I am sure most, if not all, of Jackson County and nearby area residents are aware of the recent tragic homicide that took place at Mississippi Ridge Kennels.

I contemplated events leading up to that horror and began to wonder how it could have happened. The alleged perpetrator had a no-contact order that had previously been violated.

The question occurred to me, how does such a horror happen without prior action by law enforcement? Shouldn’t the alleged perpetrator have been denied access to firearms through proper judicial oversight?

So, as an effort to satisfy my own curiosity I checked to see why “red flag” laws were not invoked in this case. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I discovered Iowa is among the few remaining states that has no such provision on the books and I did not know that fact. I had no idea.

Do not get me wrong, I am among nearly 44% of Iowa residents who identify as a firearm owner. Have been for nearly all of my life. However, I don’t believe that right is inalienable or not revocable given proper circumstances. It seems to me this case meets that minimal standard should all the evidence support the information we have been given to this point.

Now why is there no “red flag” law in Iowa? There have been bills introduced in our legislature to invoke such a provision but all have been blocked. Instead, we have adopted a state constitutional amendment to codify the right for firearm ownership that undoubtedly will make a “red flag” law harder to enact, much less enforce.

Without consulting history books, I don’t believe Jackson County has ever experienced the level of gun-related deaths we have seen this year. I encourage you to do your own research on this subject. However, if you feel as I do that this would be a small but positive step toward remedying the gun violence epidemic we now experience, please take action.

• Sen. Carrie Koelker: carrie.koelker@legis.iowa.gov; (515) 281-3371.

• Rep. Steven P. Bradley: steven.bradley@legis.iowa.gov; (563) 590-0845.

Larry Kilburg, Bellevue

Trending Video