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Iowa Debates Permitting Blind People To Carry Guns In Public

Society & Culture  (tags: violence, society, politics, rights, safety, stupidity )

- 1142 days ago -
As lawmakers across the country debate gun safety laws, law enforcement officials in Iowa are split on whether the state should continue issuing guns to blind people.

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Beverly Fjobhunting (86)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 10:26 am
So far the state has already issued several such permits, though it has not tracked how many.

Advocates for the permits make a strong legal case. Refusing to issue permits to people with visual impairments could very well violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits people with disabilities from being treated differently under the law. Likewise, unlike driving, which is considered a privilege, gun ownership is generally understood to be a constitutional right, making it difficult to impose limitations on it. In Iowa, people with visual impairments are already allowed to own guns privately, so the question at hand is whether there is a different safety concern when it comes to letting them carry guns in public.

Warren Wethington, sheriff of Cedar County, Iowa, strongly supports the public permits because he understands that it is possible for blind people to learn how to shoot guns. His own daughter is legally blind, but he has taught her how to operate firearms and she expects to obtain a permit when she turns 21 in a few years. According to Wethington, “If sheriffs spent more time trying to keep guns out of criminals’ hands and not people with disabilities, their time would be more productive.”

As the Des Moines Register explains, there are other states that, unlike Iowa, require either a vision test or a live fire test, in which the applicant for the permit must prove an ability to shoot and hit a target. Indeed, some Iowa sheriffs have denied permits to blind applicants on the basis that they might be a danger to themselves or others, though those individuals can appeal. In 2012, a New Jersey man successfully won a legal case to keep his gun collection despite the fact that he is blind. The National Federation of the Blind generally opposes vision-related restrictions, because as its director of public relations Chris Danielsen points out, “presumably [blind people] are going to have enough sense not to use a weapon in a situation where they would endanger other people, just like we would expect other people to have that common sense.”


Michael M. (60)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 10:27 am
Sometimes I'm SURE that the US news is all a comedy routine.

Sue H. (6)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 11:02 am

Roger Skinner (14)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 12:41 pm
Blind people can own cars (though they can't usually drive them legally), so why can't they own guns also? Blind people are no more likely to use a gun inappropriately than sighted people do.

Mary T. (357)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 12:53 pm
scary...but legally blind people can see just can't see well enough to drive and do other activities, but they shouldn't carry a gun in public. no one should, its not Dodge City in the 19th Century

Kathleen R. (192)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 1:21 pm
I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this. We already have enough guns going off "accidently" and killing people.

David C. (25)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 1:44 pm
Yeah, blind people should be issued rapid-fire machine-guns, so that they really have a chance of hitting something, too. And hand-granades.


Beverly Fjobhunting (86)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 1:45 pm
You have to take a vision test to drive but not to own a gun...

Carrie B. (312)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 2:09 pm
This has got to be the dumbest thing ever!

Mike H. (254)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 4:33 pm
I just wonder how they will see what they are shooting at.

Rose Becke (142)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 5:26 pm

Barry AWAY T. (938)
Monday September 9, 2013, 4:46 am
Thisounds like a joke but I guess it isn't that funny. I went to the site and was a bit surprised at how many people were defending this nutty idea. Only in the U.S. - my apologies to the sane Americans!

Kathy B. (106)
Monday September 9, 2013, 7:49 am
It's not even logical that a blind person would want a gun. But WTF - sure, let them drive too, it's got to be a right, the right to stupidity.

Caroline S. (81)
Monday September 9, 2013, 11:42 am
??? seriously???

Beth Tatum (95)
Monday September 9, 2013, 1:25 pm
Really, blind people with guns in public? IThankfully, I've never had any desire to go to Iowa.

Thomas B. (1)
Monday September 9, 2013, 2:23 pm
Shouldn't they at least be limited to shotguns!?

Lois Jordan (63)
Monday September 9, 2013, 2:30 pm
Nearly fell off my chair when reading the title of this article! O.K. Note to self: Stay out of IA. We have surely gone through the looking glass and the entire planet has been knocked off its axis. Hope there's a return to sanity soon.

Charlene Rush (79)
Monday September 9, 2013, 3:28 pm
No offence to the blind, but, what are these lawmakers thinking?
Has rational thinking, completely, been eliminated from their psyche?

Someone, could steal their gun and use it against them.

paula eaton (30)
Monday September 9, 2013, 4:49 pm
Insanity once again from policy makers. They waste time and money.

Joanne Dixon (36)
Monday September 9, 2013, 5:01 pm
I actually have a whole folder on Iowa in mbookmarks. This just went into it.

Kate Kenner (215)
Monday September 9, 2013, 5:17 pm
Well, obviously those who thought it was fine for blind people to carry guns have their own disability-they are brain dead. I'm not sure who is scarier, the blind people (no offense to anyone who is blind) or those who thought this was a good idea.

natasha salgado (715)
Monday September 9, 2013, 7:48 pm
Is this a joke?? Unbelievable...

Laura H. (965)
Monday September 9, 2013, 7:52 pm
Hey, as long as the NRA makes money and remains in power...anything goes!

GGmaSheila D. (203)
Monday September 9, 2013, 11:39 pm
Agree with Lois - stay out of IA...and any other state idiotic enough to license guns guns for the blind.

Marianna molnar woods (9)
Tuesday September 10, 2013, 3:34 am
hahahah they are more retarded that i thought so...yes sure, why not, give out permit and then see what happens. wont be pretty nor funny.

Winn Adams (203)
Tuesday September 10, 2013, 7:13 am
This is just crazy.

Lynne Buckley (0)
Tuesday September 10, 2013, 12:13 pm
This is insane.

Melania Padilla (197)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 9:55 am
Cannot believe this.... Shame!!
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