Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ben Cashner's rebuttal

Ben at Cold Hard Cashner responds to John Johnson of the, now defunct, Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence. Johnson wrote a short letter to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Why are such powerful weapons available? decrying the availability of FN Five-seveN pistol used by the Fort Hood terrorist-shooter.
One of the weapons used in the Fort Hood shooting was an FN Five-seveN pistol manufactured by Belgium gun manufacturer FN Herstal. This gun was originally designed for military use, but is also sold on the U.S. civilian gun market. The manufacturer says this gun fires ammunition capable of piercing body armor. Who wears body armor? Law officers. So the FN Five-seveN pistol is for killing cops.

Ben finds out how many cops have been killed using this pistol. See The "Cop Killer" of Ft. Hood

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"No laws were broken" non-story, story

TROTWOOD — Colin Goddard, a 24-year-old Virginia man who survived being shot four times in the bloody 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech, walked into Bill Goodman’s Gun & Knife Show at Hara Arena in August with an Ohio friend and a hidden camera.
Bill Goodman's gun show buy underscores loophole

Most private sales in most states don't require background checks, but for some reason, that's a "loophole".
They walked out with an Egyptian-made AK-47 variant and a Tech-9 assault pistol — obtained without a background check and without producing any identification.

“We literally walked in and within 20 minutes we walked out with those two guns,” said the friend, Doug Smith, 26, of Columbus. “I was shocked.”
You mean the mere possession of the firearm didn't turn these guys into homicidal maniacs? I'm shocked.
Pennington said the video shows it was Ohio resident Smith, not Goddard, who made the purchases. “We planned this out so no laws would be broken, and none were,” he said.
If no laws were broken, where's the story?

Altantic assitant principal resigns

Atlantic assistant principal resigns after "allegedly" ordering a strip search of female students. Atlantic school official named in strip search case resigns
The assistant principal who allegedly ordered the strip search of several high school girls in Atlantic has resigned.

The resignation of Paul Croghan, assistant principal and activities director, was announced Tuesday night at the Atlantic Community School District's board meeting.

Croghan, without consulting district policy, ordered a female counselor to search the girls' bras after a classmate claimed $100 had been stolen from her, according to a recent report commissioned by the district.
Granted, he wasn't involved with the actual search, which would be cause for registering as a sex offender, but it looks like he ordered the deed.

Previous posts:
BTR Atlantic school search

Friday, November 27, 2009

Terrorist watch list - Bloomberg's wrong

LEGISLATION: Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks with Michael Wolkowitz, chair of the board from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, following a press conference Nov. 24 on new legislation against illegal gun trafficking. (Joshua Philipp/The Epoch Times)

Mayor Bloomberg (and his cohorts, Gillibrand, McCarthy and every mayor from his Mayors against guns group) are wrong about the terror watch list. They demand using that list as part of the NICS check. From his op ed Enabling the next Fort Hood?
The Tiahrt amendments passed by Congress interfere with preserving, sharing and investigating data on gun purchases by terrorist suspects. If that weren't bad enough, Congress has also failed to close a gap in federal law that prevents the FBI from blocking a sale to an individual under investigation for terrorist activity.

A rebuttal from Iowa State grad, Ivan Eland Government Terrorism Lists Are a Holiday Turkey
As the holiday travel season rolls around again, the government’s terrorism watch list and no-fly list get ever more bizarre. Of course, for starters, the list has always been unconstitutional, because the government does not have probable cause to believe the vast majority of those on the list have committed a crime (otherwise they could arrest them outright instead of just banning them from flying on airplanes).

The FBI’s terrorism watch list, from which the smaller no fly-list is derived, has 1,000,000 people listed, but according to officials, only a mere 400,000 of them are real people—the rest are aliases. Whew, I was getting worried there for an instant. Wait a minute, 400,000 is still a whopping number. An amazing 1,600 people are added to the terrorism list per day, merely on the much lower standard that they present “reasonable suspicion” of being terrorists. The list has been widely criticized for the tenuous and unclear links to terrorism of names included and the numerous cases of mistaken identities. Even the Justice Department’s inspector general noted that 24,000 people were included on the basis of irrelevant or outdated information.

Don't fear flood victims,

Ashton Kutcher Teams with GQ for Flood Relief

I wish this guy would team up with Tom Arnold and just go away.

FEMA frustrations

I apologize to my many (two) readers. For some reason I labeled this the flood of '07 when it should have been '08. Typo? Senility? I just awoke from a coma? Nah, just a lot of working hours and not much sleep the past few weeks. Corrections made, forgiveness asked.

Nevertheless, we find that not only are these people frustrated with FEMA, FEMA now runs the country but here are a few others:

FEMA Robbery
FEMA is the most ineffective, inefficient, unproductive, bloated political cow ever to hit America.

I would not want FEMA on my resume.

Officials question new maps
"This process is horrible. ... It's broken. It's pretty obvious that's the case," said Gina Hardin, county emergency management coordinator.

At issue are inconsistencies in the mapping process, according to Hardin, who was not alone in her assessment.

Danville Mayor LeRoy Lippert took issue with a flood plain map that failed to identity three tributaries in his community.

"How can we trust that these maps are accurate? This one isn't," he said.

FEMA Delays Rent for Flood Victims in Temporary Housing
Nearly all the FEMA tenants in Linn County also have case advocates at the Community Recovery Center in northwest Cedar Rapids. Steve Schmitz, the center’s director, said the advocates are frustrated by a lack of detailed information from FEMA on each family’s rental rate.

C.F.s officials plead for patience on flood buyouts
CEDAR FALLS - Those working through flood buyouts at City Hall have a simple message for people growing impatient with the process: be patient.

