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5 Reasons Why Looser Gun Laws Won’t Guarantee Women’s Safety

5 Reasons Why Looser Gun Laws Won’t Guarantee Women’s Safety

Written by Kendall Bills

In the wake of the tragedy at Newtown and the growing bipartisan support for sensible gun safety regulations, the gun manufacturing lobby has advanced a particularly noxious lie: that an unchecked, free-for-all gun market could guarantee women’s safety. In reality, gun violence has a particularly devastating impact for women, who suffer from domestic violence at stunning rates. Last week alone, at least 11 people were shot in domestic violence related incidents. Here are the facts about women and gun violence:

1. Women care about gun safety. A recent poll released by the Pew Research Center revealed a stark gender divide when it comes to support for common sense gun violence prevention measures—a 21-point gap between men and women asked about the relative importance of gun violence prevention compared to unfettered access—with women focused on safety. 90 percent of women are concerned about gun violence—and 63% are very concerned.

2. The threat of violence in the home is real. Women are twice as likely to be shot and killed by intimate partners as they are to be murdered by strangers using any type of weapon. American women who are killed by their intimate partners are more likely to be killed with guns than by all other methods combined. Approximately 700 American women are shot and killed by intimate partners each year.

3. Convincing women to buy guns is a marketing strategy, not a public service. Despite gun manufacturer’s rhetoric about protecting women, the reality is that selling women guns is about profit, not protection—as demonstrated above, having a gun in the home is not a guarantee for safety, and actually endangers the 960,000 women who experience domestic violence each year.

4. Stalkers can buy guns. There is currently no federal law prohibiting those convicted of stalking from acquiring firearms. This is particularly disturbing given that stalking is usually part of a pattern of escalating, violent behavior. An abuser’s access to a gun is associated with an 8-fold increase in the risk of homicide.

5. Women are listening to those most affected by gun violence. When given a list of people and organizations and asked which groups were most influential on matters of gun violence, women’s top two picks were “a mother trying to keep her kids safe,” and “someone whose family members were killed.” In last place? The NRA.

Where do women go from here? The answer is: we’re already on the move. The Pew poll reveals that women are eager to engage on the topic of gun violence, with political activism at the top of the list. When asked what they were most likely to do to address gun violence, the number one-ranked answer was writing elected officials in support of new laws.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.

 

Related Stories:

Gun Crazy: Why is America Different from Other Countries?

How Ending the War on Drugs Could Curb Gun Violence

Regardless of Political Party, Women Support Gun Control

 

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Photo: D Services/flickr

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178 comments

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1:33AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Thanks for sharing

3:50PM PST on Mar 4, 2013

As a former trainer for female self defence, I agree with the article.

8:00AM PST on Mar 4, 2013

thanks

6:26PM PST on Mar 3, 2013

Wanda thanks for the explanation: We don't have many large cities in OZ. There are retirement pockets but overall the population is spread out..the Gold Coast would be the closest we probably have..must of the home invasions (break-ins) are so by drug addicts looking for money or items of value and they usually like to get in an out undetected..different lifestyle altogether I suppose..but when crime is reported, especially thefts..that can include letter boxes, garden gnomes, etc.

7:54PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

@Ros G.-It is not unique to Florida but because laws in each state can have similarities you can see a trend, at the same time you see problems where one state blames another. Florida does not have the lowest gun murders, but that is expected considering the sheer volume of population density. As with most statistics, 95+% of all gun crimes occur in the larger cities (250K+ pop.) and Florida has several such cities. The controversial SYG law in Florida was necessary simply because of Florida’s unique demographics. It is a known fact that Florida is considered the retirement state of the US because tax laws are very lenient to the elderly. With many retirees settling down in Florida came what I term the ‘Dire Wolves’, which are the criminal home invaders that were drawn to Florida because there were many ‘well off old people’ living in Florida that were easy targets. Retirees became the overall victims and police just simply would get to the scene after the fact. So the ‘Castle Doctrine’ known as SYG Law was implemented to allow retirees the Right to defend their homes from the criminals. Home invasions dropped drastically but as a result other situations arose where the SYG law was being abused, like the Trayvon Martin case (Which I am sure Zimmerman will come out guilty). But if you add up the abuse cases and match it to the drop in home invasion cases you can see a very lop sided reason why the SYG law has helped more than harmed. It was a

12:48PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Thanks Wanda, is that unique to Florida because of their laws, or are the other States in line as well?

12:06PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

@Darryll G.-“ Tell that to the cops who get shot with ak 47s or mac 10s or the people who get hosed with automatic gunfire in driveby shootings with gun they bought illeagly”
Please post links to back up your claim or it didn’t happen. When VP Biden claimed cops were being outgunned I researched it and that has only happened a handful of times across the entire US since 1991 where police officers have found themselves outgunned. Like much of those fear mongering claims there is not enough evidence to back them up. In-fact more than half the articles I have found say the Cops have killed those using Mac10’s more than the other way around.

11:44AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Wanda B.
8:52AM PST on Mar 2, 2013
@Ros G.- I actually feel it is a level playing field. In-fact, law abiding citizens have superior weapons to criminals which is a good deterrent although not perfect. Criminals for the most part through straw man purchases buy the cheapest guns they can get, they are criminals and either can't afford superior weapons or are only sold the low end quality weapons at a higher price. Law abiding citizens, by the way of how the system is set now, can afford superior weapons and the training that comes with it. Most of the time a crime is deterred by an armed law abiding citizen is usually when the criminal realizes that he is out matched and quickly runs away. Simply put just imagine a criminal wanting to have his way with a little old lady and she either pulls out a nice shiny revolver or maybe there is a gentleman beside her dressed up in his cowboy fashion with his hand moving toward an area that may seem to contain a concealed weapon. It is common knowledge that Cowboys usually pack a 1911 .45 ACP, that is going to hurt! I usually carry a S&W M&P Shield 9MM Compact wherever I go and I try to avoid places that my CCW is not allowed. For every crime committed where there is a gun involved, 4 other crimes are averted thanks to armed citizens.
. Tell that to the cops who get shot with ak 47s or mac 10s or the people who get hosed with automatic gunfire in driveby shootings with gun they bought illeagly

10:11AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

They should at least make the laws more strict and make it a little harder to buy guns. For example, they would check your criminal records. A stalker should not be able to buy a gun, it's obvious what they're going to use that for.

8:52AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

@Ros G.- I actually feel it is a level playing field. In-fact, law abiding citizens have superior weapons to criminals which is a good deterrent although not perfect. Criminals for the most part through straw man purchases buy the cheapest guns they can get, they are criminals and either can't afford superior weapons or are only sold the low end quality weapons at a higher price. Law abiding citizens, by the way of how the system is set now, can afford superior weapons and the training that comes with it. Most of the time a crime is deterred by an armed law abiding citizen is usually when the criminal realizes that he is out matched and quickly runs away. Simply put just imagine a criminal wanting to have his way with a little old lady and she either pulls out a nice shiny revolver or maybe there is a gentleman beside her dressed up in his cowboy fashion with his hand moving toward an area that may seem to contain a concealed weapon. It is common knowledge that Cowboys usually pack a 1911 .45 ACP, that is going to hurt! I usually carry a S&W M&P Shield 9MM Compact wherever I go and I try to avoid places that my CCW is not allowed. For every crime committed where there is a gun involved, 4 other crimes are averted thanks to armed citizens.

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