Living with domestic violence is a horrible situation for anyone to be in. It can mean being financially reliant on someone who is abusive to you. It can mean fearing for your life.
In Texas, there was a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs that brings up a good question about gun control and domestic violence. Is what’s happening in the United States now enough to prevent similar situations?
In situations of domestic violence, a gun can become the symbol of one person’s control over the other. Usually, those who commit domestic violence offenses aren’t able to possess guns. Since they allegedly have a violent nature, they shouldn’t have a right to have a weapon until they are cleared of wrongdoing. Despite that, some people, like in the case of the above shooting, still find and use weapons to hurt their victims.
Even with the use of a restraining order, victims aren’t necessarily safe from their abusers. Statistics show that guns are used in the killings of around 53 percent of intimate partner homicides. When responding to calls for help for domestic disputes, 95 percent of the officers killed were killed with firearms.
Victims are five times more likely to die at the hands of their abusers if the abusers have access to guns. For this reason, it’s extremely important for those who are victims of violence to speak up quickly and to ask for protection. If there are guns in the home, they can be removed. Individuals can be placed in protective custody. With the right steps, any victim can escape the dangers they face in a violent home.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Better domestic-violence programs, not more gun laws, is the right response to the Texas mass shooting,” accessed Dec. 06, 2017