5 Dec 2015

Want to Make Buying Guns Hard? Make It as Tough as Getting an Abortion

Hours before shots rang out in San Bernardino, California, leaving 14 dead and 21 injured, Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman introduced a bill with a simple premise:
What if the process to buy guns in America was as difficult as the one to get an abortion?
A flight crew member turned political consultant, Newman was inspired to run for office after watching her daughter Sophie, then 6, talk about guns and kids on The Rosie O’Donnell Show. After founding a statewide political action committee called Harriet’s List, she was elected to office in 2009, where she’s built a reputation of being tough on firearms.
Her Twitter bio, beneath a pink StandWithPP picture, describes her as: “wife, Mom, Nana, obsessive about reproductive justice, voters rights, women’s rights, equality & of course—gun violence prevention.”
Her bill, first reported on by St. Louis Magazine, isn’t modeled after the general restrictions to getting an abortion in America, but her state’s specifically. Missouri has some of the toughest in the nation. Missouri is one of just a few states operating with fewer than five abortion clinics, and one of four that enforces a 72-hour waiting period.
Beyond the difficulty of getting an abortion in Missouri, Newman’s bill was likely inspired by the level of firearm violence in her state. In 2010 Missouri’s rate of homicide, 5.6 per 100,000 people, was 56 percent higher than the national average—making it the fourth-highest in the nation. Gun deaths in the state havesurpassed motor vehicle fatalities since 2013.
When The Daily Beast asked Newman for the impetus behind the bill, she replied, “utter frustration.” 
“We were at our wit’s end,” she said. After spending 15 years arguing against guns the traditional way, she decided to get creative.

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