Barb Hugi, a planning technician with the city, worked through the flood buyout process in the 1990s, when Cedar Falls bought out 165 properties and removed homes from the flood plain. She said the process has gotten more complicated and costly since then. Part of the difficulty is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency demands more documentation, including title certificates for the properties and cancelled checks for every expense paid by the city. She said fraud and abuse during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina led to more regulations.

Mediator to help flood buyouts burdened by debt
CEDAR RAPIDS, Nov 14, 2009 (The Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The modest circumstances of some flood victims are being driven home by the first wave of buyouts. Perhaps 25 of the first 117 owners whose flooded properties will be bought at pre-flood value will not receive enough money to cover their mortgages or liens. The eye-opening statistic prompted the City Council this week to hire a mediator to help flooded property owners resolve such outstanding debt. Without a resolution between the owners and those they owe, the city would not be able to gain title to the properties.

Rebuild Iowa Office: Working to recover; helping Iowans work through the recovery system
Annie [Young] has worked hard to gain assistance for her clients. One example is a client, who had, prior to the flood, lived in the same home for nearly 40 years and paid taxes, utilities and insurance on the home for the past eight years. It was discovered after the flooding, the deed to the home was never switched into his name after his mother’s death in 2000. This resulted in an award from FEMA for only $5,100.

Annie pursued all avenues with FEMA to obtain the documentation needed to prove her client was, in fact, the homeowner and not a renter. Annie’s persistence paid off. FEMA awarded him an additional $22,000 to cover his destroyed property’s expenses.

Truth is, these reports go on and on. There are billions of dollars funneling into "flood recovery" and from what I hear, very little is going to ordinary citizens. The people who have truly recovered are the ones who have performed the recovery themselves or banded together with private charities to get the job done.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Somebody snitched

Looks like someone looked at my previous post FEMA now runs the country and emailed a link to them. I've been snitched on. Someone in the federal government works on Thanksgiving?



I had a conversation today with someone in the know from a community devastated by the flood of '08 [correction - I first labeled this '07, sorry]. Seems that arbitrary rules are the rule. One person in particular lost her home, a complete 100% loss. FEMA ruled that she and her neighbors receive no assistance. But FEMA is providing money to remove sediment from a park in the town so they can construct playground equipment for the kids. Nice sentiment if there were kids in town. If the homes cannot be rebuilt, that playground equipment would rust from lack of use.

Another ruling was that "temporary" housing would be discontinued this fall. Nearly all of these people had nowhere else to go, with rebuilding of their homes in limbo for over two years now [correction, year and a half]. Then FEMA changed their minds and allowed residents to stay but renters would have to pay between $500 and $600 per month for a trailer. They're now allowing residents to stay through spring.

If anyone took it upon themselves to save or rebuild their property, they are on the outs. I'm not a big fan of taking government money, because when you do, you gotta play by their rules.

The flood plain (necessary for flood insurance) and the levy system used to be the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers, but I wonder when these went under the purview of FEMA.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FEMA now runs the country

After the Flood of '93, the survivors repaired their damage and many received assistance either from the Red Cross (I did - about $50 in cleaning supplies) and from FEMA (I did not receive a dime). In 1993 the damage was minimal compared to many during the Flood of '08 [correction - I first labeled this '07, sorry].

At that time FEMA was just an agency that handed out checks to help those people to fix up damage from flooded homes. My neighbor received a check and a list of rules. He returned the check. A relative of mine, took the money. I, on the other hand, fixed what I could out of my own pocket and watched my property values drop along with my neighbors.

The picture of the helpful and friendly government worker lending a helping hand is gone. Replaced with a helpful and friendly dictator.
FEMA maps triggering frustration
A year later and across the river region, history is repeating itself.

Still recovering flood victims learned last week their world is literally changing and the levees designed to protect them offer only a provisional safety.
Looks like arbitrary decisions also apply to the levee protection.

And:
Father, Linn County spar over deceased son’s flood-damaged home
The hitch: a federal requirement that any structure sustaining damage equal to 50 percent or more of its value must be elevated out of the flood plain. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency decides the county isn’t fully enforcing the rule, it could disqualify any county landowner from receiving subsidized flood insurance.

“If we didn’t do it, we’d jeopardize our ability to get flood insurance for the county,” Van Horne said. [Linn County building official]
FEMA is running these communities, not county and local governments and their arbitrary and ever-changing rules cannot be questioned.

Simple formula at WRSA

Over at Western Rifle Shooters Association:
The people in this country who truly cherish freedom in all of its manifestations (thought, guns, speech, religion, association, private property, etc.) had better darned skippy get used to the idea that we are a cursed minority and will be for the foreseeable future.

The simple formula is this:

- We're screwed

- There's gonna be a fight

- Let's win
Read the rest at Repost: Let's Win

Humorous truth

A Holiday Note for all the King's Men (Hessians too!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jefferson Quotes

Tangalor has several Thomas Jefferson quotes at Jeffersonian School of Government. A couple:

-Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

-The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Please head over there for some more.

Brownells' after Thanksgiving sale

Shop at Brownells
Go to brownells.com this weekend and use Coupon Code CYB to get 10% off any order over $150! The special savings run through midnight, on “Cyber-Monday”, November 30...
Shop Black Rifle Friday at Brownells.com
Brownells is the world’s largest supplier of firearm parts, gunsmithing tools, reloading equipment and accessories. Stocking more than 30,000 items, the company supplies armorers, gunsmiths, and shooters worldwide. All of their products are backed by a 100% satisfaction, unconditional, lifetime guarantee. For more information, or to place an order, call 800-741-0015 or visit Brownells.com
A few miles to Montezuma, Iowa.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Follow the rules

Our neighbors to the west in Omaha had two off-duty officer related shootings this past weekend. One looks like he was in defense of his life. The other, doesn't appear to be that way. He shot at a SUV while it sped away from him. Chief: Gun rules must be followed
Omaha police must both protect the public and follow the rules that govern officers’ use of their weapons, Acting Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes said today after a weekend in which two officers fired at suspects in less than 48 hours.
This "officer" was working as a bouncer at a bar and fired at a vehicle while it sped away from him. Nothing about how his or anyone else's life was in danger.

