Thursday, October 1, 2009

To Chris Rants - I apologize for the name calling

Iowa Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Rants stopped by to leave a comment at my post State Pol calling for gun right amendment and first off, I'm surprised and humbled that he took the time to chastise an insignificant blow-hard like me.

I'm anonymous by choice and those who know me understand that. Chris Rants prefers that you can't see his profile. I intended to send an email to him, and since this started in "public", we can leave it here and hope he comes back to read it.

I will admit that my contempt for politicians sometimes gets the best of me and I reduce myself to name-calling and for that I apologize. It was unprofessional of me to do that. Mr Rants, please accept my apology. Please note in my reply to straightarrow that I hoped I was wrong about you.

And now for the "but":

"County club" is a term that's been around for decades and I think we know what it describes, and I'm not talking about your golf swing. I threw McCain in there because he's a lefty-moderate, and quite frankly, support for Romney isn't helping. His creation of Mass-care is Obama's model for the nation. But let's not go there.

Let's stick with the guns. "I'm gun-friendly because I have friends with guns" is similar to someone saying "I'm cool because I have African-American friends." I'm not trying to be flippant about that analogy. Owning a gun isn't just about exercising a right, it's a responsibility, and should be taken very seriously. And I hope you know that. Since you aren't a gun-owner, I doubt if you fully understand what it means to be one. You may in a philosophical sense, but not in a real sense.

Since you admit to never owning a gun, that means you've never filled out a 4473 form where you have to give your place of birth and race. You've never gone to your local sheriff and asked his permission to purchase a handgun or permission to carry concealed. You've never been turned down by a sheriff for no reason except you weren't his friend. (I know people who have.)

You and I both know how hard it is to get an amendment added to the State Constitution. But let me ask you this: If you're so pro-gun, why haven't you introduced an amendment in your years in the legislature? That's where this starts and you could have done this years ago before your campaign started. Have you introduced a Vermont-style carry bill? How about reciprocity with other states or open-carry? How about shall-issue, so that permits don't depend on the discretion of local sheriffs? Mr Rants, please go here and complete this: David Codrea's Gun questionnaire

If you've done this, please point this out to me. I would like to be wrong about you on this.

The people of Iowa deserve a leader and we are searching for one. But when you don't have a "pro-gun" history, your announcement (in my opinion) comes across as pandering. And trust me, if Brandstad or Gov. Chester had done this I'd have written the same things about them (or worse, because I really don't like them).

If you don't become governor, would you still introduce this amendment? You put the conditional of "When I'm elected" on there. Please show us leadership and introduce it anyway as soon as you can. Don't wait.

If you do, I will shake your hand, introduce myself and support you as much as I can.

I promise.

Also, I'm glad you won't do the pheasant hunt because seeing Kerry out here in his brand-new pressed orange vest was just unsettling and angered a lot of hunters.


Unknown said...


Thanks for the apology and response.

I don't know how to set up a "profile", sorry, I just logged in with my google account because I use google apps for my email, calendar, etc... I'm pretty public and folks know how to find me.

To the "but"...

To my "I have friends with guns"... had I had an opportunity to do it over, I'd have said it differently, but that was my top of the head response to Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa when she asked if I owned a gun. Again, I don't think I need to own one to defend the rights of others to do so.

I understand your point on responsibility, and exercising the right. I thought about that after my post today. I don't hunt. What can I say.... My father didn't take me hunting as a kid, and my experience with rifles and shotguns pretty much started and ended in the Boy Scouts. But there are a lot of things I don't do; but respect the rights of others to participate.

But in this case, this particular case - it shouldn't matter. Its a right in our constitution. It is guaranteed to you who chooses to exercise it - and it is guaranteed to me who MAY choose to exercise it.

As to why haven't I previously introduced a constitutional amendment - the simple reason is that I hadn't believed it to be needed before. Maybe I'm wrong about what the new Supreme Court will do. But I think there is a pretty good chance that they'll say the 2nd Amendment applies to federal and not state/localities. That changes everything.

A decade ago I wouldn't have thought we needed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. When it became clear that was under attack, I passed one through the House. As you pointed out, its tough to pass and it never got through the Senate.

We all learn things. I make plenty of mistakes, but I think I'm a good observer - I see what is coming...

Please, check my voting record. I've been a co-sponsor of bills and amendments and have voted for shall issue. Ask Rep. Kent Sorenson - he's got a bill up in drafting now. Ask Rep. Clel Baudler, he's been the lead sponsor in previous years.

I haven't thought about a reciprocity bill - but I'd certainly consider it. (FYI, there are lots of issues out there, and I'm sure I haven't thought of them all... Everyone has to focus on some issues, and trust others to focus on another.)

I'd encourage you to check my voting record with either Gun Owners of America or the NRA. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I've looked around on the NRAs web site to see if they have a life time grade - but can't find one. So I've asked a friend of mine who is one their board in inquire for me. I'll let you know what he comes back with.

I've already sent the amendment language up to drafting, and will file in January when the House gavels in. I added the "when elected" language to let folks know I'll stick with it after the election - not just say it before the votes are cast.

Chris Rants

strandediniowa said...

Mr Rants, I'm glad you took the time to come back.

I'm sure you've heard that the 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting. Although I hunted growing up, now it's too expensive and opportunities prohibit it for me.

Please understand that just because a right isn't listed either in our State or Federal Constituions, doesn't mean we don't have them. Niether document grants rights. I think you get that.

And we agree, just because someone doesn't exercise a right, it doesn't mean they can't fight for that right.

I wish you well on your campaign as you have a couple of tough challengers to defeat. Your comments will always be welcome here.

straightarrow said...

I used to live in the country outside Griswold, Ia. I am familiar with the big city elite who "know better than the rubes" that infest Iowa politics.

I don't think Mr. Rants is one of them.

I no longer live in Iowa, or even near there, but it was a very nice period in my life, mostly due to the people. Let's face it the winters really suck.

strandediniowa said...

SA, you're an escapee from Iowa?

I had a sister who lived in Atlantic during the 80's. We grew up near Burlington.

I'm glad Rep Rants stopped by and in a strange way, he probably wouldn't have if I didn't rant about him. Since he's on the west coast of the state, I don't have a complete knowledge of his record, but I'm familiar with it.

My jaded look at the policitians in this state come from personal experience with some of the reps and a couple of senators from eastern Iowa and a governor who came from Mt. Pleasant (Vilsack).

As you can tell, I'm not fond of them. But maybe that'll change.

Unknown said...

I told you I'd get my lifetime record from the NRA. Just took me longer than I thought.

92 - B
94 - A
96 - A
98 - A
00 - A
02 - A
04 - A
06 - A
08 - A

I'm told nobody but Rep. Baudler gets an A the first time out...

strandediniowa said...


I'm not trying to be an ass when I write this, but didn't the NRA give Gov Chester an A rating as well?

They usually give the endorsement to incumbents even if they are rated the same. So it's going to be tough to break through that habit of theirs.

I've searched the GOA and their GOAPVF and found no ratings from them for you. Not saying they don't rate you, but they aren't showing up in a search.

You might want to mention that to them.

Keep up the good fight, I think Chester will be easy pickings next year. Especially the way he's headed. To be clear, I will not support Brandstad. Period