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.

6 responses to “Heartsick

  1. Gadfly? I would think more along the lines of Dung Beetle but that would be insulting to Dung Beetles. I can’t believe anyone could be so stupid. I’m glad I didn’t hear what he said and am frustrated that I heard it now.

    • Rich, I thought twice about including Kincannon’s remarks. But he has held positions of statewide political authority in South Carolina, and I thought I needed to call him out. His swill is popular enough in U.S. political discourse that he has 24,000 followers on Twitter. That such cruel, self-congratulatory, mysogynist garbage is eagerly lapped up by thousands of people disgusts me. The rest of us need to put it beyond the pale.

      • I am glad you did. I wouldn’t have heard about it otherwise. It certainly was not reported on in my area. But I am with you on this 100%. Thank you.

      • Also, while I really decry these kinds of statements, I realize we do need to hear them, heart wrenching as they may be because we always must remain vigilant against such garbage.
        And I second Ken’s statements fully. My condolences on your home area.

  2. Meg, the moment I heard that it happened in Santa Barbara I thought of you, I fail to understand a system that allows a known crazy to legally purchase several guns and ammo. Even worse, I fail to understand the response of gun owners who are so willing to escalate a situation into something like the Gunfight at the OK Corral

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