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Gun Violence & Domestic Abuse

Gun violence is a big issue these days, but I have been noticing patterns and behaviors that seem to go hand in hand. I want to go ahead and say even though I do not own a gun, my husband does. I am not averse to clay pigeon shooting, target practice, keeping coyotes from hauling off your cats. Both of our families are very well versed in the outdoors, and my husband use to hunt quite a bit before we moved.

I am very much okay with the second amendment; however, sidenote – I doubt when they said “Well Regulated Militia” they were thinking about pimply white kids terrorizing the minority communities in Walmart or Nazi’s …with guns….I digress. I believe we need more gun regulation if it has to be as tedious as operating a motor vehicle than so be it.

It merely comes down to, … do you care enough about women to do something?

Leslie Morgan Steiner in a TedTalk on “Why Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Leave,” said that the very last step in that cycle is death. A Shining example is the other shooting that happened In Plano Texas on September 11th, 2017. Nine people involved, 8 of them were shot dead at a football watch party at his ex-wife’s house.

Patterns

The Sutherland Springs shooter, one of the Boston Marathon bomber, The gunman who opened fire on Republican members of Congress at a baseball practice, the Pulse Nightclub Shooter, Virginia Tech shooter, Planned Parenthood shooter, UC Santa Barbara shooter wrote an entire plan for a “War on Women,.” Even… The man who drove his car into protestors at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.. what did they all have in common?

I’m SO HAPPY YOU ASKED. Domestic Violence.

One in 6 mass shooters has a history of domestic violence.

In America, a majority of fatal domestic violence is committed with firearms; in turn, gun violence against women in America is inextricably linked to domestic violence. At least 52 percent of American women killed with guns are killed by intimate partners or family members. Despite impressions from media coverage, mass shootings in which at least four people were killed with a gun are also typically acts of domestic or family violence.

The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed. It gets worse. I found EverytownResearch.org Listen to these disturbing facts…

  • Women in the U.S. are 16 times more likely to be killed with a gun than women in other high-income countries, making this country the most dangerous in the developed world when it comes to gun violence against women.
  • Every year American women suffer from 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence.
  • In an average month, 50 American women are shot to death by intimate partners, and much more are injured.
  • Nearly 1 million women alive today have been shot, or shot at, by an intimate partner.
  • Abusers use guns to threaten and control their victims, even if they never pull the trigger.
  • About 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner.
  • Most mass shootings in the U.S. are related to domestic or family violence.
  • Everytown’s analysis of mass shootings from 2009 to 2016 shows that in 54 percent of mass shootings, the shooters killed intimate partners or other family members.

The physical and emotional toll of domestic violence also brings an economic cost.

  • Medical, mental health and loss of productivity costs related to domestic violence are estimated at over $8 billion each year.8 That figure doesn’t even include other costs like legal fees, criminal justice costs, or mental health care for children affected by violence.
  • Domestic violence leads to 13.5 million days of lost work each year.
  • One in seven unlawful gun buyers stopped by a federal background check is a domestic abuser.
  • Since its inception in 1998, the federal criminal background check system (NICS) has blocked more than Three-hundred-thousand gun sales to domestic abusers.
  • Only 15 states require abusers subject to final domestic violence restraining orders to turn in their guns.

The Problem with the Laws Currently

In many states, gun laws leave victims of domestic abuse unprotected.

  • One in seven unlawful gun buyers stopped by a federal background check is a domestic abuser.
  • Since its inception in 1998, the federal criminal background check system (NICS) has blocked more than 3hundred thousand gun sales to domestic abusers.
  • However, federal law only requires background checks for gun sales at licensed dealers. While 19 states and Washington D.C go further and require checks on all handgun sales, in all other states abusers can avoid background checks by buying guns from unlicensed sellers they meet online or at gun shows.
  • While federal law prohibits gun possession by certain domestic abusers, it is up to the states to make sure that prohibited domestic abusers relinquish their firearms. Only 15 states require abusers subject to final domestic violence restraining orders to turn in their guns.
  • Federal law prohibits gun possession by domestic abusers; this prohibition typically does not apply when the victim is a dating partner as opposed to a spouse. (bf loophole)

This gap in the law has become increasingly deadly: The share of homicides committed by dating partners has been increasing for three decades.

  • Women are as likely to be killed by dating partners as by spouses.

Current law prohibits stalkers who are convicted of felony offenses from gun possession but does not prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses, even though stalking is also a predictor of intimate partner homicide.

