Tallahassee Shooting Highlights Link Between Misogyny and Gun Violence

Gun violence has become such an everyday occurrence in the United States that it now takes an unusual mass shooting in order to even register on the national radar. So it’s no wonder that the murder of two women at a yoga class in Florida on November 3 barely got a mention in national media — despite the fact that it clearly exemplifies the dangerous effects of growing white male entitlement and rage.

Police say they still are unsure what caused 40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle to pose as a customer at a Tallahassee yoga studio. He ultimately murdered the class instructor and one student and wounded five other people before turning the gun on himself.

Law enforcement has now uncovered an ongoing list of prior incidents in which Beierle touched women without consent or otherwise acted aggressively towards them — most of which were met with few consequences by judges when women complained.

The Associated Press reports:

Numerous disturbing details about him have emerged. He’d once been banned from FSU’s campus and had been arrested twice for grabbing women even though charges were ultimately dropped.

Court records indicate prosecutors agreed to dismiss the battery charge after Beierle completed a six-month diversion agreement requiring him to stay out of trouble, not drink alcohol to excess and to follow a psychologist’s recommendations.

According to the outlet, Beierle was also charged with battery for touching a teen’s buttocks without consent. The judge offered a “deferred prosecution deal” rather than harsher punishment

But Beierle’s behavior continued to escalate. According to the Tallahassee News Journal, in February of 2017 he began substitute teaching — and was eventually hired full time at a middle school in August. He lasted two weeks before being fired for allegedly looking at female students while “sticking his hand down his pants.” Beierle returned to substitute teaching, but he was fired in May of 2018 for inappropriately touching a student on her abdomen.

The limited media coverage of this shooting depicts the gunman as an aberration — a disturbed, violent loner who took his pent-up rage and found women to harm before putting an end to his own life. But we know that Beierle wasn’t an outlier; he’s just one of a movement of “incels” who consider women the perfect target for their escalating male rage.

Much like other incels, or “involuntary celibates,” who have committed mass murder, Beierle publicized his hatred of women on line via YouTube videos. He made racist and misogynist statements telegraphing eventual violence and praising other murderous incel perpetrators before him.

In one video called “Plight of the Adolescent Male,” Beierle named Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and injured 14 in a shooting in Isla Vista, California. Rodger is often seen as a hero for so-called incels.

Buzzfeed reports:

On a YouTube channel in 2014, Beierle filmed several videos of himself offering extremely racist and misogynistic opinions, in which he called women ‘sluts; and ‘whores,’ and lamented ‘the collective treachery’ of girls he had gone to high school with.

In one video called “Plight of the Adolescent Male,” Beierle named Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and injured 14 in a shooting in Isla Vista, California. Rodger is often seen as a hero for so-called incels, or those who consider themselves “involuntarily celibate.”

“I’d like to send a message now to the adolescent males … that are in the position, the situation, the disposition of Elliot Rodger, of not getting any, no love, no nothing. This endless wasteland that breeds this longing and this frustration. That was me, certainly, as an adolescent,” Beierle said.

Beierle and this type of misogynist violence is the direct result of a culture that tells white males they are supposed to be the kings of their castle — and that women exist solely as prizes that they should be acquiring. A culture that insists that rage is healthy and stokes male aggression as a prized trait because they are strong and will protect the weak from threats like immigrants, socialism or political correctness. It is the result of a culture that believes that a gun is a right, and that under no circumstances should it be restricted or legislated away. And it’s the result of a culture that refuse to punish men for daily harassment, inappropriate touching or stalking, allowing their behavior to escalate to the point of murder.

And, thanks to that culture, shootings like the one at the Tallahassee yoga studio are now so commonplace, the media now barely covers them at all.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

43 comments

danii p
danii p4 hours ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p4 hours ago

Thank you

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Emma L
Emma L2 days ago

Thank you

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Sharon T
Sharon Tully2 days ago

Sad

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Clare O
Clare O3 days ago

no surprise.

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Liliana G
Liliana G3 days ago

I guess this news faded quickly as soon as the 1000 Oaks pub masacre became known. He shot two women far apart in age but both appeared to be well established career wise which this man had failed to do. It looks more like a class issue to me. On the other hand touching and groping adolescents who are supposed to be less powerful due to the teacher student relationship is the most serious thing here as antecedent to his terrible act. I hope someday the bereaved and all of us can ge some insight as to what triggered this terrible act. What was the tipping pt.?

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Madison I
Madison I3 days ago

Mental illness is a terrible thing; so many people suffering.

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Sue H
Sue H3 days ago

Terrible to think that his mental health was not addressed before he had the need to kill.

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Janis K
Janis K3 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Carole R
Carole R3 days ago

It is all so very sad.

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