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This is the full response from Sen. Jake Chapman (R-Adel) to a Des Moines Register Editorial Board piece. The Register printed a partial version of Chapman’s response, but not this full version.

The recent Des Moines Register Editorial Board’s opinion encouraged the city of Des Moines leaders to, “embrace Senator Chapman’s characterization of them as “liberal gun grabbers” by responding with this message: Yes, we will grab guns from irresponsible people, we will do whatever we can to prevent senseless deaths. We will make the largest city in Iowa the safest place it can be.”

I wish I could say I was surprised by the editorial board’s feckless and total disregard for Iowans’ constitutional rights, but I am not!

The editorial board has demonstrated time and time again that their only interest is to advance their extreme liberal ideologies, using the paper as a propaganda machine. I absolutely support their right to print their ill-conceived ideologies as a protected right under the First Amendment, yet they fail to recognize that our God-given rights don’t end after the First Amendment.

We are all born with certain inalienable rights. Our founders, in a very thoughtful way, put life first in the sequence of our God-given rights. The fundamental question is, do you believe that we are born with a right to self-preservation, using lethal means if necessary to preserve one’s own life?

I believe the commonsense answer is yes, we all have that right. Our right to keep and bear arms is an affirmation that we have a God-given right to defend our lives if necessary.

The editorial board stated, “A reasonable person would not defend firearm accessories that have no use in home protection or hunting and make it easier to quickly fire more bullets at more people.”

This statement demonstrates the naivety of the editorial board and focuses on an emotional appeal rather than the facts. The facts are:

  1. The 2nd amendment as outlined has absolutely nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with self-defense.
  2. Many “reasonable” Iowans expect their elected officials to respect their oath of office – to preserve and defend the constitution, not erode it.
  3. Demonstration after demonstration shows there is nearly no difference in the amount of bullets that can be fired based on the capacity of the magazine v. reloading a firearm with multiple magazines.
  4. A magazine is not an accessory; rather it is in fact a component of a firearm.

The editorial board, in an attempt to somehow persuade their readers, gave a couple of examples of accidental shootings (a minor having access to a parent’s firearm, and a man having a firearm in his pocket that discharged.) The ordinance that is being proposed from city leaders would ban bump stocks (news flash, already prohibited) and restrict high-capacity magazines. Who even knows how they will define “high-capacity”? Please, for the sake of those who read these editorials, explain how such an ordinance would have prevented these two accidental shootings. Tell us how this ordinance would prevent law-breakers from causing harm to law abiding citizens. These types of gun-grabbing ordinances do nothing to promote safety and create a false sense of security, just as “gun-free zones” have never prevented a mass casualty shooting.

If city leaders push forward with passing this proposed ordinance, they will be violating both state statute as well as our constitutional rights. They will likely end up in litigation and most assuredly will face several pieces of new legislation.

Here is the version of Chapman’s letter the Register did publish: