An Iowa group once active in lobbying for gun control has disbanded after losing a major grant. The November 1st coalition began after the November 1, 1991 shootings on the University of Iowa campus and was later renamed Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence.
U-I professor Rex Honey served on the board of directors and hopes to revive the group. “I will try in autumn to get some students involved at the University of Iowa, given that the campus was what started our organization in the first place,” Honey said. “So, it’s not that we don’t think there’s an issue any longer.”
Honey says most recently the group has relied on volunteers to lobby the legislature. “There was a grant with the Joyce foundation for a period of close to a decade from the mid 90s well into this decade, and that funding did end,” Honey said.
“That meant we could no longer hire staff, so everything was done on a volunteer basis.” The organization recently helped stop a bill to loosen restrictions on county officials who issue gun permits.
Honey says the recent tragic death of Aplington Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas shows the need for a comprehensive look at the relationship between mental illness and gun violence. The 1991 shootings on the U-I campus left six people dead, including the gunman who shot himself.