O’Rourke has been unsparing in his criticism of Donald Trump, calling the President a white supremacist and assigning blame for the attack to his rhetoric. “When you look at what he has said and done in its totality, it is unmistakable the intent,” O’Rourke says. “This is how it happens. Using his pulpit and his access to the country through social media, mass communications, and the media. Sending these signals out unambiguously.”
…As President, O’Rourke says he would take a set of steps to prevent massacres like this: make the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and intelligence community “fully focused” on domestic-terror threats. Push for universal background checks and “ending the sale of weapons of war.” He wants a national standard for red flag laws, and to close the Boyfriend Loophole, which would keep those convicted of domestic abuse or stalking a dating partner from purchasing or owning guns.
In addition to all of that, he suggests, it’s important to have a leader “who reflects that the power of this country is in its diversity,” O’Rourke says. “That’s our genius and what has so powerfully and positively set us apart from the rest of the world.”
Richardson and Weisfeld were among at least 1,800 Texans who had their ballots rejected because of signature issues, according to the suit. The two ― along with multiple disability and advocacy groups ― are parties in the suit, arguing that the Texas process for disqualifying ballots over the signature issue violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of law and due process, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
…If the ballot is rejected, local officials don’t have to notify the voter until 10 days after Election Day that their vote wasn’t counted.
In their complaint, lawyers for the plaintiffs noted that the Texas election code outlines no process those officials, who aren’t handwriting experts, are supposed to follow in comparing signatures.
The state relies “on untrained officials to ‘eye-ball’ a signature, leaving the sacred right to vote up to chance,” said Hani Mirza, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project who is helping represent the plaintiffs.
One common thread that connects many of them — other than access to powerful firearms — is a history of hating women, assaulting wives, girlfriends and female family members, or sharing misogynistic views online, researchers say.
…In more than half of all mass shootings in the United States from 2009 to 2017, an intimate partner or family member of the perpetrator was among the victims.
…“Most mass shooters have a history of domestic or family violence in their background. It’s an important red flag.”
…In recent years, a number of these men have identified as so-called incels, short for involuntary celibates, an online subculture of men who express rage at women for denying them sex, and who frequently fantasize about violence and celebrate mass shooters in their online discussion groups.
…[Elliot O. Rodger] killed six people in 2014 in Isla Vista, Calif., a day after posting a video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution.” In it, he describes himself as being tortured by sexual deprivation and promises to punish women for rejecting him.
…Several mass killers have cited Mr. Rodger as an inspiration.
…Experts say the same patterns that lead to the radicalization of white supremacists and other terrorists can apply to misogynists who turn to mass violence: a lonely, troubled individual who finds a community of like-minded individuals online, and an outlet for their anger.
“They’re angry and they’re suicidal and they’ve had traumatic childhoods and these hard lives, and they get to a point and they find something or someone to blame.”