My stance on gun control is that it shouldn’t be a thing. I get that not everyone agrees. If they did, there wouldn’t be any gun control organizations.
When we look at those groups, most are headed by people who at least make it a challenge to oppose anti-gun measures. They know how to talk, how to use facts and studies, and how to play the media.
Then we have Brady’s Kris Brown, who just isn’t that impressive.
I’m used to her saying some pretty silly stuff, but I came across an interview she did with Ms. Magazine, and I didn’t get far before I had some problems with her comments.
Morgan Carmen: Because this is Ms. I would love to start by asking, why is gun violence a feminist issue?
Kris Brown: Well, so many different reasons.
I would say speaking personally, as a woman, just the knowledge that about 70 women every single month are [killed] by domestic violence in this country. It is a staggering and uniquely American epidemic. And [one] that really, women do not experience anywhere else in the world except in the United States. So for me, that’s a major motivating factor. …
In the U.S., over 1 million women alive today have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner. That’s insane. And the mere presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it about five times as likely that a woman will be killed. So all of [the] aspects of domestic violence, violence against women, very much inform my perspective as a female leader around this issue, as does the reality of the looming decision by the Supreme Court [which] will be decided this term: the United States v. Rahimi case, in which the Fifth Circuit basically said that the long-standing rule that a [convicted] domestic violence abuser forfeits their Second Amendment rights … is unconstitutional. That basically would completely take away the right of domestic violence victims to ensure that their abuser cannot purchase a gun, track them down and kill them.
So it’s a very, very high stakes, potentially very dangerous decision that the Supreme Court is going to be reviewing that will have a material impact on women, on survivors, children and, obviously, our broader community.
Wow. That’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s take it bit by bit.
First, the claim that there are 70 women killed per month by domestic violence and that this is somehow a bigger problem in the United States than elsewhere.
Is that accurate? After all, that seemed a bold claim to make and there’s absolutely no source provided.
So let’s take a look.
If there are 70 women killed per month, that works out to 840 women in total. While that’s a lot in and of itself and each one is a tragedy, it’s also a tiny drop in the bucket in a nation of 332 million people. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be dealt with, only we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves either.
Yet even here, Brown is wrong.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2021, 34 percent of all women killed in this country died as a result of intimate partner violence. Based on the total number of women murdered provided by BJS, that works out to 1,699.
So the problem is worse, right?
Well, to a degree. Yes, there are more homicides, but per capita, that’s still 0.51 per 100,000 people. That’s going to matter here in a second.
Brown argues that this is a uniquely American problem, a common phrase used to make it seem like the issue is purely because of the Second Amendment protections for firearms.
However, again, Brown is wrong.
We use per capita statistics so we can compare populations that may not have the same number of people. For example, the population of Liechtenstein is never going to be similar to that of India. Yet by using per capita numbers, we can get an idea of the scale of various things.
Take our per capita intimate partner homicide rate of 0.51. Comparing it to European nations, we can see that Malta and Iceland have a higher rate than the US. And that’s just Europe.
For the Americas as a whole, the rate is 1.4–that’s nearly three times the US rate, meaning someone else is driving that average up–while it’s 2.5 in Africa.
It seems to me that the issue isn’t really “uniquely American” but a worldwide issue that exists independently of guns.
Now, in fairness, Brown’s 70 per month number might be just these kinds of homicides that use a firearm, but it seems pretty obvious that the issue here is women being killed by their partners, not the method of murder. People are just as dead with a knife or a baseball bat, after all. Focusing on the gun is to ignore the deeper problem of domestic abuse itself.
It should also be noted that overall, over three and a half times as many men are killed as women. They’re just far less likely to be killed by an intimate partner.
Next, Brown completely misrepresents the Rahimi case that’s set to go before the Supreme Court. Rahimi wasn’t a convicted domestic violence offender. He had a restraining order for domestic violence only. Restraining orders have a different standard than a criminal court, so no, he wasn’t convicted of anything at the point he was arrested, which is kind of the point.
Honestly, the interview doesn’t get better from there.
Kris Brown may lead one of the better-known gun control organizations out there, but she really shouldn’t be leading anything up to and including her dog for a walk.