Marissa Alexander will have a new trial, but still faces 20 years for firing a warning shot.

Marissa AlexanderDo guns kill people? No, but guns make it much easier for an abuser to kill their spouse or partner. Guns will always make it easier to kill people, especially when the gun owner has shown a predilection for violent behavior.

After the murder of Kassandra Perkins, Wayne LaPierre went on a radio program and stated that if Kassandra had access to a gun, she might be alive today. In other words, if a woman who was being threatened with violence by a partner, the father of her child, had been able to grab a firearm, she could have saved her own life. Well, ask Marissa Alexander how well that works.

Marissa Alexander was sentenced to a 20-year prison sentence for firing her legally owned handgun into a wall in order to frighten off her violent, estranged husband. Marissa had a restraining order against her abuser, and when he showed up at her house, she grabbed her handgun out of her car.

The state of Florida, famous for Stand your Ground gun laws, decided that being scared for her life and the life of her children was not enough reason for Marissa Alexander to fire a warning shot, and sentenced her to 20 years in prison.

U.S. Representative Corinne Brown, D-Jacksonville, attended the sentencing for Marissa Alexander, and said the following after the 20 year prison term was handed down:

“The Florida criminal justice system has sent two clear messages today. One is that if women who are victims of domestic violence try to protect themselves, the `Stand Your Ground Law’ will not apply to them. … The second message is that if you are black, the system will treat you differently.”

In my opinion, women are seen more like property after we get married. Not necessarily by our husbands (although I am certain there are many American men who view their wives as chattel) but by society and the justice system. Marissa Alexander was terrified and she did the only thing she could think of to get her abuser to leave her, and her children alone.

Where’s the NRA? Why haven’t they championed Marissa Alexander’s case? The NRA uses domestic violence to sell more guns, so why are they silent when it comes to Marissa? According to Wayne LaPierre, if Kassandra Perkins had just had her own handgun, she might have saved her own life.

Marissa Alexander did have her own handgun, and the next 20 years of her life might be spent in a state prison. Thanks by and large to outcry over Marissa’s case on social media, she is set to be retried, but still faces 20 years. Maybe the NRA cares as much about victims of domestic violence as Congress does.

  • Guns increase the probability of death in incidents of domestic violence.
  • Firearms were used to kill more than two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims between 1990 and 2005.
  • Domestic violence assaults involving a firearm are 12 times more likely to result in death than those involving other weapons or bodily force.
  • Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser owns a firearm.
  • A recent survey of female domestic violence shelter residents in California found that more than one third (36.7%) reported having been threatened or harmed with a firearm.
  • In nearly two thirds (64.5%) of the households that contained a firearm, the intimate partner had used the firearm against the victim, usually threatening to shoot or kill the victim.
  • Laws that prohibit the purchase of a firearm by a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order are associated with a reduction in the number of intimate partner homicides.
  • Between 1990 and 2005, individuals killed by current dating partners made up almost half of all spouse and current dating partner homicides.
  • A study of applicants for domestic violence restraining orders in Los Angeles found that the most common relationship between the victim and abuser was a dating relationship, and applications for protective orders were more likely to mention firearms when the parties had not lived together and were not married.

All statistics are courtesy of smartgunlaws.org.

Marissa Alexander

1 COMMENT

  1. She didn’t barely miss her kids. The only people claiming that is the right wing media. Either way it just highlights the dangers of standing up to abusers when either party has a gun

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