Iowa’s Gibson girls, Meredith and Natalie, have been getting a lot of press recently, and with good reason. The girls are doing what needs to be done to protect & enhance the Second Amendment in Iowa. They’re out knocking doors, writing letters, and making phone calls, all to flip the Iowa Senate. These pre-teen sisters are making waves and people are taking note. That includes vulnerable Democrats in the Iowa Senate.
The girls have dove headlong into the world of political campaign work because for the third year in a row, Democrats in the Iowa Senate killed a bill that would remove Iowa’s archaic ban on supervised youth handgun shooting. For those not in the know, Iowa is the only state in the union where a child under 14 cannot, under any circumstances shoot, or even handle a pistol or revolver. This includes when mom or dad, or even an instructor are standing right beside them. It’s worth noting that it is perfectly legal for minors in Iowa to handle any long gun they want without parental supervision. That’s right, a child at any age can shoot dad’s duck gun, or grandpa’s M1 Garand, or even one of those “evil black AR15s” without adult supervision, but the second an Iowa child, with mom or dad’s help, picks up a .22 pistol mom and dad are committing a crime. Good luck trying to figure out the logic behind this one. The law dates back to the 1870’s and despite in-depth research the rationale behind the creation of this law is non-existent.
For the last three year’s the Iowa Firearms Coalition has worked to help repeal this archaic law. Each year bills to remove Iowa’s ban on supervised youth handgun shooting pass through the House of Representatives with ease, then when the bills reach the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, the committee chairman kills the bill using one of two means. One, he flat out refuses to assign it to a subcommittee. Or, two, he assigns it to a three person subcommittee made up of Senators he knows will kill this bill. The latter is exactly what happened in 2016 when Senator (D) Steve Sodders, chair of the Judiciary Committee assigned House File 2281 to a subcommittee of (D) Janet Peterson, (D) Herman Quirmbach and (R) Jack Whitver. Senators Peterson and Quirmbach have a long standing record of opposing most every pro-Second Amendment bill put before them. For the record, Senator Whitver is a pro-Second Amendment ally of the Iowa Firearms Coalition but unfortunately in this situation his vote was outnumbered two to one. As expected (and as planned by Senator Sodders), the Peterson and Quirmbach assignment was a death sentence for HF2281. Little did Sodders realize the second he gave this year’s youth shooting bill the kiss of death he set himself on a collision course with Natalie and Meredith Gibson.
Since then the Gibson girls, have been doing the boots on the ground work of getting Steve Sodders unelected. The girls have seen first hand the way the Democrat majority operates in the Iowa Senate. Instead of voting on pro-gun owner legislation, the Democrats in charge simply refuse to do their job, and kill these bills using procedural methods, typically by not scheduling votes on them. So now the girls are going door to door in Steve Sodders’ district. Telling their story and urging their fellow Iowans not only to vote, but to spread the word. Their goal is simple: bounce the Senate Democrats from power and install a new majority that recognizes Second Amendment legislation deserves a vote. The only question that remains: what are you going to do to help the Gibson girls?