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Bullet holes in the windows of IV Deli filled with flowers (May 24, 2014)

Paul Wellman

Bullet holes in the windows of IV Deli filled with flowers (May 24, 2014)


We Must Learn the Lessons of I.V.

The Hard Questions Must Be Answered


Thursday, June 5, 2014
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WHYS OF MURDERS: Now, even while our tears are still drying, it’s time for serious action: a thorough, impartial, A-to-Z study of how and why the tragic Isla Vista murders took place.

If official toes get stepped on, so be it. If feathers get ruffled and fingers get pointed, let it happen. As it is, too many hard questions remain unasked or unanswered.

Justice for the six slain students, the 13 injured, and their families must come first. We need to understand the chain of events that led to the deaths of six men and women with their young lives still ahead of them.

Barney Brantingham

We must not forget them: Katherine Cooper, 22; Veronika Weiss, 19; David Weihan Wang, 20; George Chen, 19; Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20; Chen Yuan “James” Hong, 20.

They didn’t deserve to die, and in their memory we must probe — however painful it may become — what led to their deaths. It must be more than a recitation of things we already know: how a deeply disturbed, angry man armed with knives and guns took his frustrations out.

The trail is a long one, starting when mental illness was first detected in a young Elliot Rodger, and later the 22-year-old was turned loose by his family on a student community unaware that he was a ticking time bomb.

He supposedly was here to attend Santa Barbara City College, but he hadn’t attended for much of the past few years and wasn’t a current student, instead sulking in his Isla Vista apartment, whining at not having girlfriends, feuding with his roommates, and driving around in the new BMW his parents supplied him with.

And shopping for three semi-automatic handguns, all easily purchased because he met background checks despite his history of mental instability, which he kept hidden in his room while awaiting his self-proclaimed “day of retribution.”

Meanwhile, his bizarre behavior, such as throwing drinks on romantic couples he resented, getting beat up after trying to push people off a ledge at a sorority party, and getting into other scrapes, amounted to numerous red flags that authorities didn’t hear about or ignored.

On April 30, less than a month before the May 23 rampage, Sheriff’s deputies checked his welfare after being alerted by mental-health staffers. Deputies found him to be “shy, timid, and polite.” When asked about “disturbing videos he had posted online,” Rodger passed them off as mere self-expression, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Concluding that he was not an immediate threat to himself or others, deputies said that after a 10-minute visit, they saw no need to place him under an involuntary mental-health hold or to search his apartment. “Therefore, they did not view the videos or conduct a weapons check on Rodger,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

But Rodger wrote later that he feared that if they had found his guns, his entire “retribution” plan would have been foiled.

The slaughter of Friday, May 23, could easily have been even bloodier. After butchering his three roommates, he drove in rage directly to an Isla Vista sorority house, armed to the teeth, and pounded on the door. There, as he promised in a video posted the day before, “On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB, and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blonde slut that I see inside.”

Luckily, none of the women answered his pounding. So he turned to spot passersby Katherine Cooper and Veronika Weiss and killed them.

Then, after shooting Christopher Michaels-Martinez, he cruised the streets of Isla Vista, firing at random and engaging in a shoot-out with Sheriff’s deputies, running down bicyclists and anyone in his path. With so many bullets flying, it’s a wonder that the death toll wasn’t much higher.

Although a thorough fact-finding study will take time, some remedies for the future can be put into place now. For one, Santa Barbara County supervisors should enact Laura’s Law, which allows courts to order outpatient mental-health treatment, in exceptional cases.

While it may be too much to expect Congress to take action on gun control, Representative Lois Capps took the House floor last week to declare that the public “wants universal background checks, limits on high-capacity magazines, increased school safety, and stronger gun-trafficking penalties.

“We know that we must keep these weapons out of the hands of violent individuals. But all too quickly the attention fades, the drumbeat quiets, and we are left with inaction.”

Governor Jerry Brown and Santa Barbara County authorities must push forward now to authorize an in-depth study of the Isla Vista tragedy. Justice demands it.

