“Abused Women Are The Canary In The Coal Mine For Mass Shootings”

This wouldn’t seem prescient if we simply connected the dots:

Four days before a black-clad gunman walked into a south Texas church and sprayed the congregation with bullets, killing at least 26 people, late-night host Samantha Bee highlighted the connection between men with a history of domestic violence and the perpetrators of mass shootings.

The alleged shooter in Sutherland Springs, 26-year-old former Air Force airman Devin Kelley, was court-martialed in 2012 and sentenced to a year in military prison for assaulting his wife and child, an Air Force spokeswoman told The Washington Post. The Post also reported that Kelley faced a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals in Colorado after being discharged from the military for bad conduct in 2014.


“Mass shootings are scary and impossible to predict, except for this one big thing that’s a really big predictor,” she says. “The common thread is domestic violence.

It is a common thread:

There is one thing, though, that an alarming number of the recent mass shooters in the United States share: A history of aggression and violence toward women.

Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people in the horrific massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, had been previously investigated for stalking two female classmates.

Elliot Rodger, who killed six and wounded 13 in Isla Vista, Calif., in 2014, was obsessed with perceived rejection by women, and not long before the shooting had thrown coffee on two women at a bus stop because they failed to smile at him.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who murdered two police officers in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2015, shot his ex-girlfriend in the stomach just hours earlier.

Cedric Ford, who shot 17 people last year at the Newton, Kan., plant where he worked, killing three, had been accused of abusing his ex-girlfriend and had been served with a restraining order not long before the shooting.

Robert Dear, who shot and killed three people at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, in 2015, had a history of domestic violence and harassment toward women.

And Omar Mateen, who murdered 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, physically abused his wife for years, beating her because she had not finished the laundry or a similar offense.

There’s more:

James Fields, the man charged with ramming his car into a crowd of protestors in Charlottesville in August and killing one, reportedly hit his mother and threatened to beat her, the Chicago Tribune reported.

James Hodgkinson, the man who shot at Steve Scalise and other members of Congress at a baseball game in June, was arrested for domestic battery against his daughter in 2006, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook) had threatened to kill his mother.

Esperanza Mendoza, supervisor of the Starbucks in the Virgin River Casino, told the Los Angeles Times that (Stephen) Paddock was known to workers because he would verbally berate his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, in front of them. “It happened a lot,” she said.

Spencer Hight, 32, shot dead 27-year-old Meredith Hight and seven of their friends at his former home in Plano on Sunday night.

And more:

Police have identified the suspect as Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old National Guard veteran. He most recently lived in Anchorage, Alaska — where, the Alaska Dispatch News reports, he was charged with domestic violence in January 2016.

There was John Houser, who killed two and injured nine in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 2015, and whose wife and daughter filed an order of protection against him for domestic violence in 2008.

There was James Huberty, who killed 21 people at a California McDonald’s in 1984 and whose wife reported him to police for giving her a “messed up” jaw.

That’s called a common thread.

I’m not even sure how we stop this. There’s just too many guns… that are far too easy to get. Buckle up. There’s a lot more of this heading our way. And, god forbid, we attempt to stop abusers from purchasing guns (either legally or illegally – and the NRA seems fine with both) because the #1 argument I hear when it comes to restricting abusers is… *drum roll* …women lie about these things.

Women, along with other family members, are reporting abusers. They are throwing red flags all over the field. It’s past time we noticed.


21 comments on ““Abused Women Are The Canary In The Coal Mine For Mass Shootings”

  1. Like a great many I gave up after Sandy Hook, a nation unmoved by the slaughter of children is beyond hope. Like usual the NRA goes silent and their army of trolls go on the attack, I’ve already seen a claim that the shooter was Antifa while the Texas AG states that if the church goers had been armed this would not have happened. Yeah, right. There will be no common sense laws and this massacre will be over shadowed by the next massacre and the next after that. This is our fate, denial or not.

  2. Mental illness has also been a problem for some of these individuals. It’s no excuse, but it is a big issue.

    • cassandram

      It is only a big issue when your folks want to excuse the massive gun violence in this country. And they only use it when the perp is white.

