Central Iowans up in arms concerning stand-your-ground bill

Published: Mar. 26, 2017 at 9:30 AM CDT
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After weeks of highly contested legislative forums, an Urbandale town hall shifted the tone Saturday morning with some central Iowans saying a civil discussion is needed to effect change on issues like gun control and the controversial stand-your-ground bill.

“I recognize and I know what your issues are, just so you know, based on emails,” state Sen. Brad Zaun, a Republican from Urbandale, said as he addressed a crowd notably nodding in agreement or waving “Agree,” “Disagree” or “Shame” signs throughout the room. “I thank you for those emails.”

Constituents like Andrew McCormick, who has been a teacher for 12 years, said it’s hard not to get emotional during his limited time to speak his mind. “This is not just a job for me, it’s my whole life,” he said.

Recent legislative efforts coming out of the Statehouse could negatively impact his future, he said.

“Almost every year I’ve taught, I’ve been asked and I’ve done it,” McCormick said. “I’ve done more with less year after year after year, and this vouchers law is a whole new level of that.”

Hot topics like the stand-your-ground bill brought out some Iowans’ worst fears.

“Stand your ground, or as I like to say, ‘Shoot to kill,’ because no jury is looking at it,” one constituent shouted. “The person is dead before they can decide whether it was right or not.”

“We have a court system in place; this is not a license to kill,” Zaun responded.

Clive resident Hope Johnson said legislative forums will continue to grow momentum because each bill this close to home for someone. “It’s a life or death situation,” she said. “It’s very emotional, and there’s people who have directly affected by this.”