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Link between domestic violence and guns

Most Pennsylvania residents are aware of the shocking mass murder incidents that have happened, both recently and in the past few years. While society is rightfully focused on what can be done to help prevent them, there is a less well-known problem of mass shootings that largely avoids the national news.

A majority of mass shootings involving four or more people involve domestic violence. When people review the data, it is apparent that domestic violence mass shootings are almost epidemic in the U.S.

Everytown, a gun safety advocacy organization, reviewed mass shooting data from between January 2009 and July 2015. During that period, the organization found that 50 percent of all fatally-injured victims in mass shootings involving four or more fatalities were women. By contrast, women accounted for only 15 percent of gun deaths during the same time period overall. Among the mass shooting cases, 76 percent of them clearly involved domestic violence, with people shooting partners, children, relatives and others. Understanding the link between domestic violence and guns is important so that more can be done to address this problem.

Domestic violence is more than just a serious problem. It can be deadly for those who are victims. A person who is in a domestic violence relationship needs to get help. Victims may want to meet with a family law attorney, who might be able to help them obtain a protective order from the court. An attorney may also be able to link their clients with shelters at which they can stay with their children that have protected addresses. Abuse victims may also need to have the courage to report their abuser to law enforcement officers. Simply staying in the situation will not make it better, and it could escalate into increased violence.

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