By David Futrelle
In the wake of every mass shooting, we hear the inevitable cries from NRA types not to “politicize” the tragedy by pointing out the obvious fact that stricter gun laws would make such tragedies less likely in the future. We watch the trolls and shitlords of the alt-right flood the internet with disinformation and conspiracy theories. These reactions are now as predictable as the reappearance of the sun on the horizon every morning.
The internet’s incels — the bitter fringe-dwellers who consider their “involuntary celibacy” to be a crime against their humanity — have their own predictable responses to such tragedies: they mock the victims as “normies” deserving death — and try as best as they can to adopt the latest mass killer as one of their own.
In the case of last night’s horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas — a massacre that at last count left 59 dead and more than 500 injured — Reddit’s incels did not disappoint on this front. In a number of different threads devoted to the murders, regulars on the Incels subreddit celebrated the death of “normies” and “chads” and even tried to claim that mass killer Stephen Paddock — a man with a girlfriend, and thus decidedly not an incel — was “a depressed and delusional former Chad turned to oldcel.”
For many in the subreddit, the news of the mass shooting was something of an inspiration. In a thread offering faux condolences for the dozens of “normies [who] just got fragged in Las Vegas,” several commenters had similar ideas:
Those calling for basic human decency got an earful from their fellow incels.
In another thread, Reddit’s incels lashed out at the “normies” expressing sympathy for the victims on social media — and at the alleged “degeneracy” of Las Vegas.
The subreddit’s regulars found it much easier to identify with the shooter.
Still, it’s unlikely that Paddock, a 64-year-old retiree who apparently lived with a girlfriend, will be embraced by incels as another Elliot Rodger, the incel mass murderer celebrated as a “saint” and “supreme gentleman” by this despicable crowd. But that didn’t stop some from trying to posthumously recruit Paddock to inceldom, none more ingeniously than this fellow.
It’s a bit of a reach, given that pretty much the only things we seem to know for sure about Paddock is that he was neither a former Chad nor an incel. I guess the Incels subreddit regulars are a little hard up for, er, “heroes” these days.