The Invisible Way Guns Are Used To Keep Women In Abusive Relationships. That’s the huffingtonpost.com headline based on “A new study [that] examines how victims of domestic violence are affected by firearms, even if the trigger is never pulled.”

Of course, no anti-gun article based on a scientific study is complete without some initial anecdotal bloody shirt waving . . .

Nicole Beverly, a clinical social worker living in Ypsilanti, Michigan, hadn’t given her husband’s gun much thought until the night he pressed it against her head.

It was 2009. Before that, her husband, a former police officer, had never threatened her with his firearm. It sat in a box in their bedroom closet, almost forgotten. Over the years, she said, he had abused her in other ways: Calling her names, shoving her to the ground, throwing objects in her direction. But the gun never made an appearance.

Once it did, everything changed. From then on Beverly, then 36, couldn’t stop thinking about the weapon, she said. She was acutely aware of its exact location in the house at any given time, in terror of when it might be brandished next.

But he didn’t have to take it out again.

He only needed to mention it and Beverly would shrink. He frequently threatened to kill her, she said, telling her he knew exactly where to shoot to paralyze her. He told her he would disfigure her face, she said, and that she would never see it coming.

It took five months after the incident for her to gather the courage to leave. And when she did she took the gun.

Because Ms. Beverly’s husband couldn’t get access to a firearm if she stole the one she knew about? Obviously not.

Skipping to the bottom of the article we get Ms. Beverly’s realistic appraisal of the dangers presented by a firearm for victims of domestic abuse.

I know how easy it is to obtain a gun legally and illegally. I take all of [my jailed husband’s] previous threats very seriously.

The HuffPo anti-gun diatribe — including quotes from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America jefe Shannon Watts — is based on Guns in Intimate Partner Violence: Comparing Incidents by Type of Weaponpublished in Women’s Health. Here’s the money shot:

Of the 35,413 IPV [Intimate Partner Incident] incidents, 8,439 (23.8%) involved a weapon; 6,573 (18.6%) involved hands, fists, or feet; and 1,866 (5.3%) involved an external weapon (i.e., a weapon other than hands, fists, or feet). Of the latter, 576 (30.9%) were guns, that is, 1.6% of all incidents involved a gun.

Though horrific, statistically speaking, you can round down the number of times a gun was used in the 35,413 IPV’s studied — 1.6 percent — to zero. In fact, the whole thrust of the article — guns are a prevalent form of “invisible” intimidation — is statistically unjustifiable. Here’s the math:

A gun or guns were physically present in two-thirds (389 of 576) of the gun-involved incidents. Guns were used most often (69.1%) to threaten or intimidate the intimate partner; the gun was brandished in 42.4% of the gun-involved incidents, and the offender threatened to shoot the victim but did not display a gun in 26.7% of the incidents . . .

In the remaining 5.7% of the incidents considered to involve a gun, the victim was fearful because the offender was known to have or to carry a gun. Whether to include in the analysis these 33 cases in which the victim feared the possibility of gun use would depend largely on the goal of the research.

So 5.7 percent of 1.6 percent of the 35,413 IPV’s studied involved fear of a gun not present during the incident. From that stat, I think we can safely surmise the goal of the study (and the HuffPo article): to promote public support for further gun control. Like this, from the study:

Understanding the scope of gun possession by abusers might encourage some legislatures to extend firearm purchase and possession prohibitions to emergency restraining orders.

In case that barely hidden bias isn’t enough to pull the rug from under the HuffPo article, the report concludes that a gun in the home of an abuser makes it less likely that the victim will experience physical abuse.

In general, violent behaviors by the offender (punching, kicking, etc.) were most common when a bodily weapon alone (hands, fists, or feet) was used, followed by when a nongun external weapon was used, and least common when a gun was used.

The use of an external weapon that was not a gun was associated with the most victim distress, pain, and injury.

Of particular note is the finding that although victims against whom a gun was used were less likely to have visible injuries, they were far more likely to have been threatened and substantially more likely to be frightened.

