What makes you feel safe in your community? Our state, never mind country right now, made a decision and here is a small part of it: You must be 21 for a Non Professional Permit; a resident of the state of Iowa; Not addicted to alcohol; There is no documentation indicating there is probable cause exists in the past two years that you would use a weapon unlawfully or in a manner endangering yourself or others; You are not a felon; You have not been convicted of a serious or aggravated misdemeanor in the last three years involving the use of a firearm or explosive; and are not prohibited by federal law from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm. I didn’t know these facts when I was in Ankeny last Sunday visiting Sam’s Club to stock up on some items. I doubt that it would have made me feel any safer as the young man wearing a holster with a large silver handgun protruding accompanied by his wife were standing next to me in the bourbon aisle. Now, the fact that you are purchasing bourbon does not deem you an alcoholic, but I thought how many alcoholics say, I am an alcoholic? In my 61 years I haven’t met many who have. But, for our state and multiple others to walk around with a gun, you just need to say, “I’m not an alcoholic.”
And what about training, a current leader of our nation spews often that if there were good people with guns in every church, school, etc. we would not have these mass casualties. He doesn’t spout much about the state of mental wellbeing, possibly because it is not his area of expertise. Our most recent MS, abbreviating it since it is becoming a habit of our nation, had a well-trained individual who lost his life to protect the unprotected. He had hours upon hours of training and I can be assured as our law enforcement agencies go, that he would have passed the gun carrying requirements for lay people ten times over.
Every person who fears for their safety now gets to walk around and shop beside you and your three year old child with a gun strapped to their leg. As someone who grew up in the era of black and white tv, I loved it when the good guy won, but even in the wild west, when it was one colt 45 against another, the bad guys shot the good guys just as much. The answer is not more guns, more guns, and more, bigger, better guns. The answer is not to take away the gun you keep in your home for safety, or the guns you use to hunt for animals that I sure hope you eat. The answer is to stop selling thousands of different types of guns, including AR15s. Stop the gunshows, period, not just the loopholes but gun sales need to be as regulated as marijuana sales. And to those who say it’s too late, we can’t stop it, the bad guys won’t give up their guns. I say there are too many guns and they are increasing exponentially due to supply and demand.. I don’t disagree with the arguments of guns in the hands of bad guys, but currently we are producing more guns at a higher rate than we are producing bad guys. And bad guys can be stopped.
After my shopping excursion I gave up my Sams Club membership. Many of you may go and buy one now because you’ll feel safer there, good for you. But for me, I prefer to shop where I don’t bump into a guy with a gun. It is time to do something, Iowa won’t right now, that became clear last Tuesday. But if we could, if America could, and then we could go back, the college kids in California would be alive, the souls in the synagogue would be at service today, and a whole lot of first graders would now be in middle school.
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