I am proud to have served in the military for more than two decades including four separate deployments overseas. Through those experiences, I have firsthand experiences with firearms and I support the right of Iowans to keep and bear arms.
I’m also a father and a former prosecutor who understands the effect that gun violence can have on families and communities. The stand your ground legislation and other gun measures Republicans passed in 2017 will undermine public safety, increase gun violence in our state and place additional, unnecessary burdens on our police officers and criminal justice system.
Having served as a prosecutor who brought drug dealers, rapists and violent criminals to account here in Iowa, I believe the “stand your ground” bill will create new challenges for prosecutors and other law enforcement officials. It will be more difficult for them to determine what is a criminal act and what is a legitimate act of self-defense. It will also eliminate some of the prosecutorial tools law enforcement officials traditionally use to bring criminals to justice.
The right to self-defense has been in place in Iowa for decades. The stand your ground legislation is unnecessary and a distraction from the critical issues facing the state.