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Like other so-called "incels," Scott P. Beierle's complaint about women who failed to see how wonderful he was, might have been simply funny, were it not so pathetic and, in the end, tragic.

Beierle, 40, was identified as the gunman who posed as a customer to go on a killing spree in a Tallahassee, Fla., yoga studio Friday. He shot two women to death and injured five other people before turning the gun fatally on himself.

From what's been pieced together by police and news workers, Beierle sounds like a man whose mind was a stew for hatreds.

He left a history of misogynistic and racist rants in videos, first reported by Buzzfeed, that he posted over at least the past four years. He bemoaned his inability to connect with other people — sadly, not much surprise there — as varied as his Army comrades who didn't want to travel around with him and women who refused to go out with him, too.

He identified with the tragically bizarre "involuntary celibates" movement, which is believed to have inspired other homicidal misogynists such as Elliot O. Rodger, who killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., in May 2014. Rodger also expressed his disgust with women in videos online and urged other incels to fight back.

Coming within two weeks of two other hate-inspired mass killings, the Tallahassee tragedy might well make you wonder, as it made me wonder, whether the whole world is going crazy.

The yoga studio massacre occurred almost a week after another mass shooting in which a man killed eleven people in Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue while mouthing anti-Semitic slurs, according to witnesses.

Barely more than a week before that, another gunman in Kentucky killed two African-American grandparents, muttering that he left another white man unharmed because "whites don't kill whites."

Both of those tragedies came at a time when a Florida man was arrested for sending pipe bombs to a dozen prominent Democratic Party figures, including former President Barack Obama.

Even before the Tallahassee shooting many asked whether the highly polarized and emotionally charged atmosphere leading up to the midterm elections had anything to do with the hate crimes.

But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sharply rebuked reporters who attempted to blame President Trump's tone, including his branding news media as "enemy of the people."

"The only person responsible for carrying out these heinous acts were the individuals who carried them out," she said. Quite right. But words matter, especially to those of us who don't want to see more mayhem from more maniacs.

It was also hard to avoid noticing that, among past offenses, Beierle was arrested for committing a rude act of the sort that President Trump was recorded on the famous "Access Hollywood" tapes as saying was OK for celebrity men to do: grabbing women by their private parts.

In December 2012, Beierle was charged with battery after a woman accused him of grabbing her buttocks at a dining hall on Florida State University's campus in Tallahassee, according to news reports.

He also was charged with battery again in June 2016 for groping a woman at a swimming pool without her permission. In both cases the charges were later dismissed, according to police.

Again, it is easy to mock the twisted attitude of men who apparently are so socially awkward that they feel driven to attacks and even kill women — and anyone else who happens to get in their way. But mockery, sadly, is what apparently drove them to commit their fatal acts.

There has been considerable academic debate about what can be done about what appears to be a spreading social pathology. What's important here is not the incel movement, as much as it inspires provocative commentary, as the incel attitude.

Sex adviser Dan Savage, among others, has proposed without tongue in cheek that the incel phenomenon offers an argument for loosening our laws toward professional sex workers — or speeding up development of sex robots. I am sure that more science fiction movies already are in production around that theme.

But in the real world now, we need to think seriously about the lessons we are teaching young men. What makes some of them feel so entitled to women's company that they dehumanize the women who, in their minds, refuse to let them have it?

That's a task for us older and presumably wiser men to pursue. Even President Trump should support that.

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Email Clarence Page at cpage@chicagotribune.com.

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