U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), introduced legislation requiring the Attorney General to conduct a study and provide a report to Congress on possible links between mass shooters and a history of domestic violence. The shooter in last Sunday’s massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas was discharged from the U.S. Air Force for assaulting his spouse and child.
“In the wake of yet another appalling mass shooting, Members of Congress must look ourselves in the mirror and ask: ‘beyond thoughts and prayers, what real steps are we taking to save lives,” said Rep. Quigley. “It is devastatingly clear that we cannot afford another year, month, day, or minute of inaction, as these tragic events become increasingly familiar. I agree with my Republican colleagues when they say the time to talk about gun violence prevention is not now, because the time has already come and gone. But the conversation must continue.”
“No perfect solution exists to end all gun violence, but we know from the experiences of other countries that a combination of small, common-sense policy solutions can severely reduce it. We must be honest about the facts and evidence we currently possess, as we remain diligent in our ongoing efforts to discover new information that can inform policy decisions and stop this cycle of violence. If we look at the recent mass shootings in Sutherland Springs, Orlando, and the Congressional Baseball Game practice, we see a noticeable trend: all these shooters acted alone and had prior history of domestic violence. Studies on the link between domestic violence at the early stages and mass shootings may help us prevent individuals from carrying out these horrific crimes in the future,” Rep. Quigley concluded.
Beyond providing an opportunity to determine whether domestic violence is a driving factor in mass shootings, Rep. Quigley said findings from the study could highlight the warning signs of violent behavior; whether these shooters should have been prohibited from possessing a firearm; and where the majority of these shootings occur. The knowledge gained from such a study could help legislators examine current laws and guide their ability to draft new legislation to combat this dilemma, he said.