ARE GUNS A FEMINIST ISSUE?

SCOTUS' decision in D.C. v. Heller aside, I've always felt that the presence of a gun in one's home just significantly raises the probability of someone getting shot. When I had a particularly creepy landlord during my senior year of college, I told my small-town Ohio-bred roommate (hi Lauren!) that I simply didn't think the solution was for her to keep a shotgun under her bed. She rolled her eyes.

Suffice to say, feminists can have differences of opinion on this topic. Yesterday Megan McArdle said guns are a feminist issue, and indeed, they are -- but not because they equalize power between men and women. In actuality, in a physical altercation the stronger of any two people is more likely to gain control of any weapon that is present. As the Violence Policy Center reports, homes with guns are clearly more dangerous homes for women:

A 1997 study that examined the risk factors for violent death for women in the home found that when there were one or more guns in the home, the risk of suicide among women increased nearly five times and the risk of homicide increased more than three times. The increased risk of homicide associated with firearms was attributable to homicides at the hands of a spouse, intimate acquaintance, or close relative.

Granted, correlation does not imply causation. But it's a lot easier for a violent, abusive, anger-prone man (or woman) to kill his partner with a gun than without one.

--Dana Goldstein

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