I don’t see any mention in the report on how the police/authors measured the severity of the fear the abuse victim experienced.

Equally, how can you reconcile “The use of an external weapon that was not a gun was associated with the most victim distress, pain, and injury” with “victims against whom a gun was used . . . were far more likely to have been threatened and substantially more likely to be frightened”?

It’s certainly true that gun-involved domestic abuse creates fear, and fear is corrosive. But the bottom line is clear: “persons who use a gun against their intimate partners are less intent on inflicting physical harm than are those who use another type of weapon [emphasis added]”

Under existing laws, convicted domestic abusers are permanently prohibited persons; they can’t legally purchase or possess a firearm. No matter what you think of that law, and the due process-denying “gun violence restraining orders” promoted by the study’s authors, the findings highlight and quantify an important point.

When it comes to domestic abuse, guns aren’t the problem. Domestic abusers are the problem. As is the inability or unwillingness of victims to leave an abusive relationship. Or, in some cases, fight back.

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57 Responses to The Truth About Guns and Domestic Abuse

  1. Fortunately these people are losing ground fast. Their agenda is losing steam as more people buy guns, including abused women.

    • You have no idea what you are talking about. I know women who have had guns held to their head by drunk husbands.

      Tread lightly here. Your vast ignorance on this subject is breathtaking. You can love guns without advocating for rape and murder. And taking the gun’s side is a dangerous path because you are blind to the number of people around you and maybe even in your own family that have lived this horror.

      • Projecting, I see. You’re every bit as ignorant as you think anybody else is.

        Nobody here is advocating for rape or murder, nor do you or anyone else have any evidence — empirical or otherwise — that this is the case. There’s not even the slightest implication of this in any of the comments, in fact. You yourself are blind to what’s actually being said here, and by that same token I rightly doubt you know anyone who’s lived through that kind of violence, either.

      • The gun has no “side”, it’s inanimate, victims and abusers are the only entities. And I’m not too concerned about abusers.

      • Tread lightly? As a woman who has been in abusive relationships, EXPLETIVE DELETED. Fighting for due process IS NOT defending abusers. It is defending the falsely accused. So educate yourself, because truth is on the side of compassion. We are much better off with truth, then made up fucking statistics or anecdotes. And for the record? I DO advocate. Not for murder. For the putting down of abusive scum. AFTER they’ve been convicted.

        • Right. Because drunken, mentally ill women never wake their husbands with a punch to the face…AFTER calling 911 and reporting a DV incident.
          “Men are always at fault! Toxic masculinity! Woman are always victims, they are weak and helpless! Men are evil, we don’t need an investigation or a trial, just hang them all!”

          You’re a bigot and a fool. I hope you didn’t reproduce.

        • And no one here was denying that women are sometimes at fault either, Gwinnett, and you damn well fucking know that. But, I guess your piss-poor reading comprehension doesn’t improve with the number of alternate screen names you use to troll. How very typical of your lot. By the by, she was defending the due process rights of the falsely accused, you projectionist POS. You’re just far too busy painting everything you see as misandry to see it, just as any rabid feminist zealot sees misogyny everywhere they look to see reason and evidence. There is no meaningful difference there at all between you and them, at all. NONE.

          You’re the bigot AND the fool here, and I sincerely hope you didn’t reproduce. If you have, I already feel sorry for your progeny. They’ll NEVER know stability, sanity, or the happiness of a normal relationship while living with the likes of you, I can PROMISE you this.

      • Mr. Muzzle device:
        Since when do you know who or what your rambling about? Try some reading and comprehension skills

      • “You have no idea what you are talking about. I know women who have had guns held to their head by drunk husbands.”

