Sierra Smucker

Sierra Smucker is a PhD Candidate at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University where she studies the politics of domestic violence laws and firearms regulation in the United States.

Recent Articles

Domestic Violence and Mass Shootings: Why Existing Laws Fail

State and federal lawmakers should take a closer look at the links between abuse and murder and work on new laws to stop batterers from acquiring guns. 

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) Two women embrace outside Rancho Tehama Elementary School, where Kevin Janson Neal opened fire on November 14, 2017, in Tehama, California, killing five people at several sites and wounding others. D ays after 26 people were killed in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a gunman opened fire in the small town of Tehama, California , killing five and wounding ten, including students at a local elementary school. There were few similarities between the two men. Devin Patrick Kelley was 26 years old at the time he attacked churchgoers in Sutherland Springs. He grew up 30 miles away and served in the Air Force. Kevin Janson Neal was 43 when he attacked his wife, neighbors, and a school full of children in California. Neal struggled with mental illness, according to his family and grew marijuana for a living. Identifying the next mass shooter is difficult if not impossible to do. The most recent tragedies show how different two perpetrators can be. But the attributes that...