Cedric Ford is not the only one responsible for the massacre in Kansas. The latest shooting spree, which left 4 dead and 12 wounded, could have been prevented if gun control in the US weren’t a tragic joke. Ford has a history of violent crime, including a life-threatening assault on his girlfriend only three weeks ago. Stubborn lawmakers who refuse to pass any gun control regulations now have more blood on their hands.
On February 5, Ford’s live-in girlfriend called 911 after an altercation between them became violent. The man battered her, pinned her to the ground, and nearly choked her to death. The official police report categorizes the incident as “domestic abuse without children present,” but authorities did not take the case seriously enough.
That same day, Ford’s girlfriend filed a restraining order against him, pleading for protection in a desperate letter. According to the Eagle, the woman wrote (in all caps) that Ford was “an alcoholic, violent, [and] depressed,” a man “in desperate need of medical and psychological help.” He moved out soon afterward. While police did grant the restraining order, they did not detain Ford or do anything to protect the public from him.
They also let him keep his handgun and assault rifle. Even had they wanted to, police could not legally have taken Ford’s guns away. Thanks, NRA. We all feel safer knowing that our “right to bear arms” is inviolable, no matter how many lives it costs. Kansas has especially anemic gun control laws. A report by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign gave the state an “F” on gun control, while Guns and Ammo Magazine has called it one the best places to live if you love guns.
The link between domestic abuse and public violence is well known. Other recent killings have involved men with a history of abusing women. Among them are Tamerlan Tsarnaev (the Boston Marathon bomber), Robert Lewis Dear (the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter), and George Zimmerman, who escaped justice for shooting an unarmed black teen.
In addition to gun control, the Kansas shooting highlights the need to take domestic violence more seriously. It is a tragic irony that filing a restraining order actually increases a woman’s risk of being shot by her abuser. In this case, Ford received the restraining order just 90 minutes before he opened fire. It was likely the trigger that set off the violent, mentally unstable culprit.
Enough is enough. Law enforcement officials need to redirect their attention from unarmed black teenagers to confirmed domestic abusers. Congress needs to stop pandering to “gun rights” lobbyists and protect Americans’ first “inalienable right” — to life. Otherwise, the body count will continue to grow.
Banner Image Credit: Flickr, Michael Saechang