        Hubris backfire. You just underscored Robert’s point that the problem is abusive husband’s. Do you really think this dysfunctional, a$$hole is going to be any less violent to his wife or girlfriend if he “doesn’t have access to a gun”. Are people like this less likely to inflict bodily harm on someone if they don’t have a gun? Don’t you think a really sharp knife is every bit as intimidating in such a situation as a gun? Or how about pets? Abusers love to threaten to hurt or kill the family dog or cat, often doing just that to “keep the woman in line”? Even worse, how about hurting kids? That happens a lot too. The problem with abusers is there personality. They tend to suffer from such deep insecurities that they can never accept that any relationship they’re in can be based on love. Instead they turn to abuse as a way of maintaining power and control. Guns, knives, pets, even kids are just means to an end. The problem is in the mind of the abuser.

  2. So, once again, the very study they cite completely debunks the point they’re making in the first place. Yep, just more and more #FakeNews and #Pseudoscience from the gun-grabbing mongrels on the left and the talking-head presstitutes in the whorestream media, as is usual.

    And the beat goes on.

    • Whenever I read an antigun rights article based on research I delve into the source material. Most of the time I find the survey methodology deeply biased and, thus, flawed.

      In this case, you’re right: the HuffPo completely ignored the findings to push their agenda. Unless the journalist was too lazy to actually read the study.

      I know that sounds impossible, but my experience at CNN convinced me that there’s no limit to the lack of journalistic effort that so-called journalists put into so-called journalism. And the ones who are hard working tend to be true believers. Reporters with the worst bias.

      Thank God — or Al Gore — for the Internet.

      • “Whenever I read an antigun rights article based on research I delve into the source material. Most of the time I find the survey methodology deeply biased and, thus, flawed.”

        Well, yes. Most people don’t. Just usually skim over the headline without even reading the article in the first place, and try to rub it in the face of anyone who disagrees with them.

        “In this case, you’re right: the HuffPo completely ignored the findings to push their agenda. Unless the journalist was too lazy to actually read the study.”

        That’s the case with about half the fisking articles I’ve read here. These so-called “journalists” just nod their heads and go with whatever those at the top want them to publish.

        “I know that sounds impossible, but my experience at CNN convinced me that there’s no limit to the lack of journalistic effort that so-called journalists put into so-called journalism. And the ones who are hard working tend to be true believers. Reporters with the worst bias.”

        Oh, no. It actually sounds wholly realistic, what with the political polarization of every aspect of life and in every profession (even in the hard sciences).

        “Thank God — or Al Gore — for the Internet.”

        Heaven forbid Al-GORE-zeera get wind of this. 😉

      • I have an acquaintance (husband of a friend) who is an executive with a large (and supposedly respected) news organization. Last September, we were discussing the upcoming election. I asked him if corporations were people. “Of course not!”
        So, do they have First Amendment rights?
        “Don’t be ridiculous!”
        So, the corporation for whom you work doesn’t have the right to criticize a candidate during election season? I mean, that is specifically what Citizens United v FEC was about.
        “Well, news organizations are different, it’s Freedom of the Press!”
        Oh? And which Amendment covers press freedom to criticize a candidate?
        “Don’t be a right wing idiot!”

        Say goodbye to your career if your candidate gets elected.

  3. My uncle tried that abusive stuff with my aunt for a while. It got old fast. When she’d had enough she thru a pot of hot coffee on him. That settled him down for a while.

    Then he started again. In those days the courts and the cops didn’t want to get involved in family business. When she’d had enough she showed him the .38 she’d bought. He told her she didn’t have the nerve to use it.

    Turns out she did have the nerve. And if she’d been a better shot he wouldn’t have made it out the door.

    Turns out the cops had even less sympathy for him than for her. He quit drinking and settled his act down. They’re both past 80 now and she still has that .38.

  4. Its more horrible than horrible when these faux empowerment pieces are filled with language that not only assumes female subserviance but reinforces it.

    In their relentless pursuit of gun control they are adding links to the chains that bind women to 3rd class citizenship.

    A femenist does not disarm. Period.

  5. I like the perpetuation of the myth that 100% of spousal abuse is male on female… Simple fact is, men are far more likely to be abused by their spouses than women. We’re just expected to “man up” and tolerate shit that would get us thrown in jail is the genders were reversed.

