Categories
Uncategorized

Umpqua Community College shooter apparently announced his plans on 4chan yesterday

Police inspecting bags of students at Umpqua Community College after the shooting today
Police inspecting bags of students at Umpqua Community College after the shooting today

UPDATE: The shooter has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer. Rumors spread earlier in the day that the shooter was a a regular 4channer and active Youtuber known as “the eggman.” Obviously they were wrong.

This is beyond fucked up. In this archived thread from 4chan’s /r9k/ board, the apparent shooter at Umpqua Community College told fellow channers yesterday of his plans to shoot up a school today. He didn’t specify which school, mentioning only that it was in the “northwest.” /r9k/ is a board heavily populated by so-called “incels,” and the media is reporting that the apparent shooter regularly posted bitter complaints about his lack of success with women,

UPDATE 2: There is a lot of confusing and contradictory information out there, and the IDing of the killer has actually raised more questions than it’s resolved. An apparent Myspace page for Harper-Mercer suggests that he was obsessed both with guns and with the IRA.

There have also been reports that he was targeting Christians. According to the New York Post, a “woman who claimed to have a grandmother inside a writing class in Snyder Hall, where a portion the massacre unfolded” reported that

“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian,” she wrote. “If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs.

So was he — as an apparent supporter of the IRA — targeting Protestants? The Daiy Beast, for its part, says the shooter “hated religion.” Chuck C. Johnson of GotNews says he’s “confirmed” that the shooter was a Muslim.

Is the Myspace page really his? Is the report from the alleged granddaughter bullshit? Was the 4chan posting yesterday actually from him, or a comment from a troll that just happened to have been posted the day before a school shooting in the northwest?

I don’t know. But I still recommend that you read the rest of this post, if only to see the comments from the other 4channers.

Screenshots below:

Here’s his first comment warning fellow channers not to go to school today if they live in the northwest.

umpwarning

He then said he’d post again shortly before he started to shoot. (I don’t know if he did.)

ump10min

Because 4chan is a fucking cesspool, other channers offered him advice:

umpadvice

Another anon suggested that indiscriminate killing wasn’t the solution, seeming to imply that more targeted killing was?

umprandom

Others put forth their ideas of what sorts of people might be considered appropriate targets:

umpad2

umptarg

More encouragement. Note the reference to Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara “incel” killer.

umpenc

umenc2

umpenc3

umpenc4

umpenc5

umpenc6

A few others urged the OP to NOT carry out his plans.

umpdnt

umpwhite

After reports of the shooting hit the news, anons reacted with amazement:

umpafter

Amazement and enthusiasm:

umpafter2

In case you’re wondering, “kek” is the equivalent of “lol.”

More excitement:

4chanagain

4cchan2

4chaf

There’s much more of this in the thread.

Naturally, someone claims that the shooting could have been averted if only the shooter could have found a girlfriend.

vict

Yes that’s right: he thinks the shooter was himself a victim, presumably of the entire female gender.

There’s a lot more in the thread but honestly I can’t stomach it right now.

Note: This post has been updated numerous times.

266 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ellesar
Ellesar
6 years ago

Forget the 26-year-old zero who murdered 10 innocents at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning.

The one to remember is 30-year-old Chris Mintz, the student and Army vet who was shot at least five times while charging straight at the gunman in an effort to save others.

Alpine, RN
Alpine, RN
6 years ago

if it makes you feel any better, the only reason i’m still awake is the adrenaline from literally saving someone from death with sheer force of will, and the teamwork of my team (gay and straight, male, female and other)…literally. we BEAT DEATH LAST NIGHT

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
6 years ago

Here’s the article I went from, the quote about the rise of psychological explanations is in the footnote on page 452:

http://logicalliving.blog.com/files/2011/04/Suicide-Ten.pdf

I’d take the reports that the shooter specifically targeted Christians with a grain of salt: the attribution was vague and similar martyrdom language surrounded Columbine but that turned out to be a hoax. Evangelical culture has a bit of a persecution complex in that regard.

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
6 years ago

Eh, the link in my previous post should have gone with a content warning for mass murder, suicide and other nastiness.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@Alpine, RN
Nurses are my heroes.

Congratulations on your win!

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I’m watching TV news and as of now it appears NBC and CNN are backing off the story of him targeting Christians.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Okay. Now MSNBC is talking about it. It seems like there are reports of that but the police haven’t officially stated the motive yet.

