This is almost the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict.” – UC President Janet Napolitano at Laney College in Oakland, California [via bostonglobe.com]

 

98 Responses to Quote of the Day: So Then What? Edition

  1. “This is the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict.”

    Corrected that for you, Napolitano.

  2. …. says the Sheriff responsible for the police officers who were called and visited the perpetrator but still failed to prevent this from occurring even though multiple people had already predicted it.

    • I wouldn’t be so quick to blame them. Everyone pointing fingers at them would be in just as much of an uproar if they had gone into his room without probable cause (I hope you don’t think nasty rumors justify warrantless search). The fact is, they went and checked on him and didn’t see any reason for concern. We may not like that but honestly it beats the alternative of where the police can show up because someone was concerned, and sift through our personal belongings. Thats why we POTG chose to arm ourselves, for the 7 – 15 minutes it takes for the police to show up, and for the time when a welfare call fails to uncover the sinister plan of a sick twisted individual. Now we can argue maybe they should have seen his youtube videos and acted on those, but with the information they had seen, it didn’t warrant a further look, the alternative is a police state and I know none of us want that.

    • You, quite obviously, have way too much faith in the ability of…

      A) police to prevent crime

      And

      B) humans to predict the future.

      You might want to rethink both, you’ll only be disappointed .

    • Look, I’m usually the first to come down with my wrath on cops here on TTAG. In this case, the responding deputies had no actionable knowledge of what he was planning. I hold the LEO’s in this case blameless. They were given insufficient knowledge/information to do anything actionable. The twisted little twerp hadn’t published the actionable videos yet on Youtube, the parents who had a clue what might happen apparently didn’t get enough specifics to the LEO’s for anything other than a standard welfare check to be done. His roommates thought him weird and were planning on moving out, but they didn’t get any information to LEO’s that was actionable either.

      Further, look at the surrounding details: His parents (or at least his father) are part of the high-profile set in SoCal, and the kid was very polite and charming upon visitation by the deputies, and didn’t act like a nutjob. In my experience in SoCal, there’s more than a few spoiled rich-kids who have parents call LEO’s from a distance asking for welfare checks, the cops do the check, find out what’s up and report in. In other words, this isn’t the first time a parent called the LEO’s claiming “I’m worried about my precious little snowflake.”

      • Agree on LEO blame. Others have reviewed timeline on youtubes and manifesto, and I am not going to second guess the cops who had nothing but a request to check and their impression of the kid on site.

        What I wonder about is the room-mates. If they knew he was off, how did this kid manage to kill all three with a knife? Three S’s rule may apply here.

        Guess we will have to wait for coroners report. Asleep? Drugged? Defensive wounds?

        The sorority? Could just one self-defense trained and armed student possibly have defended herself, and others?

        • “Could just one self-defense trained and armed student possibly have defended herself, and others?”

          I know this is provocatively rhetorical, but I’ll provide an answer for the logically challenged MDAfGSA types that are likely reading this thread.

          Yes. Yes. Even just one self defense trained and armed student could have possibly defended herself and others.

        • The girls at Alpha Phi sorority literally dodged a bullet when they didn’t open the door to Rodger’s pounding on it. The three girls who got shot in front of the house, two of them fatally, were evidently not his first choices, but a kind of consolation prize when he couldn’t get into the sorority house.

    • In fact no one had predicted anything until, on the very “Day of Retribution,” Rodger sent to one of his therapists, and evidently to one or both of his parents, a selfie video of him sitting in the BMW coupe his parents had bought up, calmly outlining his intentions. His parents were said to be frantically en route to find him when the news broke of what he had done.

  3. If the BRITISH parents of this twit were not in the US then neither would have been the twit.6 people would be alive. Close the Eastern border also. The US economy does not have a shortage of “movie directors”/nudie photographers.

  4. Lots of ink on the shooting aspect, little to none on the stabbing. Why have we not read about the instrument used in the stabbing and how many such similar items were found in the house???

    • CNN ran it top of the fold for 36 hours with the stabbing aspect not present or at the bottom of the stories.You could go 1000 words in there lead articles, reading “gunman,” “gun,” “guns.” “semiautomatic pistols,” “shot,” “stooting,” “bullets,” and not a word of “Knife” or “stabbing.”