    • Oh man, did I ever witness that while I lived in the LA area.

      Women have perpetrated a monstrous lie in their ‘domestic violence’ agenda, and their chickens are increasingly coming home to roost as more men figure “OK, want to play this game. I’ll swallow my pride and drop a dime.”

      Cell phones make for excellent on-the-spot recording devices which settle the argument who the cops should be hauling off to jail.

      • ‘Round here, the default mode is the cops drag *both* their asses off to (separate) jails if their is even the *slightest* visible evidence of any possible physical contact between the two.

        Not just scratches, bruises, etc, a generally disheveled appearance, both of them red-faced and out of breath from a screaming match can get both of ’em a time-out at Grady Judd’s bed & breakfast.

        I suppose that is safest, if it’s at that point already…

    • Women tend to prefer to inflict emotional, rather than physical, abuse upon their partners. An old friend’s wife would constantly threaten him with divorce and use their children as leverage. Every time they would start arguing, she would threaten to bruise herself then promptly get the cops to come arrest him.

      • If your local newspaper has a ‘mugshots’ column, take a look at most any day’s past 24 hours of arrests.

        Around here, a sizable percentage of the day’s arrests are for ‘domestic violence’ and it’s a fairly even split on the M to F ratio. (Not really) much to my surprise, I re-discovered an ex in that part of the paper a few years back…

        • No mugshots, names are posted though, but it’s such a small town that almost anybody listed (unless they are out of staters) is well known. Then again most offenses are either DUI or drug related(meth & marijuana) and many people are repeat offenders.

          There aren’t a whole lot of arrests for domestic violence around here, it does go on but residents and even LE try to keep it on the DL. Most domestic violence around these parts usually ends in a murder before an arrest is made sadly.

    • Or the myth that all domestic violence is between romantic partners. There is a crap ton of violence going down between parents, siblings, roommates, etc. And how many times do you see domestic violence mentioned in gay relationships?

      • Actually, there are quite a few studies on this topic. (The results are not very popular with the gaystapo.) As it turns out, the domestic violence rate in lesbian relationships is astronomic… in gay relationships, it is actually well below average. Funny how that worked out.

    • This was my experience with the ex-wife. She came off as innocent and harmless to her friends and family but she was an alcoholic and verbally and physically abusive to me while we were together. Of course, when I eventually snapped I was the one who was blamed and she took zero responsibility. She even admitted to me after the fact that she was abusive but the damage was done. The perception to those on the outside is always the same – “she’s a female and weaker than you.” My response is, until you’ve taken a punch to the face by a woman over a silly argument then you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

      I was ordered by the judge to attend a domestic violence rehabilitation class for 6 months and it was the same story over and over again. Some of the guys in my class were definitely guilty of abusing their spouses but others were in situations like mine, basically they were with a woman who was abusive and when the man tried protecting themselves they were the ones hung out to dry. The kicker, too, was that the program I was in had no classes for abusive women — they were all for men.

      So yes, there are plenty of men out there that are abused by women and it’s a disservice to those men to get swept under the rug and told you’re a liar or that you’re not a man if you can’t defend yourself against a woman.

      • This is why you have to report first. Establish that you are the victim. In my experience, DAs and cops believe the first person to file a complaint. Just beware that the DA might insist on prosecuting the case. If you’re worried about that, talk to an attorney.

  6. I hate to misquote Rambo, but I think he said the most powerful weapon is the mind…or something to that effect.

    That is the chosen weapon of almost all abusive spouses. It’s a mental game, the gun is far less relevant than the fear. It could be a threat to use a kitchen kife or a yard tool. It’s still just a mind game. That’s why the sub 2% gun stat.

  7. I’ll be accused of victim blaming or callousness for this but a lot of people on both sides of abusive relationships are drama addicts. Or have their heads in the clouds.

