Of course, the vast majority of domestic abusers don’t go on to become mass killers, but the deadly link between the two phenomenons is inescapable.
America’s gun violence problem may actually be a domestic violence problem, given that majority of perpetrators behind the deadliest mass shootings in recent history had committed or threatened violence against women – including Devin Patrick Kelley, who opened fire inside a Sutherland Springs church and murdered 26, had been convicted of assaulting his ex-wife and their step-son.
Between 2009 and 2016, the United States witnessed 156 mass shootings, which resulted in 848 fatalities and 339 injuries, not including the shooter. As the pro-gun control nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety revealed in its latest report, nearly 54 percent of such massacres involved domestic or family violence.
What’s concerning is these stats only included shootings where the victims included an intimate partner or a family member, not the incidents where shooters who were charged for domestic violence in the past and went on to shoot a crowd of strangers.
“In nearly half of the shootings, the shooter exhibited warning signs before the shooting indicating that they posed a danger to themselves or others,” read the report. “These red flags included acts, attempted acts, or threats of violence towards oneself or others; violations of protective orders; or evidence of ongoing substance abuse.”
Now, not all domestic abusers go on to become mass murderers, but the links between the two phenomenons cannot be ignored.
“The connection between mass shootings and domestic violence may be explained, in part, by the role guns play in domestic violence generally,” the researchers added. “About 4.5 million American women report that they have had an intimate partner threaten them with a gun. And guns make it more likely that domestic abuse will turn fatal—when a gun is present in a domestic violence situation, the likelihood that a woman will be shot and killed increases fivefold.”
Find out more in the video above.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Hannibal Hanschke