Not much of a Christmas season to celebrate in at least two Virginia homes this year.
In Reston, a Fairfax County town Southwest of Washington, DC, Buckley Kuhn-Fricker went to her 16-year-old daughter’s bedroom when she heard a noise at 5 a.m. Friday morning and found the girl’s Nazi-loving 17-year-old boyfriend with her.
Her husband came to the bedroom to check on the commotion and ordered the boy to leave. Instead, the kid pulled out a handgun and opened fire, killing both parents before turning the weapon on himself.
Fairfax County police found Fricker and husband Scott dead at the scene and the boy gravely injured from his suicide attempt. The teen, who lives in nearby Lorton, is hospitalized in critical condition.
Family members say the boy promoted racism and worshiped Nazis and the parents of his girlfriend had been trying to keep him away from their daughter after she started dating him in June.
Buckley found Twitter tweets by the boy praising Hitler, supporting Nazi book bombings, calling for “a white revolution,” hatred of Jews and an anti-gay illustration that showed a vulgar slur over a man hanging from a noose. She notified the administration of the private school that he and their daughter attend.
By Thursday, Buckley told friends that the “outspoken Neo-Nazi” was out of their lives. Their daughter had dumped the boyfriend and agreed to not see him again, she said. She told the boy’s mother that her son “was sneaking into our house at night..and is an outspoken Neo Nazi. These things render any legal redemption void.”
The next morning, she the boy in her daughter’s bedroom and he gunned both parents down in front of their daughter before trying to kill himself. If he lives, he faces two charges of murder.
In neighboring Loudoun County, a domestic dispute between a man and his 19-year-old daughter on Christmas Eve brought gunfire from the man who shot two deputies — one in the leg and the other in an arm and both legs.
Sheriff Michael Chapman reported the injuries are not life threatening and said both of his officers are “doing pretty good.”
The gunman is in jail with charges pending.
These two acts of violence in the Old Dominion were just two that brought injures and death to families about the country. Calls to suicide call lines jammed phone lines on Christmas Eve and into the morning of December 25.
Domestic abuse does not take holidays, says Monica McLaughlin, deputy director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
“Coercive control doesn’t take a vacation,” he says. “It’s there all the time.”
On an average Christmas Day in America, more people die from gun violence than the yearly totals in an entire year in Austria, New Zealand, Slovenia, Estonia, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Iceland combined.
As a year with a record pace of mass shootings in America comes to a bloody close, the numbers increase daily.
In America, a woman is assaulted or beaten or killed every nine seconds, says the Domestic Violence Intervention Program.
“Domestic violence is an epidemic, no matter what statistic you look at, yet as a society we often close our eyes to it,”says Amy Sanchez,, director of Break the Cycle, a program that focuses on Domestic Violence. “Millions of women and children that we know are living in violent homes every day.”
In Floyd County, assaults from family members appear more and more frequently on court dockets. Judges sign protective orders to try and keep violent men away from girlfriends, wives and children.
The Domestic Violence Intervention Program found FBI reports that show “violence will occur during the course of two thirds of all Americans.”
One in three women and one in four men become victims of physical violence by an intimate partner. Crime statistics from the federal Department of Justice say 45 percent of female rape victims in America are raped by an intimate partner.
The current president of the United States, Donald Trump, faced three charges of rape — one from his first wife and another from a 13-year-old girl.
So much for the joy of Christmas.