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Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

"Representative Lois Capps took the House floor last week to declare that the public “wants universal background checks, limits on high-capacity magazines, increased school safety, and stronger gun-trafficking penalties". As a Gun Owner and carrier of a personal firearm, I support these idea along with training and certification of safe firearms handling with stiffer fines on those who fail to adequately trains and certifies future gun owners; this is to be done prior purchase and control of said firearms.
I had training in firearms handling from Two Police departments, one Sheriff's Department and the US Uniform Secret Service in Pistols to Assault Rifles for over 15 years before purchasing my own personal carry. I can attest to many an incident where a candidate was ejected from a Training Range due to unsafe handling of a Firearm and/or firing a weapon improperly.
I live in Virginia, the MOST Gun Friendly State of the Union but carry, transport and store my firearms under the strict laws of my Home State (California), perfectly legal to do.
Back in the 70's and 80's when Gun violence was a mundane ever present happening in the Streets of LA between gang members with Tech-9's and Uzi's filled with 32 rounds of 9mm ammo, the limit of bullets did much for the average Joe but the Gangs, Criminals and Mental unstable continue to use whatever they could find to commit their crimes and Killings, ever to the point of local LAPD opting for double stacked magazines for their pistols to compete with the force they were meeting in the streets.
Limiting of rounds per magazine to ten is great for those who "Spray and Pray", to hit a child behind a stucco wall but is still effective for a well trained Operator to take out a crazy with a Sig Sauer or a Glock pistol.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
June 5, 2014 at 6:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Representative Lois Capps took the House floor last week to declare that the public “wants universal background checks, limits on high-capacity magazines, increased school safety, and stronger gun-trafficking penalties."

Capps is exploiting the murder spree to push her preexisting anti-gun agenda. The particular details of the shooting in Isla Vista do not matter much to her.

She focuses on guns, yet just as many people were killed with a knife as were with a gun.

She pushes for further restrictions on Second Amendment rights, but none of what she advocates would have prevented the massacre in I.V. The murderer did not use "high capacity magazines" nor purchase his firearms illegally from black market weapons traffickers, and he passed a background check.

It never really matters what exactly the details of these sorts of mass shootings turn out to be, the calls for further restrictions on Constitutional rights are always the same, few of which would in fact help prevent the shooting at issue at that particular time.

And so the emphasis appears not to be so much an effort to increase public safety, but merely to advance a preexisting political agenda that's hostile toward the Second Amendment and lawful gun owning citizens.

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
June 5, 2014 at 1:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe it's a pre-existing agenda because mass shootings are an ongoing problem.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 5, 2014 at 1:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yet not one of the laws Lois proposes, all of which are in effect in our state, would have stopped the perp. Not one.
So all she is proposing is further restrictions on the law abiding citizens of this country. Not the law breakers but the honest citizens.

sslocal (anonymous profile)
June 5, 2014 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yep, it's all about guns. Clearly the stabbed ones don't count, and if people die of violence in the ghetto, it doesn't count, people die in I.V., only then does it count.

The epidemic of teen suicides?...nope, no connection. Road rage, the fact that so many kids growing up having no hope?...doesn't count. A country engaged in endless war while taking away our freedoms (Think Patriot Act and NDAA) nope, doesn't count. The failure of the Brady Bill?...doesn't count.

Keep passing more gun laws, yep, that will solve the problem, and always make it about "The children", as long as they run in our socio-economic strata.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 5, 2014 at 3:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Brantingham, thank you ... Hear, hear!

FirewindII (anonymous profile)
June 6, 2014 at 1:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Representative Lois Capps took the House floor last week to declare that the public “wants universal background checks, limits on high-capacity magazines, increased school safety, and stronger gun-trafficking penalties."

I responded to that here:

'response to Lois Capps hypocrisy regarding UCSB tragedy'
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/S...

here:

'addendum: response to Lois Capps hypocrisy regarding UCSB tragedy'
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/S...

and, most especially, here:

'UKRAINE: Lois Capps gets her war: Neo-Nazis burn dozens to death in Odessa; Neo-Nazi armor heading east, attacking Russian-Ukrainians'
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/S...

JohnTieber (anonymous profile)
June 6, 2014 at 9:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you so much for that well written column, Barney!!! Most gun owners, I've read, do not agree with the NRA in opposing every possible effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who might be a real danger to others and to limit semi-automatic weapons to our military. One estimate says that more than 15,000 Americans have died from gun violence since the Newtown massacre. We should keep in mind that the NRA does not represent gun owners. It represents gun sellers. No wonder they don't want any restrictions. That would hurt their business. But if we can reduce that number, 15,000 Americans killed, the progressive politicians who fight for sensible gun restriction will earn support from a large segment of the population. OK, maybe not the gun sellers, but most reasonable people including gun owners.

