Redefining the Isla Vista Shootings

by Russell_Lehmann

I’m a fucking beast. I don’t like easy, I like hard. Not just hard, but excruciating. Painful, agonizing.  Do you know why? Because taking the hard route leaves you with scars that will forever be with you. Tiny memories of the lessons you learned when you were traveling through the deepest and darkest corners of Hell. The easy way out is for the weak. The easy way out is for people like Elliot Rodger.

After Elliot Rodger killed six college students and injured 13 others on the night of May 23, 2014, Alan Shifman, the lawyer for the Rodger family, said that Elliot had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism) at an early age. The family later stated that Elliot had never been diagnosed with Asperger’s, however they always believed that he was on the autism spectrum.

Two mass murderers in the last 1 ½ years have now been associated with some form of autism, and after watching Elliot Rodger’s YouTube video, I would have to agree with the assumption that he was on the spectrum.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. Autism has absolutely nothing to do with a maniac going on a rampage. If it did, then let me tell you, I would be one of the most notorious mass murderers to ever walk this earth. But I am not. Why? Because autism does not define who someone is. It is merely a way of life. It gives you access to insights and perspectives unavailable to the vast majority of people. Having autism helps you in some areas of life, and hurts you in others. But with that hurt comes an opportunity to learn, an opportunity that most others don’t have the chance to obtain. Under certain circumstances, autism can be a beautiful gift. When you finally figure out how to live with the disorder, it can greatly enhance your life. It can be magical.

Circumstances. Circumstances are to blame for mass murders. I am not going to try and delve into Elliot Rodger’s past, because I have never met him, and for me to do that would be wrong. That is the (unfortunate) job for the talking heads on TV. I will say though, that hatred for women, along with the steel clasp of affluenza, seemed to play a major role in Elliot Rodger’s actions.

After I watched the video that Elliot posted online, I felt chills running down my spine. I experienced many of the things that he talked about. I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 20-years-old, and I felt ignored by women. I was envious every time I saw a guy with a gorgeous girl, and I thought to myself that he doesn’t deserve her. Here I am, a great guy, and I am all alone, while all these sleazy guys are enjoying life with their beautiful women.

I was Elliot, but Elliot wasn’t me.

Throughout his video, Elliot kept complaining that life wasn’t fair. I used to complain about that too, until I realized that it was a fact, not just for me, but for every single person on this planet. Life is just not fair. I have learned to accept this, and by doing so, I feel blessed when things actually do go my way.

To be perfectly blunt, Elliot Rodger had a pathetic outlook on life. He stated multiple times how lonesome he was, and how he “had to rot in loneliness”. Up until recently, I had been suffering from loneliness throughout the majority of my life. As I stated in a previous post:

“Perhaps the most infuriating element of being lonely is that people don’t understand how truly devastating and detrimental it is. The pain that stems from it is excruciating. My soul, the very essence of who I am, frenetically writhes as it is cast aflame by the smoldering remains of what my life could have been, what my life should have been, and is stoked by what my life is.

I collapse on the floor and soak the carpet with my tears multiple times a week. I become so enraged that I have to keep myself from literally tearing down my house with my bare hands. LITERALLY. I oftentimes think about putting a bullet in my brain, and wonder at what sweet rest there must be in the grave. I pray every motherfucking day that I’ll meet someone who understands my pain, for I have never met a soul who can relate to me. I suppose this is what keeps my heart beating, because although my life has been absolute shit, I somehow believe that one day I will encounter somebody who can comprehend my fucked-up life. Somehow, someway, I believe.”

Elliot had a choice. He chose to rot in his loneliness. I have come to find that being alone for most of my life did me wonders. I didn’t choose to rot away, although it would have been quite easy to do so, but rather I chose to find out what I was made of. I became strong, and I was at my best in my darkest moments of solitude. I realized that being alone gave me the chance to think and to learn, so I pondered about relationships, life, death, everything under the sun, while I crammed my brain full of knowledge, for knowledge is the one thing that can be given to you, but never taken away. Instead of rotting in my loneliness, I blossomed.

In one of his videos, Elliot also stated that “All I’ve ever wanted was a girlfriend”. I know that feeling all too well. For the past ten years, having a girlfriend was all I could think about. I finally entered into a relationship with a woman for the first time when I was 22-years-old, but that relationship only lasted two months, and the woman ripped my heart out and crushed it with her bare hands.

I want to end this post by oiling your mind with some lucidity. Autism, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder and any other mental condition that you might now be afraid of due to the actions of those who are affected with such disorders, PLAY NO PART when it comes to rampages and/or shootings. These appalling actions boil down to one’s outlook on life, and the circumstances surrounding that outlook. Lack of family support, refusing to ask for help, and other similar variables are the largest reasons behind mass violence. It is inexcusable to have the aforementioned conditions be the sole scapegoat behind such atrocities. Just as every dog doesn’t attack their owner, every person with mental struggles isn’t “crazy”, “insane” or “psychotic”.

 

REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS

WEIHAN WANGWEIHAN WANG, 20-YEARS-OLD

CHENG YUAN HONGCHENG YUAN HONG, 20-YEARS-OLD

GEORGE CHENGEORGE CHEN, 19-YEARS-OLD

KATHERINE BREANN COOPERKATHERINE BREANN COOPER, 22-YEARS-OLD

CHRISTOPHER ROSS MICHAELS-MARTINEZCHRISTOPHER ROSS MICHAELS-MARTINEZ, 20-YEARS-OLD

VERONIKA ELIZABETH WEISSVERONIKA ELIZABETH WEISS, 19-YEARS-OLD

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