On Friday, tragedy struck yet again in the form of the 22nd school shooting this year. 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the alleged shooter, killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Texas with a firearm he stole from his father. One of his possible motives, according to聽the mother of one of聽the victims,聽sounds all too familiar:聽Pagourtzis had聽been聽rejected by one of his female classmates. He had allegedly been 鈥渉arassing鈥 the victim, Shana Fisher, to be in a relationship with him.

鈥淚 know he had pestered her to go out with him,鈥澛燜isher鈥檚聽father told the Daily Mail last week. 鈥淪he kept telling him no. For one, he supposedly already had a girlfriend. And two, she just didn鈥檛 have feelings for the boy.鈥

Fisher鈥檚 mother told CBS affiliate KENS5, 鈥渢his guy kept harassing her about wanting to be with her, like wanting to be in a relationship.鈥 She told the Associated Press that Shana Fisher 鈥渇inally stood up to him and embarrassed him.鈥 She seemed to聽connect the shooting to Shana spurning聽Pagourtzis鈥 advances, saying, 鈥渁 week later, he opens fire on everyone he didn鈥檛 like.鈥

Authorities are still investigating the motives聽behind the shooting. But one thing is for certain, considering the pattern of violence by聽men聽stemming from rejection or being denied access to women鈥檚 bodies: Hypermasculinity and male entitlement to female attention are costing women and all people across genders their lives聽鈥 and judging by responses to these acts of violence, widespread聽misogyny has聽yielded a fundamental misunderstanding of who鈥檚 to blame for聽these recurring, almost systemic episodes of mass violence.

One tweet by writer Rebecca Tucker highlights聽a sharp disparity in cultural understandings of why the Santa Fe shooting happened. Sharing an article entitled, 鈥淭exas shooting victim 鈥榬ejected gunman鈥檚 advances,'鈥 Turner questioned why聽Pagourtzis鈥 alleged pursuit of Fisher had been characterized as 鈥渇our months of aggressive advances,鈥 instead of 鈥済irl murdered after enduring 120 days of harassment鈥 no.鈥

Prior to the Santa Fe shooting, in February, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot 17 dead at a high school in Parkland, Fla. In addition to voicing support for racist ideologies,聽Cruz had also聽allegedly聽been abusive toward his ex-girlfriend.聽He had been expelled by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after engaging in a fight with her聽new boyfriend, and聽had also聽been聽accused of stalking another female student. And yet, in addition to mass, youth-led calls for common-sense gun control as the appropriate solution to the Parkland shooting, others rallied under the motto, 鈥淲alk Up, Not Out.鈥

The 鈥淲alk Up鈥 movement essentially blames the Parkland shooting on bullying, due to sympathetic perceptions of Cruz as an 鈥渙utcast.鈥澛燭he right also notably branded Parkland survivor Emma Gonzales聽and her peers as bullies, shortly after聽the teenagers began organizing for gun law reform.

鈥淲alk Up鈥澛爃as drawn criticism for perpetuating racist double standards and ignoring how the efforts of some of Cruz鈥檚 peers to befriend him聽did not prevent the shooting.聽And yet,聽it also reflects a greater pattern of victim-blaming toward women and female victims of gun violence.

Violence against women and misogyny can often be predictors of who goes on to commit聽acts of mass violence.聽When we tell women they can prevent mass shootings by 鈥渂eing nicer鈥 to men, or by accepting the advances of potentially dangerous men whom they aren鈥檛 attracted to,聽we鈥檙e essentially聽reducing聽them to human shields for society.

In telling young women to just聽鈥渂e nicer鈥 to聽men, lest a man they reject go on to lead a mass shooting, we place the pressure聽to prevent violence not on lawmakers with the power to promote safety through legislation, but on women, who are more likely to be victimized by gun violence. Women and girls have no obligation to engage with men they aren鈥檛 interested in; the epidemic of mass shootings isn鈥檛聽the fault of female cruelty, but a culture in which male entitlement to women鈥檚 bodies is so prevalent that far too many men can鈥檛 handle being told 鈥渘o.鈥

This violence doesn鈥檛 just take the form of school shootings,聽nor is it limited to the US. In April, 25-year-old聽Alek Minassian killed 10 in Toronto by driving a聽van through a predominantly female crowd. Prior to the attack,聽Minassian shared a Facebook post declaring support for the 鈥渋ncel rebellion.鈥 The incel movement 鈥 鈥渋ncel鈥澛燽eing short聽for 鈥渋nvoluntary celibate鈥 鈥 calls for punishing women and the men whom women choose to have sex with in retaliation for being denied聽the sex that聽incels聽feel entitled to.

Four years聽before the Santa Fe shooting, a 22-year-old man named Elliot Rodger killed seven in a shooting spree in which he聽attempted to target a sorority at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to the shooting spree, Rodger released a Youtube video and manifesto in which he repeatedly stated that his motive for the killing spree was to punish women for sexually rejecting him throughout his life. It鈥檚 worth noting that most who knew Rodger聽have disputed that he ever put in the effort to get to know or聽have relationships with women: rather, it seemed he felt rejected by women solely because聽of his feelings of聽entitlement聽to sexual favors and relationships聽with them, without any effort on his end.

Prior to the shooting, Rodger had a record of disturbing treatment of women, as well as men 鈥 and in particular, men of color 鈥 whom women chose over him. Some who knew him claim he spilled drinks on women who didn鈥檛 smile back at him, attempted to attack a group of girls at a party, and once stalked and harassed a couple he saw at a coffee shop. His manifesto proposed locking girls and women up in concentration camps.

Rodger may聽be an extreme, but there鈥檚 no denying a correlation between male entitlement to women鈥檚 bodies and gun violence,聽which聽targets women but ultimately聽affects men and women alike. Prior to the Parkland shooting, the perpetrator of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed 49 had a record of domestic abuse toward his wife; so, too, did the man who shot three dead聽at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado in 2015.

Frankly, there鈥檚 no shortage of shooters with records of violence against women, and, in particular, violence against聽women who reject or deny them sex. Domestic violence victims are five times more likely to be killed if their abusers have access to guns. More than聽1,600 women are killed by men, and 760 Americans are killed by ex-spouses or intimate partners with guns, annually.聽Many of these聽cases of domestic violence involving guns result in聽collateral damage that claims the lives of others, not just the women being targeted.

The solution to mass gun violence can鈥檛 be that women must perform sexual favors or enter into relationships with any man who asks this of them. Nor is it that women should live in聽terror of rejecting or offending the wrong聽man so that we as a society can avoid yet another mass shooting. Legislative action from our representatives is one critical step forward that we as a nation must take. But so, too, is recognition of the violence perpetuated by聽misogyny.

Male entitlement to women鈥檚 bodies far too often lies at the root of mass tragedies. And until we acknowledge the extent to which this entitlement 鈥 enabled, of course, by easy access to firearms 鈥 is spreading violence and hurting men and women alike, the tragedies will continue.

(Photos via Getty)