Opinion | The importance of gun safety

Gun control is a major topic this term, appearing on the ballot as an opportunity for positive change in the state.


Naomi Rivera Morales, Opinions Contributor

Let’s talk about gun control.

Iowa Amendment 1 appears on the ballot this year. This term, it is crucial to keep in mind that this vote can mean the difference between life and death.

Before heading to your assigned polling place this November, it is important to understand the topic of gun control. Ask yourself: What is at stake? Who gets affected by this law? Why is this an important topic that we need to break down and discuss?

Iowa Amendment 1 would add a right to own and bear firearms to the Iowa Constitution. This would also require strict scrutiny for any alleged violations of the right brought before a court.

If the amendment is passed, laws restricting gun access will need to meet the high legal bar of strict scrutiny to hold up in the courts, making gun regulation more difficult. This is where the area of concern begins.

The Gun Violence Archive reported 563 mass shootings in the U.S. as of Oct. 28. There have been around 36,654 deaths related to continual gun violence within the nation. This number includes 272 children and 1,117 teenagers.

Earlier this year, on Aug. 7, there was a shooting at H-Bar at 220 S. Van Buren St. Police were called to the scene, and at least one person was reported to have serious injuries. The shooter fled the scene. Just last week, there was another shooting at the same address. Multiple shots were reported. One person died from fatal wounds.

According to The Pew Research Center, mass shootings are not the only cause of death by gun. There have also been reports of homicides, suicides, and unintentional killings. The lives of many have been put on the line and will only continue to be put in harm’s way if guns cannot be regulated.

According to the New York Times, around 90 percent of voters agree that gun restriction and safety are key issues at the polls. In return, candidates are attempted to target their audiences on their beliefs toward gun laws.

Let’s take a look at Iowa’s local candidates that are running this term. Depending on your place and district, these candidates can vary between ballots. A helpful tool to use when beginning your search epidemiology with expanded information for each candidate in the current year’s primary election would be a personalized ballot. In Johnson County, there are 14 races to take note of this term. These races revolve around the positions that candidates stand for. These positions include, but are not limited to, Johnson County Attorney, Johnson County Recorder, Johnson County Treasurer, Iowa Governor, Iowa Secretary of State, and Iowa Auditor of State.

When voting this year, I urge you to consider the lives within the nation. While voting no on Amendment 1 certainly won’t stop gun violence, it’s a step forward in preventing mass shootings and other gun-related tragedies.

Gun violence should not be common. There is a desperate need for change. Cast your ballot by Nov. 8.

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.