Guns are killing women and the startling statistics regarding this domestic crisis only reinforce the severity of the situation. As reported in an article published in the Huffington post, between the years of 2001 and 2012, the amount of women who were murdered by an intimate partner using a gun was more than the amount of people killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars combined. To be exact, 6,410 women were killed by a gun used by an intimate partner within the past ten years.
The combination of an abusive partner and firearm too frequently results in a deadly mixture for women. In fact, as upheld in a study published by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, when an abusive partner possesses a firearm, he is five times as likely to kill his partner. Whereas only 34 percent of men know their assailants, almost two-thirds of women affected by gun violence know their murderer. Evidently, “as far as intimacy and violence are concerned, our guns are not securing us. They are killing us at home and in our neighborhoods.”
It is clear that the gun violence crisis perpetuated by domestic abusers needs to be addressed. Fortunately, as outlined in the article, there are several actions we can demand our legislators to take in order to protect our women. First, legislators should prohibit all abusers, stalkers, and those subject to restraining orders from possessing firearms. Furthermore, law enforcement and government agencies should report these abusers in a timely manner to NICS so that the background check system can work effectively. Third, legislators should recognize that spouses are not the only ones subject to domestic violence; dating partners are too. Therefore, the legal language surrounding domestic abuse should be redefined to include a broader range of relationships. Lastly, though it may seem obvious, we must continue to demand from lawmakers and law enforcement agents to keep guns from prohibited users. By taking these steps, we can protect women.