But there should be more room for this horrible massacre in Texas, where a man shot and killed his estranged wife and seven of her friends after showing up at her house during a cookout and apparently arguing with her. From Heavy.com:
Several of the victims and those attending the party had been friends with both Spencer and Meredith Hight, including Dunlop, who was the best man at their wedding in 2012, and Morgan, who was a groomsman, WFAA-TV reports. After the couple separated, Dunlop took Spencer Hight in to his apartment for a few months, according to the news station. [...]
Debbie Lane told the newspaper that her daughter had said Spencer was violent with her at least twice, including a time in the fall of 2016 when he slammed her face into a wall, but she didn't report those incidents to the police.
Meredith's mother said that Spencer lost his job shortly after they bought the house together, and Meredith paid the mortgage on her own while giving him time to get his act together, according to the Dallas newspaper.
There is so much at work in this story — an alleged alcohol problem, a violent temper, a history of domestic violence, and a “love of guns, knives and swords” — that it is tempting to write it off as just one more domestic violence incident that spiraled.
Would addressing one problem have fixed all the others? If Hight had gone to anger management classes. If the country didn't have so many guns just lying around to the point where even stringent gun control laws would not have prevented him from getting his hands on one that held enough bullets for him to quickly mow down eight other people ... if if if.
But it seems nuts that the country has become so accustomed to mass shootings that the slaughter of eight people barely made a dent in the news cycle. Even if the shooter did not have what writers call a “hook.” He didn't, to our knowledge, have a history of expressing misogyny toward women like Elliot Rodger or have undiagnosed schizophrenia like Jared Loughner.
But he did have an ex-wife and a lot of anger that she was seemingly moving on with a life that would no longer include him. That is a lot more common to domestic violence shootings than anything else, which is why massacres like this most recent one deserve sustained attention, not just a blip on the news in between stories about book tours about the last election.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.