My question is: does an officer while not on official duty, have the same immunities as if he/she were on duty? If a mere citizen bouncer had fired into traffic at a fleeing SUV, would they be afforded the same consideration? Absolutely not. If an officer is at their second job, they are acting as a private citizen at that moment in time, not as an officer. They cannot be serving two masters at the same time.

This idiot should be treated like anyone else, be sitting in a jail cell and not on "administrative leave".

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gold above $1150


On 11/6, I posted that gold was just under $1100/oz. Now 16 days later, it's above $1160. What is driving the spot price? An inflationary monetary policy? A devaluation of our currency?

Gold and silver are good indicators of the value of our Federal Reserve Notes. Unlike stocks, their value will never be zero.

Found at Patriot Trading Group

Coordinated Illumination

Found another blog of interest that's new to me, Coordinated Illumination with some interesting commentary and it looks like there's a sense of humor going on over there.

Added to the list to read.

If there are any other blogs that link to me, please post a comment. I started out with a link from The War on Guns and I'll pass on to the next blogger.

What a country without guns is like

Not really. It should read, "What a country without guns in the hands of citizens and only in the hands of military and criminals (but I repeat myself) is like", but I don't like long titles.

John B. Snow of Outdoor Life posts a correspondent's experience in Venezuela
Just got this report from a correspondent who was traveling for work in Chavez’s Venezuela. This is what a country without gun rights is like:

I got to look down the business end of multiple AK knockoffs in Venezuela last week. Chavez's army was stopping every car on the highway looking to confiscate guns. They saw my black Pelican case in the trunk, assumed it contained weapons, and made me open it at gunpoint. They were "nice" enough to let me keep my camera gear, but took my knife. They must have asked me 15 ways what the hell an American journalist was doing in Venezuela right now. I was there on a magazine assignment. They weren't buying it. So, keep up the good work on protecting our gun rights. The only people who have guns in Venezuela now are the army and the gun runners and kidnappers. And the red curtain is coming down fast.
Coming to a country near you.

Congratulations, Karl

Frequent visitor Karl, The Rifleman's Journal is now nationally ranked in the Civilian Marksmanship Program rifle competitions CMP Rankings From his postings, he practices often and puts me to shame.

Congratulations and well done, sir.

Learn more about the Civilian Marksmanship Program

Saturday, November 21, 2009

ACLU of Iowa asking about Atlantic strip search

I missed this last week: the Iowa chapter of the ACLU (whom I normally disagree with 99.9% of the time) is asking for more details from the Atlantic School District and how they are handling their staff discipline ACLU gets involved in Atlantic school strip-search case
ATLANTIC (WHNS) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa wants to know what disciplinary action was taken against the two high school staff members who were involved in the alleged strip search of female students in Atlantic.

The ACLU also has asked the Atlantic Community Schools to specify which employees were disciplined.

The request came in response to an Aug. 21 incident in which five Atlantic High students were asked to remove their clothes or partially disrobe while being searched by a guidance counselor.
The girls were accused of taking $100 and despite a state law barring strips searches at schools, a couple of idiots decided to ignore the law. The superintendent ruled it was okay, because "school policy" allows searches. The guy makes up other stuff, too:
Dan Crozier, superintendent of the Atlantic Community Schools, said two staff members had been disciplined in connection with the searches.

He did not name the employees or detail the disciplinary measures, citing confidentiality of personnel matters.

“There’s a law that says personnel files are personal,” said Crozier. “It’s like medical records.”
Medical records aren't as private as you may think.

The ACLU is asking questions and want to take names. I'd like the girls to be vindicated and the idiots who committed child abuse punished.

Previous posts:
BTR Atlantic school search

Friday, November 20, 2009

Student arrested for having a gun in car trunk

A Sioux Falls, Washington High School student was arrested after a shotgun was discovered in the trunk of his car. WHS Student Faces Expulsion For Having Gun In Car
A Sioux Falls student has been arrested and suspended from school for having a firearm on school property.

Sioux Falls Police were called to Washington High School over the noon-hour after the school's resource officer discovered a 16-gauge shotgun in the trunk of a student's car. The 17-year-old student said he had gone pheasant-hunting on opening weekend and forgot he had the gun in his car.

"It's unfortunate that he forgot he had it with him, but you have to remember the law is there for a reason. It's there to protect people and he might not of had any intent on using it, but if somebody else found it, they might have some other plans for the weapon" Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said.

The shotgun was not loaded, and there was no ammunition in the car. The student was arrested for having a firearm on school property, which calls for a mandatory 12-month expulsion from school.

Bill Smith with the School Falls School District tells KELOLAND News that there is a provision in the law that allows the superintendent to either extend or shorten that 12-month sentence depending on the circumstances.
How did this "resource officer" discover the shotgun? With these?



I'd like to know who is the victim here? With no victim there is no crime. This kid could lose his gun rights for the rest of his life depending on how he's charged and for what? For the crime of "absentmindedness"?

"The law is there for a reason". That's right officer Clemens. Stupid reasons.

AP: Militia movement resurfaces across nation

If the nation is an Alaskan town of 4,400 people
Militia movement resurfaces across nation

The hype in the headline isn't close to what's in the article which is mostly about Norm Olson moving to Nikiski, Alaska.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is Obama pro-gun control?

David Codrea hammers on a CNN "reporter" who claims that the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress aren't hostile to gun rights. CNN goes after Oath Keepers. David list several links to prove this administration is poised to go after our rights.

