Wrong Answer

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive
behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every
community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.
Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is
part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury,
psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations
and truly last a lifetime. (source: ncadv)

Domestic violence is a serious issue plaguing the United States.  Nearly 1.3 million women are the victims of domestic violence every year-by an intimate partner, such as a boyfriend, lover, or spouse.  In fact, historically, women are victimized  most often by someone they know. Those women between the ages of 20-24 face the highest risk of nonfatal domestic abuse from an intimate partner.  This violence has social costs as well:

The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds
$5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for
direct medical and mental health services.17

Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8
million days of paid work because of the violence
perpetrated against them by current or former
husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the
equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and
almost 5.6 million days of household productivity
as a result of violence.17

There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million
(medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner
violence annually, which costs $37 billion.18
(source:  ncadv)

Given the cost to women-in many cases, their very lives (and even when they aren’t killed, they can suffer life altering traumatic injuries), as well as the social costs, it would behoove the powers that be to work towards reducing domestic violence.

 Kentucky’s response?  Arm women:  

This week, a Kentucky lawkicks in that aims to protect domestic violence victims—not by taking away guns from their abusers, but by making it easier for victims to carry guns.

Kentucky has some of the most lax gun restrictions for domestic violence perps in the nation, and between 2003 and 2012, a greater percentage of intimate-partner homicides in Kentucky were committed with guns than anywhere else in the country. A number of states prohibit certain domestic abusers from possessing guns with laws that bar convicted stalkers, people subject to temporary restraining orders, or dating partners convicted of domestic violence from owning guns. Kentucky does none of that. For the chart above, Mother Jones looked at eight gun restrictions related to domestic violence that states have enacted; Kentucky had zero. (In the chart, Kentucky is in the upper right-hand corner.)

The new Kentucky law, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, doesn’t stop abusers from possessing a firearm. But it makes it easier for victims to carry a weapon. Under the law, anyone granted an emergency protective order or who obtains a domestic violence order can apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, temporarily waiving the requirement to complete firearms training. (The person still has to complete a background check.) This means a victim (or someone threatened with domestic violence) can obtain a concealed carry permit in as little as 24 hours.

This is magical thinking at its best (actually at its worst): give potential victims a gun and that will protect them.  Unfortunately, people aren’t superhuman. If you’re being stalked by an intimate partner, you’d have to be ready at all times.  At work. At school. At church. In the car.  At the grocery store.  In traffic.  At the beach. At home. At dinner.  You’d constantly have to be aware of everything around you and have your gun within reach. You also have to be trained in how to use the gun effectively.  All of that is implausible.  Not impossible, but should the victims of domestic violence have to be on their guard every single second of every single day of their entire lives?  That’s living in fear and terror.  No one should have to live like that.

Also, owning a gun doesn’t necessarily make women safer:

A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that 20 percent of women killed in California were murdered by an intimate partner using a gun. But among the female victims who had purchased handguns, that number jumped to 45 percent.

The answer to reducing domestic violence isn’t an armed society.  The answer lies in protecting women from domestic violence.  One such way would be to make it harder for perpetrators of domestic violence to acquire guns.

Wrong Answer