Options Aerial View: Playlist from May 27, 2014 Options

Aerial View was WFMU’s first regularly-scheduled phone-in talk show. Hosted by Chris T. and on the air since 1989, the show features topical conversation, interviews and many trips down the rabbit hole. Until further notice, Aerial View is only available as a podcast, available every Tuesday morning. Subscribe to the newsletter “See You Next Tuesday!” and find tons of archives at aerialview.me. (Visit homepage.)

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Options May 27, 2014: Guns & Roses: Elliot Rodger & the Women He Couldn't Have
Another week, another mass murder in America. It's almost ho hum. We all thought, in the wake of Sandy Hook, that this country would finally do something about the ease with which the mentally ill can acquire weapons. But even in California, with much stricter laws than the rest of the nation, Elliot Rodger was able to purchase three handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammo in order to bring about his "Day Of Retribution". And even with all the forewarning via videos, his 140 page manifesto, his therapy and his parent's concerned calls to the Santa Barbara police, he still managed to kill six people and wound thirteen others.

I've talked about gun violence before on Aerial View and it's always a contentious conversation. We can't discuss guns in the USA without it descending into the worst kind of name-calling, finger-pointing drivel. Just find your way to any of the many articles about Elliot Rodger and delve into the comments section. Oh boy.

The other thing that never fails to amaze me is the need for people to stand in judgement when something like this happens. It must comfort us to see ourselves as superior to someone like Elliot Rodger. I've read so many variations of "So what? I was rejected by girls, I had my ass kicked all through school: I never went out and murdered anyone!" Okay. I would venture to guess it's because you're not mentally ill. Or maybe you are and you're getting better treatment than Elliot Rodger got. And before you ask "Why are you spending ANY time talking about this monster?!" please understand: I'm more interested in what it will take, finally, to protect us from the untreated mentally ill and their firearms. Certainly not MORE guns in the hands of more people. I thoroughly reject "It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun." No one is a bad guy until they go bad.

Tonight on Aerial View we'll attempt to have a conversation about all of this without it going too far off the rails - though I offer no guarantees. Me, I believe guns are woven into the fabric of this country and pulling that thread loose is a near-impossibility. What do you think?

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:02pm dale:

heavy topic.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:04pm P-90:

Wow, this IS a bit heavier than a visit to a swap meet in the San Fernando Valley
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:05pm dale:

the 'guns don't kill people - people kill people' theorists seem to forget that its only because the people HAD A GUN!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:07pm dale:

meant to say 'those people HAD A GUN.'
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:07pm P-90:

Now the news outlets are reporting that there was explicit racism as well as misogyny in his "manifesto" and video "statements"
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:09pm dale:

this sounds like a shut up weirdo call
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:10pm P-90:

@ dale: I think he's a regular on SUW.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:10pm dale:

mr. california must be from northern california where everyone is stoned and paranoid and has an arsenal hidden in the cabin
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:12pm 21 year old virgin:

Good thing I don't have a gun, or a knife, or a car. Mommy, time to up the meds.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:13pm chris:

dale, I'm from NCal... I don't fit the profile you mention
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:14pm the brain police:

it's just around the corner
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:14pm dale:

chris - in that case glad to know you.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:15pm mto:

Re 'glamorising' argument/media over-blow check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PezlFNTGWv4&feature=kp
Charlie Brooker BBC
Only 2ish mins
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:16pm Rocco:

What are the knife laws in CA?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:17pm dale:

so much news is ambulance chasing. caller has a point that avoiding it is sometimes required to maintain sanity
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:17pm Andrew Waterloo:

Unfortunately, the idea that women are supposed to "reward" men is fairly prevalent in our culture. The shooter believed that women dated the wrong guys and that he deserved their attention more. To me this not much different than guys who complain about being friendzoned, or seeing their friends date assholes, etc.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:17pm Colbert:

People look at me for their news. All is lost.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:17pm chris:

@Rocco, no double sided blades, no blades over a certain length, no switch blades or stilettos... probably others I don't even know about, since I'm not a knife collector
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:18pm Kati:

Yes! I detest the news.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:18pm Kati:

Yes! I detest the news.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:19pm Rocco:

With limitations like that, I won't be going to CA to purchase my knives anytime soon.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:21pm P-90:

