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California’s strict gun laws didn’t stop Elliot Rodgers


Elliot Rodgers, 22, privileged son of Peter Rodger, a Hollywood director who mostly makes commercials, stabbed his three roommates to death, shot three other people to death during a wild 10-minute drive through Santa Barbara, California, and wounded 13 other people either by shooting them or hitting them with his late-model BMW. Wounded by police gunfire, he shot and killed himself in his car. He left behind a 137-page hate-filled rant, emailed to his parents, teachers and therapists, blaming his rage on being shunned and humiliated by women.

Richard Martinez, father of victim Christopher Martinez, blamed politicians and the National Rifle Association for his son’s death. I think he is confused. Elliot Rodgers killed Christopher Martinez, not politicians or the NRA. If Martinez wants to blame someone, he can blame Elliot Rodgers. Or, since Elliot committed suicide, Martinez can blame Rodgers’ parents, who must have known Elliot was mentally ill and yet did nothing.

Elliot Rodger bought his guns legally. He followed California’s laws, which are among the strictest gun laws in the United States. He had never been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent, had never been convicted of a felony, and had never tripped any of the other triggers which would have prevented a gun store from selling him a weapon. The police said that nothing they saw would have indicated that he was a risk, and therefore they could do nothing to stop him from doing what he did.

If one of those victims had had a weapon, they could have defended themselves from Elliot Rodger. But they didn’t, and they couldn’t.

And so it goes. Arm yourself, because you never know when the next Elliott Rodger will snap and try to kill you, whether it’s with a hammer or a knife or a car or a gun. Why rely on luck? Expect the unexpected, and you have a better chance of survival.

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