For many, the holidays are a time set aside to gather and celebrate with family. Unfortunately, for families across the country, this holiday season turned deadly when domestic disturbances escalated to gun violence. A few examples of this trend include:
- In Virginia, a couple was shot and killed in their home days before Christmas. According to the Washington Post, the suspected shooter had been dating the couple’s daughter, but the family had encouraged her to end the relationship after they discovered his neo-Nazi beliefs. The family had just moved into a new home to have more room for their school-aged children.
- In Arizona, a woman and her two children, an 11-year old and 10-month old, were shot and killed on Christmas Day. The woman’s estranged husband – and father of the two children – is the alleged shooter.
- In Arkansas, a pastor shot and killed his wife in their home and then attempted suicide. According to local media reports, the victim’s two young grandchildren were in the home at the time, but not physically injured.
- In New Jersey, a 16-year-old boy allegedly shot and killed four people, including his parents and sister, just before midnight on New Year’s Eve. The local prosecutor described the shooting as an isolated domestic incident.
Research proves that stronger gun laws can reduce domestic violence homicides. Research has also shown that American women are 16 times more likely to be shot and killed with a gun than women in other high-income countries and that the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be shot and killed.
As Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts said after a shooting in Colorado on New Year’s Eve that left one law enforcement officer dead, we hope that this New Year, every single American will resolve to get involved and demand our lawmakers do more to end the gun violence that kills more than 90 Americans every day.