The unsettling link between firearms and domestic violence

The unsettling link between firearms and domestic violence

LORAIN COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Some have been vocal in their support of a decision by the Supreme Court to ban those convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun.

Virginia Beckman is the Executive Director of the Genesis House Shelter, Lorain County's only domestic violence shelter.

"If an offender has firearms that can drastically increases their power over their victim. Half of female victims of homicide each year in our country are killed with a firearm," said Beckman.

Beckman said she's hopeful in her work to stop violence after last week when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law banning people convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun. The law covers intentional acts of abuse and those who committed acts in the heat of the moment.

"Advocates nationwide had been watching this and are pleased with the decision," said Beckman.

The Supreme Court's decision sheds light on another issue, Beckman says -- that many of the gunmen behind mass shootings have been linked to domestic violence.

"In 18 percent of mass shootings between 2009 and 2014, the perpetrator had a history of domestic violence," said Beckman.

The correlation was clear in the deadly Orlando night club shooting. In that incident, gunman Omar Mateen had a history of domestic violence, according to his first wife.

Beckman believes this ban will be great for survivors of domestic violence.

"If it's saved one life it's made a significant difference," said Beckman.

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