The University of Washington Just Avoided a Repeat of the Isla Vista Mass Shooting


The news: A University of Washington student has been arrested by authorities after he allegedly threatened to kill women en masse after being inspired by Isla Vista, Calif., shooter Elliot Rodger. 

Keshav Bhide, 23, was detained after praising Rodger on YouTube and Google Plus and threatening to duplicate the shooting spree that killed seven and wounded 13 in late May.

The FBI is apparently involved, and Bhide is being held on $150,001 bail. In online mesages under the screenname "Foss Dark," Bhide wrote that "everything Elliot did is perfectly justified" and stated "I am the next Elliot Rodger and guess what I'll do the right thing this time."

"I'll make sure I only kill women," he added.

University of Washington sororities had received anonymous threats earlier this month referencing Rodgers' spree. UW's the Daily reports that Delta Gamma received a 3 a.m. call from someone claiming he was "looking for someone to shoot," and that their kitchen door had somehow become unlocked.

Trending which way? According to the Justice Department, America has actually made a lot of progress and violence against women has fallen dramatically over the past decade. But while the larger trend seems to be moving in the right direction, people like Rodger and Bhide are proving that violent misogyny and rabid male entitlement is still alive and well. These women-hating murderers don't have any credible point to make about misandry, no matter how many awful sympathizers they might have in the men's rights and pick-up artist/anti-pickup artist communities. The toxic chauvinism that aids and abets these killings certainly doesn't help. 

A bigger issue: But mass shooters are only the most visible part of the problem. Women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be killed with a firearm than their counterparts in other developed countries. The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%.

Congress is refusing to ensure more gun purchases go through a rigorous background check process, but since 1998 the National Instant Background Check System blocked 250,000 gun sales to domestic abusers. In 2012 alone, some 6.6 million guns were sold without such checks. In short, the kind of people that want to kill women are able to easily get their hands on firearms and do it, and America is the only developed country where gun murders happen with such disproportionate regularity.

Unfortunately, the prospects of more gun control or enhanced gun regulations have hit a dead end. Effective solutions that could reduce the risk of gun violence in general and against women in particular are not really on this Congress' agenda.