Will limiting access to guns reduce domestic violence situations?

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

"You know homicide is the ultimate act of power and control and that's what this is, said Naomi Cummings, the Executive Director of The Bridge to Hope in Menomonie.

She was saddened to hear about the tragic shooting by a Kansas City Chief Football player, brought on by domestic violence. But was not surprised that it involved a gun.

"Guns are used in over half of the homicides related to domestic violence but there are other means also," she said.

And that is why she says gun control laws are not the final answer to reducing the severity of domestic violence. There is a bigger picture.

"It's about power and control and coercion over somebody else, and physical violence is just part of that, of course it’s the most tragic part," she said.

Cummings says rather than taking guns from people who want to hunt or protect themselves, keep them from people who have the potential to do harm.

Chippewa County District Attorney Steve Gibbs says there is a law on the books related to that.

"Federal law says you cannot possess a firearm if you have a restraining order against you, or you've ever been convicted of a crime of domestic violence, or a felony," he said.

Gibbs says it boils down to personal responsibility when it comes to guns.

"It's like saying a fork makes people obese," he added.

Pat Stein, the Executive Director of the Bolton House in Eau Claire says guns are problematic in domestic violence situations. She says anything you can do to restrain people who have the potential to do harm, helps.

"I don't know if increasing gun control per say is going to stop the increase of domestic violence or severity, but it is a step in the right direction," she said.

And whether you are for or against gun control, she says having the topic in the spotlight brings awareness.

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