The Ruger Mini-14, for the initiated is a semi automatic rifle that compares favorably, if that word applies in this context, to the AR-15. In short, it’s used to kill people.
No, this is not another screed about guns. Not just guns anyway.
On December 6, 1989, a young man named Marc Lépine, brandishing that type of rifle, burst into a college classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada, ordered the men from the room, screamed complaints about feminism, then systematically killed the women present. Six died instantly. Lépine then continued to move through the corridors, his Ruger leaving behind proof of its deadly power. By the time he turned the gun on himself, the death toll had reached fourteen, all of the victims female. Ten more were injured. Four men were hurt accidentally in the crossfire.
Lépine was characterized as a madman—even a victim of a “merciless society.” Yes, a victim. His suicide note told a different story:
“The lack of time (because I started too late) has allowed these radical feminists to survive.”
In fairness to law enforcement, a fear that copycat killers would arise kept the whole truth secret. Still, Canadians have never forgotten the massacre: in that country December 6 is a Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
But the horror of Lépine’s act surfaced again this past week when another hate-filled and deranged misogynist turned his rented van into a murder weapon, systematically mowing down pedestrians on a Toronto, Canada, street. Eight of the ten victims were women.
Sicker still, if such a comparison is even possible, is the revelation that a group exists whose raison d’être is punishing women—all women—whom they deem responsible for denying them sex. Incel—the involuntarily celibate—carry out such attacks to support their bleak perverted worldview: that women need to be taught a lesson by being tricked, spurned, humiliated, and if necessary, killed. Their fantasies are filled with events like those in Toronto and Montreal in which women fear them and, of course, notice them. Before his murderous assault, the van driver, Alek Minassian, posted a call for an incel rebellion on Facebook. With ten counts of murder facing him, he’ll be leading that rebellion from prison.
Of note: one of Minassian’s heroes is Elliot Rodger, the Isla Vista killer who, before murdering six people in 2014, uploaded a video to YouTube about his “retribution” against attractive women who wouldn’t sleep with him . Rodgers has been referred to as the first alt-right terrorist. It’s excessively sanguine to believe he’ll be the last, not when Elliot Rodgers t-shirts are available and the day of his own massacre is revered as a holiday by the incels.
With an American president whose own thinly veiled misogyny is well known, and whose alt-right support stems from his further disdain for custom and propriety, we can no longer expect America as a nation to lead the way against hate groups like incel. That responsibility lies with right-thinking individuals from both parties, all age groups, all races, and all genders…and to a greater degree, with families. Recent commentary about the parenting of American boys—of providing them with moral guidelines and clear behavioral examples—should be taken to heart. Groups like incel and weapons like the the Ruger Mini-14 lie waiting for the young men who slip through the cracks.