Reinforcing David's argument, The Law Enforcement Alliance of America issued a press release revealing a couple of facts about Attorney General Eric Holder during his testimony to Congress this week
Drawing reasonable conclusions from what Holder publicly said, we now know:

•Holder wants a national, permanent gun registration system administered by law enforcement. A registration of honest citizens that have cleared the federal background check for gun purchases with those records permanently retained by and shared among law enforcement.
•Holder wants new federal authority to prohibit any person on the federal watch list (reported to be 400,000 names) from buying guns and supports confiscating guns from those on the list who possess them.
Attorney General Holder Reveals Aggressive Gun Control In Response to Ft. Hood Terror Attack
A choice will soon be foisted upon each gun owner in the country, whether to retain their rights or carry a heavier set of chains.

SC having a tax-free firearm sale

South Carolina gun buyers can get a break on sales taxes during the weekend after Thanksgiving. The state will not collect taxes on firearm sales, but will collect for ammunition and accessories. SC offering shoppers tax-free weekend on guns

Why can't every state do this?

Jim Gibbons files to run for Congress

Former Iowa State wrestler and coach filed papers today to run for Congress in Iowa's 3rd district. Former ISU wrestling coach runs for Congress
He said he’s applying his background in coaching to his campaign — focusing on fundamentals like raising money and building up his campaign team. He notes that his coaching background has taught him how to motivate people and his financial services experience means he knows how to reach and talk to donors and other supporters. He also has TV experience, as a commentator for ESPN, among others.

“Excessive government spending” is the issue he points to as a priority, although he’s not ready to talk about what federal programs he would cut. He’s a critic of the federal stimulus bill as failing to create or sustain jobs, and he opposes cap and trade.
I live in the 3rd district, currently served by Leonard Boswell who should have retired years ago.

Court: Conviction does not limit gun rights

Declan McCullagh opines:
A federal appeals court has overturned the conviction of a Wisconsin man barred from owning firearms because of his criminal record, ruling the lifetime prohibition may violate Americans' Second Amendment rights and calling into question the future of a 13-year old gun control law.
Court: Criminal Record May Not Prevent Gun Ownership
For other constitutional rights such as the First Amendment, it's relatively common to see acts of Congress struck down as going too far, as anyone who's followed the series of cases about Internet pornography or abortion can attest.

That hasn't been the situation with the Second Amendment even after the Heller decision, in part because some judges have not taken constitutional arguments seriously, and in part because the Supreme Court has not provided a road map to follow. The justices now have a chance to remedy that oversight in the case currently before the court, McDonald v. Chicago. If they don't, expect this constitutional confusion to continue.
David Codrea has some thoughts as well Having an Unreasonable FitI have long advocated that if a felon has freedom of religion, speech, etc., then why not have the right to protect themselves with a firearm. My argument is that mere possession of an object such as a gun, should not be a crime. Criminal activity should be. Pointing a gun in a teller's face certainly should bring swift justice and is a good example of a crime, having a gun in your pocket should not be.

There is no victim if someone has a weapon in their possession, but there is a victim when the weapon is used during a violent act (such as shooting a person, ie murder).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The proper response to pirates?

An equal or greater force repels an approaching force, or at least that's what I learned in physics class a long time ago.

Kurt has more:
Maersk Alabama attacked again--pirates sent running

Make it more illegal

To reinforce Attorney General Tom Miller's idea of a perfect society Iowa AG pushing for more gun control The Des Moines Register is adding it's voice to the issue.

In an editorial One more way to protect abuse victims they prattle on about Randall Moore murdering his wife and how law enforcement did nothing to stop the guy. See When court order doesn't mean squat for more details of this piece of filth.
There is likely no law that can prevent a murder such as this one.
True
However, this case is a wake-up call for Iowa to take domestic abuse seriously.

And Iowa lawmakers have refused to do that.
Those lawmakers beholden to the dreaded NRA are shackled from doing anything. But Saint Tom will save the day!!
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has repeatedly pushed the Legislature to pass a law that would prohibit people convicted of domestic abuse from owning firearms.
Please read that point again with "convicted" being the key word. Last time I had to fill out the form 4473 there was a check box if I was "convicted" of a domestic abuse crime. (I haven't been)
In Moore's case, the judge rightly ordered him to turn in firearms. And in Moore's case, even changing Iowa law, as the Attorney General has proposed, wouldn't have applied to Moore. He has never been convicted of domestic abuse.
That's right folks "never been convicted". Let's exploit a tragic event for political gain. A new law would not have done a thing if it was in force before this puke murdered his wife. But the legislature must pass something to prove Iowans "take domestic violence seriously".

How about locking up the scumbags? How about easing restrictions so that the abused can actually defend themselves without the hoops? Nope, they would rather pontificate than action.

In the era of "pass a law so it looks like we doing something without really doing something", my guess is that Mr Miller is looking towards the governorship.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Duck hunters rescued

Four duck hunters rescued Monday in a dramatic rescue sure to become a legendary film - not quite. We find:
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office received a call about 5:15 p.m. from a man asking for help for friends whose boat had overturned.
I don't want to criticize the county and city fire departments and rescue personnel that do a hell of a job. But sometimes they can't be on the scene right away. They just can't be everywhere all the time.
Another call came from Stephen Schultz, another duck hunter on the water, who said he had located the hunters who had fallen in the water and that they were safe in his boat.
The obvious point I want to make is that private citizens are our true First Responders. A fellow hunter rescued these four men before anyone else. I'm sure everyone involved was thankful that the lake had one extra hunter that day.

Looks like everyone responded as they should: a nearby citizen rendered assistance, first responders and fire departments arrived next for aid and prep for the county ambulance crew who transported two of the hunters to a nearby hospital. This could have ended badly.

Kudos to all.

Lazy lawyers

David Hardy at Arms and the Law does some research.
I did some research in National Archives, into US v. Miller. If anyone wonders how the case wound up so messy... here are a pair of telegrams from Miller's attorney to the clerk of the Court, announced that he won't file a brief, nor argue.
View the telegrams

H/T Borepatch
at
Twenty words on how case law is established

Monday, November 16, 2009

Truth in advertising?

