According to CDC data for 2016, guns were involved in about 6% of the total number of violence-related injuries and deaths. That includes assaults, sexual assaults, manslaughter, non-negligent manslaughter and premeditated murder. According to the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Reporting data, guns were involved in roughly three-quarters of homicides but only about a quarter of aggravated assaults, which are far more common.

Incidentally, knives, clubs and bare hands were involved in more murders than rifles or shotguns.

It is a federal offense for any of the following people to possess, even temporarily, a firearm: felons, fugitives from justice, person under indictment for a felony, persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, adjudicated to be mentally incompetent to handle their own affairs or who present a danger to themselves or others, persons who have been dishonorably discharged from the military or (now) who have received a bad conduct discharge related to domestic violence, persons in the U.S. illegally and persons that have renounced their citizenship.

In order to be prohibited under the under the Gun Control Act of 1968 or Lautenberg Amendment (domestic violence), a person must be charged with a crime and convicted in open court. This means someone has to call police, press charges and testify in court. A victim of domestic violence can request a court order prohibiting the abuser from making contact with or approaching the victim. The kicker here is that the Supreme Court ruled in City of Castle Rock v. Gonzales that the police do not have a constitutional duty to enforce the order.

Whether or not your relatives should have had guns is not something you can legislate. They can certainly be stripped of their Second Amendment rights, but the Fifth Amendment requires due process beforehand.

This means one of your family members would have had to file a criminal complaint. Pure and simple; there’s no way around it and no way to sugarcoat it. If they don’t make a complaint, the police are helpless.

Cops hate domestic dispute calls. Why? Because few other situations in law enforcement go south so quickly or so often. Cops are actually assaulted by the people who called them.

You can blame it on toxic masculinity all you want; a awful lot of women have taken the ride downtown with their husbands.

I am sorry that your grandfather and uncle were abusive. I am sorry that they were so out of control. But your family’s problems are just that: your family’s problems. We can’t solve them for you if you won’t take the help that’s available.

If you really want to reduce violence you need to work on the causes, not the means.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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