Columnist Calls Iowa's New Gun Law An End To Racist Past

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

With the book The Second making the media rounds, a lot of people are more convinced than ever that the Second Amendment is some relic of a racist past. The reasoning involved isn’t very sound, of course, but some people believe it because they want to believe it.

However, a columnist celebrating Iowa’s recent move to remove a number of gun laws calls it quite correctly.

Amid a laundry list of terrible tough-on-crime bills in the Iowa Legislature this year, there is at least one silver lining — a new law making it easier to legally get guns.

As of Thursday, Iowans no longer need a permit to carry or acquire handguns, a policy supporters often call “constitutional carry.” That’s a longtime priority of the right-wing 2nd Amendment movement, and it also is shown to have a beneficial impact on racial disproportionality and government spending in the justice system.

With the new laxer gun laws, legislative analysts expect the state to see 600 fewer convictions each year and save between $2.2 million and $4.7 million annually in court and corrections costs. It’s the type of smart-on-crime reform Iowa Democrats should support, but chose not to in the House and Senate this year.

Under previous law, Black Iowans were convicted of acquiring or carrying a gun without a permit at about 7 times the rate as the total population. That’s similar to the racial disparity found in Iowa’s marijuana arrests, according to ACLU figures last year showing Iowa is the fifth-worst in the nation in over-arresting Black people for pot.

Like many gun control regulations, Iowa’s former permitting system was a relic of our racist history, meant to give law enforcement officials control over who’s allowed to have a gun. Even if it’s not what majority Republican lawmakers had in mind, their “constitutional carry” law in effect is a criminal justice reform policy.

See, many long-standing gun control laws weren’t really about keeping people safe from crime. They were about keeping black Americans disarmed. Those who passed those laws figured white sheriffs weren’t going to enforce these laws on white citizens. They just allowed them to keep black citizens without guns. That made it easier for groups like the Klan to terrorize those black citizens.

The Klan, like most such predators, were a bunch of cowards. They hid their identities and they terrorized people, but they didn’t want those people to be able to fight back. In their minds, there was something wrong about law-abiding black citizens being able to shoot white folks who threatened them.

Can’t imagine why they’d feel that way.

In an era when anything with any racist legacy is being dismantled simply because of that legacy, it’s nice to see someone calling out pro-gun measures as essentially doing the same. It’s just too bad that we live in a world where so-called “scholars” will blatantly misrepresent the Second Amendment’s origins and purpose in an attempt to hide the true racist history in the gun debate.

It just goes to show you that in our modern world, facts don’t matter to a large portion of people.