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Guns + Domestic Violence = Lethality

Jan 04, 2013 — Categories: ,

The presence of guns is what makes domestic violence so deadly. The American Judges Association reports that, “If the abuser has access to a firearm, it is far more likely that homicide will indeed be the result. Research shows that family and intimate partner assaults involving firearms are 12 times more likely to result in death than those that do not involve firearms. Approximately two-thirds of the intimate partner homicides in this country are committed using guns.”

The presence of guns is what makes domestic violence so deadly. The American Judges Association reports that, “If the abuser has access to a firearm, it is far more likely that homicide will indeed be the result. Research shows that family and intimate partner assaults involving firearms are 12 times more likely to result in death than those that do not involve firearms. Approximately two-thirds of the intimate partner homicides in this country are committed using guns.”

Sadly, domestic violence homicide-suicide is so commonplace that it does not get our attention. Over 1,000 women are murdered each year by an intimate partner, with guns being the most frequently used weapon. (The recent Jovan Belcher-Kasandra Perkins tragedy being the exception because he was a high profile professional athlete.) It takes yet another massacre in a public place to get us to pause and realize how out of control our gun culture really is.

I am generally not one to bother with conspiracy theories, but there are a few connections that go beyond theory. In the wake of the tragedy of the Newtown massacre and the response by the National Rifle Association, some things are coming into clearer focus.

  • The NRA is the spokesperson and lobbyist for the gun industry more than it is for gun owners.
  • Each mass killing with firearms increases NRA membership and gun sales.
  • The brilliant idea from the NRA to put armed guards and armed teachers in every school would be a boondoggle for the gun industry. How do we address the problem of school shootings? Put more guns in schools.
  • Even gun owners support basic, common sense gun laws.
  • While the NRA may disingenuously blame violent video games for gun massacres, in fact the links between the video games industry and the gun industry are substantial and very lucrative.
  • The distorted interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to guarantee the personal right to possess weapons of mass destruction is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

It is no longer acceptable to allow the special interests of the gun industry lobby (i.e. the NRA) to hold the nation hostage. Common sense gun laws to at least ban semi-automatic weapons in the hands of civilians are long overdue.

During my visit to Iceland several years ago, I recall a discussion about gun violence. No one has a gun there unless you are a farmer and need a rifle for hunting. As we compared the dramatic cultural difference between our two countries, my host, a theology professor, simply asked, “Why do you need guns?” Surely this is the right question.

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute

www.faithtrustinstitute.org

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guns and violence

Posted by Richard Howard at Jan 08, 2013 07:54 PM
Your message reflects the feelings and views of millions of grass roots citizens, whose voices must be heard if we ever are to make progress in sensible gun control in this nation.