35 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 104 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/17/18

One Easy Way to Turn Back the Clock on Gun Massacres

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   7 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message David Gumpert
Become a Fan

M4 CARBINE (Squirt gun).
M4 CARBINE (Squirt gun).
(Image by MIKI Yoshihito. (#mikiyoshihito))
  Details   DMCA

In Iowa, more than a dozen public health, medical, and veterinary organizations are lining up for their annual ritual of killing legislation that would legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk directly from dairy farms to consumers. These opponents say they want to protect individuals, especially children, from becoming ill or dying from raw milk, even though there hasn't been a single recorded death associated with legally available raw milk in the U.S. for more than 15 years.

Where were all these upstanding public health, medical and veterinary professionals a year ago, when the Iowa legislature was in the process of passing legislation designed to strip away various restrictions on gun ownership, including one requiring parental approval for anyone under the age of 21 having access to a handgun? Under the new legislation signed into law last April, any Iowa child of any age can possess a handgun, the only proviso being they be under the "direct supervision" of a parent or guardian. There is one stipulation for the parent or guardian supervisor: "the person"must not be intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs" (I kid you not).

I raise my question not to promote raw milk, but rather to highlight the legislative momentum the pro-gun lobby has created over the last decade, to overrun any and all public health and other concerns about widespread access to guns of all types. As a result, it's now much easier for Iowa's children to legally get their hands on guns than on unpasteurized milk.

Iowa isn't alone in stripping away even minimal existing gun restrictions. It is one of many states that over the last decade have focused on making it easier for anyone, including children and nut cases of all types, to get their hands on guns. Only nine states now retain discretion over whether to grant permits to carry concealed weapons, compared with 29 such states at the start of the 1980s.

The easing of state restrictions on gun ownership has occurred in tandem with an easing of federal restrictions over the last 30 years. A law designed to reduce the sale of assault weapons instituted in 1994 was allowed to expire in 2004, and efforts to re-start it have failed. Federal background checks, first begun in 1968, and reaffirmed in 1993 legislation, have been watered down by not requiring checks of individuals who buy guns at gun shows. A year ago, President Trump signed legislation to lift restrictions on making guns available to the mentally ill. There's more to come from Congress: In the offing is legislation that would ease restrictions on purchase of gun silencers and armor-piercing bullets, as well as easing of restrictions on carrying concealed and non-concealed weapons.

In the wake of the latest school shooting massacre in Florida, I've seen a number of gun-rights advocates inquire on Facebook about why it is that America didn't seem to have the kind of mass gun killings 30 and 40 years ago that it is experiencing ever more frequently these days. The implied answer to the question, which many of these advocates' Facebook friends articulate, is that during the good old days there was less glorification of violence and sex than there is now, along with less drug use, more serious family values, and overall, more respect by children of their elders.

One factor they neglect to mention as a possible explanation for the explosion of school and other massacres is that we have much less regulation of guns today than we had in those "good old days" 30 and 40 years ago. Indeed, the frequency of massacres seems to increase nearly in lockstep with the discarding of the old restrictions.

Would we have as many mass killings if those old-time gun limits were still in place? It's difficult to get informed predictions, since there has been a prohibition on research into gun violence as a public health problem for many years. So, as far as the medical and public health establishments are concerned, raw milk is more of a public health menace than gun violence. Indeed, there's only one way to know for sure what would happen if we reimposed minimal gun restrictions, and that's to go back to those good old days, when minimal gun restrictions were in place, and life was pretty much massacre-free.

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

David Gumpert Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David E. Gumpert is author of "Gouster Girl," a historical novel about white flight in 1960s Chicago, told through the eyes of a white teenager involved in an interracial romance. He is co-author of "Inge: A Girl's Journey Through Nazi Europe," (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Is Trump's Reichstag-Fire Moment Close at Hand?

Ice Cream, You Scream"An Ice Cream Listeria Epidemic?

One Easy Way to Turn Back the Clock on Gun Massacres

Repositioning an Insurrection: How Republicans Could Transform January 6 into a Day of Triumph

The Is What Tyranny Looks Like: Where Migrant Family Separations Could Lead

Get Ready for Massive Economic Turmoil if America Goes Tyrannical

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend