Opinion | Iowa needs to reduce firearms

Gun control laws in Iowa should be stricter as leniency on this matter introduces more dangers to its citizens.


Gabby Drees

Protestors chant while marching from College Green Park to the University of Iowa Pentacrest during a protest against gun violence on Monday, June 13, 2022. Around 20 people attended the demonstration.

Kyle Tristan Ortega, Opinions Columnist

Safety is undoubtedly one of everyone’s top priorities, and understandably so. 

Placing ourselves under circumstances that establish a sense of safety in our lives allows us to live every day without the fear of injury or harm. 

There are many ways to go about achieving this, however, relying on firearms should not be one of them.

On Aug. 9, there was a shooting in Cedar Rapids that was possibly the result of road-rage. No one was injured, but the incident begs the question: should everyone be allowed to freely carry guns? Even as a form of self-defense, no.

Research suggests that the less guns are regulated, the more dangerous society becomes as homicides become more rampant. 

Considering Iowa’s gun control laws and the ease at which anyone can become a gun owner, the process of firearm acquisition in Iowa should be made more rigorous for the safety of its citizens. 

The Sutherland Springs church shooting depicts what this would look like in a real-life scenario. In 2017, Texas bystander Stephen Willeford opened fire at a shooter attacking a church in Sutherlands Springs, forcing the shooter to flee, saving countless lives.

In Iowa, anyone over the age of 21 who can lawfully possess a firearm may purchase and carry a handgun without a permit after certain background checks. 

This permitless approach to firearm provision is concerning as statistics show that deaths related to gun violence in the United States have increased by 75 percent over the last decade, which is a clear indication that leniency in terms of firearm regulation will cause more harm than good.

However, in a survey conducted in 2019, 63 percent of gun owners cited personal safety as their primary reason for owning a gun. So, it can be argued that reduced gun control would make society safer because more people would have access to firearms to use in situations where self-defense is necessary. 

Regardless of this, the pro-gun “good guy with guns” narrative is not an effective response to anti-gun advocacies. Many, if not all, instances where armed individuals attempt to stop an attack still result in a number of people dying.

While guns used in self-defense may save lives in some situations, it is ultimately better to prevent gun violence and shooting incidents from occurring to begin with, emphasizing the need for more rigorous gun control laws.

This point is burgeoned by a poll containing the opinions of 150 gun violence researchers regarding having a gun at home. The results showed 84 percent believe it increases the risk of suicide, 72 percent believe that it makes women more prone to victimization, and 64 percent believe that it makes the home more dangerous instead of safe.

Firearms, in the wrong hands, are dangerous, with the consequences of its misuse far outweighing the sense of safety owning one provides; thus, Iowa should make the firearm acquisition and possession process stricter for the safety of its citizens.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.