      When it became clear half the victims were stabbed to death (and more of the injured were run over by the BMW than shot) CNN went to a new story.

  5. My heart goes out to all those affected by this tragedy. Sorry for the loss of Richard Martinez’s son, but why isn’t he blaming BMW and the knife mfg. too. You can’t blame guns without blaming the other two weapons of death. The Rodger family is against guns. Well obviously not every one in the family. I’m sure daddy gave the spoiled brat his BMW, therefore he is as responsible for the cold blooded murders as his son. This whole thing makes me sick!

  6. I hope I’m right but this story has too many holes in it( no pun intended) to get anything like like traction of Newtown.
    I WOULD hammer home the cops failing to do their job.

    • I WOULD hammer home the cops failing to do their job.

      That could suggest more sweeping law enforcement powers, encroaching even further on the Constitution. I wouldn’t recommend that as the best plan. Focusing on that the people around him were hindered in respect to being armed and that his weapons also included a knife and BMW would be a wiser path, in my opinion.

      • For some reason people always want the police to be omnipotent and omniscient without being ‘big brother.’

    • I’m kind of out of the loop, no TV, no newspapers, etc. But I’m not seeing near the political/media reaction I would expect out of this. No AR, as many killed with a knife as a gun, happened in gun-control paradise, anti-gun liberal (as usual, but this time it came out early on). No wonder the usual suspects can’t get much mileage out of this one. Not for lack of will tho.

      • I refuse to watch any of his “manifestos” so I’m just going on hearsay, but it seriously seems to me like his biggest problem was being raised solely by his mother. Guy had no game basically.

        Hear me out, but his entire complaints about being ignored by girls while acting like a perfect gentleman seems to be the result of listening to his mother about what girls want. Terrible idea. He was “acting” like a perfect gentleman. It probably creeped girls right the heck out. 20 years of being obviously fake instead of being himself screwed him up. A night out clubbing with his dad when he was 12, hitting on girls would have prevented this whole tragedy.

  7. If we are going to blame someone for this event (beyond the killer himself), I place the blame squarely on his parents. Where were they in all of this? They clearly knew that their son was disturbed because they called the police for a “welfare check” in April, 2014. Why didn’t they go and check on their son themselves?!?!?!?

    And next, I have to blame the killer’s therapist that called the parents after receiving the manifesto via e-mail. Why didn’t the therapist first call the police?

    • Well, they were busy living their beautiful lives, that’s what they were up to.

      What I find most telling is that this perp had been in therapy since he was nine.

      • Tells you all you need to know about the pshrink industry. On average at LEAST as nutty as the rest of the world. Bet billed a lot of hours over the years they were “curing” the twit. Of course when cured no more hours to bill.

        psychologist, psychologist, mental health professional, witch doctor, voodoo priestess, weegee board jockey all/any should be deciding, without due process, 2nd Rights of citizens.

    • This person was an adult. There is nothing the parents could have done. There is a question if CA Law would even allow the therapist to call the police directly.

      The parents did try but there is only so much one can do.

      Read up on the whole situation before posting more blame without facts

      • I disagree. The killer’s parents sent police to check on their adult son in April. Why didn’t they check on their adult son in person? Why didn’t they try some sort of intervention?

        Sending your adult son away to college with a bunch of money and doing nothing when your adult son is obviously struggling mentally is NOT good parenting.

      • I haven’t heard, but how was this “adult” supporting himself? Did he have a job to pay his own rent, buy gas for his car, purchase the handguns? He wasn’t even in school apparently for quite some time- how did he occupy his time and fund his activities – daddy & mommy is what I’m guessing, so if this is this case then the parents do have responsibility and this deviant was an adult only by chronological age. The parents were facilitators.

      • Under California law, a therapist who knows of a specific threat of harm has a duty to call the police. The word “specific” is a significant limitation on the duty, intended to protect the psychotherapist patient privilege. The rule derives from a California Supreme court decision that held a therapist liable in damages to the heirs of a victim for failing to report threats against the victim by his patient, and the patient carried out those threats.

