The deaths of two young people, Matrell Johnson and Royal Abram, and wounding of two others at the Smoke Shop in Cedar Rapids, are very upsetting. There are three levels of response.
First, demonstrations by those experiencing loss. It is encouraging to see a demonstration, a vigil, and a walkout in protest of the killings.
Second, a community response. The SET (Safe Equitable and Thriving) Task Force in Cedar Rapids has gained wide support to address social causes of violence. It has long-term goals.
Third, there are statewide measures, accomplished through legislation. Iowans for Gun Safety opposes adding a strict-scrutiny gun rights amendment in the Iowa Constitution that would put gun rights equivalent to the right to vote, to travel and to privacy. Reasonable measures to regulate carrying or using guns would be blocked. Although the bill passed this year, it has to pass a second time after the next election before it goes on the ballot for a popular vote on whether to approve this extreme measure.
If you would like to help Iowans for Gun Safety with their education and outreach efforts on the state level, you may contact us at P.O. box 8834, Cedar Rapids, 52408.