DES MOINES, IOWA — The Iowa Senate is currently deliberating a bill passed by the House which would enact ‘Stand Your Ground’ as an affirmative defense for Iowans who defend their lives from an attacker.
‘Stand Your Ground’ refers to conditions in the law that roughly specify so long as an individual has a legal right to be in a certain place, he has no duty to retreat from a perceived threat. This is the direct opposite of, for instance, Massachusetts law which insists that a person must exhaust every opportunity to retreat prior to using deadly force.
According to the Des Moines Register, the bill would also allow for those under the age of 21 of possessing a pistol. It would allow for five year issuance of pistol purchase permits — rather than the current one-year permits. And, it would enable youth to shoot under supervision.
“This is a civil-rights bill,” said Barry Snell, executive director of the Iowa Firearms Coalition, who expressed full support for the legislation.
Opponents argue that this sort of legislation will result in, well, what they usually warn with any legislation that enables more people to use guns. It will result in children carrying guns, people shooting people over nothing, and all sorts of mayhem.
If only the country was so messed up that these arguments made logical sense.
While the Senate debates this bill, I’d like to point out that childhood education of firearms is an essential responsibility of today’s parents and educators. If a child knows how to handle a firearm safely and competently, it reduces the chance he uses it in a negligent manner.
Education and exposure are two things limited by current Iowa law. And for those in rural areas, if you send your boy out to farm the fields or herd in cattle, he can’t carry a pistol on him for protection.
These basic reforms and allowing for ‘Stand Your Ground’ only stand to benefit the majority of Iowans. For those concerned about miscommunication or children having access to firearms, they really need to stop and consider the very nature and fabric of society. Either we will exist in a nanny state or people will need to be given liberty to exercise their own personal decisions. The more people that were exposed to firearms as children, the more people won’t be afraid of them as adults.
A gun is a tool. Opening up exposure to that tool at an early period in a person’s life only makes them safer when handling them later on. That’s a win-win for everyone, in my book.