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Governments Must Invest in Violence Prevention

September 28, 2013 

Camille Hayes

In October 2012, a man opened fire in a Wisconsin beauty salon killing three people and wounding four before fatally shooting himself. On April 21 of this year, a 27-year-old in Seattle shot and killed four residents of an apartment complex before dying in a firefight with police. On June7 in Santa Monica, a gunman killed five people, three of them on a college campus, then was fatally shot by police.

What these mass killings all have in common, aside from the sadly predictable use of firearms, is that each involved domestic violence, either as an immediate or a related cause. The Santa Monica gunman grew up watching his father brutally beat his mother, later became a disturbed adult obsessed with weapons, and was kicked out of high school for making violent threats. In the Wisconsin and Seattle shootings, the perpetrators’ primary targets were their wife and girlfriend; the rest of the victims were bystanders who got in the way.

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