Serial Mass Killings


2017 has been incredible year. First Donald Trump took the oath of office as the President of the United States. What could be more credulity straining than that? Well how about killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500 more people from a Hotel in Vegas followed about a month later by another mass killing this time at a church in Texas where 26 were killed and 16 injured. I wonder how many of the people from the shooting in Las Vegas were out of the hospital by the time the next major mass killing occurred in Texas?

Many pundits keep repeating that there is nothing we can do about these shootings. We can’t predict where they’ll happen many of those pundits agree. In particular, Conservatives who don’t want any actions taken, except against Muslims, keep repeating that there is nothing we can do to predict where the next violent attack will happen.  Samantha B from Comedy News, my main source of news, pointed out a day or two before the Texas shooting, that there is in fact one pretty good predictor of where mass killings will occur. Most acts of mass killings actually have a common element. Actually they have 2. That is domestic violence and guns.

An organization called ‘Every town for Gun Safety’ did a large study of mass shootings between 2009 and 2016 and found there were 156 mass shootings in the U.S. during that time. 54% of those incidents related to domestic or family violence. As Samantha B said, “Mass shootings come in all male shapes and all male sizes, but most of them rehearse for it the same way.” [1] They rehearse by beating up a family member that is weaker than them. Usually that is a spouse, partner, or child. These are not brave men! These are men who see their dominance in jeopardy and can’t stand to think about that. So they lash out. They lash out at a vulnerable family member. They seldom lash out at someone stronger than them.

James Hodgkinson of Illinois, who authorities say shot a congressman and injured others at a ball field in Virginia in June of 2017, punched one woman in the face and dragged his young and defenseless daughter to the ground by her hair. Omar Mateen’s spouse reported that he regularly beat her. Remember Mateen was the mass murderer who killed 49 people and wounded 58 others in a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016. He briefly held the record for mass killings in America until the shootings in Vegas. In the US these records are continually broken. The latest suspect in the killing that just happened a coupe of days ago in Texas apparently was in a domestic dispute with his wife and for some reason killed his mother-in-law and 25 other Parishioners.

According to Jacquelyn Campbell, Professor at Johns Hopkins University, “there are 10 times as many women killed by a current boyfriend or husband or ex boyfriend or ex-husband as by a male stranger. The majority of this violence is perpetrated with fire arms.” Guns are of course the second predictor.

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said “Women are 5 times more likely to die from domestic violence when there are guns in their household.” To which, Samantha B said, “An abusive husband and gun is a deadly combination, like matches and gasoline, or men and gasoline, or men and everything else.” While it may seem unfair to blame men, the facts speak for themselves. This is overwhelmingly a male thing. And why is that?

Many of these men are uncomfortable with women that argue with them, that seem to think they are superior to them, and don’t accept their traditional role of subservience to men. This is a power thing. Men who see themselves as losing their power, even when they actually have very little power, get upset, and some of them behave badly.

Opponents of gun control repeatedly say it won’t help. Yet states that require background checks have seen a 46% decline in women shot by their domestic partners. Isn’t that impressive?

Police commonly admit that domestic calls are the most dangerous calls they respond to. Guns in the hands of those men are seldom good things for their partners or the police. Should we not control that?

Samantha B summed up the problem well, “Even if you don’t give a shit about domestic violence, abused women are the canary in the coal mine for mass shootings. If you take guns away form abusers you might be able to save more important non-female lives. ”[2] That’s a crazy way to talk about it, but these are crazy times. Particularly in America. 

[1] Samantha B, “Full Frontal,” (November 3, 2017)

[2] Samantha B, “Full Frontal,” (November 3, 2017)

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