Blind Iowans eligible for gun permits

Blind Iowa resident Michael Barber examines a gun with his hands at a Bass Pro Shop. 'When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don't necessarily think eyesight is necessary,' he said. (Andrea Melendez/Des Moines Register

Blind Iowa resident Michael Barber examines a gun with his hands at a Bass Pro Shop. 'When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don't necessarily think eyesight is necessary,' he said. (Andrea Melendez/Des Moines Register

Justice is blind, like some folks getting weapon carry permits in Iowa.

The laws in the corn-fed state are such that you can’t drive if you are blind, but you can tote a .45 to Wal-Mart, according to the Des Moines Register.

Lots of people don’t find it that unusual.

Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington, who has a blind daughter, demonstrated to the Iowa newspaper how he trains the blind to shoot guns.

Though it is not specified, I presume “shooting at noises” is part of the training.

“It seems a little strange, but the way the law reads we can’t deny them (a permit) just based on [not being able to see what they are shooting at],” said Jana Abens, a spokesperson for the Polk County sheriff’s office.

The National Federation of the Blind is opposed to laws that require vision tests as part of the weapon permit process. “There’s no reason solely on the (basis) of blindness that a blind person shouldn’t be allowed to carry a weapon,” spokesman Chris Danielsen said.

Many states don’t specifically ban the visually impaired from obtaining carry permits.

But if you can’t see in DeKalb County, where is costs more to get a carry permit than a marriage license, you will miss out on the action at the adjacent “stripper license” window.

The number of blind people with gun permits in Iowa is not known because no one bothers to track such information.

Today’s voice of reason comes courtesy of blind musician Stevie Wonder who rocks without a Glock.

“Imagine me with a gun. It’s just crazy,” to CNN when discussing what he called “ridiculous” gun laws.

Perhaps, but there’s no law that prevents the blind (or the continuously drunk) from buying a gun, or a car, either.

More interesting links collected during my morning jog around the Interwebs:


35 comments Add your comment

Bernie31

September 9th, 2013
8:20 am

Why Not provide one for every Cat and Dog too! They too from time to time have to STAND THEIR GROUND as well.

Taxi Smith

September 9th, 2013
8:30 am

I am quite sure that the Americans with Disabilities Act would require this! So, don’t blame Iowa.

tinala50

September 9th, 2013
8:33 am

How IGNORANT!

dlink

September 9th, 2013
8:47 am

http://www.archeryimages.net/2010/01/disabled-archery/

Everybody thinks of guns as for killing people. On the rare occasion it is just the challenge of being able to do what ’sighted’ people are able to do, now that the US is all regulatory over such things – I’d say, give them a shot.

And stay clear of where the gun is pointing.

The Old Guy

September 9th, 2013
9:02 am

So if you are in Iowa and a blind person draws a gun, grab a pot and throw it in the opposite direction so he will shoot that way.

dlink

September 9th, 2013
9:06 am

“So if you are in Iowa and a blind person draws a gun, grab a pot and throw it in the opposite direction so he will shoot that way.”

Wouldn’t hurt. As much.

commoncents

September 9th, 2013
9:10 am

Excellent and very logical post, Bernie. And a below-average amount of capital letters!

That said, just remember that being legally blind doesn’t mean you can’t see, but that your vision is impaired. Lots of legally blind people can read their newspaper and email, and go shopping at the store. I’m also sure they could identify the shape of a stranger in their house while they are living alone.

DeezNuts

September 9th, 2013
9:20 am

I guess I don’t SEE what all the fuss is about.

Not that handgun ownership is all about hunting, but one of the first rules of hunter safety is know what you’re shooting at before you shoot. Sometimes a hunter sounds like a deer coming through the forest, so you might want to make sure that you actually see the ten point buck clear the leaves before you pull the trigger or it may end up being Uncle Buck that gets mounted on the wall.
Second rule of hunter safety, before you shoot confirm that there is nothing behind your target that you don’t mind shooting. Both of these rules require sight.

toyb22

September 9th, 2013
9:34 am

You can’t make this stuff up. I’m proud to be American!

So the point of carrying a gun around in public would be for defense. If the blind person is threatened, he won’t see that he is until it is too late and he is being attacked. If he draws the gun before an attack (which is impossible if he CAN’T SEE). Lets just say he does know he is being threatened, and he pulls a gun: Then the threat can simply move or knock the gun away. More importantly, HE CAN’T SEE where he is shooting… and in a “Wal-Mart” as the article states, if you miss the bullet doesn’t stop until it hits something… and in public places there will be people all around. What if the blind man feels threatened on the street, fires his gun where he THINKS the person might be on the sidewalk… and then there is a restaurant or store across the street filled with people.

Wouldn’t carrying around a nice big 6 Oz can of pepper spray on a holster be more effective? You could spray a big cloud and cover the whole area where you think a perp is. And more importantly, you won’t be shooting BULLETS into innocent crowds.

Do you really think ONE life will be saved by a person with no sight firing a gun? Or that an innocent life or the blind person himself will be the only ones that die from this. Not to mention the use of the guns for suicides in these blind people, who generally are more depressed because of their disability. What happened to common sense? Embarrassing.

Wondering Wanda

September 9th, 2013
9:41 am

For gun-toting Iowans who are legally C0L0R BLIND, will 0bama Supporters still try to call these registered gun owners “racists” for shooting other 0bama Supporters who just happen to be trying to rob them or break into their homes?

dlink

September 9th, 2013
9:41 am

Everybody still thinking in terms of killing with a gun.

Maybe that’s just GA.

Thomas Pain

September 9th, 2013
9:45 am

“Not to mention the use of the guns for suicides in these blind people, who generally are more depressed because of their disability. What happened to common sense? Embarrassing.”

This part seems a bit ironic to me. Asking where common sense is after stating that blind people are more inclined to commit suicide… first off, if this is even true, why would you paint all blind people with that same brush? It seems a little unfair and less than what you would expect from a “free” country to remove a blind person’s ability to enjoy something strictly because you think blind people might be more depressed and that person could potentially use that tool to do himself harm.

And secondly, if someone wanted to kill themselves are you going to take away every tool they could possibly use? An inmate just hung himself in his cell recently, and he was on death watch. They take away everything that could conceivably be used for suicide, and he still managed. Yet we’re going to blame the gun for the suicide of a blind person?

More and more I’m seeing this term “common sense” used to refer to things that people don’t want to think about, but want to react emotionally about. It’s like a catch phrase for people that want to think but never quite managed to acquire the skills. And yes, logic can be taught and learned. It is not taught in our schools, and perhaps it should be.

Bernie31

September 9th, 2013
9:51 am

My first name is Bernie, my last name is 31. 31 is actually my IQ if anyone is interested.

Thank You!

DeezNuts

September 9th, 2013
9:52 am

toyb22, you SHOULD be proud to be an american, even if you don’t agree with every law on the books. I’d be amazed if any citizen of this country agrees with each law they live under. But because you live in the USA you can do something about it, besides just comment on articles. You should be embarassed for yourself, not for your country.

dlink

September 9th, 2013
10:04 am

Bernie, typing numbers on the keyboard is a pain in the. Your “Last Name” isn’t worth the effort to date.

As for the suicide angle? I have no problem with doctor assisted suicide, or any other. I don’t think being blind or near blind should ever need be a cause for that. If anyone thinks they can decide whether a person wants to or does kill themselves, they don’t get to make that decision. They should rather be thinking of why.

Talk about getting blind-sided. Did not see that coming, but, a valid point I suppose.

jarvis

September 9th, 2013
10:09 am

Ray Charles was a very sure shot in the Blues Brothers. If that’s not definitive proof, I don’t know what is.

jarvis

September 9th, 2013
10:13 am

Picture quote: Blind Iowa resident Michael Barber examines a gun with his hands at a Bass Pro Shop. ‘When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don’t necessarily think eyesight is necessary,’ he said.

For something fun in the quote replace “shoot” with “drive” and “gun” with “car”.

gtalum06

September 9th, 2013
10:25 am

I’m a gun-owner, and I’m all for the right to bear arms… but I also think that, just as with driving, there should be some physical/mental competency test! It just seems illogical to place so few restrictions on gun ownership. I get that it’s a “right,” but all rights have limits. It’s too easy to acquire guns, I’ll admit, but I’m not about to give up the right all together. There just need to be logical restrictions put in place.

If you are either sighted or legally and can an pass a test of some sort (as with driving), then by all means, take your permit and have at it. However, if you fail, you shouldn’t be able to get a permit until you pass…seems pretty simple.

dlink

September 9th, 2013
10:40 am

Used to be a green red competency for a drivers license. When that got to be a pain in the rear, they got rid of it. Used to be an eyeglasses reading test for competency, when that got to be a pain in the rear, they got rid of it.

They were prompts to be a competent driver back in the day and maybe it’ll come back like bell bottom pants, who knows. Who cares? Automated cars are just around the corner. After Iraq there will be automated people controlling things they never thought they would ever need.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/02/nerve-prosthetics/

Flack jackets protect vital organs, not limbs, or eyes.

