Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Camp Stranded

The Stranded house has been looking for some property. Enough to grow some food, maybe enough corn for a furnace. Room enough for my own range to shoot when I want instead of when I can. The place we've used the past few years has a tendency to be under water most of the time, especially since '08. Room for a woodshop so that Dad could look down on it and be jealous.

Today the sellers accepted our offer (The tightwad in me will always think it was too much, but it was at the high end of our range, so...) on a little more than 5 acres.

For now, I'll call it Camp Stranded and The Two Rivers Lodge. Anybody else with a better name, let me know. Here's a picture of the front door to the lovely "cabin":


I'm looking forward to plenty of cool, refreshing breezes over the summer.

Okay, so it's going to need some work, but I've been known to be handy sometimes.

I'll be asking advice from Sam when it gets time to drop a couple of trees. There are some leaners that will need to be dropped soon. Overall, not as many trees as we'd like but we'll remedy that and we'll need to work on some drainage as well.

All and all, a nice little money pit that we can spend time away from work and worry.

That is, if I had time to get away from work and worry.

It's not the perfect place, but it ain't bad. Looks like I have to replace the front door though...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grassley demands answers on guns to Mexico

WASHINGTON – In a letter to the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Senator Chuck Grassley pressed for additional details about the bureau’s knowledge of the straw purchasers of the guns involved in the killing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata.


Today’s letter follows a March 4 letter where Grassley cited press reports and a Justice Department press release that raised the prospect that the ATF strategy of allowing straw purchasers to continue to operate in hopes of making bigger cases may have contributed to the shooting of Zapata. The Justice Department responded to Grassley’s letter on behalf of the ATF but refused to provide any substantive information, citing an investigation by the department’s inspector general.
Read more and the letters from Senator Grassley at: Grassley Concerned that ATF’S Risky Strategy of Letting Guns Walk May Have Been Used Beyond Fast and Furious

H/T to Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars

Monday, March 28, 2011

Out of steam, 3/28/11

Upgrade fail, late night utility that's still in the air whether it worked.

Yeah, I'm out of steam for today.


CB&Q 4960 in Elsberry
CB&Q fantrip in 1961

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gun ban update, 3/25/11

Farley passes a ban

Decorah passed a ban as well
"It's not going to stop anything. It's a feel-good measure," [Councilman] Schissel said.
Updated the county ban map on the right. I added the purple color for the partial ban that Linn County put in place (banning open carry but not concealed carry). I also labeled Iowa County as a rejected since the supervisors statements reflected that.

If anyone has anything to add or update, let me know and I will update the map.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Iowa County gun ban update

I've been neglecting this news from last month. The county in which I reside here in Iowa (Iowa County) had a brief discussion regarding banning guns in the courthouse. An agenda item for February 28th.

The local newspaper, the Pioneer Republican (no complete online presence) published an article Feb. 24th, in which our county attorney approached the county supervisors and asked if the supervisors were going to do anything about banning firearms in the courthouse.

A couple of interesting things came out in the article:

(Forgive me for the poor quality of the scan)

The supervisors capitulated and said it was up to the judges how they want to run the courts. Mmm-kay.

One of the supervisors had previously discussed this with Sheriff Rob Rotter and the supervisor summed up that conversation with, "He (Sheriff Rotter) didn't feel the need to do anything with them."

Seems that the sheriff trusts the citizens of Iowa County.

But to me, the most interesting item to come out of this was the fact that the county attorney was approached by the district judges that preside at the courthouse.

The NRA has been threatening lawsuits over these county gun bans. They will need a citizen of Iowa as a plaintiff and one could show up because of being thrown in jail after they are caught carrying in one of the county "gun-free" zones.

If they come before one of these judges who had requested a ban, would any of those judges recuse themselves? They certainly have a vested and one-sided interest regarding these bans. At least in this county.

