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Scraping off UCSB’s number 1 party school veneer yet again

My alma mater is in the news again. A few months ago is was a drunken fraternity “Deltopia” orgy of setting fires, overturning cars, and 100 arrests. This time, May 23, it’s mass murder.

Elliot Rodger chose Isla Vista, the “student ghetto” west of the University of California Santa Barbara campus, as a target for his knife and vengeful bullets, a deadly rant at his left-outedness from the Golden State female spectrum.

I graduated from UCSB in December 1970, when issues were different but maybe not really. Plenty of my male student neighbors were disappearing to Vietnam jungles, some to Canada, and some, like my boyfriend, to Sweden.

Forty-four years later, on May 23, a young person–severely depressed, suicidal, and convinced he was the only lonely young man in Isla Vista–somehow procured a gun and, with that and the knife, ended seven lives.

I happened to be in a B&B breakfast room in Oxford, England, when this news was shown on television. Though Mr. Rodger was born in England, the focus in the breakfast room was on America and its gun culture. One woman said, “I thought Santa Barbara was one of the safer cities in America.” I said, “With easy access to guns, I guess no city is that safe.” There was a communal sad nod of vacationers’ heads over the corn flakes.

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