Iowa should lead the way in curbing gun violence

To the Editor:

As of today, June 1, 2019, there have been 150 days in 2019. There have also been 150 mass shootings in the United States in those 150 days.

America has a problem with guns. More accurately, America has a growing problem with gun violence. Research shows the number one reason for this is that America has more guns than people. Which is due to easy, basically uncontrolled, unmonitored access. Since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2002, more than 1600 mass shootings have taken place in this country.

The GOP generally opposes any type of gun control legislature. Only 4 of the 54 U.S. Senate republicans voted in favor of the 2015 background checks bill.

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House has made passing gun control legislation a priority. But, it’s been 93 days as of today that the GOP-controlled Senate has refused to hold a vote on the House-passed background checks bill. The State of Iowa GOP-controlled legislature is also ignoring gun control laws, which are what the majority of Iowans want. The Giffords Law Center has ranked Iowa 16 out of 50 states in “Gun Law Strength” and 41 out of 50 in “Gun Death Rank”. Common sense gun control laws are working in several states which have low rates of gun violence, such as Hawaii and Massachusetts. Evidence is clear that states with stronger gun laws have lower gun death rates – year after year. As previously noted, a majority of U.S. citizens want effective gun control laws.

A public survey conducted by the New York Times showed approval rates from 81%-89% regarding the following:

• Background checks on all purchases.

• Ban sales to all violent criminals, to people deemed dangerous by mental health providers, and to convicted stalkers.

• Establish a centralized record of gun sales.

• Require reports of lost/stolen guns.

• Require a 3-day waiting period and safety training.

Also, 50% of Americans have shown support for 10 other common sense, effective gun laws.

How many daily mass shootings, how many deaths, will it take for our legislators to stop taking money from the NRA and do what is right?

Iowa has always been known for being first in so many areas, why not take on this horrendous problem and lead the way?

Davi Mondt Lowman

Boone

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