Yes, the Columbine boys and other mass killers were taking Prozac. So: it's significant if Mr. Rogers --excuse me, Mr. Rodger, was "treated" with that kind of drug. Remember, that class of drugs is now FDA mandated to include warnings in the packaging that they may cause suicidal or violent thoughts (in a small but consistent percentage of users.)
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:21pm Andrew Waterloo:

Makes them feel righteous.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:23pm Colbert:

Remember kids, vote with your heart, not your head.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:23pm Joe the Plumber:

What, now I shouldn't have an opinion or something?
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:23pm Reasonable Gun Owner Liberal:

Guns are tools, They are MOST often used in preventing violence, but that is poor news. When they are mis-used for bad, THAT is when we hear about them.

Also -
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:27pm b k:

He was also using his car as a weapon.I chose a free country over a "safe" country.(I do not own a gun but I value the right to own one)
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:28pm The rest of the listening audience:

Thanks caller for making reasonable points.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:28pm dale:

guns are tools used to prevent violence. gun violence often.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:29pm Andrew Waterloo:

I'm cool with guns. I think if you can pass a few tests and earn a stack of paperwork you should be able to own one. But, I think it's ridiculous to pretend that guns aren't killing machines, and that some guns are more efficient killing machines.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:32pm Robert:

I made the wrong point about smart guns, though, because of the hurry. They're not about preventing someone from shooting accidentally, but about preventing shooting by someone who hasn't been pre-programmed as the authorized shooter of the gun. But the fraction of the time shootings occur by unauthorized shooters, such as children or someone who just grabbed one out of someone else's holster, is minuscule.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:35pm Mike East:

ugh...what a creep.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:36pm Robert:

I'm not creeped out, because stories like his are commonplace. It's just that an amazingly small # go thru with their fantasy.

Heck, I was a 42-YO virgin!
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:36pm Reasonable Gun Owner Liberal:

Not to be to harsh, but we all have (I hope) fire extinguishers in home & work in the very unlikely event that a fire breaks out - we can help ourselves before the Professional Fire dept shows up - Right? For me, firearms are similar - A woman, an elderly person, whomever, MAY choose to have the ability to defend themselves in the UNLIKELY event that they are attacked. The Police only arrive to investigate (not prevent) the crime.

Uses of firearms for self defense rarely make the news or elicit a police report. Why? Because NO crime has been committed, no newsworthy event has happened.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:36pm dale:

first girl i kissed tasted like an ashtray from a used car - blargh!
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:37pm Robert:

Some antihistamines are also antipsychotic drugs.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:37pm Eric:

yeah girls are yucky
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:38pm Andrew Waterloo:

my first kiss tasted like caesar salad.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:38pm dale:

reasonable - knock yourself out. have a weapon for protection. but do you need hundreds or thousands of rounds and military assault rifles to protect yourself from a robber?
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:39pm Robert:

I bet if I met him I wouldn't've found him creepy at all. But I'm not a girl.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:41pm Robert:

You may not need thousands of rounds -- most people unless they're reloaders couldn't afford that much practice -- but what are you going to do, keep inventory of everyone's magazine?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:41pm Marcel M:

Chris, can't you admit that the media glories violence and crime? Can you admit that at least it is a WIDELY held opinion? By saying infamy and fame are the same thing now a days, you are proving the opposite point. Also, your calling is NOT saying not to talk about it. He is saying the media glories it. You are being a bit dismissive.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:42pm Eric:

I think we should only talk about nice things, and soon enough the world will be perfect!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:42pm map:

Diphenhydramine (benadryl, zquil) has some antidepressant effects. According to wikipedia it led to the development of Prozac.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:42pm Marcel M:

your caller* not calling.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:42pm Marcel M:

and glorifies not glories*
Avatar    Tue. 5/27/14 6:42pm slugluv1313:

call me crazy but i always thought that college was for HIGHER EDUCATION!!!

and sheesh -- HOW MANY girls and young women get rejected -- or are just plain ignored! -- by boys who they think are "cute" or "attractive"?
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:43pm Eric:

Sex workers don't count, it's not about sex, it's about the score.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:43pm Robert:

No, Chris, it means your mother wanted plausible deniability -- at least that's how I heard it thru you. She wanted to be able to say she had no idea when some shit happened.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:44pm Marcel M:

Also Chris, I don't think anyone is condemning you for talking about it in this way. They are not referring to you when they say media, or at least I did not take it that way.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:44pm Eric:

