Listen To The Governor

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Says ‘We Have Gun Laws’

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds responded to demands for more gun control laws
following a fatal shooting outside of a Des Moines high school the state already has gun laws.

Whether you like her politics or not, one has to give credit to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for being a cut-to-the-chase chief executive who obviously had no time for twerps in the aftermath of a shooting outside of a high school in Des Moines last month.

The March 7 shooting outside East High School left one teen dead and others injured, according to published reports. The immediate reaction from the Left was as predictable as rain in Seattle. There were demands for more gun control laws.

According to the Des Moines Register, “a group of Iowa Democrats joined some advocates of stricter gun laws to urge legislation, such as creation of universal background checks, after the incident.”

Anybody who knew the details of the shooting would realize that argument was simply stupid.

The newspaper noted police had arrested “six teenagers aged 14 to 17 in connection with the incident.” Teens in that age group cannot legally purchase a firearm, so they would be hard pressed to complete a background check, even if they had tried.

It was Gov. Reynolds who called out the anti-gunners, and she didn’t use a lot of language to do it. She told a reporter “We have laws on the books right now for guns.” The firearms used in the shooting, the newspaper noted, “had not been accessed legally.”

But pushing so-called “universal background checks” is essentially going after the low-hanging fruit. It sounds good to the ill-informed people who, for some reason, think you can still buy guns from retailers without background checks, but in the context of the Des Moines tragedy, it is irrelevant.

Background Check Myth

Believe it or not, several—if not the majority—of mass shooters in recent history passed background checks including Elliot Rodger, the Isla Vista killer, Nidal Hasan, the first Fort Hood mass shooter, and James Holmes, the perpetrator of the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., theater during a Batman movie premiere.

Rodger purchased three handguns in California in the months leading up to his attack, all in compliance with Golden State gun control laws, which include a waiting period. All the magazines were California-compliant 10-rounders. And there’s a little detail about his crime people often overlook: Three of his victims were stabled/slashed to death, rather than shot. He only shot three people fatally, yet anti-gunners often refer to this crime as though all the victims were shot.

Hasan was a major in the U.S. Army. Two weeks after he was stationed at Fort Hood, he bought the FN Herstal 5.7mm pistol used in the attack.

Holmes, now serving multiple life sentences, bought a Glock pistol at a Gander Mountain store in Aurora in May 2012 and less than a week later he bought a Remington 870 shotgun at a Denver Bass Pro Shop. About nine days later, he bought a Smith & Wesson M&P semi-auto rifle, all purchased after completing background checks.

When I researched this section, I found an article in the Los Angeles Times discussing background checks. For some reason, the Times reported, “Private sellers, such as those at gun shows, are not required to run a background check on purchasers. Even when background checks are required, they are often sloppy.” The paragraph then transitioned into the “sloppy” check done on Dylan Roof, the man who murdered several people in a Charleston, S.C. church building. Roof didn’t buy the gun at a gun show.

And then there was Stephen Paddock, the worst mass shooter in recent history, who killed 60 people on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nev. As noted in an online history of that mayhem, investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “determined that the firearms found in his hotel room, along with more guns found in his homes, had been legally purchased in Nevada, California, Texas, and Utah.”

Why Reynolds Matters

Gov. Reynolds of Iowa displayed political moxie one might consider rare among state-level politicians because she threw it right back at the gun prohibitionists trying to exploit the March murder.

Instead, she said the focus should be on keeping kids in school, where they can be educated “and set them up to be successful, not set them up for, you know, jail or life of crime.” Educators and Democrats (maybe that’s redundant) had fits, accusing Reynolds of trying to shift attention and blame the school system.

Is Reynolds onto something? If teens are in school, learning math, science, history, and about American government, and preparing for life beyond school, they won’t be out doing drive-by shootings and killing people.

She didn’t back down, either. What else could one expect from the woman who delivered this year’s Republican response to Joe Biden’s State of the Union address?

Reminding the hand-wringers we already have gun laws in place is a political class act. Without spelling it out, Reynolds was telling people to enforce the laws we have, not invent new restrictions on Iowa gun owners who had nothing to do with the crime.

Oh, well.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed legislation making the
Hoosier State No. 24 on the roster of “constitutional carry” states.

Indiana Goes Permitless

At this writing, Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb had just signed legislation making the Hoosier State No. 24 on the growing list of “constitutional carry” states where no license or permit to carry a sidearm for personal protection.

Under House Bill 1296, Indiana residents no longer need a permit, although State Police Superintendent Doug Carter issued a statement encouraging them to do so, to take advantage of any reciprocal agreements Indiana has with other states.

The legislation passed 69-30 in the House and 30-20 in the Senate.

As reported earlier, Ohio and Alabama recently also adopted permitless carry legislation. However, a similar bill in Florida did not have the momentum to get through the Legislature, leaving Sunshine State rights activists fuming.

After signing the bill, Gov. Holcomb released a statement in which he told critics the new law “entrusts Hoosiers who can lawfully carry a handgun to responsibly do so within our state. It’s important to note that if a person is prohibited, under federal or state laws, from possessing a firearm before this law goes into effect, that person will still be prohibited. And if a prohibited person has a firearm, he or she can be prosecuted.”

Don’t Go Near the Water

There are self-defense stories, and then there’s this report from South Carolina, which has to rank right up there among the strangest cases ever to get my attention.

According to Fox News and one of its affiliates in the Palmetto State, a 29-year-old man identified as Nathan Drew Morgan, met his demise on a pontoon boat on Lake Keowee last month after allegedly attacking an unidentified 74-year-old man who was trying to rescue him.

The reports say Morgan and a woman companion may have fallen off a Jet Ski. The older fellow and his wife were nearby so they boated over to where Morgan and his companion were treading water, without life jackets, as the Jet Ski circled the immediate vicinity.

And this is where things went straight into the Twilight Zone. Published reports say the older couple helped the unlucky younger people onto the pontoon, at which point Morgan reportedly became agitated for unknown reasons. He may have wanted to get back on the Jet Ski, and alcohol may have been involved, though that hadn’t been confirmed.

Anyway, Morgan’s companion pushed him back into the lake “in an attempt to defuse the situation,” Fox News said. But once he was back on the pontoon a second time, his mood became combative and the older man, apparently fearing for his life and that of his wife, shot Morgan fatally.

Law enforcement officials reportedly will not file charges against the boater.

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