And the gun owners have somehow joined forces with the Tea Party. The common thread between them is the idea that we need arms to defend ourselves from TYRANNY. You can tell tea party rhetoric by their anti-government stance, you know, people who hate single payer health insurance which so many other countries have and love, people who want to end Social Security, people who are against food stamps and any programs that help those who are struggling with multiple terrible-paying jobs or who have lost their jobs altogether. These Tea Party views are the opposite of progressive, forward looking, intelligent. Marian Shapiro

Shira (anonymous profile)
June 6, 2014 at 11:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

'2nd Amendment (#2): response to CAGV's Bloomberg ballyhoo'
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/S...

JohnTieber (anonymous profile)
June 6, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@JohnTieber: It doesn't matter if Black or Mexican people get shot in the 'hood, it's only when it's "one of us", that it matters, and as you point out, when it's people overseas dying in American military offensives, the gun control advocates shed nary a tear.

The fact that our society is having a collective meltdown (road rage, teen suicides, and all that other fun stuff) doesn't matter to these people.

Do they every wonder why heavily-armed Switzerland doesn't have these problems anywhere near in scope to what is happening in America? Coincidentally, Switzerland is known for its neutrality in wars, whereas the U.S. is quick to stick its nose in foreign conflict.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at midnight (Suggest removal)

Regarding the title of Barney's column, there might be something here (I've yet only had time to skim it) :

'Unanswered Questions in the Isla Vista CA Shootings'
http://memoryholeblog.com/2014/06/01/...

Dr James F Tracy
Memory Hole
1 June 2014

JohnTieber (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 12:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Shira makes some good points but something concerns me, if Shira became in charge of the U.S., does that mean we would have to live under (I cant resist, I MUST say it) Shira Law?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 12:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's the guns Capps ought to be concerning herself with, the one's she voted for:

'UKRAINE: Obama backs state terror against eastern Ukraine'
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/S...

Click on the 5 June and 6 June COMBAT SITREPS, in the section entitled 'RELATED FROM THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER'...

and WEEP.

JohnTieber (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 1 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We already have universal background checks in California. What we don't have is access by the background checkers to individuals' mental health records, thanks to HIPA, a federal law. THAT is what Capps should be working on.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 9:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Our founding fathers wanted us to forever shoot at game, varmints, " merciless Indian savages" and tyrants, IMHO. Soviet Union committed politically incorrect persons to asylums. Here in the USA, W set up a framework for martial law, that has been added to by Obama. It is now legally an act of "terrorism" to march in the streets without a permit. Calling inconvenient persons merely ''insane" would be effortless by comparison. Absolute power doesn't just corrupt, it corrupts absolutely. I'm not advocating assassinations, when it's still early enough for political reform. But our politicians will be more respectful of an armed populace than an unarmed one. The "security of a free state" is not to be trifled with.

atomic_state (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Shira : "limit semi-automatic weapons to our military. "

The vast overwhelming majority of weapons, most popular firearms commonly legally purchased and owned by private citizens, are "semi-automatic."

Semi-automatic merely means each time you pull the trigger a bullet is fired, which is effectively no different from a non semi-automatic revolver, which you do not advocate being banned.

In other words, both guns, semi-auto and non semi-auto, can kill just as many people just as easily, a fact that makes the call for banning semi-autos totally unreasonable. It makes no sense!

This is a classic example of the the sort of guaranteed-not-to-be-effective "gun control" that seems to be the norm; advocating a policy which CLEARLY will do NOTHING to prevent mass shootings or lessen gun violence, but that unquestionably infringes on Second Amendment rights.

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 3:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken Volok: "Maybe it's a pre-existing agenda because mass shootings are an ongoing problem."

The best way to effectively solve "an ongoing problem" is to implement new law(s) that actually directly address that problem, not, as Capps is doing, by advocating laws already in effect that did not prevent the problem in the first place.

It would be nice, and it would be rational and sensible, if her preexisting agenda actually related to the reality she is addressing. But it does not.

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 4:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dou4now: "Limiting of rounds per magazine to ten . . . is still effective for a well trained Operator to take out a crazy with a Sig Sauer or a Glock pistol."

Maybe in theory, but not always in practice.

"23 Police Officers Fire 377 Bullets at Two Men With Zero Guns"

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/a...

"LA police fire 90 rounds at fleeing, unarmed teen"

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/13...

"Police fire over 70 rounds in deadly Idaho shootout"

http://www.policeone.com/body-camera/...

