NEW YORK – Over the holidays, deadly incidents of domestic violence occurred in communities across the country. Tragedies like this are all too common in America: every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation — regardless of whose gun it is — makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed.
A snapshot of the domestic violence-related shootings over the holidays:
- In Fridley, Minnesota, a teenager fatally shot his ex-girlfriend outside her family’s home.
- Four family members were found dead with gunshot wounds in New City, New York after an apparent murder-suicide.
- A woman was shot and killed by her husband while their two children were home in Litchfield, Minnesota.
- In Slidell, Louisiana, a man shot and wounded his wife on New Year’s morning.
- After a woman was found shot to death in her Uniontown, Pennsylvania home, her husband was announced as a suspect in the murder.
- In Chicago, a man was charged with fatally shooting a woman — who had an order of protection against him — in front of her children.
- A woman was hospitalized after being shot by her boyfriend in a parking garage in downtown Baltimore early New Year’s Day.
Gun violence and domestic violence are inextricably linked. This year, a case before the Supreme Court has given the High Court the opportunity to protect survivors of domestic violence or side with the gun lobby in protecting the rights of abusers.
In November, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Rahimi, a case surrounding the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ extreme and deadly decision to strike down the long-standing federal law that prohibits individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns.
If the Supreme Court affirms the Fifth Circuit’s decision, not only will the federal law that protects survivors from gun violence be overturned, the gun lobby will undoubtedly turn their attention to similar state-level laws. Currently, 32 states have laws on the books that prohibit firearm possession by individuals under a domestic violence restraining order and 22 states have laws that require individuals subject to a domestic violence restraining order to surrender their firearms – if the Supreme Court sides with abusers over survivors, each of these state-level laws could also be put on the chopping block. This year all eyes are on the Supreme Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit’s deadly decision and protect domestic violence survivors.