    If the victim won’t seperate, they’re pretty effed anyway. A gun being involved might inject some cold, hard, non-fun reality into the situation, which might get a few more abusers locked up, scared off or shot, or a few more victims to seperate.

    • What’s wrong with victim blaming in MOST of these cases?

      This is America in 2017. There is really no stigma against a partner leaving/separating/divorcing another partner. There’s no dowry to be repaid, there’s no honor killing or stoning in the street. Worst case is disapproval of some fundamental religious conservatives.

      If I touch a hot stove and hold my hand there until it burns me, is it my fault or the stove’s?

    • I mean, sometimes victims want to keep the relationship and have society fix their abuser somehow. Pfft. Family courts and religious institutions are somewhat to blame for these unrealistic, harmful expectations. As are the anti-gunners, blaming objects, acting like we all need to give up due process to make peoples messed up personal lives work, as if that were possible.

  8. What do these anecdotes have to do with guns? To paraphrase Forrest Gump: “Abusive is, as abusive does.”

  9. I could take the same study and write an article, without lying, titled “Anti-gun Study Shows Making Domestic Abusers Prohibited Persons Increases Domestic Violence” or “Anti-gun Study Shows Taking Guns from Wife Beaters Increases Wife Beating” if I wanted to be sensational. I haven’t read or examined the study, but the quoted portions of the study do show that a domestic abuser with a gun is less likely to cause physical harm than an abuser without one. It stands to reason that taking guns from domestic abusers increases the likelihood of violence (if the study is true).

    Hell, you could take this study and argue that we should give guns to domestic abusers to prevent them from causing physical harm. It make about as much sense as any other gun law pushed by the left.

  10. Huffpoo, circling the toilet, jettisons inflammatory clickbait because, if you’re going to be fake news, you might as well piss people off at it.

    Editorial note, thanks for quoting Huffpoo, briefly quadrupling their readership.

    If we can next discuss articles about wepons used to aid in beastiality rituals by satanic groups, that might also briefly fluff curiosity somewhere so that those broken people can better coalesce.

    • I still smile when I think of how many earnest and seriously disturbed lefties Arianna Huffington duped into producing content for her… for free.

  11. “The Truth About Guns and Domestic Abuse” isn’t likely to be sourced at Huffpoo.

    The Truth About __________ isn’tt either.

    • “The Truth About Guns …

      … and Domestic Abuse”

      Huffpoo direct attack on this blog (its bloggers)?

  12. Wait, something like 40% of households have guns, but only 1.6% of domestic violence involves guns, even when “involves guns” includes something so abstract as “abuser was known to have or carry a gun”?

    Maybe we need guns in every home!

  13. Consider the alleged account of a domestic violence victim if we change a couple words:

    He only needed to mention it and Beverly would shrink. He frequently threatened to kill her, she said, telling her he knew exactly where to shoot stab to paralyze her. He told her he would disfigure her face … and that she would never see it coming.

    A domestic violence attacker could use other threats just as easily to “disfigure”, maim, and/or kill their victim. The attacker could employ a whip, knife, razor blade, fire/blow torch, club, hammer, ax, machete, acid, boiling oil, rope, poison, car, and even their good old fashioned fists and feet.

    Claiming that a firearm is somehow more awful than those other items is nonsense.

  14. “…So 5.7 percent of 1.6 percent of the 35,413 IPV’s studied involved fear of a gun not present during the incident.”

    ZOMG! That is… like…. 33! Thirty-three people being abuse were afraid of a firearm that was not was present during the incident.

    I am not making light of domestic abuse, just pointing out how again, still, these people want the control and care nothing about the guns.

  15. I’m not surprised that a gun makes for a poor domestic abuse tool (2/3 of 1.6%, or something, right?). Guns are lethal, while the intent of domestic violence is not to kill but, rather, control, the victim. A dead wife cannot be controlled at all.