  • A study of intimate partner homicides and attempted homicides involving women victims in 10 major U.S. cities found that 76 percent of those murders and 85 percent of attempted murders of women were preceded by at least one incident of stalking in the year before the attack.

Take Action

There are six critical steps that the Administration can take to address the lethal intersection of guns and domestic violence, keep guns out of dangerous hands, and make American women
safer.

  1.  States should pass legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales and Improve the quality of the domestic violence records in the background check system. State lawmakers should require private, unlicensed sellers to conduct background checks on gun sales, just as licensed gun dealers do.
  2. Congress should close the loopholes in the federal gun prohibitions to ensure that stalkers and dating partners are barred from gun ownership just like other dangerous abusers. Clarifying that domestic abusers are prohibited from having guns regardless of their marital status. Support legislation for closing the “Boyfriend” loophole. S.1539 – Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2017
  3.  States should adopt or strengthen their domestic violence prohibitions. Every state in the nation should prohibit possession of firearms by anyone convicted of abusing an intimate partner or family memberincluding dating partners who do not marry or live together. And every state should prohibit gun possession by anyone subject to a protective order prohibiting them from harassing, threatening, or stalking an intimate partner or family member.
  4.  Congress should require comprehensive background checks and ensure that prohibited domestic abusers cannot easily evade background checks by buying guns from unlicensed sellers. State Authorities should be contacted when a prohibited domestic abuser attempts to buy a gun.
  5. Conducting a study of domestic violence homicide to reveal further the connection between firearms and abuse; You can not fix a problem if you do not understand it. Our politicians need to resist the NRA and monetary desires to find the real cause of gun violence and domestic abuse.
  6.  States should create effective and enforceable laws and policies for prohibited domestic abusers to relinquish their guns. Ensuring that domestic abusers turn in their guns when they become prohibited. The most substantial legislation provides clear directives to courts, law enforcement, and prevented domestic abusers to ensure that dangerous abusers relinquish their guns soon after becoming prohibited.
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Gun Violence Sources

Everytown Research References:

  • Campbell, J. C., Webster, D., Koziol-McLain, J. et al. (2003). Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case-control study. American journal of public health, 93(7), 1089-1097.
  • Grinshteyn, E., & Hemenway, D. (2016). Violent death rates: the US compared with other high-income OECD countries, 2010. The American journal of medicine, 129(3), 266-273.
  • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2003). Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2009-13.
  • Sorenson, S. B., & Schut, R. A. (2016). Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence A Systematic Review of the Literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838016668589.
  • Sorenson, S. B., & Schut, R. A. (2016). Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence A Systematic Review of the Literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838016668589.
  • Everytown for Gun Safety. (2017). Mass Shootings in the United States: 2009-2016″, available at https://everytownresearch.org/reports/mass-shootings-analysis/
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Intimate Partner Violence: Consequences, available at http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/consequences.html.
  • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2003). Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, NICS Operations Reports, 1998-2013.
  • Between the inception of the NICS system in 1998 and December 31, 2014, 112,925 gun sales were federally denied due to a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence conviction, and 47,870 gun sales were federally rejected due to restraining or protection orders for domestic violence, making a total of 160,795 federal denials related to domestic violence. U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, NICS Denials: Reasons Why the NICS Section Denies, Nov. 1, 1998 – Dec. 31, 2014, at http://1.usa.gov/1k9zURj. Between 1998 and 2010, state and local agencies issued a total of 945,915 denials, and for agencies that reported reasons for these denials, 13.2 percent were denials for domestic violence reasons — which would represent another 124,861 domestic violence denials. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Feb. 2013, Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, 2010–Statistical Tables, Feb. 2013, at http://1.usa.gov/Z8vYsa. Between 2012 and 2014, state and local agencies reportedly issued an additional 18,578 domestic violence-related denials. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2014, Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, 2012–Statistical Tables, Dec. 2014; U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2016, Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, 2013-14–Statistical Tables, June 2016. Thus, overall the background check system has issued an estimated 304,234 denials due to domestic violence-related criteria between 1998 and 2014. This is likely to be an underestimation since it does not include state and local denials data for 2011 and local denials data for 2013.
  • CA, CO, CT, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, MN, NC, NH, NY, TN, WA, and WI.
  • Everytown for Gun Safety, Background Check Reduce Gun Violence, and Saves Lives, January 2017. http://etresearch.wpengine.com/background-checks-reduce-gun-violence-and-save-lives/
  • Zeoli, A. M., & Webster, D. W. (2010). Effects of domestic violence policies, alcohol taxes and police staffing levels on intimate partner homicide in large US cities. Injury prevention, 16(2), 90-95.