then why are you even talking?

4. The Rude Pundit has discussed before his complicated relationship with guns. The short version is that he pointed a loaded pistol at a door that an intruder was attempting to open; he threatened to shoot, making the intruder run away. (If you want to know the full story, you can buy his book.) He knows someone who carries a gun on him who went on a weekend to his small office building. There, a man who was robbing the place came charging at him with a metal pipe. He shot the guy in the leg. In both these cases, having a gun may have saved the life of the gun holder.

Today, Samuel Wurzelbacher, the idiot loser once known as "Joe the Plumber," wrote that while he is sorry for the losses of the loved ones of the deceased, "[Y]our dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights," before going on to explain to those parents why he needs to protect his family.

Listen: while numbers are hard to come by on the number of people "saved" by guns, as well as the total number of gun-related injuries, it's not a stretch to think that a whole fuck of a lot more people are harmed by guns than helped by them. Last year, over 30 people a day were killed by guns in the United States. If 30 people a day were saved by waving their guns around, you can bet we'd hear about it. Shit, we hear about it whenever someone does so (the Rude Pundit didn't make the newspaper, but the other person mentioned above did).

Here's the rudest thing this writer can say: If guns hadn't been legal, the Rude Pundit wouldn't have had a gun that night very long ago. He doesn't know what would have happened. He might have lived, he might have died, no one can tell. But if his death or injury would have meant that 10 kids wouldn't have died because their irresponsible asshole parents couldn't keep guns in the home, well, what's so fucking special about him? If the Rude Pundit may have died because people didn't have access to guns, but a dozen, two dozen, a hundred other people would be alive, he would gladly have taken on the intruder.

See, the NRA and all the gun fellaters across the political spectrum have it wrong (and Richard Martinez, who spoke so heartbreakingly about his son who was gunned down by Elliot Rodger, has it right): Your guns are far more likely to harm someone innocent than to ever protect you from the bad guys. You are more likely to be a bad guy than you are to stop one. You are more likely to kill yourself with your gun than kill someone else. Your fantasy need for defense shouldn't trump everyone else's need to live safely in the real world.

That we don't believe that as a nation demonstrates how fucked up we are.