    • Good point. A psychiatrist, psychologist, doctor is a Mandatory Reporter to the PD if he has reason to believe the person is a risk to self or others.

    • Eliot sent a copy of the manifesto to his parents. Did they quickly call SBPD? No:
      “Mr. Rodger emailed his lengthy document to his parents and to about 20 others just before the rampage, Mr. Astaire said. A social worker who saw it alerted his mother on Friday evening, and his parents immediately began driving up to Santa Barbara to try to find him, Mr. Astaire said.”

      Elliot Rodger’s history does have much in common with Lanza’s, with this exception, that the Rodgers did not provide him with guns (or knives…) or take him to the range.

      Like Lanza, Elliot was diagnosed early with autism spectrum disorder. Like Lanza his frequent writings showing an obsessive anger and violent thoughts were known by many. Like Lanza, Elliot had recently been prescribed an anti-psychotic (risperidone) but refused to take it.

      When the therapist called the PD regarding what the parents considered to be (at the least) suicidal thoughts or intentions, I’m surprised SBPD didn’t look Elliot up in the super-CA gun purchase registry. So much for that piece of bureaucracy. And that call was not a simple welfare check, but a therapists call (not the parents) regarding possible suicidal ideation.

      It is curious that when Elliot was failing in the Woodland Hills area, his parents thought he’d do better in an even more competitive social environment, Santa Barbara. Perhaps, just perhaps, they didn’t want him so close to home? So make him some other town’s problem? “No, no, that wasn’t what we were thinking!” Sure, pal.

      • The report I read said they called the police from their car, but that was only 15 minutes prior to the start of the rampage, while they were driving up.

      • I have no idea of the veracity of these pieces of information, but if they’re true then this is even more messed up. Anti-psychotic prescription should probably be grounds for temporary firearm confiscation. I’m sure most commentators here who recognize my handle hate me already and I’m sure this wont help, but the notion that this was, in principle, impossible to prevent or predict is ludicrous (if the statements in the previous post are accurate). A database of firearm owners that could be queried immediately upon involuntary commitment or, perhaps, a medical professional determining someone should be on anti-psychotic drugs absolutely could help in these types of cases. We shouldn’t demonize or further stigmatize mental illness, and these high profile madmen represent a tiny fraction of gun violence. We shouldn’t demonize or further stigmatize GUN OWNERSHIP, and these high profile madmen represent a tiny fraction of responsible gun owners. The idea that it’s impossible to weed out some of these few with proper legislation is intellectually dishonest. It also reflects poorly on “POTG” that we (or if you refuse to even consider that I could be included in that group, then ‘they’) appear to be extremely resistant to any kinds of new laws, even if they would mean no actual restriction on responsible gun owners. That could be the treatment we’re getting from the media, but that also appears to me to be the view of a significant fraction of the commentators on this site. Are we really as impotent here as we claim to be?

  8. “Lone wolf” shooters/stabbers can be hard to predict. Thank you for MAKING THE CASE FOR CARRYING. Daily. Everywhere.

  9. If existing laws are followed, both Federal and State of California, and the SB Killer’s civil rights under Federal and State Laws were not violated (which they weren’t), then he, or anyone like him, can (and did) buy guns and ammo completely Legally in California (one of the most restrictive States).

    So, what is a “better way” to predict and prevent these kinds of things from happening?

    • Accept the risk or reduce it personally as you see fit and are able. Complete personal safety without personal responsibility is not a guarantee.

    • I believe the answer is that there isn’t a better way to predict or prevent these things from happening and that any attempt to do so will not only fail but further restrict our liberties. It can’t be possible to predict and prevent every bad thing that can happen, it is however possible to prepare for the most likely bad things that can happen, thus: Fire exits and smoke alarms and extinguishers, seat belts and airbag, the 911 emergency system, firefighters, EMTs, cops and pistols. Bad things will happen and they can’t all be prevented, they can however be responded to in more or less effective ways.

    • Freedom is not Free and you need to accept some risks in a free society.

      Unless you want things to turn into the Salem Witch Trails as someone pointed up above, there is very little that can be done.

      After 9/11 we got the TSA and DHS — do you feel safer?

