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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wimps with guns

One striking thing about many of these recent mass shooters is that they seem to be very wimpy physical specimens. The latest in what is unfortunately a long line, Dylann Roof, is no exception:

He looks both short and slight, and has a somewhat girlish face.

Here's James Holmes, the Aurora Colorado shooter from July of 2012:

Here is Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara shooter from May of 2014:

And here is Adam Lanza, of Newtown  CT fame:

What do they all have in common? They're small, even frail, and appear to have low testosterone levels. It's pretty obvious that before they took a bunch of lives, nobody took much notice of them except perhaps to note what losers they were. None were athletic, and most were probably virgins. They were all disappointments to their parents, and unpopular with their peers.

And, wimps that they were, they all needed guns as equalizers.

In a way it makes sense that these guys would turn out to be killers, because they had nothing to lose. And they were all resentful, so they wanted to take others with them. Roof's bitterness was focused on black people; but his basic psychology was undoubtedly the same.

I wrote a sample article once before, about Adam Lanza, as an example of what a responsible media would say about these guys: emphasize what dweebs and losers they are. If these potential killers knew beforehand that their actions would cause them to be held up to public ridicule, most would just take their own lives, and leave the rest of us alone.


Remnant said...

"They're small, even frail, and appear to have low testosterone levels."

Very interesting point. One of the unanticipated consequences of feminism and, even more so, the feminization of men and the "war on boys" is indeed some unhealthy and sublimated aggression that must build up in men who are unable to be men. There are certainly macho guys who love to pick a fight, but overall, an organized and civilized funneling of masculine energy into traditionally male activities such as boxing and other martial arts, along with the mere cultivation of normal masculinity is no doubt more condusive to a harmonious society (paradoxically). These kinds of shootings are rare and not a great point from which to draw general conclusions; nevertheless there does seem to be a lesson buried in there about emasculated men. The ones who "go postal" may be rare but they cause enough commotion and damage that we should try to draw constructive lessons from it.

Although this one may turn out to be a drugged-up, half-crazy, paranoid, senseless killer along the lines of James Holmes, on the chance that he is in fact politically, or racially motivated, I highly recommend reading the following post by Mencius Moldbug on why "right-wing terrorism" is a bad idea and cannot achieve its ends.

John Craig said...

Remnant --
Interesting article by Moldbug, thanks, I'd never thought of it in those terms before. But he's got a point: a conservative "revolutionary" is going to destroying what's good about a society, even if he doesn't intend to. I don't think that applies in every case, but it certainly applied to Breiivik…..I hadn't know that about Mandela, either: he advocated cutting off the noses of his enemies. Hmm, the media never seemed to focus on that.

I agree with your larger point about feminism, but I wouldn't blame feminism for the misfits listed above. Those guys were just bitter about where they ended up in life's lottery, especially vis-a-vis other guys. They lost out to other guys when it came to women, when it came to athletics, and when it came to social standing. So I think feminism had little to do with it.

Th either weird thing about Roof is that he started his diatribe by saying, "You rape our women…." and then he shot some middle-aged church ladies. All of these guys are basically just lashing out because they feel powerless and want revenge on the world. with Roof, there was undoubtedly some racial resentment there, but I think psychologically he was far more like Elliot Rodger and Adam Lanza than he was like your typical race realist.

I agree that Holmes was different, he struck me as schizophrenic, more in the mold of Jared Loughner, the Gabrielle Giffords shooter.

Anonymous said...

True, but most killers choose vulnerable targets. I can't really recall any going for the same size or built, it is usually attacking the defenseless with some kind of weapon. I feel like it could be more about their sexuality, which is probably affected by their slim appearance, or personality.

John Craig said...

Anon -
True, there's been a fair amount of speculation about that. A lot of these guys have "gay face," and possibly a sexuality to match. Adam Lanza was fond to have child porn on his hard drive. (And then he went and killed a bunch of prepubescent kids.) Andreas Lubitz was found to have gay porn on his computer. I heard people suggest that Elliot Rodger was just covering up his homosexuality with that long suicide note about the girls he wanted but couldn't get. So, yeah, you're probably right.

