Twelve of the twenty-five deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history have all occurred since 2012, with five of the top ten having occurred since 2015. Given the increased frequency and intensity of mass gun violence in recent years, this paper analyzes many of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, dating from 1966 to 2018, in order to examine the motivations of the perpetrators and assess the role of mental illness in these attacks. An evaluation of the current epidemic of mass shootings is conducted under the sociological application of riot theory, and the author reveals a distinct pattern among mass shooters, with a significant portion having a history of either domestic violence or stalking. This paper offers several policy solutions to better target these demographics, and makes a case for restricting their access to firearms. The evidence supports the notion that, by targeting these specific demographics, the next mass attack may be preventable through prudent policy. This paper argues that policymakers should prioritize better enforcement of existing federal domestic violence laws, restrict firearm access to felon and misdemeanant-level stalkers, and ensure stronger state participation in updating the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s NICS Index.
Dunlap, Jacob Shawn
"The Connection Between Mass Shootings and Domestic Violence,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 11, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol11/iss1/6