Thursday, June 30, 2011

Out of steam, 6/30/11

Too much work and not enough time.

Galesburg, Illinois, USA
May 17, 1964

Photo by Marty Bernard

Click on the picture for a better look

America's "toothless" gun laws

They are the blame for the ATF facilitating guns into Mexico.
Democrats are holding a forum Thursday highlighting their findings. Their report, prepared for Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.), focuses on shortcomings in U.S. criminal law in pursuing what Mr. Cummings called "international drug cartels that are trafficking tens of thousands of military-grade assault weapons from the United States to Mexico."
Because everyone knows you can buy "military-grade" weaponry at guns shows throughout the country. No questions asked.

Since Democrats "criticized what it described as low penalties for gun-trafficking violations", shouldn't they be screaming the loudest to put Melson, Holder and the rest into prison?

Just asking...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Is Illinois next for a concealed carry law?

With the passage of Wisconsin's concealed carry law on 6/22, Illinois is now the last state without a path to carry a weapon. (A gratuitous worry from law enforcement about their fear of guns in the hands of mere peasants citizens.)

Not without effort, but it would seem that the Chicago-land lawmakers have been putting the kibosh on legislation in Illinois since forever.

My visitors from the Land of Lincoln know this better than I.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Badger Guns lawsuit still going forward

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Thomas Cooper on Thursday refused a request by Badger Guns to dismiss a lawsuit from two injured police officers, but he dismissed a pair of counts, including one that alleged the West Milwaukee gun store was a public nuisance.
Judge doesn't dismiss wounded officers' suit against Badger Guns

Read more of Badger Guns from earlier posts

Let's hoist a few

Gun owners who carry concealed weapons or have confronted another person with a gun are more than twice as likely to drink heavily as people who do not own guns, according to a study by UC Davis researchers.
So now we are a bunch of alcoholics?

Read the propaganda press release here of the study published by "one of the world's foremost experts on gun-related violence." A study which used 15 year-old data with a phone survey in which some respondents were not asked all the questions. And "more study is needed" line which means another grant will be coming his way.

I'm sure the study is not biased or flawed in any way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Resource for building an outdoor range

One of the things we been contemplating during our search for Camp Stranded, was to create and maintain a useful range area, assuming we have enough acreage and neighbors out of the line of fire.

A resource I found from the Minnesota DNR: Outdoor Shooting Ranges: Best Practices (pdf format)

I think I have the spot for it, but I've got some priorities first.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday (not so) funnies. 6/19/11

Click on the picture for more Gary Varvel cartoons at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The right to protect you

Cedar Falls is planning a lock box system where keys to all commercial property would be kept. This would allow access to businesses and large rental buildings to governmental agencies.

Some clown on the city council said he believed the city had the right to protect you.

What could possibly go wrong?

Via David Codrea at War on Guns

It passed the final reading yesterday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And we will call it... This Land

The search is over...

It's official, the metaphorical keys to Camp Stranded have been handed over to the clan.

A small 20 acres (m/l) of Iowa County farmland with a nice mortgage attached. 3-4000 young growth walnut, oak and maple trees planted in rows and an odd shaped pond. This year's hay is left to the seller as part of the deal, but I have the esteemed privilege of mowing the trees.

And now I have to find a mower big enough for the job.

I've kept quiet about it since my previous land deal fell with a thud. (I blame me for yapping too much, something about chickens hatching before the egg or something like that.) We have plans and schemes on what to do with it, a target range is high on the list. Maybe a small cabin overlooking the "lake."

It's a beginning and we have a vision of what it can become.

But before anything else, we have some work to do.

Camp Stranded will be a place where freedom lovers will always be welcome, where the laws of reciprocity are honored, and where tranquility will be cherished.

The title's reference:

Obama established a "Rural Council"

3 Years After Bitter-People-Clinging-to-Guns Speech, Obama Creates ‘Rural Council’

Chaired by our former Governor Vilsack.
“Strong rural communities are key to a stronger America,” Obama said in releasing the order. “That’s why I’ve established the White House Rural Council to make sure we’re working across government to strengthen rural communities and promote economic growth.”
"Raw honey should be outlawed."
Tom "Silly Old Bear" Vilsack, Secretary of Big Agriculture

More control over rural America, a growing War On Farmers and now a sorry excuse of an governor gets another chance to ruin whats left in Iowa. As the current Ag Secretary who wouldn't know the difference between a cultivator and clevis, old Tom will sure spew out new rules for every farmer in the country.