Or what about this case of a private citizen having to hide in an attic with her children from an intruder? What if this lady faced multiple intruders?

"Melinda Herman fired a six-shot revolver at the intruder, hitting him five times, in his torso and in his face. Surprisingly, he managed to flee."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/10/us/home...

And what good does a ban of so-called "high capacity" magazines or clips do when, as the IV shooter illustrated, all a thug has to do is carry multiple magazines, and they only take seconds to change???

Such laws do more to burden law abiding citizens than they do to inhibit or prevent mass shootings or reduce gun violence.

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 4:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How would you know if you're shooting the right person or another vigilante such as yourself? How would anybody else know you're not the perp and not to shoot you? I've made a whole film about this quandary when you take justice into your own hands, "Day of Wrath", it's a topic I've explored in depth.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 4:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I have no idea what your point is with those questions, Ken, or what they relate to.

But I do know that self-defense is different than vigilantism.

Taking justice in one's own hands, as you say, is sometimes necessary, because law enforcement is reactionary for the most part. It occurs after the fact.

Justice is served after the crime is committed, and if that crime is your murder, then justice means nothing to your corpse.

Law enforcement is great. But when all you have are seconds to save your own life from a ruthless predator, then waiting minutes for the police to arrive in response to a 911 call, assuming you can even place such a call, is not an option for anybody looking to proactively defend innocent life.

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 5:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And you can be absolutely sure you're shooting the right person, hopefully to incapaciate I hope? And hopefully nobody shoots you in the act of an intended good deed.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 5:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"And you can be absolutely sure you're shooting the right person, hopefully to incapaciate I hope? And hopefully nobody shoots you in the act of an intended good deed."

As I said before, what's your point? Of what relevance is such a question?

NO state in which concealed carry laws exist has the ever been a problem with armed law abiding citizens mistakenly shooting other armed law abiding citizens while trying to stop a crime in progress. It's a non issue of no relevance to the matter at hand.

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 6:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You don't get my point because you're not thinking. And in not one instance has an nonlaw enforcement officer stopped the shooter except in Seattle where a student physically tackled the gunman.
All you're thinking is you're gonna jump in like Sam Jackson and get the bad guy, but rare is the instance when you can be sure when the bullets are flying, add more people with guns and everyone's shooting at each other.
Pretty clear.
So theoretically a banana peel could stop a crazy mass shooter but we don't advocate littering

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 6:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Words and op: Here's an example disastrous consequences when an overzealous person comes to the rescue with a gun:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world...

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 7:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No, I don't get your point because it's incoherent and irrelevant. If you actually had a solid, well reasoned factually based argument, then you would articulate it backed by evidence, but you haven't done that, which suggests you actually don't have a point at all.

"And in not one instance has an nonlaw enforcement officer stopped the shooter except in Seattle"

You are factually incorrect. Better research that a little more.

But more to the point, armed citizens stop crimes in progress all the time. This is not just about stopping an active shooter. This is about the principle of self defense. It's about maintaining the policing powers of the citizenry.

Most mass shootings, if you study the issue, occur in so-called "gun free zones," so it's quite obviously not likely that a non law enforcement officer is going to stop an active shooter when they are not legally allowed to carry a gun where the attack is being perpetrated.

"add more people with guns and everyone's shooting at each other."

That's a baseless opinion. You have zero evidence to back up your assertion.

In point of fact, some of the most heavily armed counties in the US are some of the safest with the least amount of gun violence.

Furthermore, the largest survey of active police officers in the field ever conducted, 15,000 officers questioned by Police One, found that "More than 28 percent of officers say having more permissive concealed carry policies for civilians would help most in preventing large scale shootings in public."

All other opinions on how best to address the issue rated lower by percentage. In other words, the majority of police officers on the front lines do not in any way think that more people with more guns leads to "everyone shooting at each other."

http://www.policeone.com/Gun-Legislat...

Moreover, a recent study by Harvard University in fact concluded flat out that "More Guns Equals Less Crime."

http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/o...

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 7:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As stated by other posters, guns are not the problem here. Roger used a knife and BMW to inflict his damage, not just a gun. And it is not Laura's law that is needed.

What might make a difference would be if law enforcement and mental health crisis workers made policy to jointly respond to check the welfare calls wherein facts indicate a person ours disturbed. The other half of this equation is reviewing all available facts before responding. This would normally include viewing videos or written material, speaking with family and significant others, and should include law enforcement checking the firearms database they can access.

