Rekha Basu for her column in The Des Moines Register on Saturday decided she wanted to see how easy it was to get a carry permit in Iowa, so she decided to take an online class and then take the test afterward.
She passed and apparently this is a sign that Iowa’s standards for getting a carry permit are too lax. She wrote:
I’ve never held a gun, much less fired one. I’ve never seen a handgun up close. I mostly tuned out during a 40-minute online training session to get a permit to carry one in Iowa. With the audio running softly in the background, I switched screens, researched and wrote a column on another topic.
I did this as an experiment after hearing of someone boasting about having slept through the training, messing up on the test that followed, yet still qualifying for a handgun-carry permit. I missed three of 11 multiple choice questions but still passed.
The carry permit, which covers concealed and open carrying, also entitles you to buy a handgun. And thanks to reciprocity agreements, your Iowa permit to carry is also good in 31 other states.
This terrifies me, and it should terrify you to know that someone with my lack of gun skills could be walking around with one in my purse. Because if I could qualify legally, so could almost anyone: Angry people. Vengeful people. Mentally unstable people. People who hate or are carrying a grudge against someone else.
Basu’s experience validates the intent of the Iowa Legislature. The intent was for it to be easier for a person to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. Mission accomplished.
What other right do we have that requires you to take a class and then a test to exercise it? I don’t recall that Basu had to take a class, a test, and then a permit to exercise her right of free speech and the press? Surely she would object, rightly, that one should not have to take a class and then take a test to vote.
But here she is frightened because the test is too “easy” and the amount of money one has to pay is too little to receive a permit.
She also appears to believe that it is the government’s job to take away your right to keep and bear arms if it deems you are angry, vengeful, mentally unstable (who decides that?), hold a grudge, or hate.
Her op/ed tells me Basu doesn’t just disrespect the 2nd Amendment, but also the 5th Amendment. It promises that no one shall be deprived of their liberty without due process. That was the problem with Iowa’s law before we became a “shall issue” state. County sheriffs had too much latitude to deny law abiding citizens from obtaining a carry permit. They could turn a person down for any reason. It was too subjective. Now the law is clear, and it is accessible for anyone who does not have a record.
Fortunately, our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed because a test is so easy that even a liberal Des Moines Register columnist can pass it.