Iowa isn’t the kind of place one would associate with gun control. After all, it’s a state known for its rural culture. Mostly, it’s known for corn. That and the Iowa Caucuses, when every presidential candidate pretends they know about corn.
OK, there’s more to the state than that. There always is, after all, but it’s the perception many have of it.
What they don’t think about is a love of gun control. Yet, despite that, Iowa City passed a resolution in 2011 that banned guns from public buildings and city buses.
The Iowa City City Council approved 5-2 to rescind a resolution that prohibited weapons inside public buildings and transportation in order to comply with Iowa law, despite citing danger to the community and concern over open carry.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 2502, an amendment that prohibits cities, counties, and townships from banning weapons from public buildings and transportation on June 25. City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes said that if Iowa City did not comply with the amendment, the city could be liable for damages, costs, and attorney fees if lawsuits against it were successful.
Weapons will be allowed in all city buildings and transportation for the first time in nine years since the city council initially approved a resolution banning them in February 2011. Many city councilors said in a meeting Tuesday night they were disappointed that the state legislature passed this new law and forced the city to approve.
One problem, however, is that laws like this have a disproportionate effect on the poor.
Look, I can go for weeks or months without ever needing to set foot in a public building. Not a private building open to the public, mind you, but an actual public building. And, when I do, I can secure my gun in the car, conduct my business, then leave.
Yet many poor folks may not have a car. They rely on public transportation to go where they need to go. Not only does that preclude them from locking a gun up in their non-existent car, but the Iowa City rule actually barred them from carrying guns anywhere unless they traveled on foot, something that’s not always practical for most folks.
Stuff like this is why preemption was passed in Iowa in the first place.
Meanwhile, the city council will preen about how they had no choice, yet you also know they’ll also go on and on about how much they care for the poor. It seems that only applies to those poor folks who know their place and don’t try to carry a firearm for protection. Those, the city council was quite content to make life difficult for.
It makes me wonder how many lives may have been lost over the last nine years because of this kind of stupidity. How many people who would have had the means to protect themselves didn’t because they were trying to obey an unjust law?
We’ll likely ever know, but at least now that number will be zero.