AMERICA’S GUN VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC

Kate Ranta

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Charles Ommanney

In November 2012, while living in Coral Springs, Florida, Ranta, 41, was shot by her then husband. The two had been separated for more than a year.

I didn't grow up in a house with guns. I never dated anybody who had guns. I wasn't anti-gun – it just wasn't part of my upbringing. But my abusive husband was a major in the Air Force, so he had been around guns. He had a lot of them.

We were married in March 2008. In January 2011, I got a restraining order after a domestic-violence incident. He was asked if he would voluntarily give up his guns, to which he said no. But they were able to seize them, and I subsequently dropped the restraining order.

“He was asked if he would voluntarily give up his guns, to which he said ‘no.’”

[My then husband] should have never been able to get his hands on a gun. Because he had a prior order against him and he had been arrested for violating it, that should've been enough to not get a gun, but he did. In states that require background checks for every handgun sale, 38 percent fewer women are shot by intimate partners. The presence of a gun in a domestic-violence incident increases the chance of homicide for women by 500 percent. 500 percent. Even after what happened to me, I respect the Second Amendment, but there need to be background checks.

As told to Elisabeth Garber-Paul

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