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Study Connects Mass Shooting And Domestic Violence

A recent study found that there has been one mass shooting per month in the United States since 2009, and domestic violence was a common factor in many of the cases. The study was commissioned by the advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Among some of the more interesting findings:

  • Mass shootings account for less than 1 percent of murders involving firearms.
  • Up to a third of mass shooters may have been legally barred from possessing firearms due to mental illness or criminal conviction.
  • In 40 percent of cases, the shooter killed a current or former spouse or partner. 20 percent of mass shooters had a prior domestic violence charge. 

Family law and personal security 

Even though domestic violence is a common thread in many mass-shooting incidents, is a domestic violence charge a reliable predictor of such instances? Some observers say “no”, citing the fact that around 50 percent of domestic violence charges are subsequently dropped. Of course, just because a charge is dismissed does not mean that there was no evidence to support the charge. A victim may voluntarily withdraw a complaint for many reasons, even if the complaint is perfectly valid. 

Newport family law attorneys suggest a careful approach when trying to connect the dots between family violence and a violent character, asking: 

  • What were the circumstances of the arrest?
  • What exactly did the person allegedly do?
  • How many incidents, not just arrests, have there been?
  • How recent are these incidents?
  • Has there been a substantial change in circumstances, such as a divorce and a relocation? 

Family law issues can arise under many different circumstances. For a free consultation with attorneys who understand all these circumstances, contact our office.

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