I think all the media coverage of hurricanes and storms is making them happen more often these days...
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:45pm Robert:

Actually the way Chris talks about it is the most fun I've heard about this.
Avatar    Tue. 5/27/14 6:46pm slugluv1313:

and re: that whole "i don't want to hear it" attitude -- true, there ARE victim/survivors who do NOT want to talk about *whatever* -- but if someone DOES want to talk about it -- yeah, it IS important to talk about it -- part of the "healing process" (for lack of a better term) -- and in this particular case, it IS important for us to address these issues -- like you say, how do we PREVENT this crap from happening over and over and over again????
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:46pm Robert:

I love Chris's kvetchy, exasperated style. Even when I disagree, I can share his wallow in kvetch.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:47pm Marcel M:

Okay so there is a difference from we should not talk about it and I don't want to hear it, only the good things should be reported vs. talking about things in a constructive way, right? Everyone is lumping them in the same category.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:50pm jman:

there are many factors to consider when trying to analyze this situation. it is more than just a mental illness. people with aspergers are typically not violent. yes, his clinicians may have failed, but our analysis would fail if we didn't include his parents, gun control laws, and the gov't systems linked to this person. all aspects of his life are a factor in the result of this tragedy.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:50pm Robert:

Not only that, but Chris's style has become more entertaining with time. He's better now than I remember he was years ago, before those yrs. off the schedule.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:51pm dale:

i think this guy is a frustrated carpenter.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:51pm dale:

home depot service is horrible - what do you expect?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:52pm Andrew Waterloo:

Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:53pm Andrew Waterloo:

According to linky, handguns are responsible for half of all murders on the FBI charts.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:53pm Reasonable Gun Owner Liberal:

Dale - Perhaps we should limit cars to say, a reasonable 70hp and 8 gallons of gas? No-one NEEDS 500+hp or hi-capacity gas tanks.

Like b.k. above I would rather live in a Free society than an illusory 'safe' society. The 2nd amendment is about retaining the right to protect yourself from both personal and (collectively) political threats. On balance, I believe the benefit of civilian firearms ownership outweighs the cost. There is a great cost to car ownership and we all collectivity accept that their good outweighs the bad. AND your drivers license is good in all 50 states, unlike a pistol permit.
Avatar Tue. 5/27/14 6:53pm ottovonbqe:

What an insane group of callers so far.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:55pm Eric:

Seriously, this guy is not the kind of male predator, date raper, etc... that these women are (rightly) up in arms about, ironically he was upset with these "brutes" also, though for different reasons
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 5/27/14 6:58pm Andrew Waterloo:

@Eric, but the guy things like a rapist. He felt women were supposed to reward him with sex.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:58pm Robert:

What would they have investigated in his apt.?!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/27/14 6:58pm dale:

what does car hp or tank size have to do with how many people you plan on shooting? wow.
  Tue. 5/27/14 6:59pm mto:

Charles Whitman had a brain tumour, only discovered post-mortem of course. Mental health screening is unlikely to have any significant impact.

We all go through difficult times in life. If there are more weapons around then there are more deaths. No hyperbole no facetious analogy. More weapons more death.
  Tue. 5/27/14 7:01pm mto:

All you can do in the absence of leadership really is duck!
Avatar    Tue. 5/27/14 7:02pm slugluv1313:

similar to the current controversy over "trigger warnings" -- do i want trigger warnings? absolutely not, b/c that veers too close to censorship, IMHO -- and besides, ANYTHING can be a "trigger"
but here, too, many do not want to talk about it, and it is suggested that victim/survivors possess a "fragility of the mind" -- NOT TRUE! what i think is really at root here is that "I don't want to hear it attitude;" that SO MANY just cannot handle the REALITY that, for example, any number of people in their classroom could be survivors of horrible violence, abuse, etc.
  Tue. 5/27/14 7:02pm Eric:

yes Andrew I can see that, but I also feel like there is some over generalization going on
  Tue. 5/27/14 7:03pm Reasonable Gun Owner Liberal:

Dale -

Avatar ♥ @6:38 dale:

reasonable - knock yourself out. have a weapon for protection. but do you need hundreds or thousands of rounds and military assault rifles to protect yourself from a robber?
  Tue. 5/27/14 7:24pm marmalade kitty:

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