      Do you want a thought police? Something will always happen. This kid could of simply purchased a Ford 350 with Large Mud tires and simply started running people over or used a bomb instead. Being 100% safe is a myth that governments like to perpetuate because they know they cannot stop nor prevent every such incident.

      • I find it interesting the lack of creativity mass murderers have. I’m not going to speak to specifics since I wouldn’t want to give the wrong person ideas but there are far, far more efficient and effective means of killing large numbers of people than shooting, many of which aren’t necessarily difficult or expensive.

        Given only the combined cost of a quality AR with accessories, a GLOCK and a suitable supply of ammo I’m sure I could come up with something that that would suffice, what is that, $2000-$3000?

        I’ve begun to think perhaps these wackos want to do it up close and personal rather than remotely and en masse. Then again, at the point where all you want is to kill as many strangers as possible, who the heck can say what’s going on upstairs? I’d imagine that many if not most of these mass murderers are as internally incoherent as they are externally. Maybe that kind of crazy doesn’t lend itself to detailed planning and competent execution. Even were a plan exists it’s been poor (think the non-functional bombs at Columbine). I suppose I should just be grateful that these types of people don’t have good planning and execution, but what scares me is what happens when someone does have it.

        • I have often thought along the same lines about this, and felt grateful these persons are so uncreative. I share your concern for what might happen when one of them “gets it right”.

          Hell, some of the things I thought of scared myself, and they would be so much easier than using firearms. Well, thank goodness, we’re both sane and peaceable…eh?

        • Ardent,

          Given the alternatives, I actually prefer that a spree killer use a knife or firearm because once they start, good responsible armed people can stop the attack in the early stages and minimize the number of casualties. If a spree killer uses an alternative weapon, there is no stopping it and the number of casualties is a function of how many people were in the location of his/her attack. (Hint: a firearm is useless against a fire, bomb, poison, stampedes, and large trucks.)

    • @JusBiil, Ardent and Pascal, Thanks! Your answers are exactly what I have thought about this matter for some time now. I have thought about it intensely and kept coming to the same conclusions.

      These types of incidents, few though they may be, are blown out of all proportion by the gun-grabbers, politicians and MSM to be used as an argument for further infringement of Americans’ Second Amendment Protected rights. There is no “better way”, only worse ways that violate more people’s rights and facilitate more Government abuse and excess. The only rational counter is to enable more Armed Citizens in public that can, if they so choose, intervene to stop the event as soon as possible. The risk of this kind of thing is acceptable and necessary to better preserve the rights of the vast majority.

  10. Since this incident occurred, I have seen a handful of articles calling for more gun control but none in which they bring up any possible solutions. And they can’t. The NRA holds no sway over the California legislature, and California has pretty much enacted the entire pu pu (or poo poo) platter of imaginable gun control laws which this psycho legally navigated. This time they can’t say if we only had X, then maybe this would not have occurred. If they want to use this incident for more gun control, then they’re going to have come right out and say let’s get rid of the Second Amendment. Or, perhaps, I no longer care about the due process rights of the mentally ill.

  11. Predictable, preventable?
    Au Contraire,
    In particular, with the stabber, slasher, shooter, attempted vehicular homicider, (note: only the shooter gets the credit and headlines), stating his intentions on Youtube and emailed manifesto, being interviewed by the police, this was the one the perpetrator himself predicted and this one could have been the one prevented(maybe).
    But In general? NO.

  12. Shannon has been eerily quiet. Maybe she went away for another long weekend vacay with her sugar daddy 2nd hubby while the little people remained stateside?

  13. Short of this killer publishing a book titled “Misogynistic Murderous Rampages: This sort of thing IS my bag, baby!”, what exactly are these people demanding in terms of predictive behavior in advance of shooting sprees?

    • Don’t you miss the good old days, when “doing something” to deter violent crime meant arming the average citizen? When the KKK were murdering or otherwise oppressing the freedmen in the years following the Civil War, Congress passed the Freedmen’s Bureau Act and the 14th Amendment in order to guarantee the freedmen the right to carry arms. Or, shifting a bit closr to the present, armed citizens were credited – not blamed – after the tower shooting in Texas in the 60’s, because they saved many lives by returning fire.

