Many mass shooters have a history of domestic violence

BuzzFeed reports: Devin P. Kelley, the perpetrator of the worst mass shooting in Texas in modern history, served a year in a military prison for assaulting his wife and child in 2012. His rampage on November 5 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, authorities have said, was linked to a “domestic situation” with his mother-in-law. She regularly attended the church, but wasn’t there when Kelley opened fire, killing 26 people.

A history of domestic violence is a common thread in many American mass shootings, and often spouses and other family members are the victims.

“Mass shootings are domestic violence events much more commonly than the public believes,” Garen Wintemute, who heads the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, told BuzzFeed News by email.

What’s more, women who’ve previously been assaulted by their partners are at high risk of being murdered if there are firearms in the house. Yet states differ on restrictions on gun ownership for domestic abusers, and researchers still don’t know whether the perpetrators of domestic violence present a high risk for gun homicide more generally. [Continue reading…]

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