Charles Rae covers a deadly attack in Pennsylvania. Raleigh, NC (TFC).
A 24-year-old man named Randy Stair locked his coworkers in at a Weis grocery story and opened fire last week. Like other shooters, countless red flags are being found on his social media accounts where he talked about killing himself, showed off his guns, and even flipped a coin to decide if he would take others out with him. Before his death, he published a near 45 minute animated video on youtube which idolizes the Columbine shooters and represents his fantasy of following in their footsteps. Stair also left other videos, journals, and letters intended to be seen after his death.
Stair stated in one of his farewell messages that he is a “girl who’s been trapped in a man’s body for two and a half decades,” and “I need to die, and I’m taking whomever I can down with me.” His Columbinesque video, which features animation of young girls with guns, scrolls over what appears to be Stair’s personal notes about his homicidal rage. Stair writes, “we are literally a walking and floating deceased femme doomsday machine, and we won’t stop until everyone suffers, becomes a slave, and dies.” [although the ‘we’ being referred to is never clarified as Stair seems to work alone]. Stair and his female co-star threaten ambiguously, saying “you have fucked with the wrong girls.”
Stair also posted a zip file of his journals which demonstrate his separation from reality, alluding to blaming his feeling on a “girl in [him] clawing to get out” in his last entry.
As usual, the media is painting this as a mental health issue that spiraled, using oft-repeated language in situations with white male attackers, calling him troubled and lonely. The Washington Post uses this language, describing his social media accounts as depicting “the life of a troubled man who appeared to live in a fantasy world.” The ironic part is that though he does appear to be disengaged from reality, he doesn’t actually appear to be living in a fantasy world when it comes to believing he is a girl trapped in a man’s body. This is a popular mantra of 21st-century human rights “activism,” in which calls for “retaliatory” violence towards the “cisheteropatriarchy” are not hard to find online. The question we may be starting to ask is why, when transgender ideology collides with male violence, does it look so much like the neo-nazi “alt-right”? Taken out of the context of an actual killer, this “femme doomsday machine” that Stair mentions is not unheard of rhetoric of the left, where calls to kill “TERFs” are everyday occurrences, and transwomen carry bats at pride marches.
Although this man is confused about his sex, this is yet another tired and tragic story of male terrorism and violence. Men walking into public places and murdering at random is becoming so commonplace in the US they don’t even all make national news anymore. As these public attacks become normal in our country and we continue to argue about causes, this simple pattern can’t be overlooked: it’s men committing this violence, definitely not their inner femme or girly feelings clawing to get out.
How can we even address the issue of male violence using the framework of transidentity politics? According to identity politics, even pointing out that this was a man and not a female child as he claimed to be is an act of committing bigotry or even violence called “misgendering.” The truth of the matter is that if he actually was a female child he would pose far less of a threat to anyone, and yet there are people who are adamant that others participate in this belief system to the point that legislation is being passed all over the world to protect gender identity.
The victims of the attack were Terry Sterling, Victoria Brong, and Brian Hayes. Our condolences to the families of this tragedy.
Charles Rae covers female-centered news with The Fem Column.