  14. In this case Napolitano is correct. A nut-job with a BMW, and no other tools, could be far deadlier. The first three victims were stabbed, the second three shot. If the firearm was inoperable, the perp could have simply used his car to kill innocents.

  15. The police had ample probable cause to enter the apartment and make a determination based on the information that had received.

    Investigation of a murder involves determining three things; motive, means and opportunity. The perp displayed his motive for all the world to see on YouTube and his parents and the mental health crisis team that called the police verified that there was a legitimate threat.

    Motive was easily determined before they arrived at the apartment building. So, opportunity. Did the perp have an opportunity to carry out his threat? He lived there, he had a vehicle, he knew where his victims were or frequented so opportunity is a no brainer.

    But, did he have the means to carry out his threat?

    Here’s where the problem rears its ugly head. The police get contacted by the mental health crisis line, they are given information and they send two patrol cops to interview him. They get nothing because they have not been trained in what to look for and how to pursue the investigation.

    I am a retired police chief so before you begin firing on me, understand this. With proper training, a police officer could have convinced the perp to allow them into his room. I would bet you the of my life’s supply of donuts that neither cop at the scene asked the perp if he had any firearms. I would also bet that neither had been schooled in interrogation techniques such as Reid method.

    From my far removed spectator view, the cops screwed up. Not because they didn’t care but because they had not been trained to handle this type of potential threat.

    This tragedy was predicted. It was announced by the perp and reported by the parents. That’s when the system broke down.

    There is another one of these events in progress in Florida right now. He has already killed three and is on the run and the police and numerous other people were aware of him before the first murders were committed:

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-lakeland-three-dead-20140527,0,601336.story

    • Trained in the “Reid method”? Really?

      From Wikipedia:

      “Critics of the technique claim it too easily produces false confessions,[4] especially with children.[5][6] The use of the Reid technique on youth is prohibited in several European countries because of the incidence of false confessions and wrongful convictions that result.[7]

      In Canada, a Provincial Court judge ruled in 2012 that “stripped to its bare essentials, the Reid Technique is a guilt-presumptive, confrontational, psychologically manipulative procedure whose purpose is to extract a confession.”[8] John E. Reid and Associates maintains that “it’s not the technique that causes false or coerced confessions but police detectives who apply improper interrogation procedures.”[8]”

    • “I would also bet that neither had been schooled in interrogation techniques such as Reid method.”

      Maybe that would be a good thing. What if cops trained in the Reid method had targeted some poor smuck who hadn’t done anything?

      From Wikipedia:

      “Critics of the technique claim it too easily produces false confessions,[4] especially with children. The use of the Reid technique on youth is prohibited in several European countries because of the incidence of false confessions and wrongful convictions that result.

      In Canada, a Provincial Court judge ruled in 2012 that “stripped to its bare essentials, the Reid Technique is a guilt-presumptive, confrontational, psychologically manipulative procedure whose purpose is to extract a confession.” John E. Reid and Associates maintains that “it’s not the technique that causes false or coerced confessions but police detectives who apply improper interrogation procedures.”

  16. What the gun control groups and media are doing is giving the father of the kid shot in the deli the microphone. I feel bad for this guy but he has already claimed gun murder is up (patently false by a long shot), that the congressional bills would have stopped this (utterly false), and that the NRA has blocked legislation in California (a total fantasy).

    I feel bad for the guy, but he is completely and totally unaware of the history, laws and proposed laws on gun issues.

    The only other one to stry and flog this was Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker in the New Yorker who erected an amazingly mendacious interpretation of the incident consisting of a long string of strawmen, red-herrings and outright false statements. gopnik repeats the lie that the NRA has something to do with California’s legislation, hen the Dems hold massive super majorities in the legislature and hold the governorship ship as well.

    Gopnik, in all his ink for years now has refused to even acknowledge that gun murder is half of levels 15-20 years ago, which is not a core fact, but THE core fact on gun issues. He refuses to even with the many times more crise that have been stopped with legal guns than committed with them

    • The father is simply grieving and looking for someone to blame or have revenge upon. He is full of emotions right now and fact do not really matter. In times like this people fall back on to things they have been indoctrinated in. IN this case he is a liberal with all the liberal myths — blame the gun, blame the NRA but don’t blame the shooter.