I'm fairly certain that not all requests for bans came from judges. Most that I've found came from the sheriffs or county board members. But this shows evidence that other governmental entities have influenced these bans.

And the courts will be where this issue is decided.

Let's hope for an unbiased court.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Linn County gun ban vote

Voted 4 to 1 to allow concealed-carry on county-owned property.

Except the courthouse, jail, etc.

Also:
New Weapons Policy In Place For Linn County

Iowa's Rep. King introduced legislation to reform the ATF

Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) have introduced H.R. 1093, the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform Act.”
Synopsis at Ammoland.

Long version: H.R. 1093

Monday, March 21, 2011

Former Police Captain thinks freedom is "drivel"

At least the bill restoring a bit of freedom to citizens is considered "drivel." I guess he doesn't understand that one of the functions of government is to assure the rights of citizens.
The word "optional" should never be included in any discussion about concealed weapons permits.
A restoration of Iowan's gun rights isn't important to this former officer of the law. There are more important things to worry about in the state. Like jobs, jobs, jobs.

The money quote:
As a Republican and former police officer I am appalled that members of the Republican Party would think up the drivel contained in HSB 219.
I'm appalled that this guy once carried a badge but glad he no longer does.

Lincoln Lunkheads: Nebraska proposing a "lock them up" law

It's for the children.
LINCOLN — Lax gun security in the presence of children could become a criminal act under a bill introduced by Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford.

The Judiciary Committee heard testimony Thursday on Legislative Bill 565, which would make it a felony to leave a loaded firearm, or an unloaded gun with ammunition nearby, within a child’s reach if the child injured or killed someone.
Iowa has a very similar law, but I didn't worry about it. Why?

My sons respected the weapon and the consequences thereof. Both of them understood early-on regarding the power of a firearm. (Visual demonstrations have always been effective.)

Added bonus - an "Only Ones" exemption:
In its current form, the bill would provide exceptions for weapons that were properly locked away, obtained via home invasion or issued by the military or a law enforcement agency.
The local constabulary is more important and should be excluded from the laws ordinary citizens are held to.

Or another way to look at it: The Nebraska Senator thinks an LEO's child is less important than any other citizen's child.

Think about that for a second.

An untrained child's access to dangerous objects like firearms, drain cleaner, half-filled 5 gallon buckets, is a serious matter, but should the parents involved in a serious injury or death be convicted of a felony?

Picture this: a 12 year-old picks up a loaded revolver and accidentally shoots their 5 year-old sibling (actual event a few years ago in my community). Under this new bill, Mommy and Daddy could be locked up for a few years. 12 year-old now has no baby sister, no parents and he faces the consequences alone because the state decided their parents weren't penalized enough after losing a child.

The State - Turning tragedy into a crime, one law at a time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Keep and bear arms. It's okay in Afghanistan

Weapons are all over this country, he said. The Americans try to let people keep at least one assault rifle per dwelling, as long as they're legitimate, in order to defend themselves if the Taliban show up.
They're talking about full-auto weapons, here.

News from the efforts of the Iowa National Guard, deployed in the Paktia region.

Want your freedom? That's outrageous!

Regarding the fiasco of Rep Kaufman spilling out about the "schizophrenic" HSB 219 it seems to be creating a stir among opinionated editorialists at the Quad City times:

Hyperbole abounds at Iowa House GOP leaders’ whispers speak volumes
Helland last week abruptly shut down a meeting on House Study Bill 219, an outrageous measure that would eliminate any state permitting for guns. Iowa on Jan. 1 relaxed concealed carry permit regulations, leading to a virtual explosion in permits.
Since when is an enumerated right outrageous?

A little fear-mongering never hurt anyone did it, Herr Goebbels?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Open Mic Night at the statehouse

I'm glad he had his microphone on. That way we all know his (and a few others') true opinion of the rights of the citizens of this state.

Read the transcript at the Des Moines Register.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Constitutional carry update

Just a few more details regarding the sausage-making that goes on in Des Moines.

