What could go wrong: Iowa is granting gun permits to the blind

Iowa is now granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public, to either those who are legally blind, or completely blind. What could go wrong?

The permits are legal because State law does not allow Sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.
The problem is public safety.

USA Today reports, “Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.

Image: USA Today

Image: USA Today











On one side: People such as Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington, who demonstrated for The Des Moines Register how blind people can be taught to shoot guns. And Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, who says blocking visually impaired people from the right to obtain weapon permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. That federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disabilities.

On the other side: People such as Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos, who said he wouldn’t issue a permit to someone who is blind. And Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, who says guns may be a rare exception to his philosophy that blind people can participate fully in life.”

A legally blind person shouldn’t be an issue in my opinion, but completely blind?

Private gun ownership — even hunting — by visually impaired Iowans is nothing new. But the practice of visually impaired residents legally carrying firearms in public became widely possible thanks to gun permit changes that took effect in Iowa in 2011, USA Today reports.

According to Polk County officials, they’ve issued weapons permits to at least three people who can’t legally drive and were unable to read the application forms or had difficulty doing so because of visual impairments.

My brother can only see light and shapes. Although he’s a very accomplished person in that he can kick ass, and has black/brown belts in several of the martial arts –and he’s absolutely brilliant — in no way do I want him carrying a gun.

There’s a lot more at USA Today. 

  • BanditBasheert


  • mea_mark

    I have no idea why a blind person would want a gun, unless it was to hurt or kill themselves. Hopefully this will be a law on paper that is really nothing more than just writing.

  • Linda1961

    Call me crazy, but I think that Paul Revere didn’t have this in mind when he was “ringing those bells and warning the British not to take our guns.” Of course, Revere didn’t ring any bells on his midnight ride, and he wasn’t warning the British, but Quitter Palin, like all wingnuts gets history all wrong. Now they will have to distort it to show that the blind do have a right to carry guns.

    • Kevin F. Casey

      If paul revere know what this country would become he would have gone to bed early Our founding fathers would have tossed the entire Idea of independence & sold the colonies to France.

      • Linda1961

        If they had done that, we would have universal health care, like the French do.

  • mrsgunka

    It’s times like this that I am so embarrassed to say I was born and raised in Iowa. I have no idea how these people have become so freakin dumb. I would like to think all the smart people moved away and this is all they have left….King and his cronies. :-) Everyone is crazy but me and thee, and I have my doubts about thee! That was my Iowa mothers’ favorite saying! Guess she was right.

    • Mitchell Brown

      IOWA = Idiots Out Walking Around. (though in truth, they’re more likely driving and then waddling).

  • Andante_Giocoso

    I think not allowing legally blind and blind people to drive is discriminatory as well.  They need to issue drivers’ licences to blind people too.  It’s only fair, after all, and what could possibly go wrong with that?

    • fantagor

      At this point, a 2nd Amendment troll will point out that owning a gun is a sacred right, not a privilege, but of course that argument falls apart when anybody sane responds rationally with the fact that that Amendment’s first two words are WELL REGULATED, and by any measure keeping guns out of the hands of the blind is a sane and reasonable regulation.

      • http://justinfranks.com/ Justin L. Franks

        Actually, the first two words are “a well”.

        All silliness aside, however, the term “well-regulated” had a very different meaning in written English contemporary to the penning of the Bill of Rights. And it has nothing to do with restricting access.

        Also, the amendment has two distinct parts, the prefatory clause and the operative clause. The prefatory clause (“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”) does not limit the operative clause (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”). It is a justification for the operative clause.

        Rewritten in modern English, the 2nd Amendment would read something along the lines of “Firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens is vital to maintain a free society, therefore the right of the people to keep and bear their own arms must not be infringed”.

        I agree that disallowing the (completely) blind from using firearms is a good idea. But justifying this because of a misunderstood meaning of the term “well-regulated” is not the right approach. We already restrict gun ownership to certain members of society for safety reasons, such as convicted felons and the mentally ill. While I would not want to lump the blind into that same group, the fact remains that someone who is incapable of seeing and identifying their target is incapable of safely operating a firearm.

        • Kevin F. Casey

          Our founding fathers lived in a sane intelligent time where EVERYONE young & old had common since. If they had any Idea how those traits would end up the bill of rights would be 3 trillion pages long.

          • Mitchell Brown

            Really? That would be news to them.

  • Susan Yee

    Of COURSE the blind can learn to shoot…..but then a toddler can, an ape can….(no, I’m not comparing disabled people to children or animals). That doesn’t mean the SHOULD shoot a gun. Geesh…..

  • Mister_Mean

    Reminds me of braille key boards at drive through ATM machines at my local bank. How do they drive when blind? How do they read the ATM screen when blind? In that context I am wondering about how they would aim a gun?

    Seems like someone is a few bricks shy of a load.

    • http://justinfranks.com/ Justin L. Franks

      Of course the simple answer to the braille on drive-up ATMs is basic economics. It is cheaper to produce all the keypads the same way (with braille) than to produce 2 separate lines of keypads (one with braille, one without).

      So all ATMs get braille keypads, even the ones installed as drive-up machines.

    • Atheos Uros

      …A blind PASSENGER might need to use a drive up ATM. And who hasn’t walked up to a drive through ATM machine? I do all the time.

  • EgyptLove88

    This is beyond a disability discrimination thing, this is a threat to potential innocents right to live on the receiving side of the weapon.

  • Your1Friend

    This is (almost) unbelievable.

    I wonder if all those GMOs, pesticides, and herbicides are helping to diminish the intelligence and/or judgement of the American People.

  • Mauro Maximiliano Grossi

    If flying an aircraft is physically limited to those who pass a medical exam, then the right to own and carry weapons should also be limited, since both situations require to actually see things in order to take decisions. A blind person aiming to shoot someone, could easily hit the wrong objective. I belive that it’s wrong letting blind people get guns and carry them around, as I also belive that a person with psicological problems shouldn’t pilot an aircraft. It’s not discrimination, it’s preventing accidents.

  • Mark O’Brien

    You can’t get a driver’s license if you are blind. This is really stupid.

    • Laser

      I laughed like hell when I read this, Mark. Thanks.

  • Christina McDonald

    Um er uh. I think I’ll NOT go through that state if I ever decide to tour the USA. LOL

  • Nana

    To carry guns in public is the greatest mistake….. Stupidity.

  • pattianne pascual

    I am very pro-gun rights,but this is ridiculous.if we go by the saying “the blind leading the blind”, it describes perfectly what our system of government has become.

  • pattianne pascual

    p.s-i would only compromise on this, allow the blind to have the guns, as long as there aren’t any bullets in them

  • K K Putnam

    Welcome To America!

  • Charles Matson

    I have never heard of anything so down right stupid. And Patti it’s not the government it’s the NRA.

  • Mark Jansen

    They let blind-believing Eve-the-Rib & Adumb-OUCH G.D. It (!) vote… that’s practically the same thing.

  • cyndi lagasse

    “And Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, who says blocking visually impaired people from the right to obtain weapon permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. That federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disabilities.”
    We don’t give blind people drivers or pilot’s licenses either – is that discrimination too or just common freaking sense?