      What the tragedy will be is the gun control crowd will move in to reinforce his false beliefs and use him like a pawn for their purpose. He will be a useful idiot.

      I don’t blame the father, but he will be used in the public debate just like they used the families in Newtown.

      These people should not be given a microphone nor should any outside group try to use them. They should be left alone to grieve, if they still feel the same way after reflecting on everything, then that should be their choice — the problem is that the anti-gun crowd will manipulate him into a choice.

      He should be meeting with grief counselors and not the anti-gun crowd, but how things are, the anti-gun crowd will get there first.

      • The blood dancers; the anti-gunners and progtard media who exploited this poor man’s pain and loss…

  17. He has those backwards. The event is “almost impossible” to prevent, and “impossible” to predict.

  18. I blame Elliot Rodger for each and every killing, as well as each and every injury. I blame CA politicians and voters for the fact that there wasn’t anyone within striking distance with a concealed carry permit (that we are aware of, anyways).

    I don’t blame BMW, Glock, Sig, or Chicago Cutlery. I don’t blame the sheriff. I don’t blame the lovely ladies of UC Santa Barbara – who I’ve found to be very easy to talk to – for failing to sleep with this massively creepy young man. Parents? Maybe some. I blame the idiotic mainstream media for their severe anti-gun bias, and for making this kid famous. It’s only a matter of time before another creepy psycho loser attempts something similar. Therefore, I carry a gun all the time.

    The unfortunate reality: Democrat politicians and voters will blame the NRA and guns. Another push for gun control will begin. Sigh. It seems that fight never ends.

    • WELL SAID! You’d think POTUS most-attractive State Atty Genaral would have something to say by now.

      Will she withdraw her request to intervene on Peruta, so that the 9th’s decision to allow citizens to concealed carry for self-defense, can be allowed as the law as decided, but stayed penging her delaying tactics?

      Are Ms Harris political hopes more important than the lives of innocent victims? Is this REALLY how you remember Sandy Hook, Ms Watts, by putting more school children at risk from future Lanzas, and Rodgers?

      See, this simple measure might have allowed any victim to have been able to stop Rodgers. None of the many other laws and restrictions prevented Rodgers from doing so.

      And that is the obvious conclusion that no media outlet, politician, or anti-gun group can address, as it reveals the obvious futility of regulating tools, vs holding people responsible for their behavior.

    • I mostly agree with you and only disagree on some little details.

      The reason that it never ends is because some individuals are still legally armed. The founders were very wise when they wrote the 2A. Shall not be infringed is the only way to keep government at bay. Stopping government in its tracks is what the 2A is supposed to do but the People have to enforce it.

  19. What’s unconstitutional about stopping a lunatic from murdering john??? Let’s all blame the NRA & gun owners in general. DUH. There is no solution but getting the lame stream media to back off is a good start.

  20. She’s pretty much right, for the most part – kinda.

    Since prediction and prevention ain’t gonna happen, how about a li’l preparation?

    Just an idea.

  21. I live close enough to get stories of Isla Vista on our local news. If I hear them (MSM) talking about that place one more time as a “post card perfect” or “Idyllic college town” I’m going to gag. Rowdy street parties, gang rapes and riots are more the norm. That’s just one part of the story that is being manipulated. Sad that young people died this time. I wonder what kind of meds our little miscreant had been prescribed since he was in grade school….
    As somebody else posted, carrying and staying alert is the only way to stay safe.

  22. Don’t pick up your prozak in California and the pharmacy calls Kamala Harris and the D.O.J[Calif] sends a swat team out to do a no-knock raid and pick up all your guns.Send a letter to the Santa Barbara Sheriffs dept that your family member is mental and has guns,send the youtube videos to them cry out he needs some help or at least a phycologist, and the police say ‘well we don’t have enough evidence! Then when he flipps out and starts killing people…well…it’s the NRA’s fault! And the gun lobby and the big bad manufacturers who sleep with the NRA and the evil gun owners of America and the poor ,mistreated ,bullyed killer and and and………so there!!

  23. It’s almost as if people wanting to carry the means to protect themselves in such an unpredictable world isn’t such a crazy thought.

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