Or, Free Speech - Deal with it.

Mason City, IA now displays a billboard paid for by a group called Concerned Citizens. Billboard questions country's direction
MASON CITY — A billboard on the 600 block of South Federal Avenue berates the Obama administration in a manner that has offended some who have seen it.

Mark Tlusty, who helped organize the “Tea Party” anti-tax protest in Central Park in April, said, “We’re just getting upset at how the government is running things. We wanted to express ourselves and chose this way to do it.”
But not everyone is happy. Someone got their panties in a bind:
Kathleen Wild of Mason City contacted the Globe Gazette to express her concerns after seeing the billboard.

“I think it’s a terrible thing to have above Mason City, which is a city of diversity,” she said.
Last time I checked we live in a nation of Free Speech. (At least it's supposed to be.) I'm guessing Kathleen's version of Mason City has no diversity of thought. Irony, anyone?

The offensive sign -

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More on Iowa Gun Owners

In my conversation with Aaron Dorr, Executive Director of Iowa Gun Owners, we spoke about Iowa's Republican gubernatorial candidates and their responses to an IGO questionnaire that was sent to each (excepting Terry Brandstad).

Christian Fong did not repond but three other candidates did. Bob Vanderplaats, Chris Rants, and Jerry Behn all responded with "100%". My impression is that Aaron Dorr will hold all of the candidates' feet to the fire and hold them responsible for either their lack of responses or with responses not in IGO's favor.

We also talked about the upcoming legislative session and State Representative Kent Sorenson's willingness to fight to introduce legislation like HF596 . Sorenson bucked the Republican leadership to get this bill introduced and to a floor vote, although it did not pass (a tie vote). IGO is working to get the same bill introduced into the Iowa Senate in the upcoming session and to introduce a "castle doctrine" bill.

One point brought up was the risks of altering our state Constitution, as one Republican candidate suggested State pol calling for gun right amendment and my subsequent Exchange with Chris Rants. In Iowa, the long process of adding an amendment requires putting it to the voters. Since our state went to Obama last time around, that trust in the voters may not go our way. If it fails that vote and the public says "there is no right to firearms" in this state, "Where does that leave us?" Aaron asked.

Since organizing in January 2009, they've been able to grow in membership, introduce a "Vermont-style" carry bill into the state House to a tie vote and is becoming a force that candidates must reckon with.

From their "About Us" page on their website:
‘While many groups at the state and national level are content to argue over the crumbs given us by our state government IGO is NOT. We are not going to be happy with a small victory on the one hand while losing ground on the other. We are not going to make deals with the powers that be. We will never give one inch on your gun rights!’
That says it all for me.

I'm betting that gun-control legislation will be introduced very soon, since our Attorney General is calling for it Iowa AG pushing for more gun control and we are going to need all the help we can get to fight for us.

See my previous post on BTR - Iowa Gun Owners introduction

Mexican panel wants gun control tighter in US

Robertsgunshop has a blog at The Des Moines Register, and his recent posting Group also wants overhaul of Mexican border agencies links to a Washington Post article about how the guns are flowing into Mexico and we need to stop anyone from purchasing a rocket launcher at gun shows.

While the formatting makes it hard to follow, he's right. But then the obligatory genitalia comparisons get posted in the comments.

And I thought Iowa had one of the best education systems in the country. Guess I was wrong.

Added Robertsgunshop to the blog list.

Iowa AG pushing for more gun control

Iowa's Attorney General Tom Miller seems to think making something illegal that is already illegal, will somehow make a difference. How could making an act that is already illegal more illegal do anything except pad on his resume?

'Gap' lets abusers possess weapons reporting:
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has tried for years to persuade state lawmakers to approve a measure that would prohibit people convicted of domestic abuse from owning firearms.

This year, the proposal was supported by state and county associations of police and prosecutors, but was opposed by lobbyists for Iowa Gun Owners, Iowa Carry Inc. and the Iowa Sportsmen's Federation.

"Domestic violence homicides account for a major share of Iowa killings each year," Miller said at the beginning of the 2009 legislative session. "Most of the victims are killed by guns."
I would contend that the victims were killed by persons not the object they used. Miller doesn't seem to understand that inanimate objects cannot "do" something without an outside force.
Scott County special prosecutor Jim Ottesen said that in most states a victim can seek a protective order by demonstrating a reasonable fear, or a credible threat, of danger. But in Iowa, a person also must show evidence of a previous assault.
The reason behind this provision is so that one party cannot place an undue burden against the other party by vindictively claiming "abuse" and the person losing all gun rights. Accusations alone should not determine whether someone loses any of their rights.
"If someone is willing to violate a court order and go to jail, to me that is a pretty strong indication he shouldn't be trusted with firearms," Ottesen said.
I notice he uses "he" when perpetrators come from both sides, but let's not quibble.

And now some sanity:
Rep. Clel Baudler, a Greenfield Republican and member of the House Public Safety Committee, argues that if someone is willing to break the law by violating a no-contact order, creating another law to prohibit firearm possession won't help.

"If people are in a state of mind that they're going to kill someone, another law is not going to prevent that," Baudler said. "Everything that could be done to protect these victims of domestic abuse is already being done. At a certain point, they're going to have to protect themselves."

Baudler said Lynch Moore, an Iraq war veteran, could have taken advantage of gun laws and used one to protect herself from her husband when he attacked her last week.

"And what would have happened then? What would these advocates for domestic abuse victims - and they are very sincere - what would they have said then? Would they have said, 'Good job, young lady,' or would they have said, 'Oh, boohoo'
He probably could have left that last "boohoo" part out, but that's my opinion.