Out of Steam, 3/11/11

Another late night.

Remarks: Burlington K-2 class 4-6-0 637 was built by Rogers Locomotive & Machine Works in November 1892 as Burlington & Missouri River 309. In 1949 this locomotive was refitted with a diamond stack for exhibition at the Railroad Fair Pageant in Chicago. It was retained for exhibition purposes until given to the City of Aurora for display. It was eventually donated to the Illinois Railway Museum. This trip was sponsored by the Illini Railroad Club on Labor Day weekend, 1956. The excursion featured CB&Q 4000 and CB&Q 537. After leaving Aurora with the excursion, CB&Q 637 paused at an unknown location.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sean McClanahan has some new digs

The head honcho at the Iowa Firearms Coalition has trimmed down his Examiner space and moved over to Right of Middle. (Maybe the Examiner is for up for sublease).

Since I believe in the laws of reciprocity, I give him a shout out and a link.

We're in this fight together here in Iowa.

Constitutional carry is dead? Not so fast.

Jim over at Travis McGee Reader pointed out that Rep. Tom Sands of Wapello (my old stomping grounds), revived the "Constitutional Carry" bill at the statehouse. The Des Moines Register article, Republicans revive gun bill to make Iowa’s permit-to-carry system optional, noted that since the permit process requires a fee (essentially a tax) then it is not subject to the legislative funnel. HSB 219 (Correction for previous wrong bill number)

It's about time someone other than liberal democrats use the system to their advantage.

Of course the sheriffs are against it and the hoplophobes came out in force to post their snide, humorless comments.

Well played, Tom.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Student "journalists" don't want you to defend yourself

A bill in the Iowa Legislature could allow gun owners to use deadly force in more situations.
Like defend your life and the lives of others.

Calling citizens "civilians" (I detest the use of that word in this way), the article paints a dire picture of gun owners gone amuck and killing others for any slight.

More college student tripe at:

“Stand your ground” bill is a can of worms

And these student journalists don't resort to hyperbole

And they probably will never get a job after graduation.

Covering the debate on gun control between the College Democrats and College Republicans over at the other university in Iowa.

Head over there to find out who won.

Criminals with guns... Legally

In total, the DI analysis shows roughly 100 people who have been given the right to carry guns in Johnson County in the past two months have been convicted of at least a total of 167 crimes at some point in their past. All of these convictions happened more than four years ago; the new law automatically disqualifies those who have received a serious or aggravated within the past three years.
Fear-mongering, hyperbole and shoddy reporting in this shocking report:

More than 150 with criminal convictions can now carry guns

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The latest on the guns to Mexico scandal

CBS has taken the lead among the major news outlets to cover the story of the ATF allegedly aiding the illegal flow of guns into Mexico.

David Codrea (one of the leads who broke the story) has two links: Grassley asks for independent investigation of ATF

And: CBS: ‘Documents point to ATF gun running since 2008’

Our Senator Grassley really sunk his teeth on this one. (And to think I didn't think he deserved to stay in office - still doesn't mean I voted for Roxanne)

Kingsley, Iowa is growing

I don't know the man or his business, so I cannot say it's the place to go, but it's got to be good news when a guy loses his job and opens a small business with a little help from the state.

A gun shop.
Bob Farmer opened a gun business, The Shooting Shop, in September at his residence. Because of a degenerative eye disease, Farmer lost his previous job and contacted the Iowa Department for the Blind, who guided him through steps of entrepreneurship.
The Shooting Shop

There were many businesses in the article from small one person shops to a fertilizer coop that have been doing well despite the down economy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

High crimes and misdemeanors

Or felonies?

BadgerBlogger explains Wisconsin code and how it should be applied to the AWOL legislators.

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs...

Over at Ben and Bawb's Blog is a display of the quality of the grammatically challenged public school teachers in Wisconsin.

