Iowa sees brighter future for blind gun owners


Editors note: The following is a piece of satire on U.S. gun laws.

Since the dawn of America, gun owners everywhere have raised their double-barreled shotguns, semi-automatic pistols and .22 rifles in celebration of the ubiquitous Second Amendment. Now, the blind can cheer, too.

With gun laws Stephen Colbert could only dream of, the blind can now publicly carry firearms in Iowa. As of 2011, a change in Iowa’s gun permit rules forbids sheriffs from denying permits based on physical ability.

While some will assume the legislation affects only those with seeing eye dogs, the change applies to a broader group of gun toters. Legal blindness is simply defined as not being able to read one letter on the 20/100 line of an eye test chart. So it’s not just the completely blind who could holster up, because less vision impaired people–perhaps an elderly neighbor with Coke-bottle glasses–could also qualify as blind (and carry guns).

With all that being said, giving guns to the blind isn’t such a far-fetched idea. After all, the blind are now driving Google cars, skydiving in Texas, and even painting with their fingers. One Iowa sheriff has reportedly made the first steps in teaching his visually impaired daughter to use firearms.

This is great news for those fighting for equal rights; the blind will finally be able to publicly display our country’s most cherished–and in some places, most used–amendment: the second.

Our nation has been founded upon the idea of life, liberty and the pursuit of firearms. That’s why thousands of gun shows are held annually, and why the US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world. Letting the blind carry guns is only an extension of these inalienable rights. Besides, the Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees the blind can keep packing heat. So why wouldn’t we want to spread the joy–and the ammo–by giving our blind friends in Iowa the chance to carry? The blind already make excellent gun owners.

When was the last time a news report featured a homicide by a blind man, or of an accidental death related to a blind man’s firearm? Most peoples’ minds would draw a blank. And while the US leads the world in per capita gun-related homicides, I seriously doubt blind people have much to do with those numbers. The real danger is people who can see what they’re aiming at.

That’s right. Blind gun-owners don’t kill people; people who can see kill people. Every army in the world, including those responsible for starting two world wars, the succession of Texas, and other atrocities all have one thing in common: they only accept those with vision.

Even innocent civilians with the sharpest of eyes sometimes make mistakes and hurt people. Just ask Cheney. Those with vision are simply more dangerous than those without, proving that the blind are more careful than their vision-gifted peers.

So the next time a gun show comes around your neck of the woods–so long as those woods are in Iowa–you may find a blind person there, too. And while some of your fellow Cornhuskers may jest at an armed blind person, just remember: blind gun owners aren’t the ones responsible for the hundreds of accidental firearms related deaths every year.

With laws Wayne LaPierre would be proud of, the state of Iowa has ensured life, liberty and the Second Amendment to its blind gun owners.

Grant Harrison
Commentary Editor