Elliot Rodger’s Asperger’s syndrome and depression are already being mentioned in reports about the Santa Barbara shooting. But like Adam Lanza, will this type of autism become a scapegoat in the media?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, even though police have not officially identified the shooter, Hunger Games second unit director Peter Rodger says his son is responsible and has released a statement from the family.
The family lawyer also spoke about the mental illness of Elliot:
“My client’s mission in life will be to try to prevent any such tragedies from ever happening again. This country, this world, needs to address mental illness and the ramifications from not recognizing these illnesses.”
When police interviewed Elliot it was said that officers found him to be a “perfectly polite, kind, and wonderfully human.” But they did note that he had trouble making friends and did not have any girlfriends, which seems to be the primary motive based upon the shooter’s own words.
Given that Elliot Rodger’s Asperger’s syndrome is already being mentioned in the press, it’s inevitable that comparison to Adam Lanza and the Sandy Hook elementary shooting will be made. But the autistic community denies the connection between Asperger’s syndrome and mass shootings. In fact, an article published recently in March on Age Of Autism claims that Adam Lanza was misdiagnosed.
Shortly after the Newtown shooting took place, The Inquisitr noted how Lanza’s supposed Asperger’s syndrome was taking the blame in the media. At the time a man who also suffered from Asperger’s related what he thought about the issue:
“If you meet somebody with Asperger’s, you’ve only met one person with Asperger’s. … Asperger’s is a blip on the far-reaching autism spectrum and no two cases are the same. Just as no ‘typical’ person deserves to be tar-brushed with the evil acts of another, Aspies don’t deserve the bad press they’re getting.”
Psychologist Elizabeth Laugeson, an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, believes that Asperger’s syndrome specifically should not be linked to murder:
“There really is no clear association between Asperger’s and violent behavior.”
So if we are to learn anything from the case of Adam Lanza, then it seems that Elliot Rodger’s Asperger’s syndrome cannot be blamed for his actions.