[Content Note: Guns; death; domestic violence; workplace violence.]
Yesterday, a man named Cedric Ford went on a shooting spree, wounding 14 people and killing three others across multiple sites. He was also killed, reportedly during a shootout with police.
Authorities quickly said that the shooting was not "terrorism," and that Ford was "triggered" by something else, but declined to further elaborate.
At first, it was believed that an argument with a coworker may have been the triggering event, but this morning during a news conference, Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said that Ford "was served a protection from abuse order just hours before the first shooting. Walton wouldn't comment on the specifics of the PFA, but does say it was filed by someone the gunman was in a relationship with."
So here again is another shooting spree that began with an incident related to domestic violence.
Are we going to have a serious public conversation about that? No. We're barely even going to talk about this shooting at all, because it's just another day in the United States.
My condolences to the friends, families, and colleagues of the victims who died. I hope the surviving victims have access to the resources they need to heal. I also read that Ford has two young children, and my thoughts are with them and their mother(s).
I'm thinking about the woman who took out the order of protection against Ford, and what she must be feeling in this moment. I hope she has access to the resources she'll need to heal, too.
This guy just did an extraordinary amount of damage, as all of these guys do. Which is, of course, the whole point. They don't just want to kill people; they want to do reverberating harm, leave a trail of lingering destruction.
Lots of people will, again, be calling for better screening, better mental healthcare, etc. But the truth is that Ford was probably not mentally ill, and very likely would never have been flagged for treatment even if he were.
The only thing that will ever meaningfully reduce gun violence is reducing access to guns.