Saturday, July 25, 2015

Men (American Ones) and Their Guns: Two Takes on Lafayette Shooting

Hot off the press this morning, two noteworthy observations about the shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Thursday: 

"He was anti-abortion. … Rusty had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything." Or, in other words, the pattern continues. . . . 
I'm a little freaked out to realize that at the very same time I was sitting here yesterday writing a post about the aggrieved entitlement of American men who feel their male privilege being challenged and respond with lethal violence, a gun-toting white man was buying a movie ticket in Louisiana. The next American mass shooting began just a few minutes later.

When news emerged that a middle-aged white man in Lafayette, Louisiana opened fire at a showing of the Amy Schumer vehicle Trainwreck, I immediately had this sinking feeling that the movie choice wasn't a coincidence—that this was, like the Elliot Rodger and George Sodini killings, an act of rage at women. While Trainwreck is a fluffy rom-com, it's also a popular topic of chatter in the feminist-sphere, and therefore likely to be noticed by the seething misogynists who monitor the online activities of feminists with unsettling obsessiveness. 
That fear is now moving from the uneasy-feeling column to the likely-possibility column, with Dave Weigel of the Washington Post reporting that alleged shooter John Russell Houser was a rabid right-winger—he even went to one of those unranked conservative Christian law schools—who had particularly strong anger towards women for their growing independence and rights. Former talk show host Calvin Floyd had Houser on as a frequent guest, knowing that his off-the-wall opinions would generate audience interest: "The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights," Floyd said. "He was opposed to women having a say in anything." Houser also had a history of domestic violence.

(You won't see the first part of the excerpt from Fred Clark when you click on the link. It's from the main page of his site today, as a teaser for the article that follows.) 

The photo of an American gun show event appears at multiple news and blog sites online, with no indicator of its origin. If any reader has that information, I will be happy to post it.

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