Editorial: Educate yourself, exercise your rights

Editorial Board

Last summer, Chet Culver signed legislation that freed Iowans’ liberties to carry firearms from being arbitrarily by the whims of sheriffs.

As of the first of this year, this is no longer the case. Everyone who wants a permit to carry a dangerous weapon and is eligible will receive one, and there will be no stipulations attached. If you have an old permit, the stipulations on that permit remain.

What we are getting at is you can expect to see more people openly carrying firearms on their sides in the very near future, and there will be more people walking around with firearms concealed on their person.

It’s going to be OK, don’t panic. Some people’s reaction to this news is one of dismay or surprise; but don’t react in a negative fashion, this is a good thing.

First and foremost, this is a return to the Constitution and to the freedom of the individual. Secondly, this means that more “good guys” will be able to arm themselves; people that can be considered “bad guys” aren’t concerned with what Iowa’s legislation says the laws are, their lack of concern for the law is one of the inherent things that makes them criminals.

The right to arm yourself is one that is guaranteed by the Constitution. It is the right of self-empowerment, but much of this right requires self-education.

If you plan on getting your permit to carry, you need to do your research. We’d love to be able to include every word of every piece of legislation, but we simply do not have the room. However, we can point you in the right direction.

An Internet search of “Iowa Senate File 2379” will bring up the legislation you need to read. Visit the Iowa Department of Public Safety website at www.dps.state.ia.us/ and read the Frequently Asked Questions page that is linked from there. These are simple things to do that will start to prepare you to responsibly exercise your right to bear arms.

If you aren’t willing to do these simple things, then maybe you should leave carrying a weapon to others.

You need to take advantage of your ability to exercise your constitutional rights, don’t let them stagnate. There will be those that turn their nose up at you if you decide to use your First Amendment right and defend the civil rights of the LGBT community. Likewise, there will be those who act shocked if you decide to take up arms.

You are your own person; make your own decisions whether or not you will exercise your rights. They are yours, no one else’s.