Iowa House Chamber
Photo Credit: Jason Mrachina via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)
Iowa House Chamber
Photo Credit: Jason Mrachina via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

The Iowa House on Monday debated and passed a proposed constitutional amendment that, if ratified, would add language to the Iowa Constitution affirming Iowans’ right to keep and bear arms.

Bills like this give Iowa House Democrats the opportunity to let their statist, liberal flags fly both in debate and in the amendments they offer. I shared that State Representative Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines) offered a voters bill of rights in substitution to the RKBA amendment that would make it impossible to prevent voter fraud.

He said something by mistake that was incredibly true. “I know the penchant for the minority party to take away rights from voters instead of protecting them,” he said before correcting himself.

State Representative Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) offered an amendment that proves Hunter’s statement true. She wanted to substitute the RKBA language with a “right to an education.”

First, Iowa has a long, proud tradition of having great public schools. While there is some constitutional language encouraging public education, Iowa offers the opportunity for every child to receive a public education. Students will never be turned away from a public school. Iowa has compulsory attendance laws so students are required to attend a public school unless they are attending a private school or homeschooling.

Second, under the guise of protecting a “right,” she wants to trample on Iowans’ rights. The first way was by substituting the RKBA language. Why not add her language to the bill instead? The second way was in how her amendment was written: “The state shall provide all youths of this state with an education through a system of public schools.”

If the amendment were worded, “The state shall provide all youths of this state with an education” we would be golden, no problem because they already do.

But no, it is “through a system of public schools.”

So much for parents being able to determine how best to educate their children. In Mascher’s mind, they don’t have any such right. Mascher is extreme. For instance, in 2013, she was one of two people to vote against the School Tuition Tax credit increase. In 2015, she co-sponsored a bill that would have repealed independent private instruction for homeschoolers.

Now, she offers constitutional language that would require the state to provide an education for ALL youths THROUGH a system of public schools.

So State Representative Hunter was right, the minority party really does want to take rights away from voters (and their children).

State Representative Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) pointed out the problem with the language of the amendment and then questioned its germaneness to HJR 2009. Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) ruled it was not germane (because it isn’t).

A motion to suspend the rules to consider her amendment was voted down 40 to 56.

Watch her floor remarks introducing her amendment and Windschitl’s response below:

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