Is An Abuser’s Right to Bear Arms Greater Than a Woman’s Right to Live?

Thank you, The New York Times, for this excellent article on a piece of Vagina News I’ve been thinking about for a while.

We know a lot about the role guns play in domestic/intimate partner violence. More than half of all female murder victims in the US are killed by current or former intimate partners. Most of those intimate partner homicides involve guns. And many of those victims had active protective orders against their murderers when they were killed.

We know that when a women is trying to protect herself from an abuser, the most dangerous time is immediately after a protective order is served. We also know that, in places where police take possession of weapons at the time an order is served, intimate partner homicide decreases dramatically. (And yes, we know the NRA says protective orders are issued baselessly, and we know they’re wrong. There’s a high threshold of credible danger before a protective order can be issued, and the vast majority of protective orders are upheld in court.)

In a time when we still casually blame women for being with abusive men because ‘she could just leave’, I ask this; if you were in an abusive intimate relationship with someone who owned guns, would you be more likely to leave and/or pursue legal action if you knew the guns would be removed, at least temporarily? I would. 

So this is the question. Which do we value more as a society – the Second Amendment rights of domestic abusers, or women’s lives? 

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