Myth, Power, and Gun-Related Intimate Partner Violence Against Women

  • Peter Tagore TanEmail author
Part of the Library of Public Policy and Public Administration book series (LPPP, volume 12)


This chapter examines the tragedy of gun-related intimate partner violence against women (GIPVW henceforth). In that guns are minimally regulated in the United States, it is a uniquely American tragedy whose full scale is hidden by a lack of exact numbers that frustrates a proper account of its extent. This chapter adopts a Nietzschean genealogical approach to uncover two myths that explain the persistence of GIPVW. The myth of masculine priority is traced to its Hellenic roots, and the myth of firearms in the formation of the United States is given a deeper historical analysis. In each case there are vested interests that allow for both the proliferation of GIPVW and how intentionally little we know about the exact statistics. The chapter concludes by looking at some post-myth solutions to the problem.


  1. Associated Press. 2016. Domestic shooting homicides. Accessed 21 Feb 2018.
  2. Beckett, Lois. 2017. Domestic violence and guns: The hidden American crisis ending women’s lives. The Guardian. April 11. Accessed 20 Feb 18.
  3. Bogus, Carl T. 1998. The hidden history of the second amendment Roger Williams University, legal studies paper no. 80. U.C. Davis Law Review 31: 309–410. Accessed 20 Feb 18.
  4. Bouton, Terry. Slave, free black, and white population, 1780–1830. Accessed 4 Apr 2018.
  5. Burkhart, Brian. 2018. Indigenizing the land. Lecture at Mount Saint Mary’s University as part of the Larkin Lecture Series, April 10.Google Scholar
  6. Calamur, Krishnadev. 2017. Australia’s lessons on gun control. Atlantic Monthly. October. Accessed 16 Apr 2018.
  7. Campbell, JC, DW Webster, J Koziol-McLain et al. 2003. Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case control study. American Journal of Public Health 93 (7): 1089–1097.Google Scholar
  8. Canon, Ramsin. 2017. It’s time to end legal immunity for the gun industry. Truth-Out. November 7. Accessed 28 Apr 2018.
  9. Catalano, Shannan, Erica Smith, Howard Snyder, Michael Rand. 2009. Female victims of violence. U.S. Department of Justice. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.Google Scholar
  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018. Intimate partner violence: Definitions. Accessed 21 Feb 2018.
  11. Department of Justice. 1972. Overview of title IX of the education amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C A§ 1681 ET. SEQ. Accessed 14 Apr 2018.
  12. Doyle, Sady. 2016. Want to reduce domestic violence? Treat it like an economic issue. Talk Poverty. September 19. Accessed 7 Mar 2018.
  13. 2018. Unfinished business for the constitution. Accessed 14 Apr 2018.
  14. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. 2018. Guns and domestic violence. Accessed 18 Mar 2018.
  15. Follman, Mark, Julia Lurie, Jaeah Lee, James West. 2015. The true cost of gun violence in America. Mother Jones. April 15. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  16. Friedman, Dan. 2016. The ATF’s nonsensical non-searchable gun databases, explained. The Trace. August 24. Accessed 2 Mar 2018.
  17. Graham, Renée. 2017a. Domestic violence is a growing health problem. Boston Globe. November 3. Accessed 18 Feb 2018.
  18. ———. 2017b. When murder is domestic violence, we forget about it. Boston Globe. March 15. Accessed 18 Feb 2018.
  19. Gun Violence Archive. 2018. Accessed 7 Mar 2018.
  20. Henry, Howell Meadoes. 1914. The police control of slaves in South Carolina. PhD dissertation. Emory: Vanderbilt University. Accessed 2 Apr 2018.
  21. Jeltsen, Melissa. 2014. ‘Why didn’t you just leave?’ Six domestic violence survivors explain why it’s never that simple. Huffington Post. September 9. Accessed 12 Mar 2018.
  22. Kenney, Caitlin. 2013. Should gun owners have to buy liability insurance? NPR. January 31. Accessed 19 Apr 2018.
  23. Lopez, German. 2016. Think gun violence is bad? A new study suggests it’s even worse than we think. Vox. April 28. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  24. McLean, Gladys, and Sarah Gonzalez-Bocinski. 2017. The economic cost of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Accessed 14 Apr 2018.
  25. Mencimer, Stephanie. 2008. Whitewashing the second amendment. Mother Jones. March. Accessed 4 Apr 2018.
  26. Nathan, Alison J. 2000. At the intersection of domestic violence and guns: The public interest perception and the lautenberg amendment. Cornell Law Review 85: 822–858. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.Google Scholar
  27. Peek-Asa, Corinne, Brandon Butcher, and Joseph Cavanaugh. 2017. Cost of hospitalization for firearm injuries by firearm type, intent, and payer in the United States. Injury Epidemiology 4: 20–29. Accessed 14 Apr 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sorenson, Susan B., and Rebecca A. Schut. 2016. Nonfatal gun use in intimate partner violence: A systematic review of the literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. Accessed 19 Mar 2018.
  29. Supreme Court of the United States. 2007. District of Columbia et al v. Heller. Accessed 4 Apr 2018.
  30. Taichman, Darren B., Christine Laine, and on the behalf of the Annals editors. 2015. Reducing firearm-related harms: Time for us to study and speak out. Annals of Internal Medicine 162: 520–521. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Violence Policy Center. 2018. U.S. gun death rate jumps 17 percent since 2008 Supreme Court District of Columbia v. Heller decision affirming Right to Own a Handgun for Self-Defense. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  32. White, Lawrence. 2013. Gun control—founding father style. Times Union. April 4. Accessed 18 Apr 2018.
  33. Winkler, Adam. 2011. The secret life of guns. Atlantic Monthly. September. Accessed 4 Apr 2018.
  34. Witt, Charlotte. 1998. Form, normativity and gender in Aristotle: A feminist perspective. In Feminist interpretations of Aristotle, ed. Cynthia A. Freeland, 118–137. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  35. World Health Organization. 2013, June 20. Violence against women: A global health problem of epidemic proportions. Accessed 18 Feb 2018.
  36. Zhang, Sarah. 2018. Why can’t the U.S. treat gun violence as a public health problem? Atlantic Monthly. February. Accessed 18 Feb 2018.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentMount Saint Mary’s UniversityLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations