A wise man once said, “Blind men must not run.” Being blind comes with negative consequences, specifically the inability to see, which is quite the handicap. Unfortunately, because of that significant handicap, being blind prohibits one from obtaining a license; however, in the state of Iowa, being blind comes with the benefit of still being allowed to receive a gun permit.
A GUN permit.
I fully understand that we have the right to bear arms, but isn’t it a bit too much to grant gun permits to the blind? I’m not the one to segregate, but how do you expect a blind person to fully utilize a firearm when he/she can’t even see what’s in front of him/her? “[Iowa] state law forbids sheriffs from denying the right to carry a weapon based on a physical disability.” Laws are laws and it’s socially unacceptable to treat the physically disabled differently than others, but when it comes to potentially harming others, particularly with firearms, exceptions do need to be made. How can you not grant driver’s licenses to the blind but grant them a gun permit?
Michael Barber, a blind man, said, “”When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don’t necessarily think eyesight is necessary.” Eyesight isn’t necessary? How does that make sense? That’s like saying, “When you walk, you go out and move your legs, I don’t think eyesight is necessary.” That, like the gun quote, is technically true. However, without eyesight the chance of wandering into traffic increases, just a bit. There is a reason why the blind are provided seeing-eye dogs: to see. The same can be said of owning a gun. Yes, you don’t need eyesight to pull a trigger, but you should probably still see what you’re shooting at. Here’s a fun exercise to prove my point: Head out to your local gun range, put on a blindfold, and start shooting at where you think the target is. See how much everyone enjoys that.
Several Iowan sheriffs said they have tried to not grant gun permits to the visually impaired but, when contested, the visually impaired would win the appeal to be granted a gun permit.
According to a statistic conducted by the Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence, in 2010, guns took the lives of “31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings.” Out of that 31,076 gun related deaths, 11,078 were homicides, 19,392 were suicides, and 606 were unintentional shootings.
I am a firm believer in the right to bear arms and wholeheartedly agree it is a fundamental right that we, as Americans, are granted by the 2nd Amendment. Everyone has the right to protect him or herself, but I also believe that Iowa needs to re-evaluate their gun permit law to the blind. There’s no denying that the blind have the ability to protect themselves but a robber or a mugger will not feel threatened by a blind person pointing a gun. Can’t we just give them a pack of pissed off, malnourished pit bulls along with their seeing eye dog?
[via Yahoo! News]