Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks About Arming Domestic Abusers

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/MCT via Getty Images)
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/MCT via Getty Images)

Last Tuesday, in the middle of the night in Phoenix Arizona, a 26-year-old man shot his mother, father and two younger sisters, then set the house on fire.

On Wednesday, a 71-year-old woman was watching television when her husband walked in the room naked and began firing shots at her, he then left the room and shot himself in the head.

On Thursday, a convicted domestic abuser with a lengthy criminal record in Kansas entered his workplace after being served with a protective order and murdered three coworkers and injured 12 others.

On Friday, a Washington man murdered his wife, her two teenage sons, and their neighbor before killing himself.

On Saturday, a Virginia father killed his wife after she had alerted the police to a domestic dispute, when the police arrived he killed a young police officer on her first day on the job and injured two others.

On Sunday, a 36 year-old Ohio man killed his girlfriend after the two had an argument, he later killed himself.

Today, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas broke his 10-year silence during oral arguments to question whether or not it was fair to prohibit convicted misdemeanor domestic violence abusers from owning guns.

In addition to the legal arguments made by the government attorney, it is important to note that a gun present in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent. Similar to sexual assault, women are murdered by and large by men already in their life, not strangers. In one study, female homicide victims knew their killer in 94 percent of incidences. Another study found that 34 percent of the time a woman's killer was a former or current intimate partner. In contrast, only 2.5 percent of male homicide victims were killed by their former or current intimate partner.

A third study found that 57 percent of mass shootings were domestic violence related, so while women only make up 15 percent of the total gun homicide victims, they make up 50 percent of the mass shootings victims. In addition, nearly 30 percent of mass shooting perpetrators had a history of domestic violence charges.

All people have a right to safety from preventable gun violence. To suggest that the firearm rights of known domestic violence offenders should be prioritized over the safety of their abused partners, is outrageous. The fact that Justice Thomas even questioned the fairness of prohibiting domestic abusers from owning guns, never mind broke his 10-year silence to do it, speaks volumes with respect to his misguided priorities. Today I couldn't help but speak up. But unlike Justice Thomas, I will not speak up for abusers. I am speaking up for the thousands of women being intimidated and murdered by their partners with firearms that they should no longer have the right to own.

Prohibiting known domestic abusers from owning guns is just common sense and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should know as much.