Gun Debate in River City

Mason City leaders are debating whether or not to ban citizens from carrying guns in publc buildings, even if they have a concealed weapons permit. The issue was sparked when folks learned that a council candidate, a retired California game warden with a permit to carry, was packing at public meetings.

Now, Mayor Roger Bang (perfect) says he would veto any ban. The Mason City Globe-Gazette has the details here:

Mayor Roger Bang said Monday night he will veto any measure passed by the City Council that prohibits registered gun owners from having concealed weapons in public buildings.

At the request of several council members, City Administrator Brent Trout has asked City Attorney Tom Meyer to draft an ordinance that would prohibit anyone but certified police officers from having weapons in all city buildings.

Trout said he wants the ordinance ready for the council’s next meeting, on April 15. The council can waive the first two readings and pass it on final reading that night if members choose to do so.

Bang said he had been out of town over the weekend but returned Monday and learned about the turmoil concerning council candidate Gary Horn having a gun at several public meetings he has attended.

“If he has a permit, if he’s complying with the rules, I don’t have a problem with it. None. Zip,” said Bang.

“This is not an endorsement of anyone. This would apply to anyone who is complying with the law.

“I disagree with my colleagues and will veto the ordinance if they pass it. They have the right to override if they choose to do so,” he said.

It takes a two-thirds vote of the council to override a veto. However, with a six-seat council the four-vote simple majority that it takes to pass a law is the same super-majority it takes to overturn a veto.

Horn, a retired California game warden, has a permit to carry a weapon, even though as a retired law enforcement officer he doesn’t need a permit, according to Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals.

 I have to side with the mayor on this one.

I know nothing about this guy with the gun, but I have a feeling this is more about election politics than safety. The story goes on to say that all three of his opponents have “expressed concern” about his gun toting. They’re “uncomfortable” with him having a gun. They’re trying to portray him as a nut.

But trained people with permitted guns are not who we have to worry about. It’s the disgruntled crank with an illegal firearm stuck in his belt looking to do harm that’s the real threat. And that guy isn’t going to comply with any rules. Unless you’re going to search every person that comes to the council meeting, I’m not sure how this ban makes anyone safer.

I’m not a gun owner, but I still wonder when it was that we became so frightened and obsessed with safety that we lost our minds and common sense on gun rights. Some gun ownership and use restrictions make sense, background checks, for example. This doesn’t sound like one of them.



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4 responses to “Gun Debate in River City

  1. I love confusing headlines, but I haven’t seen:

    Bang Shoots Down Gun-fearing Council Members


    And yeah, concealed weapons are, uhm. Concealed.

  2. SuperCorgi

    The guy carrying is a former law enforcement officer, who has carried before, and received extensive training on when and how to employ his firearm if he is ever so required, and furthermore is also vetted by their local Sheriff to have an Iowa Concealed permit.

    This man isn’t a threat, he’s a civic minded asset if anything.

  3. Brent

    “But trained people with permitted guns are not who we have to worry about. It’s the disgruntled crank with an illegal firearm stuck in his belt looking to do harm that’s the real threat. And that guy isn’t going to comply with any rules.”

    You’ve got that exactly right. Gun owners with concealed carry licenses are the safest firearms owners in the country. They commit violent crimes at a rate that is far lower than any other segment of the general population, including cops! The FBI’s own statistics show that if the rest of the population committed crimes at the same rate as concealed carry gun owners the U.S. would have the lowest violent crime rates in the world.

    I love how these goons from the city council claim they’re afraid of him carrying a gun, but how would they know whether or not he’s actually carrying? Are they going to give him a full body search to find out? What about when they go to the grocery store, are they going to perform searches on their fellow neighbors to see if they’re carrying concealed too?

    I lived in C.R. area from the day I was born until I moved to Oregon in Nov. 2002. I have a concealed carry permit and I carry nearly every time I leave my home. Out here we can carry in any public building (including all public schools) except for courthouses and secure areas of airports. To put it simply, we have no problems with crimes being committed by gun owners that have concealed carry licenses. The only problems that exist here are from the people you mentioned: the criminals that won’t obey the law.

    And to think I would have to jump through hoops to get a concealed carry permit from Sheriff Zeller when I move back to C.R. and many of the same areas I can carry out here legally would be completely off-limits in C.R.

  4. The gun isn’t going to jump out of the concealed holster and discharge on its own. Why is it that so often thought that ordinary people, in the presence of guns, turn into slaughtering butchers, yet revert to normal when the weapon is removed. The same groups against guns seem to think that they are so complex to use that special training is necessary to use them properly, and at the same time that they are so simple to use that they make murder easy.

    If an individuals moral compass allows them to feel that murder is an appropriate action for a civilized individual, logic tells me their not going to mind violating a gun statute law anyway.

    Did anyone think to maybe just nicely ask him if he wouldn’t carry in the meetings? I suspect the entire situation was political and purposely intended to start a P**ss*ng match. “Teacher -Johnny is chewing gun!”

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