This has been a very deadly week for Tennessee women and the week isn’t over yet.
Tennessee is Sixth in the Nation for Women Murdered by Men
On Sunday in Putnam County, Angela Dell Harville was shot and killed by her husband Daniel Paul Harville, who then turned the gun on himself. Police records show a history of domestic violence between the couple.
On Monday in Jackson, Mikkel Joy was shot and killed by Ernest Emerson, a man with whom she shared a home. He then attempted suicide with the same firearm but survived and remains in critical condition.
In Sparta Wednesday morning, Andrea Kirby White and Jamie Meadows were found dead on their front porch. A weapon was nearby. Officials said a history of domestic-related calls have come from the home where Meadows and White lived together. White was pregnant at the time she was murdered.
Tennessee is now sixth in the nation for women murdered by men according to the most recent report from the Violence Policy Center. The most common weapon used is a firearm and in every case but one, the victim had a relationship with her murderer.
Around 600 Tennesseans a year, or 50 each month, use a gun to take their own life. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Studies show that most attempters act on impulse, in moments of panic or despair. Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide.” The chosen means matter and easy accessibility to firearms drastically decreases the odds of survivability.
Our state ranks 9th for gun deaths and 9th for accidental shootings, many of which involve children. So far this year there have been at least 17 children under 18 unintentionally shot, six of them fatally. The youngest fatality was only 2-years-old. He found a loaded gun and shot himself in the head with it. Older children are not immune from these unintentional shootings. Teenagers, some of whom have parents in law enforcement, have been unintentionally shot and in some cases killed. Earlier this week, a 13-year-old boy from Harrison was shot in the face while his family posed for photos with their guns.
Less than a month ago, an 11-year-old boy intentionally shot his 8-year-old neighbor for not allowing him to play with her puppy. He used his father’s loaded and easily accessible shot gun. The 11-year-old is currently in jail facing a charge of first degree murder; however, since leaving loaded weapons where children can access them is legal in Tennessee, the father will not be charged with any crime.
“We need to have a serious discussion about the gun violence in our state,” said Beth Joslin Roth, Policy Director for the Safe Tennessee Project. “Does the average Tennessean have any idea what gun violence in this state really looks like? This week alone, three women have been shot and killed by the men with whom they had relationships, who then went on to shoot themselves. Three women in five days. We need some real leadership from our lawmakers on this issue. ‘More guns for more people in more places’ is not the answer. In fact, to even consider bills that further relax our gun laws in light of the number of gun injuries and deaths we see weekly is akin to suggesting the best way to combat underage drinking is to lower the drinking age.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.