Jenavieve Hatch, Associate Women’s Editor at the Huffington Post, took advantage of last week’s National Gun Violence Awareness Day, to dance in the blood of more innocent victims make some political hay with 11 Statistics That Remind Us Gun Violence Is A Women’s Issue. For some reason, though, she completely ignored the fact that it’s the violence part of that equation that’s the actual problem.
I’m guessing, however, that she’s more interested in furthering restrictions on the natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right to own and carry the weapon of your choice than she is in actually enlightening her readers on the subject of intimate partner violence.
Ms. Hatch starts off:
As former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords put it… “dangerous people with guns are a threat to women. Criminals with guns. Abusers with guns. Stalkers with guns. That makes gun violence a women’s issue. For mothers, for families, for me and you.”
I hate to disagree with the impaired, but Gabby either has no idea what she’s talking about or she’s flat-out lying. According to the CDC’s WISQARS website, from 2011 – 2015 (the last year they have numbers for) men were more than five times as likely to be murdered with a firearm as women (48,764 men to 9,058 women), and eight-and-a-half times more likely to be non-fatally injured in an assault with a firearm (269,019 to 31,188 (counting the ‘unknown’ category as women)).
Looking further, you’ll find that during that same period there were 26 ½ times as many people injured in non-firearm-related assaults as were injured when assaulted with a gun. So no, Gabby, “dangerous people” are a threat to people — all of us — regardless of whether they are armed with a gun, a knife, or a baseball bat.
Ms. Hatch continues:
In recognition of the tragic impact the lack of sensible gun control has on American society, here are 11 sobering statistics that remind us gun violence is, unequivocally, a women’s issue:
And those statistics are …
35: The number of states in which those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges or restraining order charges can still purchase or use a firearm.
I don’t know what country Ms. Hatch resides in, but here in the United States of America the inhabitants of all 50 states are subject to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) & (9), commonly known as the Lautenberg Amendment, which provides for ten years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine for anyone “convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges or restraining order charges” who possesses, ships, transports or receives any firearm or ammunition.
This includes so-called “constructive possession,” which, according to LegalDictionary.com, means:
Constructive possession is a legal theory used to extend possession to situations where a person has no hands-on custody of an object.
In other words, if a prohibited person is crashing on a buddy’s couch and knows where said buddy hides the key to his gun safe, that prohibited person would be in “constructive possession” of a gun…and in violation of the law.
So, statistic #2:
41: The number of states that don’t require those prohibited from purchasing a firearm due to domestic violence charges to relinquish the firearms they already own.
True that…if you’re willing to risk up to 10 years in federal stir and a $250,000 fine for every single gun and round of ammo, you can absolutely hang on to your gats. I mean, it’s not like your abuse victim has any reason to drop a dime on you, right?
I’m going to go slightly out of order here, to ease the narrative and my calculations. So, statistics numbers 3 and 5:
760: The number of people killed by firearms annually in the U.S. by intimate partners.
53: The percentage of intimate partner murders that involve a fatal gunshot.
The 760 number is an annual average from 2006 – 2014 based on an AP analysis of FBI data. Doing my own analysis of data from the FBI’s 2015 Uniform Crime Report, there were a total of 1,270 heterosexual partner killings (the FBI still counts gay couples as “acquaintance” murders), so if 53% of the intimate partner murders (hereafter IPMs) were committed with a gun, that yields about 673.
Either way, however, my answer is…so what? According to those same FBI tables there were 1,099 non-intimate partners murdered by a family member. In addition, 2015 saw 3,799 children die in non-firearm related accidents, 1,591 children who died by suffocation, 674 children who were murdered with something other than a gun and 220 children — children — who committed suicide. These are all bigger problems that need to be addressed and can be addressed without infringing on the natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right to own and carry the weapon of your choice.
Now back to statistic 4:
80: 80 percent of people killed by firearms annually in the U.S. by intimate partners are women.
I think she is trying to say that 80% of female IPM victims were killed with a gun. News flash for you Jenavieve; women make up almost 80% of all IPM victims (79.13% to be precise), so it isn’t surprising that they make up 80% gunshot IPM victims or stabbing IPM victims or beating IPM victims.