Anonymous said...

If you look at this guy's parents, you can see why he's mixed up in the head. He basically raised himself because his parents were worthless in the parenting department.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
I hadn't heard anything at all about his relatives, other than that his uncle recommended the death penalty for him. I'll have to look into that.

Anonymous said...

The Daily Mail had an article about the father's second marriage to Paige Mann - he wasn't a good husband. Dylan's bio mother doesn't sound like the most nurturing of parents. I actually feel sorry for Dylann.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
After getting your previous comment I Googled "Dylann Roof's parents" and found out about his father and the divorce from Dylann's stepmother. Pretty ugly. And the biological mother, who had no custody, was not mentioned, so she couldn't have been any prize either if the father got custody of Dylann and his sister. Plus there's that uncle who offered to pull the switch himself if Dylann is executed.

The thing is, at a certain level, one should feel sorry for Dylann, but at that same level, one should feel sorry for Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer and so on, because they all came from dysfunctional backgrounds as well. And then we should feel sorry for their parents, because they undoubtedly came from similar backgrounds. Where do we draw the line. There are plenty of people more deserving of our sympathy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you're saying. It's a shame that this young man had such poor parents who failed Parenting 101.


Steven said...

Check this out. It actually discusses some of the things you talk about on this blog.

And have you read Roof's manifesto?

John Craig said...

Steven --
Yes, I've read his manifesto. It has a fair number of errors, and some unnecessary ugliness, like use of the n-word. But much of what it says is also true.

Anonymous said...

Yes. They are all proverbial 98-pound-weaklings getting sand kicked in their faces by society.

But instead of bulking up via a comic-book pill or regime, they use a gun to exact their revenges.

There is no place in society, but the trailer park, for a guy like Dylann Roof. He knows it, his friends and family know it, everyone who ever meets him knows it.

This is crushing and overwhelming reality -- he has not the brains, the talent, the brawn, the looks or THE FAMILY STRUCTURE to make it as anything at all in today's world. He can't even marry some below median IQ girl and bring her home, because there is no home.

So he will "make it" among the small cadre of losers like himself -- Rodgers is his perfect West Coast counterpart.

This has about as much to do with racism as Rodgers did with sexism as that guy who beheaded his coworkers did with Islam.

I am sickened by the event and the coverage. The Washington Post has spilled so much ink on this story. All part of the larger cultural narrative. Now Amazon, Sears, Walmart and ebay are pulling confederate flag merchandise. I predict it may soon be prohibited in many places and sort of low-level criminalized.

You once said you were more optimistic than I. Still so?


John Craig said...


Good to hear from you, I thought I'd lost you.

Yes, I'm sickened by the coverage too. You saw what I said about the NY Times' multi-orgasmic reaction. And it's all very predictable. None of these entities are letting this crisis go to waste. Obama himself politicized it the morning after the killings.

Sorry, but I can't remember exactly what the context was when I said I was more optimistic than you, so can't really answer you without that. (If you remember which post that came after, please remind me and I'll take a look.) But I will say that this particular incident doesn't make me any more pessimistic. This whole episode was just….unfortunate, as it played so perfectly into the hands of the Left, and the media. Roof's Rhodesian white rule jacket, his embrace of South African apartheid symbols, his penchant for the Confederate flag, and even his victims, sweet little old church ladies, he was everything they could have asked for. And actually most of all, that manifesto, which mixed bad spelling and ugly racial invective with some racial reality, and now the media will be able to conflate all of that: if you believe there's an IQ difference between the races, you're no better than that mass murderer Dylann Roof.

But, all that said, the media reaction was predictable. If the Times put the Duke lacrosse players on their front page for three weeks running, you knew they were going to gives the Charleston killings the 9/11 treatment. So… surprises, which is why I say it doesn't make me any more pessimistic.

Also, I have to say, one thing I was impressed by was the reaction of black people, especially the members of that church, to these killings. They actually forgave him, or, at least, claimed to. Which makes them better people than I am. And there hasn't been any rioting since then either. I should probably write a post about that.

Anyway, good to hear from you.