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It's not exactly breaking news that gun enthusiasts oppose stronger gun laws intended to curb domestic violence and save lives. The NRA is on record, after all, fighting to keep guns in the hands of domestic abusers. More recently, the gun lobby has been busy arguing that women need guns to defend themselves, with one of them going so far as to claim feminists support Stand Your Ground laws.

Survivors of domestic violence, on the other hand, are taking time during this awareness month to testify before Congress in support of stronger gun laws. ThinkProgress interviewed one of these survivors about her personal experience, which doesn't fit the NRA script of armed women naturally resulting in righteous self-defense and safety.

I had no idea feminists were on record in monolithic support of Stand Your Ground laws. This I had to see. That was Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, testifying at the Senate hearing on Stand Your Ground laws. The video doesn't want to embed here for some reason, but I did transcribe the relevant portion.

Among those harmed by the duty to retreat are domestic violence victims, who turn on their assailants. Feminists thus support Stand Your Ground, and point out that "you could have run away" may not work when faced with a stalker.
Now, perhaps there are some feminists who offer that line of reasoning. There could be some who do explicitly support Stand Your Ground laws. But I don't see any credible evidence offered to support this notion from Shapiro, just a few premises with no example backing them up, much less any blanket support from feminists -- or victims of domestic violence.

As a counter-example, there is Christy Salters Martin, who was stabbed repeatedly, then shot by her husband, but she managed to survive his attack. Naturally he was given the mandatory minimum sentence, because he was old, or afraid of her, or because he never admitted what he'd done anyway, or what the hell, he's a prayerful domestic abuser.

He suggested, rather, that her injuries were suffered in a struggle, and both he and his ex-wife were responsible: "We stabbed her," he said, later adding, "I didn't attack Christy."

He called his ex-wife his "hero" and told the judge, just before the sentence was handed down, "I came here with God in my heart, and I'll leave with God in my heart."

Guess that point-blank gunshot was just more struggling eh? Sure. I guess the judge was feeling merciful...toward the abuser.

ThinkProgress mentions that while Christy had a gun -- they both did -- that didn't protect her like the gun lobby says it will.

“I was shot with my own gun. Just putting a weapon in the woman’s hand is not going to reduce the number of fatalities or gunshot victims that we have,” Christy pointed out. “Too many times, their male counterpart or spouse will be able to overpower them and take that gun away.”

The evidence backs up Christy’s point. Abusers who have access to a gun are more than seven times more likely to kill their partners. By some estimations, the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations — no matter who technically owns it — increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent. In 2011, 44 percent of the women in this country who were killed with guns were murdered by a current or former intimate partner.

So, contrary to the gun lobby's argument about domestic violence victims and feminists needing more guns to make them safer, instead survivors like Christy are testifying in support of stronger background checks. And with good reason, as ThinkProgress reports fewer women are killed by their partners when background checks are required.
Thanks to current loopholes in federal law, some domestic abusers are still able to get their hands on guns. That’s what Christy and her fellow survivors want to change. They’re holding a press conference on Wednesday to urge Congress to pass stronger background check measures, saying that will help save women’s lives. Indeed, in states already require background checks for all gun sales, 38 percent fewer women are killed by intimate partners.

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    Guns don't kill people. People kill guns. -- this message brought to you by the Night Vale chapter of the N.R.A.

    by tytalus on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:20:36 AM PDT

  •  Catastrophizing (4+ / 0-)

    When we pick up the gun and decide to shoot, how much is rational fear and how much is irrational catastrophizing. Is hindsight the only way to answer the question?

    How much of what we think is proper behavior have we taken from the TV examples imbedded since childhood? Steve McQueen got respect with a gun tucked into his waist band. And he was, well, Steve McQueen.

    In a domestic situation everyone is at their most vulnerable. It only takes a second to make a passing catastrophic notion into an irrevocable action. The handy gun insures the catastrophic notion gets carved in granite.

