It seems from his blog that George Sodini had a longstanding anger toward women. The isolated 48-year-old took a gun to a Pittsburgh-area gym last week and opened fire during a fitness class. Three women were killed and nine were injured before Sodini killed himself.
ABC News posted Sodini's online journal, in which he writes about his hatred for his mother and brother, his frustration of "never having spent a weekend with a woman," and executing a "plan" as early as November 2008.
"Thirty million is my rough guesstimate of how many desirable single women there are. A man needs a woman for confidence. He gets a boost on the job, career, with other men, and everywhere else when he knows inside he has someone to spend the night with and who is also a friend," he said. "This type of life I see is a closed world with me specifically and totally excluded."
Sodini also made a list of people and places that angered him. First on the list was the church he attended sporadically for 13 years, Tetelestai Church in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.
"Religion is a waste," Sodini wrote on his blog of Alan "Rick" Knapp, pastor of Tetelestai, a nondenominational church focused on group Bible studies. "But this guy [Knapp] teaches (and convinced me) you can commit mass murder then still go to heaven."
When the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettequestioned Knapp, he said, "The message of the word I preach never reflected such a thing," asserting that Sodini acted on his own, out of "bitterness and rage." Knapp said in a special church service after the shooting that "[Sodini] acted culpably and he acted alone …. Yet from what he put in words, he projected the blame on anyone who had authority in his life."
According to another Tetelestai member, deacon Jack Rickard, Sodini was a benefactor of the church's firm teaching of "once saved, always saved." "George is going to heaven, but he's not going to get his rewards," Rickard told the Valley News Dispatch.
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert expresses shock at the shooting, saying it represents society's bias against women.
"We have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that the barbaric treatment of women and girls has come to be more or less expected," he writes.
Herbert compares this shooting to the 2006 Amish schoolhouse shooting of five girls.
"There would have been thunderous outrage if someone had separated potential victims by race or religion and then shot, say, only the blacks, or only the whites, or only the Jews," he writes. "But if you shoot only the girls or only the women—not so much of an uproar."
The solution, Herbert says, is to "acknowledge that misogyny is a serious and pervasive problem, and that the twisted way so many men feel about women, combined with the absurdly easy availability of guns, is a toxic mix of the most tragic proportions."
Sodini blamed church and religion, at least in part, writing, "I think his [Pastor Knapp's] crap did the most damage"; Herbert blames a misogynist culture. How do you make sense of shootings like these?