5: Domestic violence victims are 5 times more likely to be killed if her partner owns a gun.
Actually, if you track down the study Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships, you will find that the stated risk factor is access to a firearm. And although their definition is somewhat limited, the fact of the matter is that people bent on murder will seek out the tools they need…whatever they may be.
Furthermore, as pointed out on GunCite.com, 70% or more of murderers have serious criminal records and, as we all know, criminals don’t obey laws and tend to know where to get hold of a gun.
One more point; if you read through the study you will find the following:
… our analysis and those of others suggest that increasing employment opportunities, preventing substance abuse, and restricting abusers’ access to guns can potentially reduce both overall rates of homicide and rates of intimate partner femicide. … we found that unemployment was the most important demographic risk factor for acts of intimate partner femicide. …
Odd that Ms. Hatch would leave out “the most important demographic risk factor.” Just an oversight, I’m sure.
Onward and upward:
16: A woman in the U.S. is fatally shot by her current or former intimate partner every 16 hours.
If 760 people are killed by an intimate partner with a gun, and 80% of them are women then doing the math we come up with a woman fatally etc. every 14.4 hours. Jeez Louise, these people can’t even do math when it appears to bolster their argument.
I say “appears to” because again, so what? A woman in the US is non-firearm-murdered every 5.6 hours. For men, it is every 2.7 hours. Someone commits suicide with not-a-gun sixty times a day (i.e. every 24 minutes). Yes, murder is bad but suicide is worse.
Stat number 8:
44: The percentage of mass shootings in the years of 2008-2013 that involved intimate partners.
Okay, I have to say that I’m very happy Ms. Hatch had this stat because it led me to this really cool tool on the USA Today website. With it, you can scope out mass killings in the US from 2006 – 2015. So . . . using this slightly broader dataset, I can tell you that, surprise! Ms. Hatch’s number is a little inflated. In fact, she’s off by almost 20%. From 2006 – 2015 there were 103 mass “family killings” out of 279 total, so even if we assume all of those were i.p.m. that is still only 36.9%.
That is not to say that mass killings are a good thing, but compare those 442 deaths to the 480 “children and teens” who died in accidental residential fires in the Northeast in that same time frame. Or the 568 D.C. residents who were poisoned during that time, or the 1,768 babies who drowned across the nation.
Any time you break out specific sets of numbers like that you can make things sound awful when they really aren’t.
Statistic number 9:
11: American women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a firearm than women in any other developed nation.
Unfortunately, the link to the source used by the anti-gun group that supplied this figure to Ms. Hatch is no longer in existence, and EveryTown for Gun Confiscation Safety protects their pages from internet archivery. I guess they don’t want people being able to call them on their BS. Thus, I don’t know if this “11 times” is based on absolute numbers or if it’s based on rates (deaths per 100,000 for example).
I can tell you, however, that when you look at non-firearm homicide rates overall, the US has significantly higher rates than other countries. When looking at the antis’ favorite, the UK, we see that according to the Citizen’s Report, in 2011/2012 they had a murder rate of 10.43 per million with 0.73 gun homicides per million, for a non-firearm murder rate of 9.7 per million. In the US at that time, our non-firearm homicide rate was 16.4 per million. In other words, if we got rid of all firearm homicides both here and in the UK, the US would still have 1.7 times the homicide rate of the UK.
Again, the problem is not guns, the problem is violence.
Out of order one more time with stat number 11:
1 in 3: The number of women living in domestic violence shelters in California who were threatened or harmed with a firearm by their domestic partners.
Well, good for them! They were in horrible situations and they got out of them. If you look at the Risk Factors for Femicide study, you will see that your partner threatening you with a weapon is a large risk factor in him killing you.
Finishing big, with stat number 10:
65: The percent of Americans who support barring people from owning a firearm if they’ve been issued a restraining order or have been convicted of stalking.
Wow. So 65% of Americans believe that they have a say-so when it comes to my civil rights. According to the Constitution, they…do…not. I don’t care if 99% of the population believe that my rights are subject to their whims:
The freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.
Is that clear enough for you, Ms. Hatch?
 REAL children, that is. Human beings 13 years old and younger.
 People ages 0 – 1