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Rep. Steven Holt gave a pretty passionate defense of the bill. He acknowledged that the zoning issues got his attention, but said there is a larger philosophical disagreement.
“I know everybody in here wants to cut down on gun violence and everybody in here wants to never see another school shooting or mass shooting,” he said. “We do have some pretty strong philosophy disagreements on how to get there.”
He said the gun isn’t the issue in instances of such violence.
“It is about the character of the person holding that gun,” he said. “We just recently saw right down in Texas a situation where a gun was used for evil when an individual began to open fire in a church setting and killed people. An immediate response from an individual who knew what they were doing with a firearm, lawfully carrying American citizen, stopped that violence instantly. And God only knows how many people in that church would’ve died had that individual not been armed in that situation.”
Holt then took aim at gun-free zones.
“I happen to believe that gun-free zones are an invitation to crazy people, an invitation to sick people because nobody that has ever done a mass shooting has obeyed the law because it is illegal to kill people,” he said. “Nobody that wants to do that sort of thing is going to be stopped by a sign. That’s what I’ve never understood in this discussion.
“How does anybody believe that a sign is going to stop a sick individual who has decided to murder innocent people? What it will do is stop law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms into that situation and it makes them a shooting gallery for sick individuals. This is, as far as I’m concerned, about the health and safety of all Iowans, because I obey the law and I have a permit to carry and when there’s a sign up that says I can’t carry in that area, I don’t carry in that area. That is one less individual who is trained with a firearm and knows exactly what to do if somebody opens fire.”
Holt then referred to Peterson’s comment that there is no data to back up the good guy with a gun versus a bad guy with a gun argument.
“Open your eyes folks,” he said. “It happened right down in Texas just a few weeks ago. I fundamentally disagree and that is why I support this legislation. It is not a solution in search of a problem. We are trying to ensure that the Second Amendment rights of Iowans are protected.
“This is not Virginia and it’s not going to become Virginia. If a political subdivision wishes to restrict the rights of citizens, then most certainly it should be incumbent upon them to ensure compliance or provide security since they’ve stripped that citizen’s right.”