A recent letter indicated Rep. Mary Gaskill does not support the right to bear arms. The truth is that Rep. Gaskill voted FOR the “shall carry” bill, which allows every Iowan to carry a concealed weapon. This only goes to reaffirm her position of support for our gun rights. Only those who may be a threat to the community or to themselves are excluded (see Senate File 2379, House Journal 3/29/2010, pg. 1403).
Another inaccuracy accused Rep. Gaskill of preventing debate on a proposed bill to place the right to bear arms in the Iowa Constitution. The bill was in fact debated. Many representatives voted against it. Why? Because it was unnecessary — the right to bear arms is already protected in the U.S. Constitution. Law enforcement opposed the bill because it would have given convicted rapists, kidnappers and murderers the right to carry weapons. There was a delay in debating the bill, since it was brought up without prior notice to law enforcement, the public and the Democratic members in the House. Democrats held a caucus to discuss the bill, which happens often during the legislative session. Democrats also felt additional time was needed to give the public time to contact legislators before debate began. Later that day, the bill was debated and passed the House.
In regards to the “Castle Doctrine,” which already exists, you have the right to protect yourself and your family; however, this bill went too far. It was opposed by law enforcement because it gave immunity to violent criminals and domestic abusers and because it would encourage more violence in volatile situations.
I hope the deliberate misrepresentation of such facts against Rep. Gaskill will stop, allowing her time to be spent on issues that protect Iowa’s seniors, improve education, strengthen job growth, promote the success of small business and focus on issues that are of priority. As a gun owner and concealed carry permit holder, stand with me and support an experienced representative who truly votes with the interests of ALL her constituents and whose record has shown her dedication to protecting our rights laid out in the U.S. Constitution, but also protecting fellow Iowans from those who seek to do them harm. These qualities truly define the difference between a representative who shows leadership vs a candidate who makes an art out of lip service.
Matthew M. Dalbey