Looser gun laws mean more teen gun deaths

I am a frightened and angry mother of two beautiful children ages 2 and 4. I am frightened and outraged because we are living in a state that is ready to debate looser gun regulations even in light of the recent Arizona shootings.

On Monday, Iowa Public Radio news reported that the Iowa Legislature is going forward with discussions to have a law more similar to Alaska’s (looser) gun control law.

Currently, Iowa is ranked by the Kaiser Family Foundation as having the fifth-lowest rate of deaths caused by firearms. In a chilling contrast, Alaska has the fourth-highest rate of deaths caused by firearms.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation reports that the four states with the highest number of guns in homes have twice as many teen suicides and four times as many accidental deaths due to firearms as the four states with the lowest number of guns in homes.

Regardless of intent, one thing about the data is clear: Looser gun regulations correlate with more gun-related deaths among teens. Loosening gun restrictions is dangerous for Iowa, especially our children.

I have a suggestion for the Iowa Legislature. Try improving mental health care or finishing the flood recovery. Stand up to the monetary sway of the National Rifle Association. Embrace the legacy that Iowa is a safe place to raise a family.

Rita McCord

Cedar Rapids

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