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Debate during Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee on a bill that would require political subdivisions to provide screening and armed security if they declare one of their own buildings a “gun-free zone” turned into an eyebrow-raising speech from Sen. Tony Bisignano (D-Des Moines) about what he thinks of Iowans carrying guns.

Bisignano said he is concerned about people having guns without proficiency training. And then it just went on from that point.

“I can tell you, if you’re afraid of anything, it’s not just a crazy person out there, it’s somebody with a gun with no proficiency,” Bisignano said. “We used to have that. We used to have proficiency training. But that became too cumbersome to know how to fire a weapon.”

Bisignano acknowledged a gun won’t get out of a drawer and shoot someone on its own, but…

“But in the hands of someone who knows nothing about it, that ought to be our first priority,” he said. “The more weapons we’re putting out there in society, why aren’t we making them be more proficient?”

Bisignano then talked about a hypothetical situation at a gas station where someone comes in to commit a robbery.

“I know what the idiot’s doing, he’s coming in for the money, pretty easy,” Bisignano said. “Now, I don’t know you. You could be my reverend, and he could be my lawyer and you could be Mother Teresa. Doesn’t matter. You all three got guns. This guy comes in and he knows what he’s doing. He’s going for the money. Might not be a great shot, but I’m going to be standing two feet in front of him.

“But then I’ve got a guy in the back, I’ve got Mother Teresa over on the other side and I’ve got my reverend standing over in a corner. All at once a fire breaks out, who are you more afraid of at that point? I’m afraid of all of them. I’m afraid of all of them. Because there’s three more weapons in that place that wouldn’t be there if the government building could prohibit.”

Bisignano said accidents happen and people end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“But people who can’t shoot a weapon should not be able to have one,” he said. “And you can say that’s the Constitution, you’ve got the right to just buy one. Buy it and carry it. But you don’t know a damn thing about using it. That’s the biggest joke of all this.”

And, Bisignano said, he hopes for the sake of the robber there isn’t a robber because that robber would be the only one who knows what he’s doing in the store.

“Every good guy with a gun doesn’t have guts,” Bisignano said. “Guts don’t come with a gun, guts come with guts. You either got it or you don’t. You could have a gun, and as soon as you see a gun, you kind of freak out and freeze. Well, that takes you off the table as my self-defense. So I don’t know why we feel so good to know that there are so many guns when most of the people with them can’t shoot them.”

He said proficiency has been taken out of the law and thrown into the garbage.

“Constitutionally he’s protected to be stupid,” Bisignano said. “We’re going to protect his right to be stupid with a firearm. And I don’t get it.”

Author: Jacob Hall