While at home, many of us have realized that school shootings have come to a complete halt. While that in itself is a win, we should not have to take the “school” element out of “school shootings” to put a stop to them.
That being said, gun violence has not and will not stop with the enforcement of stay-at-home orders. A large misconception regarding gun violence is that it only occurs on the streets, whether in the form of homicides, armed robberies, or hate crimes. The truth is that gun violence is a multifaceted issue, and that it can very much occur in the house.
Domestic violence is one of the most overlooked areas in which gun violence is present. Domestic abuse can quickly turn violent if guns are present in the household, putting people at a greater risk of being fatally wounded given the level to which the abuse has escalated. In fact, an average of 52 women are shot by an intimate partner every month. Those who experience and witness the event would therefore suffer from serious mental and physical health consequences, leading to a larger ripple effect overall.
Firearms are also heavily involved in suicide attempts. In the United States, sixty percent of gun-related deaths are suicides, making suicide the majority of gun-related deaths. In addition, half of suicides in the United States are committed using a firearm. By simply regulating the ability of people who have been identified as having suicidal tendencies to access guns, the amount of suicides could be driven significantly down.
Lastly, gun violence can occur accidentally. If firearms and ammunition are not properly secured, children could potentially get access them and hurt, or even kill, themselves. From 2006 to 2016 alone, over 6,000 people were killed by unintentional shootings. Simply having a gun in the house increases one’s risk of being wounded by a firearm.
Overall, it is clear that gun violence does not only include school shootings. Curbing gun violence is of utmost importance even during this pandemic, as gun-related harm can and will still occur, regardless of whether people stay at home or go out.