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SC Moms React to Heartbreaking Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Published:
11/5/2013 1:50:20 PM


 

Greenville, SC - The Violence Policy Center’s annual report, When Men Murder Women: (http://www.vpc.org/press/1309wmmw.htm), ranked South Carolina first in the nation for the rate of women murdered by men. Domestic violence in South Carolina is at epidemic proportions and this October proved to be another horrendous and heartbreaking month. Five days after the report was released Traci Lynn Gilbert was shot and killed by her boyfriend and the father of her child. On October 9, 2013 Joyce Quinn Elliott was shot and killed by her husband. Making national news was the heinous murder of two children and three adults before the perpetrator turned the gun on himself on October 29, 2013. The victims included William Asa Robinson, 9, Tariq Kenyon Robinson, 11, Chandra Marie Fields, 26, Melissa Maroney Fields, 49 and Richard Allen Fields, 51.

Domestic violence is rampant in our state and unfortunately few of the cases ever make it to the news—and in most cases there is a gun present and fatalities occur. The mass murder-suicide that happened on October 29th could have been far worse had the killer not sent 4 additional children, including his 7 month old daughter, out of the house before taking the lives of his girlfriend, her parents and their grandchildren.

This killer had an extensive criminal record and was facing criminal charges that could have resulted in a decades-long sentence. Previous convictions had made him ineligible to own a gun or ammunition and ineligible to purchase any firearm. Yet his violent act of rage destroyed 5 lives plus his own, as well as devastating the lives of the families and friends of the victims. It may not be divulged as to how he obtained a gun. However, we know that South Carolina does not require background checks on private gun sales – even those conducted at publicly advertised gun shows, or advertised in publications or online within the state. Federal Firearms Licensed dealers conduct these checks routinely and as required by law, but throughout the nation an estimated 40% of gun buyers circumvent this basic check. This huge gap, as well as our lax federal and state gun laws, makes it easy for abusers and other criminals to purchase a gun.

We can no longer sit back, watch the news and simply forget about the victims. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is calling on all South Carolina leaders, from those serving in Congress, to the South Carolina Statehouse and Governor Haley, to enact policies to reduce gun violence immediately.

“Too many voices have been silenced, too many children are now motherless, and too many South Carolinians are being harmed by the effect of Congress’ inaction and the lax gun laws our state leaders are protecting rather than South Carolinians’ lives. We’ve had enough and South Carolina mothers will no longer tolerate this laissez-faire approach to protecting women and children,” commented Erin Dando, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – South Carolina Chapter Leader. “We can’t do any worse than first place. Unfortunately, it is too late for so many victims. But it is never too late to protect the nine women that will be shot and killed by their intimate partner next week in America.”

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