The Ames Iowa Patch‘s Lynn Campbell is (gasp) ‘viewing with alarm‘ the possibility that treating peoples’ Second Amendment rights as if they were, you know, actual rights could wind up allowing weapons in schools. “Iowa’s guns rights would be the most powerful in the nation, under a proposed state constitutional amendment that cleared the Iowa House this week. Democrats say the measure would eventually allow people to bring guns into Iowa’s schools, the Capitol and other public buildings.” OMG! Sound the alarum! Save the children! Why, if we allow law-abiding citizens to carry guns in schools Iowa would have the exact same situation that existed in Minnesota between passage of its first “concealed carry” legislation in the early ’70s and passage of the Personal Protection Act in 2003 . . .
I know Lynn is probably concerned about school shootings, but A) I was unable to find a single school shooting (or more than a scant few mass shootings at all) perpetrated by a permit holder and 2) I would point out that Minnesota’s first school shooting in 37 years occurred less than six months after the ban took effect. That was followed 18 months later by the Red Lake massacre, the 5th deadliest school shooting in the U.S., which left 9 dead (7 on campus) and 5 injured. Both after schools were declared gun-free zones.
In addition, it has been the case for decades in Minnesota that as long as you inform Capitol Security, permit holders can carry in the Capitol. Likewise, by informing the relevant Sheriff you can carry in county courthouses as well (although not the actual courtrooms).
Ms. Campbell then continues with what is probably the understatement of the year:
County officials are concerned.
“I think one of the concerns for counties is in our courthouses, where there are emotional situations, what that could lead to, particularly domestic disputes,” said Sioux County Supervisor Mark Sybesma. “In our treasurer’s office, a lot of times people come in very disgruntled — emotions and that type of thing. Guns sometimes aren’t the best mix.”
Of course officials are concerned! Every time the peasants citizens gain a scintilla of freedom the lords and masters government officials are concerned. But you know what; there is a quote, often mistakenly attributed to Jefferson, which sums the matter up quite neatly:
Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty. — John Barnhill Indictment of Socialism No. 3
But exactly who are these county officials concerned about? What kind of person does a county building gun ban protect the bureaucrats from? Well it will protect them from all of the people
- who are cool-headed enough to obey the law and not bring guns into the building
- but are hot-tempered enough that if they did have a gun with them, would be willing to murder a bunch of county officials
- but are cool-headed enough that if they are unarmed but lose their temper and decide to kill some bureaucrats will go to their car to get their gun but, upon arriving at their car say to themselves “You know I think I’ll just go grab a sandwich instead of shooting up City Hall.”
Okay, so what else is troubling the various members of Iowa officialdom?
State Rep. Rick Olson, D-Des Moines, said Iowa’s move is unprecedented because of four lines in House Joint Resolution 2009 which say, “Mandatory licensing, registration, or special taxation as a condition of the exercise of this right is prohibited, and any other restriction shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”
“What this bill has that other states don’t have is the last four lines of the proposed constitutional amendment,” said Olson, an attorney who has reviewed Second Amendments in the 44 state constitutions that have them. “Those things make it more powerful. With the ‘strict scrutiny,’ it would be the strongest (in the nation). That piece is not in any other amendment.”
That piece is not in any other amendment . . . well Rick, perhaps if we gunnies hadn’t had to put up with almost eight decades of ever-increasing taxes, regulations, limitations and all around abuse of a right which shall not be infringed we wouldn’t be forced to try and eliminate all of the weaseling and parsing that antis in positions of power have been using for decades to incrementally take away our rights.
Let’s put it another way, Rick – can you name me one other natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right which is not already protected by ‘strict scrutiny’ requirements? Hell, in numerous challenges to the Lautenberg Amendment, courts repeatedly applied the rational basis test to Second Amendment rights.
Admittedly these were pre-Heller and McDonald, but even with those rulings (and dicta stating that rational basis was not sufficient scrutiny for the Second Amendment) courts all across the country are still tap-dancing around the plain language of the ruling, that it protects an individual right and that it is a fundamental right. In tossing Moore v. Madigan Judge Myerscough stated:
“This Court finds that the Illinois “Unlawful Use of Weapons” and “Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon” statutes do not violate Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. The United States Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit have recognized only a Second Amendment core individual right to bear arms inside the home.”
In the face of all of this I find it quite reasonable to require strict scrutiny of laws which might abridge our civil rights.