Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The state of Iowa is providing gun licenses to blind people

In the USA, every citizen has a right to own a gun.  This 'right' is in the US Constitution, a document that was written in 1789.  It is very hard to change anything in the Constitution - 3/4 of the US states (38 out of 50) would have to agree to change anything in the Constitution.  Since about 1/2 of Americans seem to like the idea of owning guns, the right to own guns will not be eliminated from the Constitution any time soon.

Also, in the USA, the rights of people who suffer from physical handicaps are protected.  So if a person is blind or has trouble walking, extra efforts are made to make this person's life easier.  Additionally, a person cannot be denied a job because of a handicap.


So now we have a very strange situation in Iowa (an American state).  Everyone in Iowa has the right to own a gun, and if you are blind in Iowa, you cannot be discriminated against (a person cannot treat you differently because you are blind).  So if a blind person wants to buy a gun, the law states that the gun has to be sold to the blind person! 


I am assuming that this might be the case in other states as well, although I think it should be possible for a state to pass a law that a person who cannot see cannot own a gun for public safety reasons.  After all, if you are blind you cannot legally drive in the USA.

But some blind people in Iowa state that their hearing is so good that they can shoot a person based on sound, and not sight!  Let's hope they shoot the 'right' person though.

The article:

http://news.yahoo.com/iowa-grants-gun-permits-to-the-blind-174507640.html

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a right - a right is an ability to do something that the government can't stop you from doing.  i.e.  In America everyone has the right to say what he/she wants to say, unless what is said is knowingly false or can cause unfair harm to others.

to discriminate against someone - prejudice is an attitude, discrimination is an action.  If a person is not given a job because he is black or because he cannot walk, he has been discriminated against in the USA.

to grant s/t - to provide something, to give something

a permit - this is a small document that gives someone the right to do something

alarming - shocking, scary

a debate - an argument; when there is a disagreement about an issue one often uses the term 'debate': the gun debate, the abortion debate, etc.(abortion is when a woman is pregnant and she ends the pregnancy)

to issue - to provide, to give

impairment - if something is impaired, it doesn't work as well as it should.  If you are visually impaired, you cannot see as well as others.

a sheriff - a law enforcement official, like a police officer

detrimental effect - harmful effect

a blurry mass - if something is blurry to you, you cannot see it clearly.  A blurry mass would indicate an object, but not indicate what kind of object you are looking at.

to win an appeal - if one government official denies something, you can often 'appeal' his decision - go to another person and ask him/her to overturn the first decision.

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