Friday, May 30, 2014

Venn in Doubt

While discussing the recent shooting and stabbing and vehicular assault spree in Santa Barbara, MSNBC host Chris Hayes opined that there was an underlying cultural aspect to the incident, including what he called the “open-carry movement.”

“It seems to me, also, that when we’re looking at this horrible thing that happened this weekend and the influences, there is this kind of awful Venn diagram of two subcultures of American life that, in their ugliest form, can be very ugly indeed,” Hayes said. “That is, this kind of gun culture — the ugliest parts of gun culture, and I want to be specific here, the ugliest parts of gun culture — and the ugliest parts of this kind of online misogyny.”

A more worrisome and ugly culture is one that apparently sees Elliot Rodger as someone tied with the open-carry movement, or a similar alliance.  Still, there is at least one group indulged by many in the mainstream media and entertainment industries that correlates the acts of Jeffrey Dahmer with a culture that celebrates national holidays with barbecues.
I’m not sure exactly what Hayes’ point is. Is he saying that this was the act of an individual who murdered primarily because he had access to guns and was inspired by some nebulous online “misogynist club” — and if not affected by such a confluence would never, at some point, have decided to kill even more people by bombing a frat house or becoming a serial strangler?

I believe this diagram illustrates, in the relative sizes of overlapping areas, a more accurate picture of the intersecting populations in Hayes’ hypothesis:


  1. You may be right, but honestly I think you need to indicate that there's a logarithmic scale involved here, because if this truly indicates "relative sizes", then you're being FAR too generous to MSNBC in terms of viewership compared to either Gun Owners of Misogynists.

    1. Yes, it's hard to depict, at this scale, an accurate representation of those in the psychotic lemming contingent. Unfortunately, they manage to elect a much higher than average proportion of their own ilk.