Santa Barbara Attacker Epitomizes the Dark Side of Technology


The tragic scenario is hauntingly familiar. A young man possesses limited social skills, indulges over the course of time in an inordinate amount of video game play, receives periodic professional assistance for issues with which he is dealing, and is at one point prescribed psychiatric medication (whether taken or not is yet unknown). He somehow crashes through the internal guardrails that keep vindictive fantasies from emerging as vicious realities. A horrific killing spree results and multiple lives are left in tatters as the nation attempts to cope with the chilling aftermath.

The disturbing fact pattern has been repeatedly laid bare in Columbine, Colorado, Newtown, Connecticut, and now in Isla Vista, California, near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Seven people, including the attacker, were killed in the recent Isla Vista tragedy, while thirteen other individuals were wounded. The mayhem began with a stabbing attack at an apartment, followed by a series of drive-by shootings and hit and runs. [, a legal think tank and educational institute for the study of law in the media.

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