Blind people and guns
Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.
No one questions the legality of the permits. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.
The quandary centers squarely on public safety. Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.
Full story (h/t Eric)
I’ve seen numerous people mentioning this story. Of those I know that are in the anti-gun camp, they just see this as more gun lunacy and how the NRA is infiltrating and destroying everything. Of those on the pro-gun side, I’ve seen them asking questions and wondering, because this obviously creates some uncertainty and uncomfortableness.
When my friend Eric posted this on Facebook, here’s how I responded:
An interesting notion for sure. Certainly lots of legal implications involved, but setting those aside…
To me it still comes down to a simple thing: should people be denied the ability (right?) to defend themselves. We could even argue that folks with disabilities are, by nature, at a greater disadvantage and thus could be argued have even more need to have “force equalizers” to make up for the greater disparity caused by their disability. To deny them, to leave them in a position of greater vulnerability, would be wrong. It’s such a popular notion to care for and give special dispensation to the vulnerable, to afford them greater protection — especially by and from the state — would it be right for the state and general populace to deny them the ability?
That isn’t to say it may be right for them to actually do it [meaning: blind people shooting guns, blind people having carry permits, etc.]… but that’s different from the state forcing them into a greater state of vulnerability.
I have taught a few deaf people to shoot guns. They’re actually really good shots because there’s no BANG to make them flinch; quite an advantage. We have to do a little different handling of range commands and teaching style, but that’s not a big deal.
Haven’t taught any blind folks tho. I don’t really have a firm stance on this… quite open to discussion. The above is just my gut reaction, because I don’t see why we (or rather, The State) should deny good people the God-given right to self-defense.
Of course, the State denies all sorts of things all the time. Some of them are right, some of them are wrong, and no matter what we shouldn’t be making legislation off knee-jerk reactions and feelings. Furthermore, legality and morality are (should be) two separate things: just because it’s legal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right, and just because it’s illegal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong. As well, just because it’s legal doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea to do, and just because it’s illegal doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to avoid.
Because well… you tell me what a blind woman is supposed to do in response to being raped. You acknowledge her blindness puts her at a disadvantage, do you really want to make her more vulnerable? Before you deny her right to self-defense, before you deny her right to life, before you deny her right to choose, before you deny her “women’s health”, offer a better solution.