  16. Domestic abuse is a learned art and can be unlearned. Normally, both spouses in an ongoing abusive relationship came from homes where abuse was rampant. This story is obviously an older one, cops do not cover for other cops more than 1 or 2 times for this kind of thing anymore.
    Blaming the gun is just stupid, but people with hairtrigger tempers should not have guns available – a cop with that kind of temper is a loose cannon and we do not need them in our society.

  17. “From then on Beverly, then 36, couldn’t stop thinking about the weapon, she said. She was acutely aware of its exact location in the house at any given time, in terror of when it might be brandished next”

    If true Nicole Beverly should have bought a BIGGER gun for herself, still I want to know why the broad wasn’t charged with “theft of a firearm”.

    This whole story reads like a script provided by a scheming divorce attorney/women’s right’s advocate, carefully crafted so the broad could gain the upper hand in a settlement or divorce decree and with the supposed “victim” being a “social worker” it raises numerous “red flags”. First of all I guarantee she’s an anti-gun Liberal and second she knows exactly how to work the system to her benefit. Remember when it comes to “Domestic Violence” males are GUILTY until proven “innocent” not even a “Not Guilty” verdict is enough to clear ones name and recover their legally owned firearms in many jurisdictions.

    “Disfigure her face” tell me why I think it but I bet she’s NOT a “looker” in the first place. If her husband really wanted to “disfigure” her face he didn’t need a gun all he had to do is like the Moslems in England, France, Germany Afghanistan and Pakistan have done hundreds of times and throw/pour.spray acid on her mug.

  18. “Why do they staaaaay..?”
    Because that weak, pathetic man has a gun gathering dust in the other room to impose his will, of course; not because he’s a manipulative sociopath who sculpted his mate into a simpering pile of helpless Stockholm Syndrome unable to even think about actually leaving (and that’s assuming she isn’t one of the many who are in fact satisfied with the abusive arrangement for whatever messed-up psychological reason)

    Gun control won’t make men as weak & powerless as the jellyfish women in these relationships, therefore it cannot solve the problem of domestic abuse.

  19. My wife in empowered by her two 9mm pistols and a “scary black rifle.” She is a great shot too. Only those of bad intention have anything to fear from her.

  20. NCBINCBI Logo

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    J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2017 Jan 30. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2016.5832. [Epub ahead of print]
    Guns in Intimate Partner Violence: Comparing Incidents by Type of Weapon.

    Sorenson SB1.
    Author information
    Abstract
    OBJECTIVE:
    The goal of this study was to assess the frequency, nature, and outcome of weapon use in intimate partner violence (IPV) and to assess compliance with related gun policies.
    METHODS:
    Data were drawn from forms police are mandated to complete at the scene of IPV in the fifth largest U.S. city during 2013. Proportions were calculated and odds ratios were adjusted for demographic and contextual characteristics and a Bonferroni correction for multiple statistical tests was applied.
    RESULTS:
    Of the 35,413 incidents, 6,573 involved hands, fists, or feet, and 1,866 involved external weapons of which 576 were guns. Most incidents were male-on-female: 63.4% (no weapon), 77.4% (bodily weapon), 50.2% (nongun external weapon), and 79.5% (gun). Guns were used most often to threaten the partner (69.1%). When a gun (vs. bodily or nongun external weapon) was used, IPV victims were less likely to have visible injuries (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.64 and 0.23, respectively)-offenders were less likely to have pushed or shoved, grabbed, punched, or kicked the victim-but (victims) were more likely to be frightened (AOR = 3.13 and 1.49, respectively).
    CONCLUSIONS:
    Weapon use of any type by an intimate partner is associated with a wide range of violent offender behavior and multiple negative outcomes for victims. The use of a gun has implications that include, but go beyond, physical injury of the victim. Documentation of the enforcement of state law regarding gun removal merits improvement, which has important implications for the evaluation of policies designed to keep guns out of the hands of abusers.
    KEYWORDS:
    domestic violence; firearms; guns; injury; intimate partner violence; policy
    PMID: 28134571 DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2016.5832
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