Here’s a fun scenario. Your sitting in a bar when the guy next to you gets into an argument with the drunk on the other side of him. The argument escalates and the drunk jumps off of his stool and pulls a gun, this is the moment when you first notice his dark glasses and white cane. The guy with the gun is BLIND! Scary thought isn’t it? Well, if you are in Iowa it is a distinct possibility. You see, in Iowa it is perfectly legal for a blind person to obtain a carry permit for a handgun.
The law does allow for a Sheriff to deny a permit based on the person’s ability to handle a gun, but there is nothing that specifically allows him to deny the permit based solely on blindness. No one knows how many blind people have been issued permits because the data is not centrally collected, and nor is it shared in any way.
A handful of states do allow the blind to hunt but that is done under strict regulations. For instance they can’t hunt alone, which is not a bad idea since they would have no choice but to take “sound shots,” which is where you hear something but don’t see it. Any hunter will tell you that it is never a good idea, because it may be your buddy coming through the brush rather than your intended prey.
Man,y but not all, states do require a vision test before issuing a permit for a handgun, but in Iowa this is not the case. One would think that it would just be common sense to make sure that the man you are authorizing to carry a gun in public can distinguish between an assailant and someone who was just not paying attention and inadvertently bumped into him. Apparently such simple logic evades the lawmakers in Iowa.
Perhaps it is a sign of our times. We have to put warning labels on the deck of a lawn mower to tell people that they should never put their hands under the deck while the engine is running. We have to put warning labels on our step ladders to tell people never to stand on the top step, on laundry detergent telling us not to take it internally. We do the same with the stuff we use to dissolve whatever is clogging our drain.
It seems as if society loses more common sense every day, but is it really too much to ask that our legislators have a little bit more than the guy on the street? Is it really hard to figure out when a law governing the ability to carry a gun in public is passed, it should have in it a prohibition against a blind person acquiring such a permit? Come on Iowa, as Ann Landers used to say all the time, wake up and smell the coffee!