Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

From NYTimes Editorial Board

“Do something!”

It’s what Americans plead after each successive mass slaying — in Newtown, in Orlando, in Sutherland Springs — sickened by the ease with which one man with a gun can massacre dozens of people.

Yet the uproar around each slaughter has tended to obscure a disturbing pattern. No matter where these men opened fire — in a schoolhouse, in a nightclub, in a church — their violence almost always began at home, with acts of domestic abuse.

Nearly half of women killed in the United States are murdered by a current or former romantic partner. Young children are most often killed at home. In a majority of cases, the weapons used are firearms.

The National Rifle Association and fierce defenders for gun rights have stymied most efforts to advance sensible safety rules. But these same gun rights advocates have been much more willing to support laws to stop access to guns by domestic abusers.

It’s past time to enact these laws and toughen enforcement. Taking steps to protect the potential victims of family violence may save their lives — and prevent the next mass shooting, as well.

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