Gun Control

Elliot Rodger and Gun Control's False Promise

The Isla Vista massacre reveals the emptiness of the anti-gun lobby's "real solutions."


The day after his 20-year-old son, Christopher, was shot down at a deli in Isla Vista, California, Richard Martinez blamed his death on "craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA." Gun control advocates quickly seized upon Martinez's remarks, using his grief to obscure the illogic of their position.

None of the items on the anti-gun lobby's wish list makes sense as a response to the crimes of Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old college student who murdered Martinez's son and five other people on Friday night. Far from demonstrating the lifesaving potential of gun control, the Isla Vista massacre, which took place in a state with firearm laws that are among the strictest in the nation, exposes the false promise of policies that aim to prevent violence by limiting access to weapons.

"Why did Chris die?" Martinez asked at a news conference on Saturday night. "Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris's right to live? When will this insanity stop?"

The next day, Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, declared that Martinez "got it exactly right," since "Americans are dying every day because of the corporate gun lobby and the politicians it has in its pocket." Those forces, Gross averred, are blocking "real solutions."

Such as? The only specific policy Gross mentioned was "expanded background checks." But California already has those: All gun sales in that state, including private transfers, must be handled by licensed dealers, and every buyer has to be cleared by the California Department of Justice, as Rodger was for each of the three handguns he bought in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Rodger passed those background checks because he did not have a disqualifying criminal or psychiatric record. In California that means not only that he was never involuntarily committed but also that he had not been put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold for evaluation as a possible threat to himself or others within the previous five years.

The YouTube video Rodger posted and the 140-page autobiography he distributed on his "Day of Retribution" gave clear indications of his violent intent. But until that point he did not seem like a threat.

Yes, Rodger was depressed, socially isolated, and desperately lonely. But how many people who fit that description become mass murderers? The difficulty of predicting which of the world's troubled oddballs will turn violent is the reason "expanded background checks" cannot stop this sort of crime.

California also has adopted two other recently popular gun control measures: It bans "assault weapons," identified by certain military-style features that all of Rodger's guns lacked, and it limits magazines to 10 rounds. Rodger was carrying 41 such magazines along with his three legally purchased pistols, although he killed himself before he got around to using the extra ammunition.

According to his autobiography, Rodger began plotting his revenge against the "beautiful girls" who would not give him the time of day and the "obnoxious young brutes" they preferred as early as the summer of 2011. So he obviously was not deterred by California's 10-day waiting period for taking possession of a firearm or its one-per-month limit on handgun purchases.

One can imagine policies that might have stopped Rodger, but they are neither practical nor constitutional. If the government not only banned guns but somehow managed to confiscate the 300 million or so Americans already own, that would have put a damper on Rodger's plans, although he used knives to kill half of the victims who died and used his car to injure others.

The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik says banning knives or cars as "instruments of death" would not be reasonable "because these things were designed to help people do things other than kill people." In other words, guns, unlike knives and cars, have no legitimate use.

If you believe that, banning guns makes perfect sense. But most Americans do not agree with Gopnik, and neither did the Framers.

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  1. “Why did Chris die?” Martinez asked at a news conference on Saturday night.

    Mr. Martinez, your son died because of the current criminalization of sex work. Had Rodgers been able to legally purchase sex from a prostitute, his sexual frustrations might not have driven him to murderous rage. Are you willing to step up to the plate and call for the decriminalization of prostitution just as shrill as you call for the criminalization of armed self-defense?

    1. There’s a food stamp program for those hungry for food. Why not a sex stamp program for those hungry for sex? What, do you hate the ugly, awkward, handicapped, and obese?

        1. Lest you think it’s just one country, I’m talking about:

            1. The rates are quite low compared to the US, depending on services offered.

        2. All a preference for gun control means is that you have a hard-on for big government.

      1. do you hate the ugly, awkward, handicapped, and obese?

        I’m pretty sure everyone does, though only those of us who hate everyone will admit it.

      2. Why not? Because it’s my fucking money, that’s why not. If you can’t afford to pay for your own sex, then you can go fuck yourself.

        1. “then you can go fuck yourself.”


