I’ve spent much of this week thinking about the Santa Barbara tragedy, and the violence that occurs in Chicago every week. The same weekend Elliot Rodger killed six and injured thirteen, five were killed and 12 were injured in weekend shootings in Chicago. I have a lot to say about this topic — and wrote about gun violence last year in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre for my “Letters from Japan” series — but for now I’d like to highlight some of the most compelling articles I’ve read this week regarding this tragedy, and the shootings that occur in Chicago every week.
Elliot Rodger and America’s Ongoing Masculinity Crisis (Salon) — An article that offers insight into why these shootings occur mostly by young males, and what can be done to prevent similar acts of violence.
Michael Moore’s Facebook message — Moore’s blunt, abrasive commentary isn’t for everyone, but I think he nailed it when he said, “The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol.” Pessimistic, but brutally honest.
Overcome Your Programming and Be a Better Man (Chris Gethard Show Tumblr) — I hadn’t read anything by Chris Gethard, an American comedian, actor, and writer, until I saw this post. Without even a hint of sarcasm or humor, Gethard eloquently describes overcoming his own angst and struggles to finally become a content, confident adult who will soon marry the woman he loves. This certainly won’t be the last essay I read by Mr. Gethard.
Let’s Call the Isla Vista Killings What They Were: Misogynist Extremism (New Statesmen) — I’m still working through my thoughts on this very complex topic, but this passionate essay by feminist columnist Laurie Penny digs into the discrimination women face every day.
Father of Victim in Santa Barbara Shooting to Politicians: ‘I Don’t Care About Your Sympathy’ (Washington Post) ) — Richard Martinez’s 20-year-old son, Christopher, was one of the six killed by Rodger. His emotional response has been widely spread via social media and YouTube, but it’s one of the most tragic and poignant speeches I have ever heard.
Enough Slaughter (Miami Herald) — This editorial, referencing both the Santa Barbara shootings and the Memorial Day weekend shootings in Chicago, was re-published this week by the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun.