The US Supreme Court voted 6-2 this week to uphold a federal gun control statute that bans gun ownership for domestic abusers. Two men from Maine who had pled guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault argued that their abuse resulted in the heat of an argument and that they should not lose their rights to own guns because their acts were not reckless.
Fortunately, the Court disagreed. Consider these facts:
- Women who are abused are FIVE times more likely to be murdered if their abuser owns a firearm.
- Domestic violence assaults are TWELVE times more likely to end in death when a gun is involved.
- More than TWO-THIRDS of spousal homicide victims are killed with a fire arm.
- Nearly TWO-THIRDS of females who are killed by guns are killed by her intimate partner.
- More than HALF of mass shootings involve the murder of an intimate partner and/or family member.
- Perpetrators of mass killings almost ALWAYS have a history of domestic violence and/or child abuse. (The ex-wife of the Orlando shooting suspect, Omar Mateen, fled her marriage with nothing but the clothes on her back in fear for her life.)
- FOUR people were murdered in domestic violence incidents in Somerset County in 2015. Two were murdered with firearms.
I am encouraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold this federal law. However, these statistics are strong evidence that much more needs to be done to protect our society from domestic abusers who turn to gun violence and murder.
Thank you for reading Safe+Sound Somerset’s first weekly blog. Please share with others through Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. In the coming weeks, you will be able to comment and ask questions on our interactive blog! I look forward to hearing from you and opening a conversation about this most important topic.