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Why So Many Mass Shooters Have Domestic Violence in Their Past

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

by Charlotte Alter

"James T. Hodgkinson, who injured Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and several others when he opened fire on Republican members of Congress and aides at a baseball practice Wednesday morning, had at least one thing in common with many other mass shooters: an alleged history of violence against women.

Eleven years before he stepped up to that Alexandria baseball field, Hodgkinson was arrested for domestic battery and discharge of a firearm after he allegedly punched his daughter's friend and shot at the friend's boyfriend, according to a 2006 police report reviewed by TIME.

...Experts say there is no comprehensive research on the shared characteristics of mass shooters. But some who have studied the people who commit mass attacks in the U.S. see a linkage in the propensity for violence. 'It's related to this idea of toxic masculinity,' says April Violi, an associate professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University who studies domestic violence, homicide and firearms. 'Domestic violence can be a harbinger of greater violence to come.'

Violi says domestic violence incidents, while often confined to the home, can be indicators of lethal urges that could be unleashed on the public. 'This feeling of entitlement, of acceptability of violence, can erupt in some rare and extreme cases into mass violence,' she says."

Read the full article here.