My experience would also indicate for contact by mental health staff with current therapists. There are issues of confidentiality but if the facts indicate risk of violence sharing info becomes OK. And often clinicians can communicate while respecting the privacy, at least until and when high risk is established.

There is no guarantee that bad things won't happen, but if we bring our skilled people together and they follow a thorough protocol, odds shift to better outcomes for the community and the potential perpetrator.

I have the utmost respect for the law enforcement personnel and have seen them in action many times. But we should not ask them to determine if a mental health professional is needed, the response should be joint and the process professional. It would make a huge difference.

Lastly, it's important the evaluation be at the home, enabling a much better evaluation.

TheEvolOne (anonymous profile)
June 7, 2014 at 10:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This guy wrote it up pretty much spot on:

http://www.jacqueshabra.com/santa-bar...

hpeterson (anonymous profile)
June 8, 2014 at 10:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh Barney... SEVEN died in this IV tragedy, another young person with their life ahead of him, as you write. How much could have been done for Rodger that wasn't? Let's ask that question too. BTW, don't discount the mourning his family is also going through, as the parents of the other killed.

z28racergirl (anonymous profile)
June 8, 2014 at 11:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

WordsofReason: I'm not a gun person. I'm for your rights. I think gun owners should do a better job of self-policing yourselves.

Ken's comments about vigilantes reflect my own. During the movie theater shooting in CO, if everyone in the theater had a gun and thought as you, how could you possibly ALL know which ONE person was the bad guy? You wouldn't be able to know. The group didn't train as a group, as law enforcement does. Law enforcement personnel must train and retrain constantly, the common citizen does not. The situation would have become a bloodbath if every "good guy" had been armed.

I'll put my trust in my trained law enforcement personnel, I do not want vigilantes protecting me. I have zero trust in your knowledge, experience, or agenda. I don't need or want your "protection." Please keep your guns at home.

z28racergirl (anonymous profile)
June 8, 2014 at 2:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@z28racergirl, I agree, esp. at the end of your post. Training is crucial, please keep your guns at home. Oh yeah, with the likely return of open carry we can all bring our BIG GUNS right into Starbucks or wherever.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
June 8, 2014 at 3:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"I think gun owners should do a better job of self-policing yourselves."

The vast, overwhelming majority of gun owners are responsible, lawful citizens. That being the fact, your opinion appears to be addressing a non-issue with no basis in reality.

There is no need for a "better job of self-policing," because there does not exist a problem with lawlessness among the gun owning population.

"The situation would have become a bloodbath if every "good guy" had been armed. "

Or, alternatively, a good guy could have dropped the shooter before he had time to kill as many people. A good guy could have used their gun, as is done all over the US all the time, without a bloodbath occurring. There is no reason to believe your hypothetical scenario is any more realistic than mine.

Guns are used defensively everyday in the United States. And have been for a long time. How many documented cases can you cite, out of the countless number of cases of self defense, where such situations resulted in a friendly fire "bloodbath" due to legally armed citizens?

If what you and Ken are afraid of was a truly problem to be concerned about, then the majority of police officers on the front lines questioned by Police One in the survey I previously cited would not be advocates of "more permissive concealed carry policies for civilians."

Your fear is unfounded.

"I'll put my trust in my trained law enforcement personnel, I do not want vigilantes protecting me. I have zero trust in your knowledge, experience, or agenda. I don't need or want your "protection." Please keep your guns at home."

It's your right to cower on the floor, hiding, defenseless, hoping not to be a victim, as you wait through the many long minutes it takes the police to finally arrive.

You can, as advised by the Obama administration, hide under a desk and try defending yourself against a gunman with a pair of scissors. Good luck.

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
June 11, 2014 at 9:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"And in not one instance has an nonlaw enforcement officer stopped the shooter except in Seattle" -Ken_Volok

July 29, 2014 Philadelphia Inquirer

Armed Doctor Saves Lives By Stopping Mass Shooting

On Thursday afternoon, Dr. Lee Silverman undoubtedly saved many lives. Using a handgun, the Delaware County psychiatrist stopped what both police and the district attorney described as a certain mass killing at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/...

WordsOfReason (anonymous profile)
July 30, 2014 at 8:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

9 Potential Mass Shootings That Were Stopped By Someone With A Personally Owned Firearm

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis...

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 30, 2014 at 10:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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