    Catastrophizing

    Only gun owners can control their guns and they say oopsie way too much. I lost it, I forgot it, it just went off. Support Gun Kill Speed Limits and Gun Ownership Speed Limits.

    by 88kathy on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:25:48 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary tytalus! (5+ / 0-)

    The right will twist anything to their side of the argument. We need to keep this issue front and center! Background checks are so very important and should be able to pass a vote.
    Peace and Blessings!

    United we the people stand, divided we the people fall.

    by Penny GC on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:29:34 AM PDT

  •  But...but...but...she had a gun! (5+ / 0-)

    Guns magically make everything better! Just like iPhones, cars, and cute shoes! /snark

    •  If you read the comments at TP (6+ / 0-)

      (may be predictive of what the gun lobby will say here), the excuses seemed to revolve around Christy not having the appropriate killer instinct to immediately shoot her husband, and I would guess she was not carrying the gun when the fight began.

      I have to wonder what it would be like to have an intimate partner that I was nevertheless quite willing to shoot to kill at a moment's notice. Other than during a zombie apocalypse, the notion kinda baffles me. They see it as a strength; I'm skeptical of that.

      Guns don't kill people. People kill guns. -- this message brought to you by the Night Vale chapter of the N.R.A.

      by tytalus on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:13:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So are they arguing that OMG, some people should (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, Glen The Plumber, WakeUpNeo

        not have guns?!

        Wow. I imagine that's really easy to turn around on them.

        •  Considering that one of the primary rules of (0+ / 0-)

          owning a firearm is "Never point a firearm at anything you're not willing to kill/destroy", this is neither new nor as exclusionary as you might hope for. If you going to own a firearm for self-defense you need to be prepared for the eventuality of having to injure or kill someone trying to harm you. If you're not, you have no business owning one. Despite that going against the established narrative of "gun nuts want everybody to have fifty bajillion guns with no restrictions on who can have one", that's all you're going to find out there: if you're not up for the responsibility, don't get a firearm.

          •  Yes, that's the problem with rules (4+ / 0-)

            and principles; often they suffer some degree of disassociation with reality. The regular chroniclers of gun fails and oopsies would have a lot less to report if such rules as that one were kept better. And the same applies to gun ownership; it's not like anyone asks if a would-be owner is ready to shoot someone, and the NRA would lobby against it if anyone tried to pass it into law as an unconstitutional infringement.

            Guns don't kill people. People kill guns. -- this message brought to you by the Night Vale chapter of the N.R.A.

            by tytalus on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 12:49:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gun fails and oopsies (0+ / 0-)

              are the way some on this site reassure themselves that nearly all firearms owners are criminally incompetent, inherently violent or both. The dominant meme here seems to be "All gun owners are responsible, until they aren't", which is an idea that would never fly here if it were applied to any other subculture. It's no different than searching out the worst behavior that can be found amongst Muslims, or non-whites, or LGBT folks and then using those hundred or so examples to make a statement about millions of people who have nothing to do with that behavior.

              Right now, you live in a country with about 300+ million firearms. Of the 319 or so million US citizens, around 40% of them are firearms owners. So we'll say about 125 million firearms owners. And you want to pass judgement on all 125 million of them based on 30 or 40 idiots/criminals a month? How's that make any more sense than the people who wanted to deport all Muslims because of 9/11 or the ones who scream about evil criminal "illegal immigrants" based on a handful of horrible crimes no different than ones committed by US citizens?

              •  What a steaming load. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tytalus, WakeUpNeo
                Of the 319 or so million US citizens, around 40% of them are firearms owners.
                Not even close to being true. I believe the stats are something like 35% of American households have a gun in them.

                By the way, you certainly are familiar with what has been written on here about guns for a new poster.

                Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                by Bob Johnson on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 08:21:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm surprised Bob (0+ / 0-)

                  You've obviously been through my comment history, but you didn't notice the one where I said I've been reading for quite a while now before I decided to sign up and start posting? Only had 53 comments before this one, I figured you'd have had them all memorized by now.

                  I really love that the first response from you and some of your peers has been to assume I'm either a sockpuppet for someone else or I'm a banned former user. You just can't even conceive of the idea that I might just be exactly what I am: another liberal lefty gun owner that doesn't agree with you. What's next, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the National Rifle Association?"?

      •  "excuses" (0+ / 0-)

        The idea that a person owning a firearm for self-defense needs to be prepared to actually use that firearm to injure or kill someone to defend themselves is not an excuse. It's a fact. If you're not ready to do that, you shouldn't have one.

        Also, where do you even get this idea of, "I have to wonder what it would be like to have an intimate partner that I was nevertheless quite willing to shoot to kill at a moment's notice.", from? Domestic abusers aren't zombies. They don't just suddenly "turn".

        The TPM article is loaded with half-truths, starting from the bit where they talk about, "Abusers who have access to a gun are more than seven times more likely to kill their partners". What they don't mention is that domestic abusers who have firearms almost never allow their victims any kind of access to those firearms. They hide the ammunition. They remove firing pins. They lock them up and keep the keys somewhere hidden or on their person at all times. It's another mechanism of control; the abuser always has ready access but the victim is not just prevented from accessing them but may also be given a vicious lesson should they try to use that firearm. They get beaten, they go to try and defend themselves with the firearm only to discover that it is empty, inoperable or inaccessible but just out of reach. They are then beaten again for daring to try and fight back, even though the abuser staged the situation.

        How do I know this? Because my wife lived through that scenario. She tried to shoot her abusive husband after he beat her almost to the point of an emergency room visit but he'd unloaded the gun before he started in with her and just didn't let her see him do it. This idea that an abuser is just going to leave loaded guns lying around where their victims can put hands on them is not just ridiculous it's revolting. Equally revolting is this idea of, "You shouldn't have a gun, some big strong man will just take it from you.".

        •  Interesting (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, TheFern, WakeUpNeo

          you claim that this study which ThinkProgress used to make that statement about guns as a risk factor is a half-truth. It suggests that you have some credible basis for refuting the study. But you offer nothing to refute this data.

          When additional individual-level risk factors for homicide were added to the model (model 2), both abuser’s access to a firearm (adjusted OR = 7.59; 95% CI = 3.85, 14.99) and abuser’s use of illicit drugs (adjusted OR = 4.76; 95% CI = 2.19, 10.34) were strongly associated with intimate partner femicide, although the abuser’s excessive use of alcohol was not. Although the abuser’s access to a firearm increased femicide risk, victims’ risk of being killed by their intimate partner was lower when they lived apart from the abuser and had sole access to a firearm (adjusted OR = 0.22). Neither alcohol abuse nor drug use by the victim was independently associated with her risk of being killed.
          Unfortunately, your claims do not explain the case of Christy Salters Martin, who like her husband had a concealed carry permit and her own gun, which did work, as he shot her with her own gun. I see her story does not fit your script.

          Guns don't kill people. People kill guns. -- this message brought to you by the Night Vale chapter of the N.R.A.

          by tytalus on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 01:11:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's because the plural of anecdote is not data (0+ / 0-)

            and the singular of anecdote sure as hell isn't either. One story does not prove the rule.

            Although the abuser’s access to a firearm increased femicide risk, victims’ risk of being killed by their intimate partner was lower when they lived apart from the abuser and had sole access to a firearm (adjusted OR = 0.22).
            Emphasis mine. Lower risk of being killed when the victims lived apart from the abuser AND were the only ones with access to a firearm. Pretty sure I don't need to refute a study that says exactly what I was getting at: things go badly for abusers when their victims have access to something that tips the balance of power in their favor.