David
David
6 years ago

Possible trigger warnings (though 100% not intended!!!) in describing 4chan and my response to it as having been a reader and poster on that forum a number of years ago. I should note for the record, *never* have I *ever* encouraged anyone to kill him/herself or to kill another person, and I have been, throughout the entirety of my life, a pacifist believing that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Orion, you’re on the right track with 4chan but not spot-on, which is no doubt because you haven’t used it (nor should you, in my opinion, or any other person ever use it). I *have* been a reader and sometime-poster on 4chan in the past (probably most of us have done/said stupid crap they regret in their young and reckless days).

I no longer have any association with 4chan because I view the whole site (and similar sites like 8chan, somethingawful.com, etc.) as digital shelters for torture porn, misogyny, and various other extreme forms of sociopathic and misanthropic behavior. And I’m using the term “sociopathic” not as a slur but in its true meaning: these are people who have serious social pathologies, most of whom would likely benefit from mental health counseling but most of whom are narcissistic enough that they will likely never seek out said help, which is a shame because we would all be better off and likely half the MRAs out there would cease their butthurt ranting.

What 4chan has made an ‘art’ of is the use of extreme, violent snark and sarcasm as a form of joke. For example, someone might post “Hey anonymous, my girlfriend broke up with me. What should I do?” and some other anonymous posters will invariably say things like “Kill that b****” or “Make death threats to her family”, that sort of thing. Having been on 4chan myself and having known some people who used 4chan, I don’t think *most* of the people who respond that way are serious about it. I understand that DOES NOT make it right to respond that way; I would never argue that. I simply mean to point out that it isn’t so much that it’s a pack of homicidal goons as it is a lot of teenage to twenty-something kids/young adults who take nothing seriously, don’t really have much in the way of values or ethical role models, and who are parroting formulaic tropes called memes.

Those memes start out as absurdist responses to the mundane such as, “Got a bad grade. What should I do?” with the response “KILL YOURSELF.” As warped as that may seem, it is perceived as humorous to some folks because it is such a non sequitur: a bad grade is hardly worth suicide. That catches on as a “funny” meme and people start applying to to more situations and scenarios until it becomes sort of a go-to catch phrase. Again, I recognize that is pathological and I’m not saying it’s good or even neutral behavior: it is actively bad behavior. My point is simply that I don’t think most of the folks doing this are thinking, “Man, I sure hope that kid actually *does*, in fact, kill himself over a grade.” I think the idea is more like “Boo hoo, a bad grade, get over it” which takes the form of the extremely sarcastic (and mean) “Kill yourself.”

NOW, the problem arises when you have individuals who are actually unbalanced. And I’m speaking from a place here: my own little brother has some mental health issues that lead to paranoia and delusions of conspiracies all around him. So please, I’m not trying to demonize people with mental health disorders *at all*. Indeed, my wife is a social worker who specializes in mental health counseling and we both recognize the importance of and critical need for proper counseling and rehabilitation for people who have had psychotic breaks and various other mental health disorders. I am simply saying here that when someone who does have such an imbalance and who is not being treated for it comes across a website full of people about their same age who have similar interests and they see that those people are all suggesting that going on a killing spree or killing yourself (or both) are acceptable, I think that causes a distortion in their thinking.

And indeed, I believe studies on things like watching pornography and the like have confirmed repeatedly that even so-called “healthy, normal people” (I still haven’t met one, really) watching that kind of stuff experience a shift in their worldview, be it ever so subtle. So it isn’t really much of a stretch to suggest that if a person is steeped in the toxic culture of 4chan, it is going to push them along the spectrum from docility to aggressiveness in a lot of bad ways.

But those who are calling for 4chan to be shut down need to recognize something important: at least 4chan is easily accessible to law enforcement and the like. There is something far more pernicious called the “Deep Web” which is a conlgommeration of sites that are not indexed by standard web crawlers like Googe, Yahoo!, etc. and as such, you can’t “find them” on a standard browser search. You need something like The Onion Router (TOR) to get at them. There are far, *far* worse things in the Deep Web than passive agressive trolls who get their jollies from murderous rampages. It is unlikely that something like the Deep Web could ever be shut down because of the infrastructure of how the Internet works. But at least if a website *is* indexed like 4chan, agencies like the FBI and the police can (and do) monitor it pretty easily. I would rather those sites stay above ground rather than go below ground, because once below ground they get harder to keep track of. Would you rather a school shooting be reported on an indexable forum or in an underground channel where it is unlikely to be noticed in time? I’d rather the former than the latter.