    • If you want to go with the mental illness excuse, then why don’t we see women and more non-white men doing these mass shootings?

      • @Pandora, of course you were not paying attention to what i said; “It’s no excuse,”

        “The researchers also found that women with anxiety disorders are more likely to internalize emotions, which typically results in withdrawal, loneliness and depression. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to externalize emotions, which leads to aggressive, impulsive, coercive and noncompliant behavior, according to the study.”
        August 18, 2011
        Study Finds Sex Differences in Mental Illness. Published by the APA

        And they do find non-whites:
        Suspect Location Ethnicity Age Mental health Dom. violence record
        Adam Lanza Newtown, Conn., Dec. 2012 White Under 30 Yes
        Kurt Myers Herkimer County, N.Y., March 2013 White Over 30
        Dennis Clark Federal Way, Wash., April 2013 Nonwhite Under 30 Yes
        John Zawahri Santa Monica, Calif., June 2013 White Under 30 Yes
        Pedro Vargas Hialeah, Fla., July 2013 Nonwhite Over 30
        Aaron Alexis Washington, D.C., Sept. 2013 Nonwhite Over 30 Yes
        Cherie Lash Rhoades Alturas, Calif., Feb. 2014 Nonwhite Over 30
        Ivan Lopez Fort Hood, Tex., April 2014 Nonwhite Over 30 Yes
        Elliot Rodger Santa Barbara, Calif., May 2014 White Under 30 Yes
        Jaylen Fryberg Marysville, Wash., Oct. 2014 Nonwhite Under 30
        Sergio Valencia del Toro Menasha, Wis., June 2015 Nonwhite Under 30 Yes
        Dylann Storm Roof Charleston, S.C., June 2015 White Under 30
        Mohammed Youssuf Abdulazeez Chattanooga, Tenn., July 2015 Nonwhite Under 30 Yes
        Chris Harper Mercer Roseburg, Ore., Oct. 2015 Nonwhite Under 30
        Noah Harpham Colorado Springs, Oct. 2015 White Over 30
        Robert Lewis Dear Colorado Springs, Nov. 2015 White Over 30 Yes
        Syed Rizwan Farook/Tashfeen Malik San Bernardino, Calif., Dec. 2015 Nonwhite Under 30
        Jason B. Dalton Kalamazoo County, Mich., Feb. 2016 White Over 30 Yes
        Cedric Ford Hesston, Kan., Feb. 2016 Nonwhite Over 30 Yes
        Omar Mateen Orlando, June 2016 Nonwhite Under 30
        Micah Xavier Johnson Dallas, July 2016 Nonwhite Under 30
        Gavin Long Baton Rouge, July 2016 Nonwhite Under 30
        Arcan Cetin Burlington, Wash., Sept. 2016 Undetermined Under 30 Yes Yes
        Esteban Santiago Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jan. 2017 Nonwhite Under 30 Yes Yes
        Kori Ali Muhammad Fresno, Calif., April 2017 Nonwhite Over 30 Yes
        Thomas Hartless Kirkersville, Ohio, May 2017 White Over 30 Yes Yes
        John Robert Neumann, Jr. Orlando, June 2017 White Over 30
        Randy Stair Tunkhannock, Pa., June 2017 White Under 30
        Jimmy Lam San Francisco, June 2017 Nonwhite Over 30
        Stephen Craig Paddock Las Vegas, Oct. 2017 White Over 30
        Radee Labeeb Prince Edgewood, Md., Oct. 2017 Nonwhite Over 30 Yes
        Scott Allen Ostrem Thornton, Colo., Nov. 2017 White Over 30
        Devin Patrick Kelley Sutherland Springs, Tex., Nov. 2017 White Under 30 Yes

        • I have no idea what your point is. But the article you linked to does suggest limiting access to guns, so there’s that.

          I’m calling BS on Republicans citing mental illness when it comes to mass shootings. If they thought it was a concern they would address it. They don’t. In fact, Republicans just made getting guns easier for people with mental illness.

