On the eve of the 141st anniversary of the famous “Gunfight at the OK Corral” in Tombstone, Arizona Territory—a battle ignited as much by a gun control law as it was a dispute between outlaws and lawmen—voters in Iowa appear poised to adopt a state constitutional amendment protecting the right to keep and bear arms, a new poll says.
The Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll says 58 percent of likely Hawkeye State voters “plan to vote for the proposed amendment in the Nov. 8 midterm election.” The survey also revealed 38 percent will oppose the measure and 6 percent still aren’t sure.
The famous Old West gun battle happened on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 26, 1881 between local lawmen Morgan, Wyatt and Virgil Earp and their friend John Henry “Doc” Holliday, and a group of cowboys including Ike and Billy Clanton, Billy Claiborne, and Frank and Tom McLaury. The cowboys were wearing guns inside town limits, which was prohibited by an ordinance. The Earps and Holliday had an ongoing feud and it erupted in the empty lot next to Fly’s photographic studio a few yards from the OK Corral; 30 shots in 30 seconds. Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers were killed while Virgil and Morgan Earp were wounded, and Holliday was grazed by a bullet. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne fled.
It was the most famous showdown in western lore, but a showdown of another kind is in the works in Iowa for election day.
According to the newspaper survey, 86 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Independent voters support the proposed amendment, but 76 percent of Democrats will vote against it. The poll was conducted Oct. 9-12 among 620 likely voters, with a +/- 3.9 percentage point margin of error.
Iowa is one of a handful of states currently without a right-to-bear arms state constitutional provision.
When Liberty Park Press first covered this election issue on Oct. 17—eight days ago—it was noted passage of this amendment has been a long-term goal of the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Some 30 anti-gun groups are lined up against it.
However, outside of Iowa, the campaign is not getting much attention. This could be for any number of reasons, but with the likelihood of success, the idea of voters adopting an RKBA amendment to their state constitution should be a notable event.
According to the Des Moines Register, “Supporters say the amendment is necessary to protect Iowans’ rights from infringement, while opponents say passing the amendment would make it easier to strike down existing gun laws and make it harder to pass new regulations.”
Iowa is one of only six states that do not have an RKBA amendment in their state constitutions. If the polling data is correct, that will change on Nov. 8.