Although details about the identities of the Aurora shooting victims are slow to emerge, it is safe to say a male perpetrated unspeakable violence against a number of women, as well as other men. Sadly, male violence toward either sex is not an unusual occurrence. When it comes to guns, women are astronomically more likely to be on the receiving end of a bullet than the one pulling the trigger. While men are both more likely to murder, and to be murdered, women’s likelihood of being killed is way out of proportion with our likelihood of killing.
From 1976 to 2005, women were 23.5% of all homicide victims and 11.2% of perpetrators. In short, women are significantly more likely to be murdered than to murder, and that’s not to mention the suffering women experience as a result of male on male violence. No doubt losing a son to gun violence, incarceration or a death sentence for murder can feel like death to a mother. Why are we putting up with this?
Let’s take a closer look at Aurora for a moment. I’ve heard a lot of male voices over the past few days stating that if only one or more of the civilians had been armed, this tragedy could have been prevented or curtailed. One acquaintance argued he’s been training to use his firearm for 30 years and he would have, “taken that asshole down before he killed anyone.” These voices may be chivalrous, heroic, hot-headed, macho, coming out of fear, denial, posturing, etc. But there is one thing they are not. They are not based in fact. You don’t have to be special ops or have weapons training to know that.