It is one of the deepest hypocrisies that the American conservatives fight as hard to restrict a woman’s access to abortion as they do to ensure a man’s access to deadly firearms, and one Missouri lawmaker has had enough of their two-faced propaganda. In her state, you may purchase firearms without a permit, do not require an owner’s license to do so, do not have to register a firearm with the state, and one can carry firearms openly or hidden in Missouri. In a state where a Republican publicly said that “all women know is lying on their backs, legs in the air,” the hoops that the conservatives force women to jump through just to exercise their right to have an abortion are draconian and inhumane.
Democratic Representative Stacey Newman has had enough of this nonsense, and has filed a bill, H.B. 1397, that would make it as difficult to get a gun as it is to have an abortion in the Show Me State:
A licensed firearm dealer shall orally inform the purchaser of a firearm the following, and reduce it to writing: The name and license number of the licensed firearm dealer; The immediate and long-term medical risks associated with firearms, along with medical descriptions and photographs of fatal firearm injuries, as collected by emergency pediatric medical professionals, law enforcement, and prosecutors’ offices; Alternatives to purchasing a firearm, which shall include materials about peaceful and nonviolent conflict resolution.
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. Such physician shall then evaluate the prospective firearm purchaser for such indicators and contraindicators and risk factors and determine if such firearm purchase would increase such purchaser’s risk of experiencing an adverse physical, emotional, or other health reaction.
Gun buyers would also have to watch a 30-minute video “on fatal firearm injuries” and verify in writing that he or she viewed the entire video “in the presence of a licensed firearm dealer.”
Verify in writing by a licensed physician that the purchaser has toured an emergency trauma center in the nearest qualified urban hospital on a weekend between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. when gun violence victims are present.
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.
While the bill is not likely to pass, given Missouri’s heavily Republican legislature, it does paint an alarming picture of the psychological trauma that is inflicted on women already dealing with the stress of an unwanted pregnancy. Never mind the disgusting double standard that the Republican Party espouses when it comes to being “pro-life” and “pro-gun;” the amount of state and religious interference in what should be a private discussion between a woman and her doctor is absolutely outrageous, and a further ball of hypocrisy to smear in the faces of so-called “small government” conservatives, who want government out of their gun sales but are violently devoted to dictating the terms of women’s reproductive decisions. Rep. Newman’s proposal is a creative way to confront our desperate need for both commonsense gun legislation and ensuring safe and secure access to abortion.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.