Gun Violence Prevention Here at Home

12 Mar Gun Violence Prevention Here at Home

By Courtney Kravitz

When I first started this new position as Gun Violence Prevention Organizer I was tasked with doing some research about the issue of gun violence in our country and specifically in Nevada.  As I was  reading through different articles I came upon some shocking statistics in Nevada from a study done by Center for American Progress about domestic violence. “According to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, 48.1 percent of women living in Nevada will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime “.  When it comes specifically to guns, “Between 2003 and 2012, 55 percent of women murdered by an intimate partner in the United States were killed with a gun “.

As a female who recently moved to Nevada, these numbers are astonishing and concerning because everyone should feel safe where they live. But this is not just happening in Nevada, it is happening all over the country.  According to an Everytown for Gun Safety analysis “57 percent of mass shootings that occurred between 2009 and 2015 were related to domestic or family violence.”

But domestic violence is not the only cause of mass shootings, just the other week there were five major shootings, three of which were mass shootings (where four or more are killed, not including the shooter).  These shootings include:

  • Saturday, February 20, in Kalamzoo, Michigan, where 6 people were killed and two others were shot and injured
  • Tuesday, February 23 in  Phoenix, Arizona where a gunman killed a family of four then himself
  • Wednesday, February 24 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where 3 men were killed
  • Thursday, February 25 in Heeston, Kansas, where 3 were killed and 17 others injured
  • Friday, February 26 in Belfair Washington, where a man killed four people including his wife and two children.

So what is the solution?  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a better system put into place so this wouldn’t happen? One way to end this violence is by ensuring guns do not get into the hands of the wrong people.  For instance, in the Heeston shooting last week, the gunman was still able to access a gun even though he had a criminal record and a restraining order.  Had the person who gave him the gun done a background check, he would not have been eligible to purchase that firearm.  

In November, Nevadans will get the opportunity to make more change by voting for the background check ballot initiative.  This ballot initiative “will close a loophole in Nevada law by requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting, and self-defense.” This means that gunmen like in Heeston will not have access to buy guns in Nevada.

If you are interested in learning more about gun violence prevention and/or are interested in getting involved, go to our website: http://act.battlebornprogress.org/survey/GVP_Sign_Up/