Written by Mary Byron Project Intern
February 25, 2016: Cedric Ford fatally shot three people and wounded fourteen in Newton and Hesston, Kansas.
June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen, brutally shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 outside a night club in Orlando, Florida. This is the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter in US history.
November 5, 2017: Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and injuring 20 more. This was labeled the fifth-deadliest mass shooting in the US and the deadliest shooting in a place of worship in the US.
Something these men have in common? They all had a history of domestic violence and had previously strangled a wife or girlfriend. Kelley was charged with a misdemeanor after strangling his wife and served one year in prison. Ford was also charged with a misdemeanor after strangling his girlfriend and was only required to attend anger management classes. Mateen had strangled both of his wives, but was never charged for either assault. Had these men been convicted of felony strangulation, is there a chance that one or all of these horrific shootings may not have even had the opportunity to occur?