    2. I’d not even put the blame there. His son unfortunately died because this Rodger guy’s parents didn’t give a fuck about him or those around him and ignored the warning signs of his psychosis and passed,only partial information over to the police when full disclosure would have most certainly meant he would have had a psych hold put on him.

      I don’t know their reasoning. Perhaps they just didn’t care or perhaps they were concerned with their image more than his and those around him’s safety. Either way, they failed as human beings when they were made aware that a person who they were intimately familiar with started to snap.

      1. You can put those question marks in all you want, we still know you are Sloopy the Inca.

        Don’t deny your heritage.

        1. It’s pretty close to becoming sloopyinva pretty soon. I’d change it now, but “sloopyinanextendedstayhotel whilesearchingforahouse” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

            1. It’s not that bad, but the cable went out last night and thenWiFi has been so sketchy you’d think we were in Auschwitz.

          1. Come join us, Sloopy. Northern Virginia is beautiful this time of year.

      2. Can’t blame his parents, therapy, Hollywood or prostitution being illegal. He was 22 and responsible for his actions. People are dead because he was a asshole. Why he was an asshole can’t really ever be known and doesn’t matter.

  2. “In other words, guns, unlike knives and cars, have no legitimate use”

    I disagree. Personal protection is a legitimate use.

    1. Ask him if he disagrees with the US using guns to go after the terrorists that pulled 9/11 with…box knives.

      I bet he undoubtedly supports governments having all the guns they want because, you know, governments never used guns to oppress unarmed citizens before.

  3. Half-Chinese white guy stabs several people in mass shooting.

    1. Well done.

    2. As I understand it, he slit their throats after first beating them in the head with a hammer to incapacitate them. Dude was a vicious little son of a bitch.

  4. This routine has become so predictable and tiresome. They behave exactly the same way every time despite the fact that most people see through their bullshit and reject it.

    Fail again.

  5. From the Newyorker article:

    “The best answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” reveals itself to be a lie on a single inspection: the best answer is to not let the bad guy have a gun. “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” No: obviously, people with guns kill more people than people without them. Why not ban knives or cars, which can be instruments of death, too? Because these things were designed to help people do things other than kill people. “Gun control” means controlling those things whose first purpose is to help people kill other people.

    New Yorker history–which is to say, real history–demonstrates that guns are bad and their existence has never done any good for anyone who wasn’t a mass shooter. Unlike knives, which can be used to prune the organic tobacco plants you grow on the roof of your rent-controlled apartment to avoid NYC cigarette taxes.


    1. The climate in New York is unsuited to Tobacco cultivation, the overhead of maintaining the conditions for which that finicky plant requie are more than the taxes, buying black market Seneca tribe packs are cheaper and easier.

    2. The best answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” reveals itself to be a lie on a single inspection

      Really? I’m thinking that if the young Chris Martinez had a pistol in a waistband holster underneath his shirt, he might be alive today and we’d be spared the stentorian jeremiads of his obnoxious oaf of a father who couldn’t even wait until his son’s corpse was cold before waving his bloody shirt as a flag.

    3. “New Yorker history–which is to say, real history–demonstrates that guns are bad and their existence has never done any good for anyone who wasn’t a mass shooter.”

      Which is why this story, from yesterday, will nevah be reported nationally.

    4. Well, the best answer, if we’re playing that game, is to eliminate “bad guys” at the moment immediately prior to their becoming “bad guys”. So, assuming that’s going to remain impossible for any number of reasons, we can carry it forward and assume that we will not be able to anticipate bad intent (see 9/22, the USS Cole, Pearl Harbor, et al) with enough advance notice to enable us to prevent bad effects in all cases. We make that assumption with regard to law enforcement, right? That’s why security was beefed up in airports and government buildings following 9/11. Well, just follow the logic: since we can’t prevent aggression, we can at least give people the tools with which to defend themselves from it.

  6. Oy, just watched Today show’s segment on Warning Signs!11!!!. Now my head esploded. Of course the former NYPD detective thinks the cops need a ‘special squad’ for digging deeper and following up on these kids. Yeah, like that couldnt’ be a neverending job.

