It's a very good point. Written about the Virginia Tech killer, Screaming into the Void writes (emphasis mine):
The Virginia Tech shooter had a history of stalking women. Not just following them with starry eyes as the kindly (towards men) patriarchal imagination paints those poor misunderstood stalkers:Notice a pattern with these guys? Hello? Anyone? These serial killers and mass murderers who “suddenly snap” almost invariably have a problem with women. They almost always have a long history of stalking women, accusations of date rape or “domestic” violence (which are finally listed as “unfounded” and dismissed), and glorification of violence notable even for our violence-enamored society, often with a focus on violence done in sexual ways toward women.
But because women don’t matter, because women aren’t seen as people, these warning signs are not taken seriously. The campus police did not move to secure the campus early in the day when he shot the first two people because they blew it off as probably a “domestic” incident of murder/suicide - police shorthand for “He only killed a woman he’d had sex with before, so she’d probably asked for it anyway and of course he isn’t going to hurt any REAL people, just the bitch who pushed him over the edge.” Because they don’t take violence against women seriously, even murder of women, 30 more people were killed. They did track down her boyfriend to question him, but they didn’t lock down the campus in case they were wrong - they assumed a man who shoots his girlfriend isn’t a danger to any real people.
There’s a double mistake in this thinking. First of all, violence against one woman - even if the offender has a past or current relationship with her - should mean the offender is immediately taken to jail. Who cares if she wants to press charges? If someone starts beating up strangers on the street and the police are alerted, the offender goes straight to jail and the charges are sorted out later. Why? Because - and here’s a radical idea - even if she fucked him before, SHE’S STILL A HUMAN BEING WHO DOESN’T DESERVE TO GET BEATEN, RAPED, OR KILLED FOR IT. Secondly, while some men are happy to have just their own personal punching bag/gun target in the form of a woman on whom they perpetrate “intimate violence”, often a man uses women (or other low status humans, like the homeless or prostitutes) as practice before moving on to killing “real people” (like men, or unrelated university students with a career in front of them, or people with jobs, or chaste women who are married to/property of some other man). Even if you don’t take violence against an individual woman seriously, from a law enforcement perspective and a public safety perspective it is FUCKING STUPID to blow off someone who shoots, rapes, or beats his girlfriend as not being a danger to society. Yet law enforcement does this all the time.
I had been surprised to hear about all the stalking he had done and the judge-ordered mental health treatment, and then that the media and students all kept saying "well that didn't mean he was going to do anything dangerous". WHY NOT? When does it? I thought it seemed unusual that all that was so downplayed. Screaming into the Void makes good points about mass murderers usually having a problem with women. And then her second point how if it had been a stranger he went out and beat up/killed, he would still go to jail without having to "check with the partner" to see if she wants to press charges.