Writing anything about Friday’s murders in Isla Vista has felt beyond me. This simply felt too close to home. I grew up across the freeway from IV. My dad taught for decades at UC Santa Barbara. I taught there. My husband is an alumnus. A few months ago my mom and my daughter and I got dinner at our favorite pizza joint in IV. We enjoyed a beautiful evening on the same streets that erupted into horror Friday night. Every time I’ve tried to put my thoughts into words this weekend, I choked up.
I don’t have any answers. I don’t think there’s a single explanation for why a disordered young man tried to destroy everybody in the community. I suspect that like many catastrophes, it unfolded for multiple reasons. But I am frustrated and angry.
Frustrated because this has happened yet again. Frustrated because this continues to happen so regularly in the USA that this weekend I heard people say, “There’s nothing we can do to stop gun massacres. After Sandy Hook, I just gave up.”
Refuse to believe this.
Acknowledge that today, we have decided we are not going to do anything to stop more massacres. That’s a far different thing than saying nothing can be done.
I am angry not only at the vicious and sickening murders, but at the public response of some people involved in American politics who are publicly spitting on the victims and their families. In particular, South Carolina gadfly Todd Kincannon spent the weekend telling his 24,000 Twitter followers: “No idea how my son will die, but I know it won’t be cowering like a bitch at UC Santa Barbara. Any son of mine would have been shooting back”. Kincannon then labeled the grief-stricken father of one victim “a piece of shit.”
For the love of all that is decent, how shriveled must your heart be to spew such contemptible bile? For shame.
But enough. If you pray, pray for the victims and their families. Keep them in your thoughts. Remember them. They were all students at UC Santa Barbara. Cheng Yuan Hong. George Chen. Weihan Wang. Katherine Cooper. Veronika Weiss. Christopher Michaels-Martinez.