I'm sure in Tom Miller's World, an overzealous attorney wouldn't file a protective order unnecessarily, thereby destroying another person's right to firearms.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

An introduction to Iowa Gun Owners

This weekend, I spent some time with Aaron Dorr, Executive Director of Iowa Gun Owners and found many things we have in common which are listed on an IGO information packet:
What We Believe:

Iowa Gun Owners was founded on the idea that law abiding citizens should not have to beg the government for permission to own and carry firearms for self-defense.

We believe the at the 2nd Amendment was not given to us to merely protect our right to target shoot and hunt but to protect our right of self-defense against criminals and tyrants.

We believe that these rights are God-given and constitutionally guaranteed.

We believe that a government official should not be able to deny law abiding citizens this right just because he does not like your politics, your religion, or the way you earn a living.

We believe that law abiding citizens should not have to pay fees, pass tests, and prove to a bureaucrat that they can shoot a gun before being allowed to exercise this right.
In our legislature this past year, they brought a Vermont-style carry bill to a tie vote and are working to introduce this bill in the Senate when they convene early next year. They are also working on a "castle-doctrine" bill and to end the permit process.

I became a full member today and I encourage my fellow Iowans to join also. I joined, not because of flowery words, but because we have common goals and beliefs.

Friday, November 13, 2009

When a court order doesn't mean squat

On November 11, Tereseann Lynch Moore was murdered by her cowardly husband who neglected to take his own life after taking his wife's.

Man charged in estranged wife's slaying was subject to gun ban The Des Moines Register finds that the husband, Randall Moore, was ordered to turn any and all firearms that he owned into law enforcement authorities.
Randall Moore, accused of shooting and killing his estranged wife this week, was not supposed to possess firearms, according to a protective order issued by a Polk County judge, a review of court records shows.

In October, Polk County District Judge Karen Romano barred Randall Moore from having contact with his wife and ordered him to surrender all his firearms to county law enforcement by Oct. 26. Moore signed the document, agreeing to comply with the order.
The article gives a history lesson on the Violence Against Women Act and how it's provisions against firearm possession by those under restraining orders from the courts.

The lesson we see here is that a piece of paper doesn't protect anyone from a piece of shit. When we rely on paper, tragedies strike. Our thoughts and prayers go out for the family and friends of this young woman (excluding the dirt-bag, of course).

When returning to the article, we find that it describes the failures by law enforcement to track down these guys and the difficulty in confiscating the firearms they are no longer allowed to possess.

And then they go off the reservation with the following statement:
Even if the alleged abuser surrenders firearms, the only type of weapon that requires a background check upon purchase is a handgun. Nothing prevents alleged abusers from borrowing weapons or buying new or used hunting rifles.
That's not entirely accurate.

In order to purchase a handgun in the state, even for private sales, a buyer must obtain a permit and present it to the seller. To get a permit, one has to have a NICS check. (I posted about the the permit process before @ Adventures in the permit process While true that a private sale does not go through a background check, going to a licensed gun dealer for a purchase will require one.

"Nothing prevents..." Looking at that statement from another angle: There is a statute on the books and that piece of paper prevents no one from violating that law. But are the writers advocating having society wound so tightly that "law enforcement" enforces the law and prevent crime? Every time and everywhere, where prevention of crime would be the norm?

The mis-named "law enforcement" officers do not prevent crime. That's not their job. They come in after the fact to punish those who violate the law. Period.

But I don't think the authors get that.

Again, may Tereseann rest in peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Badger Guns 11/12/09

An late-breaking report of an October 7th incident at Badger Guns Felons Still Trying To Buy Guns At Badger Guns
On October 7, just a week after an incident in which an officer was shot with a gun traced back to Badger Guns, a man named Carlos Flores tried to buy a gun at the store, according to court documents. Flores has a domestic abuse injunction barring him from owning a gun.
Would the NICS check have uncovered the domestic abuse injunction and then stop the transaction?

We don't know, because an brave citizen turned the guy in.
An anonymous tipster notified the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department about the purchase, and deputies got in touch with Badger Guns. When Flores returned after the waiting period to obtain his gun, Badger Guns owner contacted police and Flores was arrested.
Could all of the venom directed toward Badger Guns be wrong? According to editorialists and the "civic leaders" of Milwaukee, Badger's was THE place to go for felons who didn't want to get caught.

(Previous posts here: BTR - Badger Guns Posts)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Iowa Republican Party Dinner

If anyone can stand to watch over two hours of speechifying, here you go. MN governor Pawlenty and gubernatorial candidates from Iowa:




Warning - don't eat before watching this.


From what I gather, there were a couple of nuggets from this blog's good friend, Chris Rants. And a good jab from Bob Vanderplaats was delivered towards Terry Brandstad.

Good times were had by all, I'm told.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gun debate 11/11/09 at UNI

Gun debate set for Wednesday at UNI
CEDAR FALLS - The University of Northern Iowa is holding a debate on the question, "Should people be permitted to carry loaded and concealed weapons in parks?" from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. Wednesday in Room 109 of the Curris Business Building.

The event is part of UNI's series on "Civic Discourse and Opposing Views" organized by the American Democracy Project/Provost's Office to promote civil civic dialogue. The session is in two parts.

Participants will pair up and take turns presenting arguments. Talking points are provided. Then a panel with opposing views will follow.
Any bets in whose favor this is going to be set up towards?

The Brady's were right

The argument that by brandishing a gun, it will only be turned against you, is often repeated.

Well, the Brady's et. al. were right.

Victim turns tables, and gun, on would-be robber
The victim of a would-be robber turned the tables on him and shot him twice with his own gun.

County police say it happened around 8:30 Sunday night on West Avenue in Holloway Terrace. They say 17-year-old Diamere Brady of Wilmington used a handgun to try to rob a 21-year-old man. The 21-year-old was able to get the gun away from the teen and shoot him twice during a struggle.