    1. Tommy you’re under arrest for the future mass shooting of several yet to be determined classmates.

      1. Tommy, we’re just gonna take these legally purchased handguns away from you for a little while, mmkay. Your youtube video scared one of your classmates.

        1. Oh. And we shot your dog.

          1. Sorry, he looked at us during a no knock warrant.

  7. You can buy illegal drugs in any High School in America but gun prohibition will work because the government is magic.

  8. “Those forces, Gross averred, are blocking “real solutions”.

    Thats right, if we could just limit the power of the NRA and those gun manufacturers, we could stop all these senseless knife killings.

  9. Heard the other day that this grudge against that model dated back to when he was like ten years old. Keep in mind too that he’s been seeing a shrink for most of his life. Makes me wonder how much of this was a result of his shrink dwelling on his past instead of just moving on. I mean, that’s what they do. They try to figure out what caused what and who is to blame, rather than chalking it up as another “life sucks” moment and then getting on with life.

    I blame the shrink.

  10. It’s impossible to have a decent conversation with true-believer anti-gunners, because to such people the situation is *perfectly clear*: “Without guns, gun violence cannot happen.” Even if they do accept that not all the guns “already out there” can be eliminated, another thing is *perfectly clear*: “Preventing more guns from entering society is a major improvement that we can and must implement.”

    1. Ask them to look at the pictures of all those armless and leg less Hutu and Tutsi civilians that live in gutless societies.

      Better yet, just ignore them.

      1. Speaking of machetes, that was one of our best sellers at a place I used to work part time. You get three guesses who bought most of them. Hint: it was neither Africans nor Anglos.

    2. Can’t have rational discussions with irrational people.

    3. Ya see I think they do like guns and gun violence, as long as the government is the perpetrator, because of course if the government is doing it, they are doing with the blessing of the American public. And guberment would never ever pinkie swear abuse it’s power. So there.

      1. Government is us! We the people! So government could never abuse its power because it’s us! Unless BOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

        1. I look forward to the day when we pay us a billion dollars, because us really wants we to fork over the dough for the sake of us’s kids’ future.

  11. The notion that guns have no other use is easily refuted by the millions of guns that are owned by millions of people through which millions of rounds are fired per week that are not used for mass rampages, nor even for inner-city warfare. Guns are used for sport/relaxation and self defense. MILLIONS. Statistically, the guns used in mass rampages are an outlier. But just like any other situation where there’s mass over-simplification and ignorance, opinions are formed without facts and public policies are crafted there around. I don’t have a problem with grief driven irrationality, it oftentimes comes with the territory. But when disinterested parties deem to attempt bad policy from ignorance, you have to counterbalance with rationality. When the 2nd amendment seems shopworn, one can always rely on logic of numbers. Simply, way too many guns owned legally and safely to justify impounding because a minute portion are used by imbalanced people. If logic and rationality don’t work, then nothing else will.

  12. If knives are just as deadly as guns then why do you guys insist on having guns to defend yourselves? Aren’t knives cheaper?

    Gun fetishists must have to declare that Joe the Plumber’s moral calculus is correct: dead children are the price we pay for freedom. Maximum freedom and maximum dead children = the best society.

    1. Just when I think you couldn’t make a dumber comment, you go and outdo yourself!


      That’s dumber than my most intense sargasm!


      Do another one! Do another one!

    2. “Maximum dead children”…..r62_06.pdf

      Page 10.

      Spoilers: Accidents and suicides are much more likely to kill 10-24 year olds. 0-9 year olds are more likely to die from accidents, cancer, and congenital defects.

      Page 6.

      Spoilers: Up until age 14 or so, children are more likely to be killed by family than either an acquaintance or a stranger. Often times, suffocation, not firearms, are used (especially for younger children).

      FFS, do you really have to resort to such nonsense to bolster your case? Child death isn’t something you can blame on guns in this country.

      Stick to adult homicide rates, where you might have a chance of proving a point.

    3. “Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects).1 Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.”…..sheet.html

      Therefore we should ban all high-capacity water vessels like swimming pools, bathtubs, and five-gallon buckets, for the children. We should also ban all automatic and semi-automatic waterways like ponds, creeks, streams, and rivers. After all, if it saves just one life, it’s worth giving up your freedoms, right?

