. . . . . The horror of recent gun violence events against children and young persons brought with it a strong outcry for some action. However, the role of guns and female deaths is too frequently obscured under the label of “domestic abuse,” resulting in too little attention to guns and female murders.
In 2010, the Violence Policy Center released a document entitled “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2010 Homicide Data,” which provides information making it possible to extract gun violence from the domestic violence side. That report states that domestic violence and guns make a lethal combination. The Department of Commerce also released information in 2010, again the latest information we have on gun violence.
The information available suggests that death rate by firearms for women is 12 times higher than the combined rate of 22 other high-income countries. The overriding fact emerging from the analysis is that more women are killed in the home than in any other environment and are murdered by someone they know.
A handgun in the home, whether legal or illegal, is the usual killing instrument. A history of abuse increases the likelihood of a handgun murder. Black females are murdered at a rate 2.5 times higher than white women.
The Violence Policy Center document ranks states with the highest female victim/male offender rates. Arizona ranks No. 8 among the top 10 in number of female homicides. Nevada is No. 1
Some comparison with national rates is possible.
In Arizona, 60 percent of female victims were shot and killed with guns. Three quarters of those victims were killed with handguns. In the United States about half of female victims were killed with guns, 70 percent with handguns.
In both Arizona and the United States as a whole, female murder was not related to another felony.
In Arizona, 94 percent of female victims were murdered by someone they knew, a percentage equal to that of the United States
The state providing the greatest protection for women from gun violence is Minnesota, with a murder rate of 14/100,000 compared to Arizona’s 52/100,000.