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The gunman who entered a rural Texas church and murdered 26 people should have never been allowed to buy his weapons because of his history with domestic violence.
It’s illegal for anyone convicted of child or spousal abuse to purchase a firearm. But a reporting oversight about the shooter’s violent background by the Air Force helped Devin Patrick Kelley evade an appearance in the National Criminal Information Center database.
Kelley should have been ineligible for gun ownership based on a military court conviction for a brutal assault on his wife and infant stepson that left the child’s skull fractured. Authorities are now investigating threats the shooter made against his in-laws.
The Texas church massacre is the latest incident of gun violence where red flags about the perpetrator include past abusive behavior. This was true of the Pulse nightclub shooter as well. Allegations about the Las Vegas shooter’s mistreatment of his girlfriend arose in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. And there are many more incidents easily missed in national headlines.
Is there a link between domestic violence and mass shootings? If so, should we all be paying closer attention to solving the problem of domestic violence?
- Senator Amy Klobuchar U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Democrat; @amyklobuchar
- Sarah Tofte Director of research and implementation, Everytown for Gun Safety, gun violence prevention organization; @Everytown
- Kim Gandy President and CEO, The National Network to End Domestic Violence; former president, National Organization for Women; @NNEDV @Kim_Gandy
- Robert Spitzer Distinguished service professor and chairman of the political science department at the State University of New York, Cortland, visiting professor of government, Cornell University; author of five books on gun policy, including "The Politics of Gun Control" and "Guns Across America"; @spitzerb
- Bob Wile Retired detective, domestic violence/sexual assault unit at the Amesbury Police Dept. in Amesbury, Mass; trains police departments nationwide on how to prevent and respond to domestic violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Trained advocates are available 24/7/365 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
Call 1-800-799-7233 or click here: http://www.thehotline.org/
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