Stricter Gun Control Could Stop Violent Men Killing Their Partners and Themselves

Summary: A study that utilizes 10 years of data on intimate partner homicide reveals men who have a history of domestic violence and access to guns have an increased risk of committing murder-suicide. Restricting gun access to men with a history of domestic battery could reduce murder suicide rates, researchers report.

Source: Springer.

Men who use guns to kill their partner are also likely to commit suicide. Those planning to commit suicide are not deterred by severe penalties, and therefore the most successful way of preventing such homicides is to restrict gun access to batterers. So says Sierra Smucker of Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy in the US. She is the lead author of a study in Springer’s Journal of Urban Health. The research also shows that in cases where a man has killed his partner using a gun there are more likely to be multiple homicide victims than when no gun is involved.

Smucker and her colleagues analyzed data extracted from the North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System between 2004 to 2013. As the state-wide system links all violent deaths occurring in the same incident, Smucker’s team was able to extract information from all incidents that included both a suicide and a murder.

During the decade under investigation, 6,440 homicides were reported in North Carolina. Of these, 813 (16.8 per cent) cases involved murder of a person by someone identified as their intimate partner. Women were the victim in three out of every four such cases, and were killed 99 per cent of the time by a man.

Furthermore, the researchers found that one in every two cases in which someone was murdered by their intimate partner also ended in the perpetrator committing suicide. Guns were the weapon of choice seven out of every ten times. In 86.6 per cent of these cases, men pulled the trigger before turning the gun on themselves too. Men were also more likely to kill other victims including the victim’s children or parents if a gun was used. Including these additional deaths, male-perpetrated incidents of intimate partner homicide averaged 50 per cent more deaths if a gun was used compared to similar crimes committed with other weapons.

The findings support previous research that suggests homicide-suicides are more prevalent in intimate partner homicides than other types of murders, and that firearms are often the weapon of choice for such crimes. Existing research and this study show that children and other family members are often also victims in such crimes.

“It is well known that gun access increases the chance that a violent domestic relationship will end in death,” says Smucker. “The current findings demonstrate that intimate partner homicides through the use of guns are often coupled with additional killings.”

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The findings support previous research that suggests homicide-suicides are more prevalent in intimate partner homicides than other types of murders, and that firearms are often the weapon of choice for such crimes. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.

She says the conclusions underscore the importance of firearm restrictions, and the need to broaden the definition of domestic violence. She believes that all federal and state laws should include people who abuse their partners regardless of whether they are married to them or not. This is because the current study found that intimate partner homicides involving unwed partners are more likely to include additional victims than is the case with ones involving married couples.

“It is important to pre-empt gun access by suicidal batterers, rather than depending on the deterrent effect of the threat of severe penalties or punishment,” maintains Smucker. “Someone who plans to commit suicide is logically beyond the reach of the legal threat.”

About this neuroscience research article

Source: Adriana Lopez Upegui – Springer
Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com.
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Open access research for “Suicide and Additional Homicides Associated with Intimate Partner Homicide: North Carolina 2004–2013” by Sierra Smucker, Rose E. Kerber, and Philip J. Cook in Journal of Urban Health. Published April 18 2018.
doi:10.1007/s11524-018-0252-8

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article

[cbtabs][cbtab title=”MLA”]Springer “Stricter Gun Control Could Stop Violent Men Killing Their Partners and Themselves.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 24 April 2018.
<https://neurosciencenews.com/gun-control-domestic-violence-8871/>.[/cbtab][cbtab title=”APA”]Springer (2018, April 24). Stricter Gun Control Could Stop Violent Men Killing Their Partners and Themselves. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved April 24, 2018 from https://neurosciencenews.com/gun-control-domestic-violence-8871/[/cbtab][cbtab title=”Chicago”]Springer “Stricter Gun Control Could Stop Violent Men Killing Their Partners and Themselves.” https://neurosciencenews.com/gun-control-domestic-violence-8871/ (accessed April 24, 2018).[/cbtab][/cbtabs]


Abstract

Suicide and Additional Homicides Associated with Intimate Partner Homicide: North Carolina 2004–2013

Intimate partner homicide (IPH) is a critical public health and safety issue in the USA. In this study, we determine the prevalence and correlates of perpetrator suicide and additional homicides following intimate partner homicide (IPH) in a large, diverse state with high quality data. We extract IPHs from the North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System for 2004–2013 and identify suicides and other homicides that were part of the same incidents. We analyze the likelihood (in odds ration form) of perpetrator suicide and additional homicides using logistic regression analysis. Almost all IPH-suicide cases were by men with guns (86.6%). Almost one-half of IPHs committed by men with guns ended with suicide. Male-perpetrated IPH incidents averaged 1.58 deaths if a gun was used, and 1.14 deaths otherwise. It is well-known that gun access increases the chance that a violent domestic relationship will end in death. The current findings demonstrate that gun IPH is often coupled with additional killings. As suicidal batterers will not be deterred from IPH by threat of punishment, the results underline the importance of preemption by limiting batterers’ access to guns.

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  1. Why don’t these researchers ever realize that correlation does not indicate causation. This research is attempting to bridge the huge gap with their political agenda and say that just because firearms are available these crimes are being committed. It is not the availability or accessibility of firearms, it is the PERSON who is committing the crimes that is to blame. The other commenters have brought up very valid points as to who or what is exactly to blame for these crimes. Not the methods chosen to commit these crimes. There are other alternatives.

    1. There are way more murderers of all stripes, and way more methods of committing murder, than there are ways to prevent them. This study, so called, is just from one State, North Carolina, no one knows the demographic they chose, or what social strata these subjects came from. It also fails to account for those homicides that have yet to be solved. A murder suicide can take place in doslate locations where both persons may just rot away or be consumed by carrion eaters. Yeah, this study has “AGENDA” WRITTEN ALL OVER IT.

  2. logically falllacious argument. It assumes that stricter gun control laws will be a panacea against human violence, and stop suicides. If a mentally disturbed person can’t get their hands on a firearm, they will resort to edged weapons; steak knives, butcher knives, machetes, bayonets, swords and the like. If they ban edged tools, then there are always claw hammers, sledge hammers, mallets of all sorts, tire irons, crowbars, weight lifting items, bricks, stones, concrete blocks. Then we have all manner of strangulation implements, ties, pantyhose, garden hoses, laundry rope, parachute chord, garrotes, piano wire, etc. Then we have other ways in which people kill: drowning their victims in a tub after serving them a drink laced with a sedative, and then sinking them to the bottom of a bathtub, or a pool, or a lake, or the ocean, of a river. Other means will also be used, like dousing their intended victim with gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, jet fuel, and the use of various poisons, easily available to anyone. Gun control will not save a single life, because are not THE problem. People HATING people, and killing people are the problem. Someone who wishes to suicide, post homicide, there are many way to accomplish that minus a firearm.

  3. Of course I am not condoning violence but we should also consider making divorce laws less punitive and more fair to the men who are frequently treated only as a paycheck. When they see the likelihood of divorce taking half of everything they own, more than half of their take home pay, and an ex taking their kids and teaching them that Daddy is an evil deadbeat so they think of Mommy as perfect and her boyfriend as their new Daddy, some people will inevitably “snap”.

  4. Perhaps the solution is to train abused women/men in firearms and self defense as well as counseling and state protection while taking the appropriate steps in dissolving the relationship.

    I must admit that the case for removing the right to bear arms is appropriate for people who have been convicted of assault. I think that ‘battery’ which could be defined as an unwanted touch on the arm is too minor of an offense to be stripping a person of their constitutional rights.

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