I must sound like a broken record, but have pity on me–if you are tired of hearing it, imagine how tired I am of saying it.
Men who commit mass violence–and being a young man is characteristic that most mass violence actors have in common–are almost always domestic abusers first. Hate crimes begin at home, and the crime of wife beating is a misogynistic crime. It is rooted in the same toxic masculinity as other kinds of violence, fed by entitlement., grudge holding, and a wounded sense of honor.
James Alex Fields, Jr. is why we need a national domestic violence registry.
Above, the murder weapon–a car–that Fields used.
Prior to his murder of anti-racist activist Heather Heyer and his terrorist attack that harmed 19 others, Fields’ violence toward his mother prompted her to call 911 repeatedly to seek police intervention to protect her from him.
Most domestic abusers do not go on to mow strangers down with their cars. And most people who are planning acts of mass violence aren’t dissuaded from doing so because their names appear in a registry.
But a registry would allow us to keep better track of convicted offenders (who, obviously, do not represent all or perhaps even most of those who commit such acts) and allow us to move more quickly to intervene, including through gun restraining orders.