California Killer Elliot Rodger New Poster Boy for Gun Control


Elliot Rodger’s murderous rampage resulted in seven deaths including his own and the killer left at least seven others injured in the wake of his violence. From the California Isla Vista community to the nation as a whole, the predominant question is “Why?” and speculation on whether the violence could have been prevented is running rampant. At the top of the speculation list is the issue of gun control and advocates for stricter gun laws have made Rodger their new poster boy.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) was interviewed on CBS’s Face The Nation about the Rodger massacre. Blumenthal stated that stricter gun control legislation that had been rejected by Congress after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut could have prevented this weekend’s shootings in California. At the same time he acknowledged that not “every kind of gun violence” can be prevented by gun control laws.

Blumenthal wants to revise the rejected gun laws to a focus on the “mental condition” of gun purchasers. He believes that by doing so, states will have more resources to “make the country healthier” and to prevent “mad occurrences” that he describes as insane and horrific. In response to the Rodger killings, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Dan Gross stated that “real solutions” are already in place that would prevent the majority of the “90 gun deaths” that he claims happened in America every day. Gross further states that stricter gun laws are supported by an “overwhelming majority” of American citizens. Considering the debate over gun control that is raging across the country, “overwhelming” may be an over statement.

Proponents of the Second Amendment and members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) claim that limiting gun sales and restricting the types of firearms Americans are allowed to purchase does not solve the issue of radical violence that ends in loss of life – often on a grand scale. In fact, in the recent killing spree Rodger stabbed three men to death in an apartment with sharp objects before he went on to shoot his other victims. He also used his BMW as a weapon and ran over two people on bicycles who flipped violently up and over his windshield.

Rodger, who apparently shot himself in the head rather than be taken into custody, was eventually pulled from his vehicle after crashing into a tree. In the car were at least 400 rounds of ammunition and three semi-automatic weapons but it is clear by the early murders that he did not need those guns to kill. His intent was to kill, his method included firearms but it can be postulated that even without access to those guns, Rodger was sufficiently mentally disturbed that he would have found another way to achieve the “slaughter” he desired.

Rodger’s chilling manifesto of violence, his disturbing video and the clear indications of a bleak and dark mental illness have inspired debate over why his mental state was not monitored more closely, despite his being in therapy. This is the true crux of the issue and although the father of one of Rodger’s victims made a statement that the fault lies with “irresponsible politicians” who have not done enough about gun control, Senator Blumenthal may have more insight into the real cause of the recent killings in California. As Blumenthal states, the failed 2012 gun control legislation would have provided more mental health resource funding and in that capacity, the legislation might indeed serve to help prevent another massacre – no matter the weapon of choice. However, the mental health issue does not need to be married to gun control by politicians.

A comment on a Washington Post article detailing the Rodger killings was quite illuminating. The comment was, “We are advised not to judge all Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge all gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics.” This comment, fully supports the common notion that guns do not kill people, people kill people and whether the legislation is in California or Connecticut, this statement about gun control rings true.

Despite the fact that gun control advocates and politicians are using Elliot Rodger as the new poster boy for their cause, mental illness has been the underlying motivator for all of the recent massacres and this is where legislation needs to be focused. Those, like Elliot Rodger who are plagued by internal demons that incite them to violence will always find a way to enact their revenge and they do not need firearms to do so. Further, enacting stricter gun laws will not perform an exorcism of those demons nor guarantee that fewer lives will be lost to madness. However, comprehensive mental health awareness funding and extended treatment options could serve to prevent future tragedies for not only the victims of violence but for the mentally ill and their families.

Opinion by Alana Marie Burke


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Los Angeles Times
Washington Post
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9 Responses to "California Killer Elliot Rodger New Poster Boy for Gun Control"

  1. Peter Gunn   June 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    He is actually the poster boy for the END of gun control. California is the state with the most gun restrictions in the U.S. and despite the claims of anti freedom progressive not one of those laws made anyone safer. Gun control is a 40 year failure.

  2. FREEDOM/TRUTH   May 27, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Don’t fall for any of that “look at other country’s laws BS” the fact is that the media only tells you what they want you to know. This sort of thing happens everywhere. As for being the poster child of Gun control, it’s nice to see how many stupid people are out there. It’s nice to see how many stupid people can easily dismiss the fact that 3 out of the 6 victims were “STABBED”. Used his car too. People has become so despite on this whole Gun Control thing that they become very stupid and sloppy with their debate. Just stick with the facts and you’ll be very surprised.

  3. mike   May 26, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Get your facts straight. He stabbed more people to death than he shot. He also ran people down his car, and killed more people with his car. Those two facts alone make this not about guns but about an angry, entitled murderous child out to kill by any means necessary.

    Use some common sense. Gun laws wouldn’t have done anything to save the people he stabbed or ran down with his car, and likely wouldn’t have made any difference to the people shot because he was obviously more than willing and able to kill people using other means.

  4. Azza   May 26, 2014 at 4:19 am

    This is one of the many reasons I enjoy living in Australia. Tough gun laws = less fun related crime. Still terrible tragedy which one day might be avoided.

  5. Hans   May 26, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Look at the statistictsin other countries, notably Australie. Stricter Gun lawssave lives!

  6. Allie   May 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    A new poster boy for mysoginistic male violence would be more accurate. This was an act of male violence. That is the common denominator of almost every one of these spree killings. Male violence is the fundamental issue. You can’t solve a problem until you get honest about what the problem actually is and name it.

  7. George   May 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Senator Richard Blumenthal is an idiot. As many people died from knives in this as guns, and there were more wounded by his car than by bullets. Utter nonsense.

    • Metabax   May 26, 2014 at 5:54 am

      Well that’s OK then.

      I think you should be a little more careful before throwing the “idiot” word around.


    • Rick   May 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      More people wounded by his car than bullets. When did Blumenthal run over anyone in his car?


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