As libertarians, it’s often difficult to find reasons to be hopeful when looking at the political process and how state and federal governments often ignore the classical liberal cry for more freedom. But every now and then, small government advocates are able to get certain policies passed locally that help boost, not stifle, freedom. That’s the case with Iowa.
Governor Terry Branstad has just signed a bill into law making the Hawkeye State one of the friendliest for gun owners.
The new law allows citizens to use weapons if they believe their lives are threatened and to sue local government officials if they refuse to lift restrictions associated with what many call “gun-free zones.”
House File 517 is being called the most “monumental and sweeping piece of gun legislation” in the state’s history by making the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution fully recognized and protected by state officials.
But local Democrats who are also anti-gun advocates have already voiced their contrarian opinions, afraid that the “stand your ground” portion of the new law will result in more cases of gun-related homicides.
They are also concerned that the law essentially criminalizes the creation of gun-free zones, allowing locals to carry guns anywhere they please.
But as many of us know, many of the now infamous shooting sprees have taken place in areas where policies are in place to prevent law-abiding individuals from carrying weapons. As many have pointed out, those who follow the law aren’t the ones more likely to commit crimes. Instead, those who ignore or effectively defy these rules are the ones causing gun-related crimes.
Like many activists have explained after the deadly Orlando slaughter, vulnerable individuals are “sitting ducks” in zones where the Second Amendment doesn’t apply. With its new law in place, Iowa could mitigate the risks associated with gun-related incidents and help its own citizens by allowing law-abiding individuals carrying guns to serve as deterrents to crime.
Instead of the fearful rhetoric that usually follows any pro-gun right measure such as the new Iowa law, what this new development must be accompanied by is the support for the basic principles of self-defense and property rights. After all, even if Democrats had a point when they say that protecting the Second Amendment will lead to more gun deaths, nobody has a right to deter an individual from owning property and from pursuing the defense of their person and property as they see fit. Or are anti-gun advocates unaware that minorities are also entitled to their defense when cornered or threatened by bigots?