          (Btw, most people with mental illness are victims of crime)

          • I agree, limit the access to guns. But, you don’t see the forest thru the trees. The only thing you want is no more guns. Open your eyes and see that there are non-whites, that are shooters. And I said; “mental illness is not an excuse!
            “I have no idea what your point is.” yea clueless!

            • Yeah… no.

              The statistic shows the number of mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and 2017, by race and ethnicity of the shooter(s). Between 1982 and October 2017, 51 out of 90 mass shootings were initiated by White shooters. The Las Vegas strip massacre in 2017 had the highest number of victims between 1982 and 2017, with 58 people killed, and over 500 injured.

              And we can now add this new Texas guy.

              And I never said all mass shooters were white. Why you insist on making things up escapes me. White men still hold the lead on mass shootings… by a lot.

              And with this comment, I get your point – #notjustwhitemen

              • I just stated that there are non-whites, who are mass shooter, as well. Again, you don’t read what I said! So, stick that in your pipe or kool-aid container!

    • You have no basis for that claim, as the right has made it impossible to study gun violence at all.

      You also boost a political ideology that would prevent affordable or quality care from going to any poor person with mental illness.
      All GOPers know how to do is scapegoat the mentally ill as a way of ignoring the problem this country has created for itself. It is the same way you people react to any crime committed by a brown person by calling for massive contractions of freedom. Anything to protect the fragile egos of armed white men.

  3. cassandram

    How To Protect Women This article from 538 makes the point that there are plenty of places where it is mandatory for people with domestic violence issues to give up their guns. Texas probably does not have these laws, but there should be some requirement that you give up any 2nd Amendment entitlements when you hit a woman or a child.

    • Pointer Outer

      A dishonorable discharge from the Air Force for domestic abuse is a felony and the shooter should have been prevented from obtaining any kind of gun. However, the Air Force failed, for several years, to report to the FBI that this a-hole was dishonorably discharged, so he passed his background check and bought himself some guns. There was a system in place to keep a gun out of this guy’s hands, but since the Air Force didn’t follow the system, it didn’t work.

      • cassandram

        The USAF failed its duty here, but that isn’t an argument that there are way too many guns out there. He wouldn’t have gotten a gun from a Federally licensed dealer, but he could have gotten one from a private seller or even illegally because it is that easy to get these things.

        • Pointer Outer

          It seems like, according to this CNN article, the Air Force’s failure to report was the key factor allowing this a-hole to get a gun. I’m not sure you can say that if the AF had properly reported his background and he was denied at a licensed dealer, he would have been able to obtain a gun another way. I’ve been around guns my whole life and I have no idea where I can purchase one illegally. The reason this guy had guns was because the Air Force dropped the ball.

          • cassandram

            I don’t dispute that the USAF dropped the ball here. But you aren’t paying much attention to the news if you don’t think that there is a robust market in guns — from either private sellers or straw purchasers. The reason that guy had a gun was because he bought into the Every Man A Warlord advertising of the NRA.

            • Pointer Outer

              The only thing you can say with certainty is that the reason the guy had a gun was because the US Air Force failed to report that this man was ineligible to posses a gun to the FBI for 5 years. I can’t understand why people aren’t more outraged that our military made such a horrific blunder.

  4. nathan arizona

    pandora: did you say “most people with mental illness are victims of crime”? (I know you did, which is why put it in quotes.) I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make any sense.

  5. nathan arizona

    ok. “more likely to be” victims makes sense. but that’s not “most.”

    mass killers are usually nuts, but that’s no reason to argue against gun control, of course.

    • There’s no proof that mass killers are usually “nuts”. People with mental illness aren’t the main perpetrators of crimes; they are more likely to be victims. We need to stop labeling all these mass shooters as mentally ill. Some may be, but there’s no proof that all are. There are other commonalities… such as domestic abuse – which we ignore.

      One other thing… The USA doesn’t have more people with mental illness than other countries. We do have more gun violence. The common thread is guns, not mental illness.

  6. nathan arizona

    I’m not supporting the conservative argument. but that doesn’t mean mass murderers are not nuts. and nuts should not have guns. isn’t this obvious? are only victims allowed to be mentally ill?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: