Loebsack hosts teleconference on community safety


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Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, held a teleconference Wednesday evening with citizens from the local area who weighed in on community safety.

“I wanted to have a conversation on community safety in the wake of the truly heart-wrenching tragedy of what happened in Connecticut,” Loebsack said, starting the conference. “I do tend to think the best ideas come outside of Washington, and that’s why I’m speaking with you this evening.”

He outlined his experiences of growing up in a single-parent family in which his mother struggled with mental-health issues, as one caller mentioned the lack of mental-health programs in Iowa.

“It took us two and a half days to find a mental-health bed available … he actually sat in a jail cell,” the caller said. “We just want to address the point how underserved mental issues are in Iowa.”

Loebsack said he wants to see a national conversation on the multifaceted aspects of the issue, which one University of Iowa student agreed with.

“The problems with guns is less to do with specific policies … and more with larger problems in national discourse,” said UI junior Michael Fetterman. “It’s questions of self-defense or fundamental rights rather than questions about safety and public health.”

The congressman closed the call by adding he would like to continue discussion of community safety, a topic the nation is divided on.

His call illustrated that divide. Caller views ranged from support for reinstating the death penalty and reconsidering gun-free zones to background checks, magazine limits, and outlawing certain weapons.

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