…and the beat goes on for violence:
A Pennsylvania man who walked into a gym aerobics class and opened fire, killing three women and wounding nine before turning the gun on himself, “had a lot of hatred in him,” police said Wednesday.
George Sodini, 48, brought four handguns into the LA Fitness gym outside Pittsburgh and used three of them, firing at least 36 times around 8 p.m. Tuesday, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said.
Sodini, a member of the gym, was found dead in the aerobics room, lying on top of one of his guns about seven feet from one of the victims.
Authorities believe Sodini targeted the aerobics class, because a schedule was found in his home with that class circled, Moffatt said.
But police do not believe he targeted anyone personally. An online diary, as well as notes at the scene and at his home, have led them to believe he was targeting women in general. In the note found at the scene in Sodini’s gym bag, he complains he had never spent a weekend with a woman, never vacationed with a woman and never lived with a woman, and that he had had limited sexual experiences, Moffatt said.
He makes similar complaints in his online blog, which also documents his growing rage at women for rejecting him and at the world he felt had abandoned him.
Witnesses told police the gunman was dressed in black when he entered the class, shut off the lights, walked about 10 feet and opened fire.
I’m not going to even bother talking about issues of gun control, gun availability, and the proliferation of violence with firearms. No number of senseless deaths will be able to assuage the gun ownership fetish some folks seem to have. Instead, stories like this (and the countless other instances of pointless killings) leave me to wonder how certain people can get pushed so far to the edge that they can engage in doing something as horrific as killing; much less killing people with whom you have absolutely NO ties.
Throughout my life I have not been able to sustain a romantic relationship for more than two years at a time; each of those experiences ending a negative note. Whether I unable to (or perhaps, unwilling to) relinquish other priorities (i.e. school or work) for the sake of a relationship, I was burned for some other man (thankfully, I haven’t been dumped for another woman yet), or I simply did not meet the woman’s expectations, I have had my fair share of unsavory experiences with the fairer sex. And I’d be lying if I said the breakups didn’t hurt to some extent…if for no other reason but because they supported the idea that I simply have an inability to successfully maintain a relationship. But at worse, my experiences have only contributed an aversion to relationships and a certain level of cautiousness I now practice when dating people. My experiences have NEVER motivate killing. So what could drive a man to the point of murdering people is beyond me.
It should be pointed out that police reports are at least indicating that this loon carried with him a deep-seated hatred for both women and society. That certainly makes for a deadly cocktail as far as psychological disorders go. But I’m left to wonder if there were any clearly marked signposts revealing this dude’s insanity. He had a blog where he recorded his malevolent intentions, but as far as I can tell, that was about the extent to which information about his issues were disseminated. But for the poor victims not privy to his blog, what could they have done to prevent their slaying? Indeed, what can any of us do to preclude the possiblility of becoming victims of nuts like this? While it’s true that “a bullet doesn’t have a name on it,” that inauspicious warning of anonymous harm doesn’t stop there. Nowadays, crime and violence in general doesn’t have a name on it. Victims today are increasingly harmless and unsuspecting. In this particular scenario, people involved in a routine visit at a gym wound up beoming casualties of loon who sucked so much with the ladies, his only recourse was to kill a few of ’em.
The purpose of this particular post is not to invoke fear. And as tempting as it is to do, this post is not even intended to criticize the culture of guns. But this story does give us a reminder that when it comes to nuts like this, we should keep one eyed closed in prayer and one eye opened to watch our environments. As much as some people would like to have us think, violence is not just committed by dark-skinned boogeymen in urban areas. No. This kind of thing has the potential to occur anywhere a gun can travel. And trust me: some people may have trouble finding a date but they won’t have any problem at all finding a gun and an opportunity to use it.