Northwest Missourian Opinion

Iowa does not have a high crime rate. In fact, it’s the 13th lowest in the nation. But this all may change with a new gun bill that has been signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds. 

The law gets rid of all permits and background checks needed to purchase a firearm in the state. And this is not just Iowa. Eighteen other states now have similar laws on a total lack of responsibility in gun control, 14 of which voted Republican in the 2020 presidential election. 

In 2003, Alaska passed a permitless carry law and had a 65% increase in the average rate of aggravated assaults with a gun per year and currently stands as the state with the highest violent crime rate per 100,000 people.

This, like many other recent laws passed in states concerning guns, is a reaction to President Joe Biden's call for a tightening of the nation’s background checking system after the mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado.

This would no doubt increase the violent crime rate, especially in Iowa’s urban areas such as the Des Moines Metro Area, Cedar Rapids and Davenport. More people means more crime. Well, more people plus more guns equals a whole lot more crime. In fact, violent and property crime rates are three to four times more likely to occur in a metropolitan statistical area when compared to a rural area.

It is not a good thing to have a law where anyone can simply walk into a store and walk out with a gun. If no permits are required, then everyone and their mother is going to go buy a gun or two. This new law is arriving just in time for the summer, and crime increases in the summer. 

Perhaps the most terrifying implication of this law is how people with mental illnesses will be able to have firearms. People who are mentally ill make about one-third of mass shootings. With this law, there wouldn’t be the need to go through the process of getting a permit just to be able to own a gun. The process of purchasing a lethal weapon like a firearm shouldn’t be one that can occur within the same day. Responsible gun owners know this. This law would be the perfect disaster in Des Moines, Iowa’s most populated city.

 

If Iowa currently has the 13th lowest crime rate in the entire nation, then I think that we’re doing OK with the gun laws we currently have. But this law that came out of nowhere is a reaction to Biden’s gun control agenda. And it is not just Iowa. These laws are just another way of Republicans and Democrats to fight and bicker at each other in a way that is no good for the nation as we grow further and further apart.

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