But of course, what I’d *really* rather have is for people to stop trying to solve their anxieties, their social ills, their perceived slights, and even their real slights through violence and suicide. We need to work on creating a culture where it is acceptable to have civilized discourse with one another. I think that begins with tearing down walls of fear between people groups (the cis/trans wall, the black/white wall, the gay/straight wall, the Christian/atheist wall, the American/Muslim wall, male/female, etc.). To that end, as a cis, white, male, Christian American I do my utmost always to have my ear open and my shoulder available to anyone who needs to be listened to and to bring comfort and rest to anyone I can. I don’t necessarily *agree* with every point of view, but I will listen to it, I will be willing to enter into conversation with the real possibility of my worldview changing, and I will seek to be a blessing, not a bludgeoning. I think this is probably the best way forward since it seeks the good of other people over the warm fuzzy of pronouncing oneself to be always right and never wrong.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
6 years ago

@epitome of incomprehensibility:

I’ve been really busy with work and I haven’t posted here in a while (a small bit of good news, for what it’s worth – I did get the job I mentioned in the personal-thread post a few weeks ago) and I was wondering if anyone mentioned the Canadian murders on Sept. 23.

I emailed that to David earlier after hearing about it on Metro Morning, but I didn’t see anybody mention it on site.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

This fills me with deep, deep sadness. We’re like the pot of petunias from Hitchhiker’s Guide. Every time this happens, we think “Oh no, not again” and go plummeting into space. Nothing ever changes. The cycle keeps repeating. Those who have the will to do something about it don’t have the power, and vice versa. I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know why politicians are OK with allowing the second amendment to trump the right of ordinary citizens to live. What has happened to the US?

I wish we were better at teaching empathy, emotional coping skills, and respect for others’ wellbeing to young children. For all that the manosphere and 4chan types sneer at emotions, empathy is what stops you from pulling the trigger on other human beings. Logic alone can’t prevent a mass shooting. In the hands of toxic masculinity, logic gets misused in ways that make this kind of thing more likely to happen.

I also wish the media would stop publishing the names and back stories of mass murderers, Mass killing sprees should not be an easy route to fame for angry disenfranchised men with guns. Shooters should be identified briefly only by age and gender. Let law enforcement comb through their social media accounts. Don’t splash their facebook pages and twitter feeds all over the nightly news. Don’t give a platform to their hatred. Don’t inspire the next malignantly narcissistic copycat.

Or, if they must delve into the “why” and “how”, then stop treating these incidents like isolated events and chalking it up to mental illness. Talk about what’s feeding the hatred. Shine a spotlight on the links between misogyny, racism, violence, guns, toxic masculinity, and American culture. Let’s have those uncomfortable conversations that everyone tiptoes around every time something like this happens. That’s our only hope of ever getting at the root cause of these shootings, if we’re not to continue materializing as a surprised bowl of petunias in the sky every few weeks.

I go on r9k a little bit when bored but sorta surprised someone actually did something like this cause most people are being ironic.

Um….I don’t see how you can “ironically” be a terrible human being. If a person is encouraging someone to shoot other human beings, even “ironically”, then that person is a terrible human being. If a person gets their lulz from hanging out with sadistic edgelords fantasizing about (and celebrating) hurting other people IRL, then that person is a terrible human being. Keeping their fingers crossed behind their back doesn’t change the fact that their words helped strengthen a murderer’s resolve and helped make these deaths a reality.

“Can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.”

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
6 years ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants
This is where the party ends.
I’ll just sit here wondering how you
can stand by your racist friend.

Robjec
Robjec
6 years ago

OK responding to a few things that were said a few times.

Law enforcement is unlikely to leave them alive most likely due to the fact that they are armed and have shown they are willing to kill, which means that not stopping them immediately could led to more deaths, either the officers or more bystanders. Combine this with the fact that shooting to disarm is incredibly hard in a good situation and you are making a life and death dission and you can’t really blame them for killing the mass murderer.

As to the planed parenthood being terrorist, they are in the common since or the word, but the legal aspects of terrorism mean you get to disregard someone’s rights. So law enforcement avoids it back use of the potential to abuse the term. While news and normal people can use the term to mean someone who causes terror, from a legal point a view it would be very hard to use against anyone who is a citizen. It might mess with the innocent until proven guilty part of out law.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

I agree with the above sentiments that the name that should be remembered is Chris Mintz.

I really hope he pulls through and recovers fully. It was his son’s sixth birthday that day, no one should lose their dad on their birthday.

Christopher Poole
Christopher Poole
6 years ago

So depressinf to see these people egging him on…
I wonder if getting caught was part of his plan.
My prayers go to family of the victims. If you’re reading this: For you.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

@Jenora Feuer

Thank you for the They Might Be Giants reference, I haven’t thought about them in years 🙂

Zack
6 years ago

owh… lol…

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

I live in Texas and right now, there’s serious talk about passing open-carry laws (a few folks are betting it gets delayed because of all this). Personally, I’ve never understood the mindset of “everyone would be a lot safer if they were armed.” It just seems obviously backwards and contradictory. I have no specific issue with guns but I fear and respect them, whereas most people (in my experience), particularly those who already have them, treat guns like toys. Something they’re entitled to.

While I agree that yes, having more options with which to defend yourself is important, I find guns to be so volatile and dangerous that most people probably aren’t qualified or can’t be trusted to properly operate one. People like to bring up statistics in which places with a lack of guns result in more gun violence than not, but I’ve seen statistics that just as easily prove the opposite, in that places that have strict laws against guns tend to have little to no gun violence. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know.

My point is, no one seems to consider the possibility that giving everyone such a weapon has a very high potential to result in more shootings, both accidental and otherwise. I’d wager it comes from a kind of Monday morning quarterback mentality. After events such as these, people call for more guns or fight harder against “gun control” because they like to think they would be able to calmly eliminate a threat, without incident or collateral damage. History suggests that most people would panic and make the situation worse. I mean, we seem to currently be living in a state of perpetual fear because some of our Police (people who are supposed to have had extensive, proper training with firearms and high stress situations) are ever shooting people at an alarming rate, most of whom weren’t even armed. I often wonder if things would have gone a lot smoother if those particular officers didn’t have access to a gun in those moments.

And that’s all I’m really doing here. Wondering. Thinking out loud. It’s how I process the illogical. I examine things from a logical point of view. I apologize if there are potentially any gun enthusiasts reading this, who might get the wrong idea. I’m not trying to attack this from a reactionary, “BAN ALL THE GUNS” position, I just wish there were better, safer instruments we could implement to protect ourselves and others from those who choose to use those same instruments against us.

I, of course have no answers, only questions.

Ellesar
Ellesar
6 years ago

David – I appreciate your comment about 4chan, for providing some insight into that sick sad world, but I HAVE to point out that ‘kill the b*tch’ comments for a dumped boy/ man, are NOT AT ALL the same as ‘kill yourself’ aimed at someone failing academically.

Reason being that one of the most common reasons a woman is murdered IS a man who has been recently dumped by her. Leaving a violent man is the most dangerous time for a woman, and even men who have not previously been violent (abusive in non physical ways) may kill a partner when she leaves (or threatens to).

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
6 years ago

It’s sad how the discussion looks set to go down the gun control spiral again. Don’t get me wrong, I love gun control (ownership registration, gun permits, mandatory background checks, bans on several types), but as people here know there’s more wrong with American gun culture than the sheer amount of guns.

So my question is, how many people here would mind to make calls for gun control secondary to what Katz described here, making a conversation break through?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-katz/men-gender-gun-violence_b_2308522.html

Ellesar
Ellesar
6 years ago

ignorantianescia –

There is certainly a cultural issue, but are the people of the US prepared to look at that culture, and its media, in order to find out why the US, out of all Western countries, has such a terrible problem with spree and mass killings, and particularly of and by its young people?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

There’s plenty of misogyny, racism, and entitled rage in other countries. There are plenty of mentally ill people in other countries. Yet the US is the only one who routinely has mass shootings. I should think it makes sense to look at the sheer number and easy accessibility of guns as a damn big factor.

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

I never understood the “to stop a bad guy with a gun you need good guys with guns!” argument. I mean, you could maybe argue it in the case of law enforcement, but for civilians?

Okay, so you hear gunshots and turn around to see some evil gunman shooting people. Being a good, armed citizen, you pull out your own gun and put him down… And then are shot by another good, armed citizen who just watched you, a strange gunman, murder someone. In a crisis, identifying who the bad guy with the gun is 100 times more difficult if there are also so called “good guys” firing indiscriminately at potential “bad guys”. Not the mention the vastly increased chance of collateral damage even if everyone does somehow know who to shoot at.

🙁 The gun problem in the US is terrifying. My heart goes out to the victims and their families in this tragedy.

%d bloggers like this: