A Missouri legislator proposes that gun buying should be as regulated as abortions, and has initiated a bill in order to achieve this aim.
In 2013, deaths provoked by firearms in Missouri surpassed mortality rates associated with traffic collisions for the third consecutive year, and the state was ranked the 12th most violent in the U.S., in terms of gun deaths per capita.
Moreover, in 2015 Missouri was declared the state with the highest number of toddler shootings, representatives from the Everytown for Gun Safety organization estimating that more than two-thirds of these incidents could have been prevented provided that the guns had been kept away from the reach of children.
Another alarming aspect is that St Louis and Kansas City are consistently ranked among the 10 most dangerous U.S. cities, when it comes to gun violence.
Now, Missouri State Representative Stacey Newman wants to curb these unsettling trends by introducing stricter gun control regulations, so that people wishing to purchase a firearm have to go through hoops similar to those encountered by women trying to have an abortion.
The bill initiated by Newman on December 1 specifies that all would-be firearm buyers would have to undergo counseling provided by a licensed medical practitioner, so as to ensure that the weapons are used carefully and responsibly, solely for self-defense.
In order to prove that they have completed this step, they would have to receive a written approval from that particular physician.
In addition, they would be required to visit an emergency unit during the weekend, between 10p.m. and 6 a.m., when it’s more likely to encounter people who have been severely injured by guns.
They should also seek the advice of 2 priests who have conducted funerals for kids that had been fatally shot. Moreover, they would have to spend time in the presence of at least 2 families whose lives have been disrupted by firearms.
These discussions should have to be carried out at least 72 hours in advance of the application for owning a gun.
After the request has been filed, those who intend to buy a weapon should have to wait for another 72 hours, until the application is reviewed and processed, just like it happens when expectant mothers seek to terminate their pregnancy.
In Missouri, there are approximately 3,000 places where people can purchase firearms, but just one public medical center where abortions can take place: the Planned Parenthood clinic, located in St. Louis.
Although the procedure is considered legal throughout the country, it’s actually strictly supervised and hampered by numerous restrictions, and Newman believes the same difficulties should also be experienced by those trying to acquire a gun.
After the waiting period has elapsed and the application has been accepted, the future firearm owner would have to find a licensed gun store.
Just like expectant mothers are usually forced to make trips across at least 120 miles before they manage to reach an abortion clinic, the same distance would have to be covered by those seeking to buy a weapon.
Last but not least, before heading home with their new purchase, fresh gun owners would have to watch a 30-minute educational video, illustrating how severe gun injuries can be, and how important it is to ensure safety when handling such gear, at all times.
They should also be instructed regarding other solutions they could opt for when dealing with conflicts, such as compromise and negotiation.
The law, which will be discussed in the 2016 legislative session, isn’t however unlikely to be successful, given that the state house is dominated by Republicans who will surely oppose such an initiative.
Therefore, it appears that this current trend characterized by increasingly stringent legislation when it abortions is doomed to remain unchecked, as gun ownership rules become more and more permissive, in spite of the growing number of mass shootings in recent years.
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