Gun Sense Community Conversations are sponsored by the NEIPJC and seek to educate the community on issues surrounding the legal and moral responsibilities of gun ownership, gun laws, and gun violence. Gun Sense is a public health issue and all are invited to join the conversation.
Past conversations have focused on suicide prevention training, safety in our schools, gun basics (safety & ownership) and open carry laws with local law enforcement, book discussions (The Last Gun by Tom Diaz), and domestic violence among others.
Current concerns for the Gun Sense group are around the new Iowa Stand Your Ground Law. Many group members will be contacting their representatives to oppose the SYG legislation on the basis that:
- Iowa already has strong self-defense law. Despite gun lobby claims, you can defend yourself with lethal force if necessary.
- Only gun rights groups are supporting this legislation. All other groups with a stake in strong defense laws – law enforcement, county attorneys, victims’ advocates, and others – are all opposed to his legislation.
- SYG is associated with an increase in homicide, has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, and does nothing to deter crime (Texas A&M study)
- SYG encourages armed vigilantism.
- SYG gives untrained citizens more leeway to shoot than the U.S. military gives soldiers serving in war zones.
- Since 2011, no state has passed a Stand Your Ground law. This is because the evidence is in: the studies show it doesn’t work, and we’ve seen innocent people lose their lives.
Representatives to contact on this issue are:
- Rep. Chip Baltimore (Chair of House Judiciary): firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-281-3221
- Rep. Mary Wolfe (House SYG subcommittee): email@example.com, 515-281-3221
- Rep. Ken Rizer (House SYG subcommittee): Ken.Rizer@legis.iowa.gov, 515-281-3221
- Rep. Matt Windschitl (House SYG subcommittee): firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-281-3221
- Sen. Steve Sodders (Chair of Senate Judiciary): email@example.com, 641-483-2383
- Sen. Janet Petersen (Senate SYG subcommittee): firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-442-0120
- Sen. Brad Zaun (Senate SYG subcommittee): email@example.com, 515-777-2939
- Darrel Branhagen (Iowa House Representative) Darrel.firstname.lastname@example.org. 515 281 3521
- Michael Breitbach (Iowa Senate) Michael.email@example.com. 563 933 6486
You may also consider sending a note to the following also at the State Capitol, Des Moines, 50319.
The chairperson of the Gun Sense Community Conversations is Joann Hagen. For more information or to suggest future topics, please contact the PJC at firstname.lastname@example.org, Attn: Gun Sense