Brace4impactz

September 9th, 2013
10:48 am

toyb

September 9th, 2013
10:58 am

Ahh, Thomas, way to do your little talking point about you can use any “tool” to kill yourself. Ignore the fact that I wrote two paragraphs about a blind person shouldn’t be allowed to walk around in public with a gun because of the very simple fact, HE CAN’T SEE WHAT HE IS SHOOTING. The point is that this law will never save a life (the point in carrying a firearm in a public place)… but it will most certainly cause innocent deaths and accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Along with suicides. Much more so than if no gun was present. Here is a quote from a Harvard study it took me two second to look up, as I used my common sense to know that having a gun around would lead to more gun-related deaths, including suicide… and that people with disabilities ARE more depressed, whether it’s a physical or mental disability. People who are more depressed are more likely to commit suicide. “Ecologic studies that compare states with high gun ownership levels to those with low gun ownership levels find that in the U.S., where there are more guns, there are more suicides. The higher suicide rates result from higher firearm suicides; the non-firearm suicide rate is about equal across states.” – https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/means-matter/risk/

Once again, it would only take a little “common sense” to figure out suicide is much easier, less planning involved, and more effective at getting the job done using a gun. After all, you are finding a way to argue for a blind person to carry a gun. I believe the person who compared it to driving is a perfect example. Should blind people be able to drive because it is their “right”? No, it’s a risk to the public… just like being allowed to fire a gun when you don’t even know what’s in front of you.

I own a handgun for protection, but I also understand reality and have common sense.

Hootinannyumyum

September 9th, 2013
11:06 am

Any responsible gun owner or permit holder knows that in low light or darkness you use all your senses to evaluate potential threats; not just sight. Cowards will target those they perceive as weak (elderly, disabled, blind, etc). A blind person, like any responsible gun owner, knows the inherent responsibilities that come with carry a firearm. If those who would do harm to others are aware that a potential victim “may” have the means to defend themselves, it is highly likely they will move to another target. I wish I possessed the heightened non-vision senses the blind possess.

janie hopwood

September 9th, 2013
11:41 am

is there any common sense left in this country?

Bernie31

September 9th, 2013
11:45 am

dlink @ 10:04 am – My advice is to step away from the CRACK PIPE and seek professional Help!

dlink

September 9th, 2013
11:56 am

Bernie: Phuket, a beautiful place. You should visit it.

dlink

September 9th, 2013
12:09 pm

And now, thanks to Bernie, this is off topic.

I agree with the blind having guns. Just not the crazies, Bernie.

USC-69

September 9th, 2013
12:41 pm

I don’t know the published data but I would guess that more sighted people with gun-carry permits commit murder than those who are blind. Anybody familiar with this study? Maybe we all would be safer if permits were limited to the blind.

Tad Low

September 9th, 2013
1:45 pm

Mr. Magoo with a .44 Magnum: “The ONLY way to go!.”

MoFaux

September 9th, 2013
1:47 pm

Although quite silly, I don’t “see” this being a major issue. Also, it’s a bit hard to legislate since there are varying degrees of blindness. When we start having a rash of blind crazies shooting up schools, let’s rekindle the debate. Until then, “nothing to see here people, move along…”

Fletch

September 9th, 2013
1:58 pm

Well technically this should be right up Joe Biden’s alley, considering he condones emptying both barrels of a 12 gauge indiscriminately into the night.

On the flipside, liberals would be outraged if the visually handicapped would be denied the right to carry concealed. Another one of those selective outrage things from our friends on the left.

Bill Clinton's Love Child

September 9th, 2013
2:42 pm

My blind as a bat grandfather used to keep a single-shot 16 guage shotgun in the corner of his bedroom closet. He could put his hands on it in a second and that is probably why my aunt hid the shells for it!

Peace Lover

September 9th, 2013
4:07 pm

If the brain dead can be elected to Congress and the Presidency, it only seems fair.

Bumper

September 9th, 2013
4:19 pm

Not sure this is a good idea. One of the fundamentals of firearm shooting is that you always identify your target because you never aim a gun at anything you don’t intend to kill. Maybe Iowans have a Jedi-like ability to use the force.

Bernie31

September 10th, 2013
6:32 am

Sometimes having a Gun can make one feel invincible. Take one George Zimmerman for an example.
The failure of that Florida Jury to convict apppears to have unleashd a MAD MAN with a Gun among them. Truly deserving for other members of the community. The next victim of his Gun will quickly reflect on that decision before fading to the dark Blackness of the unknown.

Bernie31

September 10th, 2013
8:04 am

I am BRAVE and PROUD to use my REAL NAME.

My first name is Bernie, my last name is 31.

31 is actually my IQ if anyone is interested.

Thank You!