The statistics are horrifyingly real. From 2001 to 2012, the number of women murdered by intimate partners using guns (6,410) exceeded the number of U.S. troops killed in action in the Iraq and Afghan wars combined. Every day in our country, five women are murdered by gunfire. Even the most ardent gun-rights advocates should be appalled by this home grown carnage involving women. As far as intimacy and violence are concerned, our guns are not securing us. They are killing us at home and in our neighborhoods.
In its recent study, "Women Under the Gun," The Center for American Progress sets out the facts explaining how anemic gun laws at both the federal and state levels are allowing women to be killed. First, violence against women is generally a crime of intimacy. In 65 percent of cases, women knew their attackers. Men knew their assailants only 34 percent of the time.
Second, according to the study, a staggering proportion of violence against women is fatal, and guns are a key factor in those deaths. As the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence recognizes, if an abuser owns a firearm, an abused woman is five times more likely to be killed. (Domestic Violence & Firearm Policy Summary at smartgunlaws.org.)
Put simply, the presence of guns dramatically increases the probability of death in incidents involving domestic violence. In 2011 almost two-thirds of women killed with guns were killed by their intimate partners.