Some argue that removing guns from abusive situations takes away women’s best means of protecting themselves. Before my husband used my own gun against me, I may have agreed. Unfortunately, the numbers show that my tragic experience is far more common than the alternative: Women in domestic conflicts are nearly 10 times more likely to be threatened or shot with a gun than to use the gun in self-defense.
As a result, the very presence of a gun in a domestic conflict makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed. Federal law, however, still allows large numbers of convicted domestic abusers to own guns. Until these loopholes are closed and all men who beat and stalk women are barred from firearm ownership, we can’t expect to make a serious dent in the horrific stream of gun violence against women that plagues our nation.
I am one of the lucky ones. I was saved by freak chance — a bullet missing my heart by mere inches. But now I can’t sit idly by as hundreds of women pay the price for weak laws that allow their abusers or stalkers to easily get their hands on guns. My support of Second Amendment rights for all law-abiding gun owners remains unwavering. But when men convicted of threatening, stalking and abusing women are afforded the same protections as the rest of us, innocent women die.
Christy Martin is a former championship boxer who was in an abusive relationship with her husband and manager for many years.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.