      1. Let’s compromise. We ban guns and use can use a swimming pool for self-defense.

        1. Lose the argument, go for stupidity, huh, Tony?

          Or start with stupidity, and just keep going.

          1. Surprised he didn’t say, “Yeah, but they drowned because of water guns.”

        2. Or I hold your head under the pool until you stop your nonsense, then take back my guns. Yeah, I like that idea.

        3. Let’s compromise. You go drown yourself in a bathtub, and I’ll give up one gun. Do it for the children, and everyone else who has the misfortune of encountering you in their day-to-day lives.

          1. All I want is not to be the only advanced country in the world where mass shootings happen on nearly a weekly basis.

            We can remedy this by taking away all the guns. Then, as you insist that swimming pools are at least as useful for killing people, you are free to use them for self-defense. Build a moat.

            1. Tony:

              All I want is not to be the only advanced country in the world where mass shootings happen on nearly a weekly basis.

              We can remedy this by taking away all the guns.

              Great. Then no one will die from guns, just like no one can get high.

              There’s a reason gun control advocates focus on mass shootings: it’s best for the question begging argument: if we ban guns, how could there be mass shootings? Clearly, there can be no mass shootings without guns.

              People don’t like mass shootings because they don’t like murder, not just murders than involve shootings. You might as well talk about eliminating car accidents by banning cars, while leaving trucks, SUVs, and minivans on the road. It sounds like you’re solving a problem, but you’re really not, even if we give the state God-like credit for being able to accomplish things that are clearly beyond it’s power, like getting rid of something through banning.

              Of course, I assume that guns will still be available to the government protection of it’s VIPs, as well as off-duty police, and people who work in “security” (i.e., private, armed guards for the rich). That’s the dirty little secret of gun control: in implementation, it’s only for the plebes. The rich and the powerful will still live and go to work with 24/7 armed protection, while the average man on the street or in his home is outmatched by one or two assailants with baseball bats. Thanks, socialists, for making it work for the little guy!

              1. Tony; “All I want is not to be the only advanced country in the world where mass shootings happen on nearly a weekly basis.”

                OK. Disarm the cops. Problem solved.

              2. The problem is you have a warped and incorrect view of the function guns in private society play in violence. They do not level playing fields; they do not, on average, save more lives than they take. They maim and kill people. But at least you admit that they are indeed more efficient killing machines than baseball bats. Efficient killing machines are things reasonable people might think need regulating. But among all the weapons listed in this place up to pools and baseball bats, guns are the least regulated, society-wide.

                1. Tony:

                  They do not level playing fields

                  If guns don’t level playing fields, why do criminals want them so much? It’s not to be at an advantage then, clearly, if guns offer no advantage.

                  Somehow, criminals and murderers want guns because it gives them an advantage in killing and maiming, but wanting a gun for self-defense confers no advantage in killing and maiming?

                  The problem is you have a warped and incorrect view of logical consistency.

                2. Tony, you need to read some of John Lott’s research. I remember reading a few years ago that over 3 million law abiding citizens a year use guns to defend themselves, their family & property from criminals. I would dispute your assertion ” They do not level playing fields; they do not, on average, save more lives than they take.”

                  Your absurd statement that guns are less regulated than baseball bats or even knives is false.

                3. “[guns] do not, on average, save more lives than they take.”

                  Prove it or STFU.

                  Actually, just go ahead and shut the fuck up. You can’t prove it and you know you can’t prove it.

                4. ” They do not level playing fields; they do not, on average, save more lives than they take. ”

                  Complete and utter bullshit. You’d have to be completely fucking retarded to actually believe this.

                  Please name one tool other than a firearm, that can be effectively carried and used by anyone, regardless of age, gender, or physical strength, that can be used to ward off an attack by someone who is physically stronger, or armed, or multiple attackers. Name one fucking device that can be used by an 87 year old woman in a wheelchair to repel multiple violent home invaders.