Bills at the statehouse, March 2011

Last Friday, March 4, was the deadline for bills to be voted out of various committees in what it called "the funnel."

Some bills didn't make it:
NO PERMIT NEEDED: Iowans who acquire a pistol or revolver would no longer need to apply for an annual permit. HSB 16.

RIGHTS IN THE CONSTITUTION: A proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution would provide that individuals have the right to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes. HSB 17.

GUN TAXES: Iowa gun licensure, registration, taxation “or any other measure that suppresses or discourages” gun ownership would be unconstitutional. HSB 17.

GUN SILENCERS: Silencers or “suppressors” that muffle gunshots would be legalized. HF 104.

PREEMPTION: Local governments could not regulate guns or ban them from public buildings; authority would rest solely with the state. HSB 19.

WEAPONS BAN: The carrying of weapons in state, county and local government buildings would be banned; law enforcement would be the exception. SF 128.

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY: Iowans would no longer need to seek a permit from a sheriff in order to carry a weapon. HSB 20.
These bills made it through:
STAND-YOUR-GROUND: Iowans could use reasonable force, including killing someone, to prevent serious injury or death to themselves or someone else, when they’re anywhere they have a legal right to be. No duty to first try to flee. HF 7.

EMERGENCIES: Government officials couldn’t remove lawfully-held firearms and ammunition from citizens during a state of emergency. HF 320.

SECURITY GUARDS: Professional security guards could perform their duties on school grounds while carrying a sidearm. An early version contained a drafting error that mentioned carrying a machine gun or other forbidden weapons; that was deleted. HF122.

GUN TRAINING: Firearms range training would be required for any Iowan to get a new permit to carry a weapon. SSB 1056.
The Des Moines Register has a list of more bills that did or didn't make it through the 2011 legislative funnel.

For my Iowa visitors: contact your state legislators and tell them what you think so far.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Iowa gun shows for March 2011

Mar 4-6 McGergor

Mar 11-12 Clarinda, Page County Fairgrounds

Mar 11-12 Marshalltown, Marshall County Fairgrounds

Mar 12-13 Mason City, National Guard Armory

Mar 18-20 Des Moines, Iowa State Fairgrounds

Mar 25-27 Cedar Rapids, Hawkeye Downs
*** I get this list from the link below and other searches and I can't guarantee the accuracy of the list. If anyone notices a show that needs to be corrected, please let me know in the comments.

For more details go to Iowa Gun Shows

Stylish - What?


ASM826 over at Random Acts of Patriotism seems to think I have style.

My first response is ppffftt. I have never been accused of having style. Character maybe (as in I'm a character), but style? Nope.

The Theme\Meme seems to be: List seven things about yourself that other people might not know. Then pass the award to 15 other bloggers.

Like people would be interested in me...

Okay, I'll bite.

1. My favorite car was my 68 Falcon. Nothing pretty but it was solid, reliable transportation.

2. I'm the last of 11 children (and no, we are not Catholic or Mormon). My sisters used to introduce me as the baby of the family until one day I corrected them in front of their guest by saying it took Mom and Dad 11 times to get it right. Dad thought it was funny but Mom had a different opinion.

3. I shook the hand of Governor Robert Ray at a Hawkeye football game. The only time I ever saw him or a game live and in person. We had a nice chat and the Hawkeyes won that day. Still not a big fan of either though.

4. My first gun was a Glenfield Model 60. It was given to me by my brother and I gave it back to him for Christmas a few years ago. The following year he gave it back and I returned it to him the next Christmas. It's now a tradition to pass it to each other at least once a year.

5. The boys and I made a trebuchet for a science "fair" (not a competition because, you know, everyone is a winner - ugh). We set it up and threw water balloons at the other kids. Yeah, we would have won. After storming the gates with our battering rams...

6. One of my favorite movies is It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Mindless escapism, all-star cast and Ethel Merman falling on her keester.