The 21-year-old turned the gun over to police, who moments later got a report of a teen being shot. Brady underwent emergency surgery at Christiana Hospital. He will be charged with attempted robbery and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
I don't think that is what they meant, though. Bonus points for the criminal's name of Brady.

The coming leviathan

Mike posts a comment that was made by Dedicated Dad Resist the Intolerable Act -- "By Any Means Necessary"

The resulting comments describe why we are in this fight and where we are in the timeline of resistance.

Dedicated Dad also responds with a post of his own - Open Mouth, Insert...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"We have absolute immunity" comments

A few more thoughts on my post of We have absolute immunity

Could this be the end of our ability to seek redress for grievances? If we are prevented from punishing (or at least holding responsible) those who abuse their offices, what method is left to the citizens to prevent or punish criminal actions of those people who hold these offices?

The case involves prosecutors in Iowa who knowingly used false testimony against individuals in order to gain a conviction. These people have never been held accountable for their actions. Arguments were heard in the Supreme Court last Wednesday.

If the concept of immunity for public officials is upheld, what is to prevent a county attorney from fabricating a case against any citizen and scream "immunity" when caught?

In a word - nothing.

The reprehensible Obama

Stilton at Hope and Change cartoons points out that Obama used the deaths of our soldiers at Fort Hood to push the healthcare bill Barack Hasan Obama
The House passed their healthcare bill by 220-215, which is appalling on dozens of levels. But still more sickening and reprehensible was the final pre-vote speech made to reluctant Democrats by Barack Obama.

In order to encourage the (few) conscientious Democrats to vote against the will of their constituents, the president said “sacrifice is not casting a vote that might lose an election for you; it is the sacrifice that someone makes when they wear the uniform of this country and that unfortunately a number of people made this week.”

Yes, the president used the dead and wounded of the brutal Fort Hood massacre to push his own self-serving political agenda.
Disgrace is an understatement.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Atlantic School strip search update 11/7/09

Atlantic school conducted a strip search of high school girls last August BTR Atlantic school search and have finally produced a report which said "we aren't going to do anything about it". No action recommended in Atlantic strip-search
Officials at Atlantic High School have finished an investigation into an alleged illegal strip-search of several girls at the school, but they did not recommend any action be taken.
Assistant principal Paul Croghan ordered a counselor to search the girls and to check their bras. Earlier reports note that one girl was ordered to remove all of her clothing.
District officials now appear to be waiting for the girls and their lawyers to tell them what to do next.

"The investigation is complete," Atlantic Superintendent Dan Crozier said Monday. "Steps will be taken. We just have to see what the requests are."
I know what I'd be asking for.

But today they are reporting that disciplinary action is being taken against two employees but it could range from reassignment of duties to suspension and the school doesn't want to talk about it. Discipline levied in Atlantic strip-search caseMaybe a little jail time and sex-crime registry for these guys for a start.

"We have absolute immunity"

Arguments were heard at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Nov. 4th for the case of Pottawattamie County, IA v. McGhee (08–1065) on whether prosecutors have immunity when they present false testimony at a trial in order to gain a conviction.
In 2005, Curtis W. McGhee and Terry J. Harrington, both convicted of murder in 1978, sued Pottawattamie County, Iowa, and former county attorneys Joseph Hrvol and David Richter under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging, inter alia, that the Pottawattamie prosecutors coerced false testimony from third party witnesses and then introduced that testimony in their murder trials. The prosecutors argued that they were immune from the lawsuit based on the doctrine of absolute immunity, but both the district court and the Eighth Circuit disagreed. The Supreme Court’s decision will reveal the extent to which prosecutors are immune from liability for their pre-trial misconduct. This clarification may affect the way prosecutors try cases, and will, undoubtedly, influence the degree to which defendants can hold their prosecutors accountable for due process violations.
Basically the prosecutors argue that they can do anything they damn well please and there's not a thing mere citizens can do about it.

A synopsis of the arguments can be found at Courthouse New Service High Court Considers Prosecutorial Immunity

Bank tellers make a false report of robbery

A Cedar Rapids bank calls in a report that a robbery was taking place, but actually some kid was walking outside with a pellet gun. Police respond and with restraint and take the kid into custody. Teen Playing with Pellet Gun Causes Bank Robbery Scare.


CEDAR RAPIDS - Police say a call for a bank robbery lead to officers taking a 13-year-old down at gunpoint, but he never robbed the bank.

Instead, police say the boy had found a pellet gun and was walking along Williams Blvd in front of the Dupaco Credit Union while he was playing with the gun.
Employees of the credit union panicked.
Dupaco employees locked the doors and called the police, not knowing it was a pellet gun.
We have a dumb kid walking around with a pellet gun and the tellers panic leading to a lock down and calling for help.

And then we have CR police spokespersons saying another pearl of wisdom.
"We don't have super-ray vision to tell if its a real gun or a fake gun, so we treat them all as if they're real. its a sad thing that we have pellet guns that look so real," said Cristy Hamblin, Cedar Rapids Police Department.
"Super-ray vision", cute. I'm sure she'd like to outlaw all guns in "civilian" hands, just to be on the safe side.

I label this under "idiots in charge" because of Hamblin's comment and for the credit union employees who panicked. The CR police used restraint when approaching this kid rather than shoot him and I give them credit for that.

Gold approaches $1100/oz

Gold steadies just below $1,100
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gold was modestly higher Thursday, as stocks rallied and investors took a step back following the precious metal's recent push near $1,100 an ounce.

December gold rose $2 to $1,089.30 an ounce after jumping as high as $1,093 an ounce earlier in the session.
Makes one think.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Iowa Gun Owners alert 11/3/09

I got this in the mailbox a couple of days ago.
Besides promoting and working to pass the REAL Right-to-Carry bill in the upcoming session, Iowa Gun Owners is also working on repealing Iowa’s permit-to-purchase laws as well.

