Friday, April 14, 2017


            In my work on school shootings I am sometimes asked if I see any patterns in the killers. The answer is “yes.” A large number of the killers have troubles with women. Here are a four examples:

1.    Cho Seung-Hui, who killed 32 and wounded another 17 at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, stalked female students. A complaint from one female student resulted in his being first warned and later then taken into custody.

2.    Peter Odighizuwa, who killed three and wounded three others at the Appalachian School of Law on January 16, 2002, was a wife beater and ranted and raved against females in classes.

3.    Elliott Roger, killed six and wounded 14 in Santa Barbara, California on May 23, 2014. Before beginning his rampage he uploaded a video to YouTube detailing his frustrations at not having a girlfriend and his hatred of women.

4.    Omar Mateen, who killed 49 and wounded 53 others in an Orlando nightclub on June 16, 2016, abused his first wife. A friend said he hated women because you have to be nice to them to get sex.

            Most recently, on April 10, 2017,  Cedric Anderson (age 53) went to the school in San Bernardino, California where is estranged wife was teaching. Anderson killed his wife, himself, and an eight-year-old boy. A nine-year-old boy was seriously wounded. Anderson was a pastor with a history of domestic violence and gun arrests going back over a decade.

            I have not studied the history of the mass killers in this country, but the ones I have looked at have two characteristics that emerge. First, the above abuse of women and second, a documented history of types of mental illness that produce violent behavior.

            It should not be that hard for the “Greatest Country on Earth” to keep guns out of the hands of people with a documented history of spouse abuse or who have been deemed mentally ill and a threat to themselves and others.

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