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May 2014

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Ann Hornaday Blames ‘Neighbors’ For Santa Barbara Killing

Written by , Posted in General

The media has long been criticized for glorifying criminals. Remember the infamous Rolling Stone cover of the Boston bomber? One could argue that the media is merely serving the public’s wishes, and since the public is obsessed with the mind of a killer (see Silence of the Lambs), it only makes sense to endlessly explore his or her family, private life, and “motive.” But when does that exploration begin to glorify the criminal? It’s difficult to articulate an exact moment, but I know it when I see it, and that moment has come.

A 22 year old named Elliot Rodger has killed six people in Santa Barbara before taking his own life, and he wrote a 137 page manifesto, entitled, ‘Day of Retribution.’ In it, he discussed his vengeance on women, his lack of friendships, and his anger toward the mistreatment he’s received by his peers. I’d elaborate, but it’s irrelevant. What’s important is how we move forward, and so far — that’s not going well.

Most recently, a writer for the Washington Post named Ann Hornaday attempted to explain this killer’s rage by referencing Seth Rogen’s move, ‘Neighbors,’ as an example of how Hollywood creates unrealistic expectations of what a man’s life should look like (see hot chick, lots of friends, partying, etc.). Seth Rogen is predictably pissed, saying, “How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.” But Hornaday isn’t alone. Actress Mara Wilson said, “Please, teach your sons women are people, with lives and personalities and interests. They are not objects, they are individuals, and NO ONE is entitled to another human being’s body or time.” Connie Britton furthered with, “Because I’m raising a son. Respect, admiration, and appreciation instead of anger, contempt, and entitlement.”

The issue with these explanations is it attempts to justify the killer’s motives, instead of finding a real-life solution to the problem. The problem isn’t that this kid got rejected, it’s that he was mentally ill and he had access to a gun. And instead of discussing gun control and mental illness, we’re talking about the manifesto of a mad man, and the movie ‘Neighbors.’ The only person who is actually discussing the issue at hand is Richard Martinez, who tragically lost his son, Chris Martinez, in the shooting. Take a moment to watch his video below.