The permit-to-purchase law requires you to seek approval from the government, in the form of a government issued card, before you can purchase a handgun for self-defense. The criteria for this permit are similar to the criteria for a permit-to-carry: you can not be a felon, can not be addicted to drugs or alcohol, you can’t have a history of acts of violence, etc. Should you be approved for the permit, it is good for a period of one year.
It seems like they have the same opinion of Iowa's permit process as I do.

Go to Iowa Gun Owners 10/3/09 alert for the latest info on their legislative effforts and at some upcoming gun shows they plan to be at.

They plan to be at the following gun shows:
Nov. 6-7 in Altoona, held at the Adventureland Park (305 34th Ave NW), from 5-9pm on Friday to 9am-5pm on Saturday.

Nov. 13-14 in Cedar Rapids, held at the Hawkeye Downs Building #1 (4400 6th St SW) same times as above.

Dec. 11-12 in Waterloo, held in the McElroy Auditorium (257 Ansborough St) same times as above.

Best laid plans...

I've been putting more hours than I wanted to lately at work. We have a major server project going on and phase one began Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Nothing ever goes as planned.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I am my father's son

Tomorrow, November 3rd, will be two years since my father lost his battle with cancer.

He served as a medic and litter-bearer in Europe during WWII and certainly experienced more in that short time than I ever have or ever will.

Landing on D-Day +4, his medical battalion was attached to several divisions before he was transferred to the 70th Inf. Div. shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, he said Saarbrucken was the worst he experienced. That was all he said and I never asked. This describes the drive into the Saar river valley

He was more than a soldier, but I understand that during that one time in his life, chance dictated whether he lived or died. Without his surviving that war, I and my siblings would never exist. I would like to think that with his efforts, other men survived as well. Who knows the number of lives he affected during his service and the generations after.

In his mind, he did his duty and came home.

Two years ago, he completed his earthly duties and went home.

Adventures in the permit process, part II

I posted part one yesterday Adventures in the permit process, part I and I went back to the sheriff’s office today to start the permit process for this year. My cynical nature came out yesterday and I imagined all sorts of roadblocks in my way to interfere with my right to bear arms.

My “fears” were unfounded. In fact the new boss was not the same as the old boss. The new sheriff who was elected last November, has sped up the process for renewals. I was in and out within ten minutes.

I handed my now-expired permit to purchase handguns to the clerk (who is a sworn peace officer) and she started processing the NICS check. The permit was filled out and signed with the sheriff’s signature before I had all the state paperwork completed. The fee has increased to $10 where a few years ago it was $5.

Simple and painless, right?

The inconvenience of only having office hours during the weekdays is troublesome, but the whole permit process really grinds my gears. I have to ask my “lords and masters” permission to exercise a right.

I don’t think many would argue that the permit process hasn’t turned a right into a privilege. In Iowa, a sheriff has the discretion to deny either a permit to purchase or permit to carry. The theory is that who would know the citizens better than a local county sheriff? Or at least he would know the trouble-makers.

I knew the previous sheriff fairly well because of the work we had done with the local telecom company and emergency communications needs. Often, he would interview permit applicants if he didn’t know them. I don’t know the new guy well enough other than to wave hello, but my recent experience gives me the impression that he seems like a fair guy. At least compared to other counties I’ve lived in within Iowa.

The end result is that I’m legal for another year.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Adventures in the permit process, part I

Iowa is a strange state full of contradictions and competing forces that tear at our identity. Iowa City is as left (or more so) as Berkley or San Francisco, while western Iowa is as conservative as John Wayne ever was.

Maybe this dichotomy explains how we can have a state motto (Our Liberties We Prize, Our Rights We Will Maintain) and a near nanny-state where the state and local governments dictate what can and cannot happen on private property. Our state has a ban on smoking in “public” places like restaurants and bars. How a private business becomes a public place, I have no idea. A few years ago, the Democrats proposed a “register or turn them in or else” assault-weapon ban. Thanks to efforts from Chuck Larson and others in the legislature, that was stopped.

In Iowa we need a permit to purchase handguns legally. (We also have a permit to carry process). Once a year renewals at the sheriff’s office with a NICS check and one is “allowed” to bypass further NICS checks for a year for any firearm purchase and this magic piece of paper is a requirement to legally purchase a handgun from a private sale or your favorite dealer. If not presented at the time of a handgun purchase, both buyer and seller have committed a crime. Immediate family is exempted but only if they are not prohibited from possessing a firearm by state and federal law.

The now-extinct Iowans to Prevent Gun Violence put the screws a few years ago to auctioneers who sold firearms. Now many auctioneers will not sell any firearms at their estate sales without the buyer presenting a “permit to purchase”. There is no law requiring this but I can understand this from a business liability perspective and don’t necessarily blame them. I blame the idiots.

All of this is a background introduction to set up my experiences with obtaining my permission slip to exercise my right. It used to be that I could walk in to the sheriff’s office and pick up the form, fill it out, pay my $5 and return later to pick up my signed permit. That was with previous sheriffs. We have a new boss in town, and I discovered the new rules yesterday.

Previous years, I could pick up my form on a Saturday. Now, office hours are 8:00 – 4:30 weekdays. So I have to take off work early or go in late just to pick up the form. Oh no, the person I talked to couldn’t hand one to me, because that’s not their job duty. Cut backs at the county level have the consequences of making things a little harder for ordinary citizens and no one is at the front desk.

I will return this coming week, fully expecting to be asked for a DNA sample and thumb print (neither of which is mandated by state law – yet).

The requirement to obtain the permit obviously is an infringement of a right, but are these other rules like payments, office hours, thumb prints, etc. an infringement also? Or are they just inconveniences? Actually, having the permit is convenient when purchasing from a dealer and “insurance” for a private sale.

But having more hoops to jump through doesn’t sit well.