State Sen. Jim Carlin (R-Sioux City) delivered a strong floor speech in defense of the resolution that would propose a right to keep and bear arms amendment. His speech encompassed much more than Second Amendment rights.
“Why make a big deal out of this militia language?” he said. “We know why. The reason why they’re making a big deal out of the militia language is you want to color the Second Amendment as being something other than what it was intended to be — a right to individual freedom. That’s why. Because if you can say it’s something else, then the freedom to defend yourself is up for grabs.”
Carlin said the purpose for having a constitution is to limit government.
“We should be more leery of trusting government than the people of Iowa,” he said. “We’ve seen this gradual incursion on every boundary of our human existence. Government was supposed to be limited, but now we’re talking about socialism, which says you don’t have any private property, we can take every dime you make.
“‘You’re not a baby. Even if you’re one day old out of your mother’s womb, we can still kill you.’ ‘You can’t say that! We’ve got to keep God out of the conscience of this culture.’ ‘We’ve got to build an insurmountable wall to keep Him out.’ It’s been this gradual, steady decline into our humanity and our dignity and freedom as individuals.”
Boundaries, he said, provide protection.
“You actually argued with us yesterday about putting a meaningful boundary on protecting a little girl from having their genitals mutilated as though that was some cultural thing,” he said. “My goodness. We’re not going to protect little girls from mutilation?”
This is a similar conversation, he said. The conversation is talking about the right to defend ourselves. He called the constitution a code of beliefs that puts boundaries on government.
“The Second Amendment is about defining the limits on government,” Carlin said. “So you mentioned James Madison. What did James Madison say? He said the constitution preserves the advantage of being armed, which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where governments are afraid to trust the people. That was James Madison, he wrote it. I think he knew what he meant.”
Freedom, Carlin said, is what attracts people to America.
“They want the right to self determination,” he said. “That’s why they’re clamoring to get in this nation, they want to be free. They want to define themselves. And what are we doing here? We are giving Iowans an opportunity to define themselves. We’re going to say we’re going to give you a say about how you want to be defined by making a constitutional amendment that says you can defend yourself, your family, your prop and your freedom. It’s way pass time to start having conversations like this when the government is on this steady incursion into the dignity and value on each one of us in this room.
“If you’re a senior you can’t make health care decisions in a hospital that determine whether you live or die. We’re on the wrong path. People have a fundamental right to defend themselves.”
Strict scrutiny is required for one huge reason.
“The reason why we have strict scrutiny is we have to exercise the utmost caution any time… that the government seeks to move or destroy an existing boundary that affirms the dignity and value of the individual. That’s why we have strict scrutiny.”
He quoted Thomas Jefferson, who said the constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people.
“Not the government. Not statism. Not socialism,” Carlin said. “The people.”
Jefferson’s quote resumed as he said that is their right and duty to be at all times armed.
“What this bill does, it gives the people of Iowa a say,” Carlin said. “I trust the people of Iowa. Why don’t we let them define themselves. The decision doesn’t end here. If it passes twice here, we give it to the people of Iowa and we say ‘here’s your opportunity to stand up for a boundary of your freedom.’ And in this caucus, we want them to take it.”