FINALLY, Someone Is Trying To Make Guns As Difficult To Access As Abortions

by Jenavieve Hatch

Ah, Missouri. Home of former Republican Representative Todd Akin, who, in 2012, tried to tell us all about rape and pregnancy; the state with the highest rate of toddler shootings (you read that right) in the US; a state with some of the strictest abortion requirements and some of the highest rates of gun violence as well.

And now, of all places, home of the woman in Congress who is trying to make it just as hard to get a gun as it is to have an abortion. Genius, Hero, and Representative Stacey Newman has introduced House Bill No. 1397, which aims to amend the way that Missourians obtain firearms, and the amendments are almost an exact parallel to what women trying to obtain abortions must go through.

Some highlights of the bill include (but are not limited to!) the following:

Prior to any firearm purchase in this state, a prospective firearm purchaser shall, at least seventy-two hours prior to the initial request to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer located at least one hundred twenty miles from such purchaser’s legal residence, confer and discuss with a licensed physician the indicators and contraindicators and risk factors, including any physical, psychological, or situational factors, that may arise with the proposed firearm purchase.

Prior to the sale of any firearm, a purchaser shall: Be required to view a thirty minute video on fatal firearm injuries, as collected by urban medical professionals, law enforcement, and local prosecutors, and verify in writing he or she viewed the entire video in the presence of a licensed firearm dealer.

Within seventy-two hours of a firearm purchase, the prospective firearm  purchaser shall meet with at least two families who have been victims of violence involving a firearm and two local faith leaders who have officiated, within the past year, a funeral  of a victim of violence involving a firearm who was under the age of eighteen.

Do these steps sound familiar? It’s because in the state of Missouri, for a woman to have an abortion (as is her constitutional goddamn right), she must sit through “state-directed counseling,” or, rather, a “state-directed guilt trip” regardless of whether or not the abortion is a result of rape or incest, all before then being placed on a 72 hour wait, thus going to the abortion facility twice over a four day period. If the patient is a minor, she must have parental or guardian consent before the procedure, and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the appointment.

“Since Missouri holds the rank as one of the strictest abortion regulation states in the country, it is logical we borrow similar restrictions to lower our horrific gun violence rates,” said Senator Newman, after introducing the bill. But the bill — introduced in the aftermath of two major public shootings in the same week in Colorado and California, as well as the Senate voting to defund Planned Parenthood — may have a small likelihood of making it very far. One Republican Senator in Missouri has already criticized it, saying that to put gun control and abortion in the same category of legal processes “is apples and oranges” and that there “is no correlation between them.” So the chance of this bill catching momentum may be small – but my god, the bill itself is mighty.

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Photos Via Stacey Newman

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