What The Tragedy In Toronto Was — And Wasn’t

Alice Salles Comments

The horrific Toronto incident involving a van that resulted in 10 deaths is not about terrorism, police say.  It seems that the murderer had no involvement with any terrorist organization.

But according to BBC, the majority of the victims were women.  Perhaps this was intentional.

Suspect Alek Minassian, 25, reportedly mentioned Elliott Rodger, the 22-year-old California student who killed six people in a shooting in 2014 before shooting himself to death in a Facebook post moments before Monday’s incident.


Just moments before driving the van into scores of pedestrians in Toronto’s bustling North York area, he reportedly wrote:

“The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

As BBC explains, “incel” (involuntary celibate) is an old Reddit group where young men would often complain about their lack of involvement with women. In the group, which has been banned, men like Rodger would also blame women for their problems.

Minassian, these reports seem to indicate, appears to have decided to exact revenge against women by going on a killing spree, much like Rodger. But instead of using a weapon like a gun or a knife, he used a vehicle.  While the incident is still too recent and heartbreaking, we must understand without a vehicle, he would likely have used some other means to execute his violence.  Clearly, Canada’s strict gun laws couldn’t stop him from killing a large number of people in a short amount of time.

And neither would tougher knife laws.

Many might soon be blaming sexism, mental health problems, men, and yes, (why not?) even carmakers for this latest incident. But until we know more about the motivation behind this crime, it’s difficult to say that we know exactly what kind of action Canadians should take as a “society” to prevent the carnage. Still, after every major tragedy involving an individual with his or her mind set on causing harm, groups rise and say they have the ultimate solution to the matter at hand.

If the latest tragedy should teach us anything, let it be that, the real answer is: Nobody has a clear solution, and the answer to preventing mass murder events is not at all obvious. Especially if the answer to all questions related to violence involves hurting individuals who never hurt anybody first.

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