New Study Shows That For Women, Guns Still Offer More Danger Than Protection

In a study titled “When Men Murder Women,” the Violence Policy Center looked at homicide data from 2014 and found that 1,613 women were killed by men nationwide. The most common weapon used in these homicides were guns. Of the incidents where the offender was identified, 93 percent of victims were killed by a man they knew.

Their conclusion? “For women in America, guns are not used to save lives, but to take them.”

Wikimedia / Creative Commons
Wikimedia / Creative Commons

In total, only 107 victims were killed by strangers. This means that women were more than 13 times more likely to be killed by a familiar man than a stranger. During the same time period in which 1,613 women were killed by men, there were only 15 reported incidents in which a woman killed a man in self-defense.

All of this data correlates with previous studies on gun violence. Data collected by the National Domestic Violence Hotline even showed that the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increased the chance of murder of the woman by 500 percent.

In July, the National Rifle Association released an advertisement urging women to bear arms to protect themselves from violent men, pushing a message that when women carry guns, an assailant’s life expectancy is the one that will be cut short. This study, and others before it, prove that this could not be further from the truth.


Katy is an intern with Ms. Magazine, and a PR and Sociology senior at a private liberal arts university in Kentucky. She is the social media coordinator for the web series, Life Noggin, and the founding member of her campus' College Democrats chapter. When Katy isn't busy, you can find her crying over how much she loves dogs.