Last summer Justice Clarence Thomas broke 10 years of silence to weigh in on the “gun rights” of domestic abusers. Why can’t domestic abusers have guns he asked? “Give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right,” he grumbled.
Weeks later in Pennsylvania, seemingly on cue, Mark Short, despite two prior police reports of domestic violence, legally purchased a gun and killed his wife and their three young children (pictured) two days later.
Everyone from criminologists, to law enforcement officers, to psychologists knows domestic violence predicts gun violence and death. But thanks to the gun lobby we allow and enable––actually sit on our hands and wait––imminent murders because of “gun rights.”
This week’s San Bernardino killer Cedric Anderson is a case in point. Despite a 30-year history of battery charges and domestic violence allegations, he was not barred from legally buying a gun and killed his wife and a student this week. The phenomenon is increasingly known as gendercide.
Just as with Anderson, few were surprised that Marcus Dee was capable of shooting and killing former girlfriend Nadia Ezaldein on Black Friday of 2014 in front of horrified shoppers at Nordstrom’s on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. He had a long domestic violence history. Six days before the murder, Dee attacked a friend of Ezaldein, causing broken bones. Month’s earlier, court documents reveal the victim’s sister said Dee had “cracked Ezaldein’s ribs, broke her jaw, ripped her clothing, stabbed her jacket with a switch knife, ripped her boots, bruised her lip, threw her clothing out the window and put a gun in her mouth.”
Many and perhaps most killers have similar violent histories.
“Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter, was investigated for stalking two female students,” and “Elliot Roger, who killed six people in Isla Vista, California, in 2014, tried to shove several women off a 10-foot ledge at a party and claimed in a ‘manifesto’ that his violence was part of his ‘war on women,’” writes the Slate’s Christina Cauterucci. Esteban Santiago, who killed five at the Fort Lauderdale airport and Omar Mateen, who killed 49 at the Pulse nightclub, were also domestic abusers she writes.
“Robert Lewis Dear, the alleged 2015 Planned Parenthood shooter; John Houser, who killed two and injured nine in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 2014; and James Huberty, who killed 21 people at a California McDonald’s in 1984,” all had domestic violence histories as well reports Vox.
All six alleged murderers were legal gun owners whose “constitutional right” to own a gun could not be taken away just because they wanted to kill says the gun lobby and Justice Thomas.
If victims of domestic violence were men, would the male dominated gun lobby ignore the body count? In one week in September 2015, eight women were shot by intimate partners and five died.
Hours after receiving probation for violating a domestic violence protection order, James Terry Colley, Jr. shot and killed his wife Amanda Cloaninger and her friend Lindy Dobbins in St. Augustine, Florida. Two days later, Blessing Okereke was fatally shot by her husband in Dallas. The following day, Nuria Kudlach was fatally shot in Pennsylvania and her husband charged with murder. Hours later, Sonja Wells Raine was fatally shot on her job in Pascagoula, MS by her enraged husband. Two other women were shot by their partners but survived.
Justice Gorsuch—will you find that “gun rights” trump the mere misdemeanors that lead to women’s deaths like your colleague Justice Thomas? Will you enable gendercide?