Posts Tagged ‘“stand your ground” law’
Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2017 issue of The Prairie Progressive, Iowa’s oldest progressive newsletter.
by Prairie Dog
Bobby Kaufmann, Iowa House District 73, consistently presents himself as a moderate Republican.
“Just the fact that I have a great relationship with all the Democrats in the Johnson County delegation, I think that has been by far my biggest accomplishment.” (Iowa City Press Citizen, 5/12/16).
Here are four bills Rep. Kaufmann recently voted for in the current legislative session:
HHF 517, adding ‘stand your ground’ to Iowa’s gun laws
HF 291, gutting Iowa workers’ collective bargaining rights
HF 516, protecting Iowa from non-existent voter fraud
SF 166, allocating inadequate state aid to public schools
Two Democrats voted for the first one; no Democrats voted for the other three.
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If you ever dreamed of living in the old west with its paucity of rules on when and where you could draw your gun, it looks like you may get your wish soon in Iowa.
Iowa’s legislature overwhelmingly passed the cancer that has spread across the country known as “Stand Your Ground” laws. The main reason for these laws appears to be to kowtow to the gun industry and sell more and more guns in a society already awash in guns.
We only need to look at what has happened in Florida since they passed the grandfather of all stand your ground bills to see what will happen here. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association released in late 2016, covering 1999 to 2014 showed that firearm related homicides showed a significant increase following the enactment of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law.”
Main Outcomes and Measures Monthly rates of homicide, firearm-related homicide, suicide, and suicide by firearm in Florida and the 4 comparison states.
Results: Prior to the stand your ground law, the mean monthly homicide rate in Florida was 0.49 deaths per 100 000 (mean monthly count, 81.93), and the rate of homicide by firearm was 0.29 deaths per 100 000 (mean monthly count, 49.06). Both rates had an underlying trend of 0.1% decrease per month. After accounting for underlying trends, these results estimate that after the law took effect there was an abrupt and sustained increase in the monthly homicide rate of 24.4% (relative risk [RR], 1.24; 95%CI, 1.16-1.33) and in the rate of homicide by firearm of 31.6% (RR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.21-1.44). No evidence of change was found in the analyses of comparison states for either homicide (RR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.98-1.13) or homicide by firearm (RR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.99-1.17). Furthermore, no changes were observed in control outcomes such as suicide (RR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.94-1.05) and suicide by firearm (RR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.91-1.06) in Florida between 2005 and 2014.
Conclusions and Relevance: The implementation of Florida’s stand your ground self-defense law was associated with a significant increase in homicides and homicides by firearm but no change in rates of suicide or suicide by firearm.”
Can we expect a similar increase or possibly even more in Iowa? The Iowa legislature, mostly Republicans voting for the bill, is willing to bet YOUR life on it.
Just to add another wrinkle to the mix Florida is updating their law to put the burden of proof that a murder occurred rather than a “Stand Your Ground” incident will now be on the state to prove. That is when a death by firearms occurs, the perpetrator will be assumed innocent rather than guilty. Thus the state must prove that the death was not an instance of someone shooting first and asking questions later. Seems backward to me.
“Florida’s law did not specify the process for applying “stand your ground” immunity. State courts established the current protocol, which calls for a pre-trial hearing before a judge and puts the burden of proof on the defendant.
Most of those speaking in the House debate were Democrats who said the bill would lead to more violence.
“Who will speak for the voiceless victims, silenced by an aggressor who claims he wasn’t an aggressor but is protected by a flawed law?” said Democrat Representative Bobby Dubose.
While public defenders support the changes to the law, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association and gun control advocates oppose them.”
No doubt Iowa will do its best to catch up on the ability for citizens to kill each other in the near future. They will bet YOUR life on it.
As someone who lived in a threatening situation for a period of time, providing a person with a built in excuse for killing another seems like a major step backward for society.
Listen to the craziness from this gun lobbyist who is hard at work in the Iowa legislature. He is attacking Matt Windschitl, Republican and gun store owner for alleged “watering down” of ALEC gun laws they are attempting to force on Iowa. The gun lobby is creating fake fear and anger to incite Iowans to be for ALEC gun proliferation bills. We need to contact our legislators to fight the insanity attempting to be imposed on Iowa by ALEC, the NRA, and the gun lobby.
To the Editor,
Certainly the good people of the 17th Iowa House District on the gentile slopes of western Iowa and their neighbors across the state are too wise to be herded like sheep by Rep. Matt Winschitl of Missouri Valley into his planned legislation where he would leave them to stand their ground.
Who but a thoughtless fool would want those that they love to find themselves at the mercy of the law and order of one who goes armed to stand their ground in a public place of their choosing and render from a gun what at any given moment causes them to do what they consider best for themselves and what they choose on the spur of the moment to believe they can do to others?
This inane idea brings to mind the punch line of an old song comedian Phil Harris sang of a cigarette when he found himself in regret of smoking and suffering the agony of lung cancer: “A fire on one end and a fool on the t’other.”
Not only have the media not properly conveyed what ALEC really is if they do talk about it which is extremely rare, but they are also not mentioning ALEC when it would make perfect sense to. Even the “liberal” media such as Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, fail repeatedly to connect the dots to ALEC when discussing the phenomenon of voter ID laws being introduced in Republican controlled states across the country. In Iowa, Jason Noble covered a press conference held by ProgressIowa about ALEC’s involvement in Iowa but as far as we can tell, no journalist is mentioning ALEC while covering particular bills, such as loosening gun safety laws and voter ID just to name two. Has any member of the Iowa media once mentioned Matt Schultz’s voter purge and ALEC in the same article? Has any member of the Iowa media asked the SOS or Governor Branstad (founding member of ALEC), questions about ALEC and voter ID? Has any member of the Iowa Press pressed GOP legislators about whether they might be attending ALEC’s Spring Task Force Summit this weekend? http://www.alec.org/meetings/spring-task-force-summit-2013/ Democracy cannot survive without a functioning press. Please watch. Please share. More links and info below.
What ALEC does is criminal, and it needs to be stopped. Please click on the links below for more information on how you can help:
Visit AlecExposed to view the model legislation and learn more about ALEC:
Sign a petition to get corporations out of ALEC:
Read here why ALEC should have its 501 c3 tax status revoked:
Go here for regular ALEC-related updates:
Ritz Carlton meeting –
Stand Your Ground law-
The ALEC scholarhip fund (an example):
ALEC corporate PAC spending:
CCA, Russell Pearce, SB 1070 and ALEC:
Fracking fluids, XTO, disclosure requirements and ALEC:
Voter ID laws, other methods of disenfranchisement, the 5 million Americans and ALEC:
The GOP and their friend ALEC want to bring to Iowa the infamous “shoot first” or “stand your ground” law, but they’ll have to answer to a new wave of concerns by Iowans who feel the recent loosening of gun regulations went too far. Today’s Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that Senator Joe Bolkcom will introduce a bill to scale back parts of Iowa’s shall-issue law passed in 2011. The following is an excerpt. Click here to read the entire article
An Iowa City lawmaker plans to push for what he calls “common sense” gun control measures, while Statehouse Republicans hope to expand firearm rights.
Iowa Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, says he’ll introduce a bill to scale back parts of Iowa’s controversial shall-issue gun permit law. Democrats have criticized the two-year-old law, saying the requirements for carrying a firearm are too lax.
“We’ve had a number of years of pro-gun legislation, a lot of push by the pro-gun folks, and it’s time to try and bring some common sense back to gun laws in Iowa,” Bolkcom said. “These are some tweaks to try and address some concerns people have.”
Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said his office saw an uptick in permits issued to carry a weapon two years ago this month after a change in state law compelled sheriffs to issue carry permits to applicants who meet basic requirements and have taken certified training. The law used to say sheriffs “may” issue permits and was changed to read “shall.” Proponents of the change said it standardized the process statewide, while opponents said it eliminated necessary discretion from local officials.
“The big effect has been that there are more people with mental illness getting guns,” Pulkrabek said. “There are more people with criminal records getting guns.”
And after a massacre in Connecticut left 20 school children dead last month, gun control discussions spurred a “huge uptick” in permit requests in Johnson County, Pulkrabek said.
“I’ve talked to some dealers that say people come in and they have no idea what they want, they just know they want to buy a gun because they fear they won’t be able to buy in the near future,” Pulkrabek said. “I have no idea where someone gets that other than the fearmongering.”
Bolkcom’s bill would make for a stricter permitting process. Currently, Iowans can take an online course without ever handling a firearm and still get a permit to carry a weapon. Under the Democrats’ plan, applicants would have to take in-person training and show proficiency on a firing range. The bill also would restrict carry permits to handguns and require permit holders to conceal their weapons, rather than carry openly.
Bolkcom said he worked with Pulkrabek and Iowa Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, who is a deputy sheriff in Marshall County, to come up with those regulations.
“This is, I think, a reasonable set of ideas that can be addressed,” he said. “These ideas come from people in the system that are involved with permit-issuing and have knowledge of gun laws.”
Bolkcom and the rest of the Johnson County statehouse delegation were among few opponents of Iowa’s shall-issue law in 2010. All five Democrats from Iowa City and Coralville voted against the bill, but it still received wide bipartisan support. Then-Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat, signed the shall-issue law, earning him the National Rifle Association’s endorsement in his failed re-election bid against Gov. Terry Branstad.
Republicans are moving the other direction. One bill introduced this week would affirm gun rights in the Iowa Constitution and prohibit mandatory licensing, registration, or special taxation on guns or their owners. Another bill is modeled after so-called “stand your ground” laws, which would offer protection for law-abiding citizens who “use reasonable force, including deadly force” against aggressors.
“Shall-issue has been helpful in that it’s let a lot more people get their permits,” said gun rights advocate Robert Fowler, who’s registered to lobby for the Iowa Firearms Coalition. “It’s been a good system. … If you take the training and the time to get a permit to own a gun, you’re not going to misuse it.”
Bolkcom said House Republicans’ pro-gun bills likely won’t get much attention in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Conversely, his bill’s chances in the Republican-controlled House are unclear.
“We’ll have to wait and see how this goes along in the Senate,” Bolkcom said.
Branstad said on Iowa Public Television last week that he doesn’t expect major pro-gun or anti-gun legislation passed this year. He said other issues are more important.
“I’m really focused on the things that I think are most important to grow the Iowa economy and that’s jobs, reforming and reducing the property tax, and reforming education,” he said.