Of Course The Guy Who Shot Up A Yoga Studio Was An Incel With A History Of Assaulting Women.
Another week, another mass shooting. Last night, 40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle walked into a Tallahassee hot yoga studio and opened fire, killed two women, injured five others, and then killed himself.
What we know so far about Beierle is that he is a former veteran, that he graduated from Florida State University with a Master's in Public Administration and Planning, and that he belonged to two groups on Facebook -- FSU College Republicans and We Are Conservatives. Authorities have said that they believe the shooting could be related to a domestic incident, and the two victims, Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21, each had ties to FSU (Vessem as a faculty member and Binkley as a student), though no connection between the shooter and the victims has been established beyond that.
While police have not yet found an explicit motive for the shooting, Beierle has since been found to have had a history of arrests related to groping women.
The 2012 incident happened in a dining hall on Florida State's campus. Court records show a woman accused him of grabbing her while she was at a soda fountain and a second woman said he'd done the same to her three times in the past month. Court records show those charges were later dropped.
The 2016 incident happened at the University Trails apartments where Beierle lives. Court records show he asked a woman sunbathing by the pool if he could rub sunscreen on her buttocks. When she said no, court documents say he grabbed her buttocks and left. Beierle signed a deferred prosecution agreement in that case and charges were ultimately dropped six months later.
We know what this means. We know that this was a man who felt entitled to women's bodies. We know that men who behave this way often react with violence to being rejected. We know it because we've seen it too many times before.
Beierle's rampage is eerily reminiscent of the 2009 mass shooting in Collier Township, Pennsylvania, in which George Sodini shot and killed three women he didn't know and then killed himself, because he was angry about women not wanting to have sex with him. It's also eerily reminiscent of practically every other mass shooting in the last ten years -- because over and over and over again, these men keep turning out to have a history of either violence towards women or documented extreme misogyny. These men keep turning out to be angry about being rejected by women they feel entitled to.
As is practically tradition at this point, members of incel message boards are already cheering him on.
"Dead woman make me happy. That 21 year old was particularly attractive, had a real good life ahead of her. The fact that she's dead makes it all the more sweet."incels.is
While, again, we don't know this shooter's specific motivations, yoga studios are a frequent target of rage on misogynistic incel message boards.
High iq of him, yoga studios are ragefuel. Hopefully they get banned or foids (*femoids) get scared to keep going.incels.is
In addition to his history of assaulting women, Beierle also had an online trail of extreme misogyny and racism, Buzzfeed reports:
On a YouTube channel in 2014, Beierle filmed several videos of himself offering extremely racist and misogynistic opinions in which he called women "sluts" and "whores," and lamented "the collective treachery" of girls he went to high school with.
"There are whores in — not only every city, not only every town, but every village," he said, referring to women in interracial relationships, who he said had betrayed "their blood."
As well as a professed admiration and understanding for Elliot Rodger.
In one video called "Plight of the Adolescent Male," he named Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and injured 14 and is often seen as a hero for so-called "incels," or those who consider themselves "involuntarily celibate."
"I'd like to send a message now to the adolescent males... that are in the position, the situation, the disposition of Elliot Rodger, of not getting any, no love, no nothing. This endless wasteland that breeds this longing and this frustration. That was me, certainly, as an adolescent," he said.
Every. Fucking. Time.
Let me repeat.
Every. Fucking. Time.
There are a lot of reasons why "this keeps happening." It keeps happening because our gun laws are stupid and ineffective, and it keeps happening because white men are angry at their loss of status in the world and are simultaneously being fed messages that assure them that this rage is justified and righteous. It keeps happening because too many men worship a man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy and getting away with it. It keeps happening because we still don't take violence against women seriously enough. It keeps happening because police just blow off things like a repeated history of groping women who don't want to be groped. It keeps happening because we don't take online radicalization seriously enough. It keeps happening because we don't teach men to deal with rejection in a healthy way.
It keeps happening, but it doesn't have to.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse