Observations Yankee Doodling

A modest proposal on gun control—and a real one

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i69 (Published 06 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i69
  1. Douglas Kamerow, senior scholar, Robert Graham Center for policy studies in primary care, professor of family medicine, Georgetown University, and associate editor, The BMJ
  1. dkamerow{at}aafp.org

Regulate guns like we regulate abortions?

Gun violence has gotten out of hand here in the United States. It is not just last year’s high profile mass shootings in San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Charleston, and Chattanooga. It is also the more than 3000 children (under 18) who were killed or injured here by guns in 2015.1

A smart legislator in the state of Missouri has come up with a good idea to protect the US from gun violence. Since much of the US has strict laws regulating (some would say restricting) abortions, presumably to protect the health of Americans, maybe we can learn something from them and apply the same principles to another perceived health risk—firearms.

Representative Stacey Newman, a Democrat from the suburbs of St Louis, introduced House Bill 1397 to the 98th Missouri General Assembly last year.2 In it, she matched the conditions under which Missourians can purchase firearms to those required to obtain an abortion.

Smart idea

Under Newman’s proposed …

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