As has been reported, Elliot Rodger killed six students, injured 13 others, and then killed himself at the University of Santa Barbara in Isla Vista, California. And how quickly the killings moved off the front pages.
Rodger was diagnosed as being a highly functional Asperger Syndrome child -- a form of autism, which is considered a developmental disorder, not a mental illness. Asparger's syndrome is not associated with violence. However, Rodger's manifesto, "My Twisted World" and videos he posted online show a very troubled person.
California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Yet this did not prevent Rodger from purchasing two Sig Sauer P228 semiautomatic pistols and a Glock 34 pistol legally.
Many thought the killing of 20 children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School would be a tipping point, providing the impetus for reasonable gun control legislation to be finally passed at the federal level. But unfortunately too many legislators are overly responsive to the National Rifle Association lobby, in tandem with gunmakers and importers, military sympathizers, and far-right organizations. As predicted, meaningful gun control measures failed to pass in Congress after Sandy Hook.
Richard Martinez whose son Chris Martinez was one of the victims at Isla Vista, was quoted as saying, "Where is the friggin' politicians that will stand up and say, 'We need to do this. We're gonna do something,'" he told CNN. "Those gutless bastards did nothing. And my son died because of it. And it's outrageous. Absolutely outrageous." Mr. Martinez only said what many of us feel.
Since the Sandy Hook killings on December 14, 2012, there have been at least 74 shootings and counting. Because of our long-held affection for firearms, with many citizens embracing and celebrating the association of guns and America's heritage, coupled with our many unresponsive politicians, we can expect mass killings to continue.
Now that the sound and fury over the Isla Vista mass killings have died down, the cycle of killings, hand wringing, and mourning will probably continue ad infinitum.