What are the facts?
We know that 22-year-old Jake Davison took a gun (of some kind) and murdered his 51-year-old mother Maxine at their home in Biddick Drive, Keyham, Plymouth, last Thursday.
He then moved out into the street where he murdered three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, 43.
Finally, he shot dead 59-year-old Stephen Washington and Kate Shepherd, 66, before turning his weapon on himself.
Also shot were a 53 year-old woman and a 33-year-old man who were sent to hospital with injuries that were not thought life-threatening.
It seems the authorities don’t know Davison’s stated reasons for the rampage – the worst mass killing on UK soil since 2010.
But he has left behind information about his political beliefs that provide us with a workable theory: he reckoned he was an “Incel”.
What on Earth is an Incel?
It’s a term apparently coined in the early part of this century to denote men who believe they are “INvoluntarily CELibate” because women are unfairly withholding sex from them.
Looking at their other beliefs, it becomes apparent that anybody withdrawing from contact with these crazies is likely to have had extremely good reasons for it!
Dr Louise Raw described the Incel philosophy in an article way back in 2018:
They specifically feel entitled to sex with women they perceive as the most attractive — “Stacys” — and resent both them and the “Chads” — romantically successful men — they date. When these are men of colour, the hatred steps up a gear.
This all seemed pitiful until it turned deadly.
Pitiful is right!
The fact is that pretty much every man on the planet might describe himself as “involuntarily celibate” at one time or another.
But – as a rule – we don’t blame women – as a group – for “withholding” sexual contact that we feel we have a right to have. It doesn’t work like that. Sex is the most intimate thing that two people can do, and that’s why most women won’t do it with any Tom, Harry or Dick that turns up. It is perfectly reasonable for them to want a little security in their choice first.
Nobody is “entitled” to it. In fact, if you believe in Darwin’s laws of natural selection, procreation is a privilege that should be awarded only to those who are most fit for the job. There’s evidence for that in the mating displays carried out by the males of other animal species in order to impress the females.
So, as an attitude to relationships, we can safely say that anybody holding this view is a wretched sexual and social inadequate who is just looking for a shortcut to sex that will hide their interpersonal failings.
But there’s another aspect to this: politics.
Incels, it seems, ally themselves with opposition to feminism. The idea is that an improvement in the lives of women must bring with it a worsening of men’s position, and this leads to hatred of women – also known as misogyny.
And misogyny has long been a pathway into support for fascism – in the same way that racism has been.
Incels are therefore most likely to be white men who are misogynistic racists; if they see women they consider attractive with men of colour, then the hatred steps up a notch.
This makes them easy to recruit into far-right organisations, and there is evidence that American alt-right groups have been doing just that.
Davison was certainly prime material for radicalisation of this kind. According to the Daily Beast,
Davison expressed his admiration for Donald Trump on Facebook and posted multiple self-pitying YouTube videos in which he identified himself as part of the incel community.
In one post from 2018, Davison shared a Trump quote and, when his friends ridiculed him in the comments, the suspect hit back: “You may not agree with his political views (I do) but he is different from the scum like Hillary or the people running our country like the neo-con sellout that is [then-British Prime Minister] Theresa May.”
Davison’s Facebook likes suggest he was obsessed with conservative U.S. politics. He followed the pages of Trump, all of his children, and several Trump businesses, as well as pages for the NRA, Fox News, Breitbart, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and one called “Ted Nugent for President.” In one comment, he said it was his dream to move to the States.
It has been noted that these associations were suppressed by domestic news organisations like the BBC in their early reports:
BBC bias just confuses me. I watched coverage of the Plymouth terrorist attack on both the BBC and ITV lunch time news shows. Only ITV detailed what’s so far know about his politics: right wing, gun loving, Trump supporting.
Why would the BBC not want to mention this? pic.twitter.com/bfFt6uvz1J
— Devutopia (@D_Raval) August 13, 2021
But was Davison a terrorist?
Tricky. And these waters were muddied by the BBC (et all) failing to identify his political leanings…
No white man is ever called a terrorist unless he’s a socialist.
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza 🏳️🌈 (@TheMendozaWoman) August 13, 2021
At first, Devon & Cornwall Police denied any link with terrorism:
I wrote 3 years ago about the danger of ‘Incels’.
Many people have now died both sides of the Atlantic.
But the police immediately said #Plymouth ‘wasn’t a terrorist incident’.
Yes it was, & there will be more if these vicious radicalised misogynists aren’t stopped. https://t.co/srfDaIusAZ
— Dr Louise Raw (@LouiseRawAuthor) August 13, 2021
But now they’re changing their tune.
UK law defines terrorism as: “Use or threat of action, both in and outside of the UK, designed to influence any international government organisation or to intimidate the public. It must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.”
Personally, then, I don’t think Davison’s actions would constitute terrorism as defined here.
I don’t think he was trying to influence government or intimidate the public because firstly, he didn’t demand anything and secondly, he would need to be alive for any intimidation to work.
The idea of advancing Incel as a cause is self-defeating; even those who identify as members of that group don’t want to be in it!
And his lunatic right-wing ideology will have taken a public relations hammering as a result of his murders.
That being said, there is plenty of evidence to show that people who identify themselves as Incels need to be tracked down and challenged. Perhaps the easiest way to do this would be to accede to the wishes below, and define misogyny (and therefore also its counterpart, misandry) as a hate crime.
After the Plymouth Shooting & the shooters involvement with Incel will the government finally acknowledge misogyny as a hate crime?
— Barbara (@BarbaraSutton15) August 14, 2021
We're way overdue a serious interrogation of how online-facilitated cultures which champion misogyny and masculine fantasies, to devastating effect, with loneliness and a loss of security. https://t.co/n93Z3tMcen
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) August 13, 2021
It seems to me that the expression of misogynistic opinions in the way carried out by the Incels indicates a desire to harm – and a lack of concern about the consequences – that crosses the line of acceptability.
It also seems reasonable to me that, if alerted to such expressions of opinion, police should challenge those responsible and, following on from that – if necessary – take appropriate steps to prevent acts of violence such as we saw last week in Plymouth.
It would be possible, also, to use such interviews as ways to research whether these people are indeed being radicalised by right-wing organisations for the purpose of committing terrorist crime – and to devise ways of combating such activity.
Connected with this, of course, is the fact that Davison owned a gun. His own social media posts and YouTube videos confessed that he was mentally unstable, and therefore it seems logical that he should not have been in possession of a firearm, yet his licence had been renewed only recently.
And it isn’t as though we haven’t been aware of the risks:
I've been calling for tighter gun controls for over 30 years.
* Ban storing guns at home
* Renew gun licences annually
* Mental health tests annually for gun owners
* Public register of gun owners
Here's my speech in parliament from 20 Dec 2010.
— Chris Williamson (@DerbyChrisW) August 13, 2021
Ah, but Chris Williamson is a socialist – and therefore might as well be a terrorist himself – right?
You see how these debates can be twisted by political dogma – especially when news organisations like the BBC distort or omit important facts?
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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