                  Then after you’ve failed at that, look up the fucking statistics for defensive uses of firearms. EVERY SINGLE STUDY, including one conducted by the Obama DoJ, has concluded that armed citizens with privately owned firearms deter or prevent between 800,000 and 2.5 million crimes annually.

                  You sir, are a fucking idiot.

                5. BTW, I’ve personally used firearms on multiple occasions to “level the playing field”.

                  The first time was when someone with a baseball bat kicked in my front door. The noise they made allowed me time to grab a shotgun. When the door flew open, they were staring down the barrel of a 12Gauge. Dropped the bat, looked at the floor, said “I’m sorry, please don’t kill me”, and walked out.

                  The second time was a felony carjacking attempt. Two suspects, both trying to break the driver’s side window. I pulled the G19 out of the glove box, and explained that when the glass breaks, I would kill them both. They decided to leave.

                  In neither instance was it necessary to fire a shot. The mere presence of a firearm was enough to solve the problem, and in those particular cases, it wasn’t necessary to “maim or kill” anyone.

                6. Tony:

                  But among all the weapons listed in this place up to pools and baseball bats, guns are the least regulated, society-wide.

                  What weapons are you talking about? Knives? Clubs?

                  In what way are knives, clubs, baseball bats, and other weapons more heavily regulated than guns? What are the associated background checks, mental health checks, holding periods, and registration requirements for other weapons?

    4. Look up “Tueller Drill”, then get back to me.

      We should all start using public transportation instead of the “maximum freedom” of movement that personal conveyances allow? One-way trips in boxcars do not qualify as public transportation.

    5. Freedom, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    6. Fuck off you fucking troll, I see you are back from your sock puppet interlude.

  13. Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA.

    Because the California Legislature is bought and paid for and does everything the NRA wants them to, right?

  14. “because these things were designed to help people do things other than kill people.”

    Another flawed assertion. If guns were designed only to kill innocent people, that might be valid.

  15. ” None of the items on the anti-gun lobby’s wish list makes sense as a response to the crimes of Elliot Rodger”

    Of course not.

    None of them made any sense in the first place. They’re not about making sense, about making a positive impact on a problem, they’re all about feelings: the desire to control your neighbor, and the opportunity to use your neighbor’s outrage and desire to “do something” to push that agenda.

  16. “Gun Free” zones prove to be as safe as a ghetto. Mass killing/shooting No.1 thru 10, all in gun free zones.

    Don’t we have enough of a pluratity of gun friendly and unfriendly environments to know the benefit of an armed citizen?

    1. Arguably children are the most vulnerable people. Should we arm them?

      What we lack, actually, are data that show that having guns makes people safer rather than less.

      But that’s OK, because you can always fall back on the argument that the constitution says you automatically win this debate regardless of any facts.

      1. Holy fuck Nierowiecz, kill yourself.

        1. We can only hope, but dolts like Tony shred the progtard arguement, so there’s that.

      2. It is a fact that the right of self-defense is an inalienable right reaffirmed by the Constitution. It’s just not a fact that you like.

        You say data is lacking that mass killings/shootings take place in ‘Gun Free’ zones almost exclusively? If the fox has feathers on his muzzle, you might know where the chickens went.

      3. We have more data indicating that guns are a net positive than we do showing the Head Start is a net positive. Or Medicaid. We have data showing that Blue dominated states/cities excel at murder rates. Why do you kill so many ppl, Tony?

      4. How do you intend to round up all the guns? Please, Tony, we beg of you to tell us how that would work, in your fantasy. Take your time and provide details. Please?

      5. “What we lack, actually, are data that show that having guns makes people safer rather than less.”

        And you lack data to the contrary so your point is… what again?

  17. Out in the country, we need guns. Water Moccasins are vicious snakes that will crawl across hundreds of yards of open ground to bite you. Tweakers are even worse. There’s one squatting nearby and we know he’s a one-man crime spree and the cops won’t do anything. It takes the cops more than thirty minutes to get here, anyway, so we either gotta defend ourselves or be at the mercy of whoever wants to jack with us.

  18. Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out

  19. A quick fix to live in a country without guns is to move. Vote with your feet. I hear not having guns works well in Africa this time of year.

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