Shooting at Dallas Hospital Underscores the Deadly Intersection of Gun Violence and Domestic Violence
On Saturday, a man shot and killed two hospital employees at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Texas. Per Dallas police, the shooter was on parole for aggravated robbery and was wearing an active ankle monitor while attending to the birth of his child. According to reports, the shooter acted erratically, accusing his partner of infidelity and striking her on the head multiple times with his firearm before threatening to kill her, himself, and anyone who walked through the door. After fatally shooting an attending nurse and another hospital employee, he was shot and wounded by a Methodist Health System Police officer.
Domestic violence and gun violence are closely intertwined. In fact, research shows that access to a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed. And like many other forms of gun violence, the deadly intersection of guns and domestic violence has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, particularly Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latinx women. It’s also important to note that the ripple effects of guns in the hands of an abuser extend far beyond the abusive relationship. The violence can also affect those close to the situation. In 2021 alone, 204 Texans were killed by their intimate partners, and 22 friends, families, and bystanders were killed. The majority of these homicides were committed with a firearm.
Texas is no stranger to this type of violence. Despite the impact of gun violence and domestic violence on communities across Texas, state lawmakers and elected officials have worked tirelessly to further weaken the state’s gun laws in recent years. To save lives in the upcoming legislative session, instead of working to pass dangerous gun bills, Texas lawmakers should prioritize passing common sense gun safety policies to keep firearms out of the hands of people who pose a threat to the safety of themselves or others. To hold Texas officials accountable, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers are mobilizing to vote for candidates at every level of office who are committed to putting public safety over politics this November.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to remember and honor victims and survivors of domestic violence. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness of what domestic violence is, how to recognize it, and what can be done to prevent it. More information on the intersection of domestic abuse and gun violence is available here, and statistics about gun violence in Texas is available here.
To speak with a volunteer with Texas Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please do not hesitate to reach out.