Last night, 48-year-old George Sodini entered an LA Fitness all-women group workout in Pennsylvania and opened fire before killing himself. He murdered three women and injured nine others.
Globe details can be found here.
Two things about this case infuriate me. Well, the whole thing infuriates me. You know what I mean.
Firstly, Sodini planned this attack. He planned it on a website for nine months. This isn't the first time that a major act of violence had been planned on a public website (Liam Youens, the murderer of Amy Boyer, also had a website).
I'm not going to scream and shout that every last one of us should have known about Sodini's site or his plans. I didn't know about it. But I think someone must have. And I wish that someone had alerted authorities.
Secondly, what on earth was the motivation behind the attacks? Easy.
Sodini was sick of being rejected by women.
And so, because he was tired of rejection, he went and shot up an all-female gym class.
I'm not a psychologist, nor am I a profiler. But I'm guessing that Sodini was furious at women for not paying enough attention to him/dating him/loving him/sleeping with him/treating him the way he thinks men should be treated. And so he had to do something about it.
But instead of examining his own attitudes and behaviors ("I wonder if there's something I'm doing, without really thinking about it, that impacts my interactions with women," or "Hm, I haven't been on a date in a while. Maybe I'll see if there are any good dating sites I could try"), he placed blame. He didn't just put blame on the individual women who had rejected him (I have a feeling he did place blame on them, just not just them); he placed blame on all women. It's the fault of women that Sodini was lonely. It's the fault of women that Sodini hadn't been on a date in a while, or had sex in even longer.
I don't believe that it would be remotely just to blame a person for not being interested in another person romantically or sexually. Sodini's blaming habits alone are inappropriate enough. But the problem here isn't just that he blames, but that he blames generally and indiscriminately. If you can blame all women because some women rejected you, and you blame all women for not having relationships/sex/dates ... then I think you don't treat women like people.
In fact, you might even think it's okay to murder some of them as punishment for humiliating you.
I consider this crime to be a hate crime and an act of terrorism.