7. When I was 17, I was taking my grandfather home and I drove through a four way intersection. A couple of seconds down the street he remarked, "They must have taken the stop sign down since the last time I was through." I muttered, "Yeah, they must have," but he knew and was cool enough not to rat me out.

I could add several other things to the list since my wife never reads this blog. Maybe another time.

And now for the tags:

The Rifleman a nationally ranked shooter who combs the internet for gun news so you don't have to.

Escape from: Oppression in the Midwest keeping an eye on Illinois injustice. And now in Wisconsin.

Midwest Chick at Non-Original Rants looks at the world from all angles.

Hope and Change Cartoons commentary on our state of affairs or affairs of state. Take your pick.

Green Mountains Homesteading Vermont freedom fighter.

Coordinated Illumination gives a unique look at our world.

While Xavier hasn't been keeping up with the blogging, look back through the older posts for some wonderful story writing and his pawn shop finds.

Since I am an Iowa-centric Blogger, here are a few others with connections to the Hawkeye state:

True Blue Sam A true woodsman who now is in the Land of Lincoln.

The Travis McGee Reader from the frozen and beautiful Iowa's Spirit Lake area.

Robert's Gun Shop fighting the good fight for the Iowa Firearms Coalition. We don't always agree but we're in this together.

Ben and Bawb's Blog where Bawb gleans the archives for valuable shooter information. His articles on Military and Survival make for some good reading and may help you in a pinch.

Cold Hard Cashner Iowa's hard fighting libertarian.

Burlington Derailed has been a thorn in the side of southeastern Iowa for several years and doing a good job of it.

The "insightfully vulgar" State29 keeping an eye on our state's political machine and Register hacks.

And the irreverent Iowahawk who understands what satire is.

All of these blogs have given me valuable information, humor to warm the heart and almost always given me something to think about.

If you haven't visited, please go to some of these blogs. If you're disappointed, you get your money back.

Defending yourself is asking for trouble

"Individual in their home or in their car or a public street would have, under this bill, the right to use deadly force with limited liability of a lawsuit," said Scott County Sheriff Dennis Conard.

But Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said that's asking for trouble.
Self-defense laws could change in Iowa

House File: HF7

Guns and bars don't mix in Buchanan County

A Buchanan County resident was charged with brandishing a gun after he was in a fight at a bar.

The story does not indicate that he was intoxicated, although it is intimated through the comments from the sheriff.

He got into a fight and pulled his gun - no shots were fired. Both his permit to carry and permit to purchase was confiscated.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who can argue against common sense gun laws

Iowa gun law advances in Iowa Senate

Require more training to get your permission slip.

Make you pay the costs for a denial of your permit by the sheriff.

Can't carry where they sell booze. Places like your local HyVee and Casey's inconvenience stores.

Here's a little tidbit regarding training:
Applications for permits to carry weapons shall be made to the sheriff of the county in which the applicant resides. Applications for professional permits to carry weapons for persons who are nonresidents of the state, or whose need to go armed arises out of employment by the state, shall be made to the commissioner of public safety. In either case, the sheriff or commissioner, before issuing the permit, shall 1 determine that the requirements of sections 724.6 to 724.10, 2 have been satisfied.
This will throw the approval process right back to the county sheriffs and make you pay to appeal if he/she doesn't think your training is good enough.

Good luck getting those permits in Johnson, Lee, Linn and any other county that had a sheriff go on record against losing their permit gatekeeper role.

The Senate Study Bill - SSB1056

Iowa’s county attorneys oppose the ‘stand your ground’ bill

Here's why:
The bill would “encourage escalation of violence in the face of a conflict, rather than de-escalation,” Corwin Ritchie, executive director of the Iowa County Attorneys Association, said in a written statement. “As trained law officers can tell you, shooting first and asking questions later will not make any Iowan safer.”
Corwin R. Ritchie gets his "sky is falling" letter published in the Des Moines Register

Giving up power always upsets those with the most power to lose.