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Letters: Domestic violence and gun violence are linked

Contributed To The Press • Nov 24, 2017 at 12:00 AM

​Recently, mass shootings have once again reminded Americans of the devastating impact gun violence has on our communities. In the wake of the church shooting in Texas, a column in this paper (“Gun control does not stop mass murderers,” Nov. 8) painted an inaccurate picture of what we can and should do to prevent further deaths from gun violence.

The reality is that mass shootings often come​ ​back​ ​to​ ​one​ ​underlying​ ​theme that points to how we can prevent further tragedy. Often, as was the case in the Texas church shooting, the shooter has a history of domestic violence. In​ ​fact,​ in ​the​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​mass​ ​shootings — 54​ ​percent — there is a connection to domestic​ ​or​ ​family violence.

It’s​ ​undeniable​ ​that​ ​in​ ​America, ​​it​ ​is​ ​far too​ ​easy​ ​for​ ​people​ ​with​ ​dangerous​ ​histories​ ​— including​ ​domestic​ ​abusers​ ​—​ ​​to​ ​get​ ​their hands​ ​on​ ​guns. This​ ​isn’t​ ​a​ ​partisan​ ​issue. ​​The​ ​simple​ ​fact​ ​is that​ ​guns​ ​and​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​are​ ​a​ ​deadly combination​. The​ ​presence​ ​of​ ​a​ ​gun​ ​in​ ​a​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​situation​ ​makes​ ​it​ ​five​ ​times​ ​more​ ​likely that​ ​a​ ​woman​ ​will​ ​be​ ​killed.

If members of Congress are serious about saving lives, they should take action now to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers by passing bipartisan legislation sponsored by Reps. Debbie Dingell and Dan Donovan, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. This important legislation would strengthen protections for victims of domestic abuse and keep guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We must demand an end to gun violence.

VICKI POWERS

Johnson City

What’s the impact?

After reading Urs Gsteiger's letter in the Forum recently, and Congressman Phil Roe's glowing discussion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and his earlier commentaries and votes on the Affordable Care Act, I have three questions for Roe:

• How many people in the 1st District will lose their insurance and/or be without affordable insurance?

• How much of a tax cut will middle class people of the 1st District get versus the wealthier people of the District?

• Have you told them?

Maybe Roe could help more people in his district by volunteering in the Remote Area Medical clinics.

JIM WILLIAMS

Johnson City

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