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Resources and Context For The Mass Shooting In San Jose

May 27, 2021

Yesterday, nine people were shot and killed in a mass shooting at a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard in San Jose, California. All of the victims were VTA employees, as was the shooter. The shooter had a reported history of domestic violence.

“Every nation is home to misogynists, but only the United States gives them easy access to arsenals and ammunition,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The connection between those who commit violence against women and mass shootings is stark and cannot be ignored. Whether it’s in their home or at their workplace, women are increasingly the targets of these horrific acts and these preventable tragedies must be addressed with action.”

Below, please find additional information on the link between domestic violence and mass shootings, as well as workplace mass shootings.

Domestic Violence and Mass Shootings:

  • A Mother Jones investigation in 2019 found “a stark pattern of misogyny and domestic violence among many attackers” and “a strong overlap between toxic masculinity and public mass shootings.”
  • A Bloomberg News investigation in 2020 found that almost 60 percent of shooting incidents which killed or wounded four or more people involved an aggressor with a history of—or in the act of—domestic violence. Per the report, “the deadlier the shooting, the more likely the gunman had a history of domestic violence.”
  • Perpetrators of some of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history have had histories of domestic violence. Per an ABC report, the shooter behind the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, that claimed 49 lives physically abused his wife for years. The 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting that killed 26 was perpetrated by a man who was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his then-wife and child. And in 2007, the shooter who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech was accused of stalking two female classmates.
  • More than half of all mass shootings are domestic violence related. According to an Everytown analysis, in at least 54 percent of mass shootings between 2009 and 2018, the perpetrator shot a current or former intimate partner or family member during the rampage.
  • Women in the US are 25 times more likely to be killed by guns than women in other high-income countries. Every month, an average of 57 women in the US are shot and killed by an intimate partner, and many more are shot and wounded. Approximately 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner.

Workplace Mass Shootings:

  • Yesterday’s mass shooting in San Jose is the 38th workplace mass shooting since 2009 (defined as shootings where at least four people were shot and killed and a victim was an employee working at at least one location of the shooting), which has resulted in 295 killed and 521 wounded, including the 9 killed yesterday. There were 5 other workplace mass shootings this year: in Cherokee County (Atlanta), GA; Boulder, CO; Essex, MD; Orange, CA; and Indianapolis, IN.
  • Between 2009 and 2018, 29 percent of all mass shootings occurred entirely in public places like schools, malls, or bars. Of these public mass shootings, the majority (61 percent) occurred at least partially in a place of business such as a restaurant or retail store.

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