            I stand by what I said: abusers almost never allow their victims access to firearms. Christy Salters Martin is the exception, not the rule. Abusers thrive on control and power, which is why they cut off access to supportive friends and family, prevent their victims from having any kind of independent finances, sometimes prevent their victims from even having a driver's license, et cetera. And they definitely don't allow their victims to have unrestricted access to something that would allow their power and control to be either challenged or ended. That is not my "script". That is life with an abusive partner. And you may see it differently but I find the whole idea of, "You shouldn't have a gun because some man will just kill you with it, this story proves it." to be incredibly victim-blaming and a reiteration of sexist stereotypes of weak, powerless women who need someone else to save them.

            •  Interesting - who are you quoting? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheFern, WakeUpNeo, Glen The Plumber

              Because I know it isn't me, or anything I cited for this diary.

              And you may see it differently but I find the whole idea of, "You shouldn't have a gun because some man will just kill you with it, this story proves it." to be incredibly victim-blaming and a reiteration of sexist stereotypes of weak, powerless women who need someone else to save them.
              The casual reader will note that, contrary to your false characterization, the diary (and domestic violence survivors like Christy) support stronger background checks to keep guns out of the hands of abusers, not disarming victims. For example, the last blockquote:
              Thanks to current loopholes in federal law, some domestic abusers are still able to get their hands on guns. That’s what Christy and her fellow survivors want to change. They’re holding a press conference on Wednesday to urge Congress to pass stronger background check measures, saying that will help save women’s lives. Indeed, in states already require background checks for all gun sales, 38 percent fewer women are killed by intimate partners.
              Interesting that you should instead lie about me, make up your own strawman of victim-blaming and apply it to me (and incidentally the survivor, Christy, and the people she's working with).

              Well done! I always appreciate it when the gun lobby destroys their own credibility. Saves me the trouble.

              Guns don't kill people. People kill guns. -- this message brought to you by the Night Vale chapter of the N.R.A.

              by tytalus on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 10:00:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yep, I totally made this up (0+ / 0-)
                “I was shot with my own gun. Just putting a weapon in the woman’s hand is not going to reduce the number of fatalities or gunshot victims that we have,” Christy pointed out. “Too many times, their male counterpart or spouse will be able to overpower them and take that gun away.”
                Wait, no I didn't, it was in the ThinkProgress article you cited. The ThinkProgress article titled Domestic Violence Survivor Explains Why Guns Don’t Actually Protect Women: ‘I Was Shot With My Own Gun’. Yeah, I can't imagine where I might've gotten the idea that somebody was trying to say that men will just overpower women and then use their own firearms on them. Clearly just a strawman. I'm off to go pick up my check from the gun lobby now.
                •  Thanks for admitting you made up the quote :) (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WakeUpNeo

                  So, you're willing to attack the reality as sexist but you can't seem to acknowledge the reality of it. You were willing to open by calling it a half-truth but you have failed to show anything beyond your own outrage.

                  You can deny the data demonstrating that guns don't solve the problem, by attacking it the same way the gun lobby does. And yes, I'm sure they appreciate your support. Go on dead-threading if you like, most of RKBA does. Have a good weekend.

                  Guns don't kill people. People kill guns. -- this message brought to you by the Night Vale chapter of the N.R.A.

                  by tytalus on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:45:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Um, what? (0+ / 0-)
                    Thanks for admitting you made up the quote :)
                    Wow. Just, wow.

                    Tell you what: try talking to someone who works with domestic violence survivors. Ask them if their abusive partners allowed them access to firearms at all. Ask them if this idea that the firearms are just left loaded and unlocked where the abused partner could easily put hands on it. The article is purposely leaving out part of the equation and making it sound exactly the way I've said, that these poor little weak women can't possibly ever fight back against the big strong men. But I'm pretty sure that's not of primary or even tertiary importance to you. As always, it's "Get rid of the evil guns now, we'll work on the other problems, um, at some point in the future after we get rid of the evil guns.".

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