Last Saturday, Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot his ex-girlfriend Shaneka Thompson in the stomach. If that were all he did, most of us would never have heard of him today, writes Nancy Leong of the University of Denver law school for Slate. Shooting your ex-girlfriend is at most local news, she says. The management of Thompson's apartment complex told residents that the shooting was “a private, isolated incident.”
Even though three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends daily in the U.S., Leong says domestic violence is regarded as “just another routine event.” Because later that day, Brinsley went on to murder two New York police officers, his shooting of Thompson was no private, isolated incident, Leong says, adding that, “Men who engage in violence at home are often men who engage in violence outside the home.” Leong cites patterns: Before Cho Seung-Hui killed more than 30 people at Virginia Tech in 2007, he was investigated for stalking female classmates. Before Elliot Rodger launched a shooting spree in Isla Vista, Ca., that left six dead and 13 wounded, he authored angry and misogynistic tirades in various online forums, threw coffee on ” two hot blonde girls” at a bus stop after they failed to smile at him, and tried to push women over a ledge at a party.