As any cabinet secretary knows, it's good to rule with an iron fist.

"You mere peasants can't possibly know more about agriculture than a lawyer-turned-governor of that state that grows plants of corn with the smelly swine."
King Thomas from the Mount of Pleasant

At least he dresses the part.

It took me a while to find a picture of Vilsack on an actual farm (albeit an organic one):

It looks like he's been enjoying a little too much of American produced food products. You know, produced by real American farmers, of which he's never been one. But it's okay, he lived in Iowa for a while.

And this is why a real farmer wouldn't wear Birkenstocks while on the farm:

"Yo, Tom. Look what you just stepped in." - Obama
"That's $500 bucks down the drain." - Tom "Shit from Shinola" Vilsack

Neither of these two guys are paying attention to what the farmer is trying to say.

Should we expect anything better this time around? Because the link above to an entry by Sec Vilsack is about economic development in rural America. From over a year ago.

And now we have a Rural Council.

Central Planning worked for the Kulaks, didn't it?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gun Rights defined

Borepatch's missus (as explained by himself) defines "Gun Rights"
She also thinks this: Gun rights are Women's rights. Gun rights are Gay rights. Gun rights are a reflection that the citizen is a responsible member of society, not a subject. Gun rights are a statement that we are responsible to take care of ourselves, and not wait for Nanny to save us or our children.
Which is why Herman Caine's weasel words that gun rights should be defined by the state just placed him as a has-been of the never-was as a presidential candidate.

And if any candidate for any office doesn't understand the plain English of Mrs. Borepatch, then my vote and the caucus of Family Stranded will not be going your way.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"I can use gas more than I can use the gun,"

The sheep lined up in Waterloo to turn in guns for gas:

Area residence[sic] wait in line to drop off unwanted guns in exchange for gas cards at a Guns for Gas event at Waterloo Fire Station No. 1 Saturday, June 11, 2011, in Waterloo, Iowa. (MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor)

I'm sure it makes sense to exchange something of lesser value for something of greater value, but a 9mm Browning pistol for $100 gas card?
Tallies weren't immediately available, but the Gas For Guns event, sponsored by Jim Lind Service, ran out of cards within 40 minutes.
And this Sinclair station owner wants to have another event in the fall.

Why can't any of us hold the same thing? You think a few of us Iowa bloggers could hold a "Cash for Calibers" event and I bet we'd come out ahead on the deal?

Defensive use of a firearm

Without firing a shot.

Man drives home and finds a burglar exiting with a TV and CD player, blocks the criminal's vehicle and calls the cops. After thug rams the truck (attempted murder, perhaps?) and approaches the homeowner (I'm sure to give his stuff back), homeowner pulls his handgun from the glove box and brandishes it to the burglar. Burglar flees on foot

It's not reported whether the homeowner had a permit to carry, but no arrests were made of either the homeowner or the burglar.

Under the gray area of Iowa law if the homeowner had shot the perp, he could have been prosecuted for attempted murder\murder. I say gray area, because it is left up to the discretion of the county attorney whether to charge anyone. Ramming a LEO's car is considered a serious threat against their lives, so I would think the homeowner could have felt threatened. But if he still had a chance to put his truck in reverse and leave, then he had a chance to flee and could be charged.

It would have been a good idea if the legislature cleaned this up during the last session.

Via - Right of Middle

Sunday (not so) funnies, 6/12/11

As always, click on the picture for more cartoons.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Out of Steam, 6/10/11

Coming round the home stretch for a project scheduled for completion next week.

Click on the image to go to the Burlington Route Historical Society

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To honor a fallen deputy

Keokuk County Sheriff will carry the fallen deputy's gun.
SIGOURNEY–Keokuk County Sheriff Jeff Shipley has a new gun he will carry with him as his “duty weapon.” The gun, a Glock 22 fourth generation, was ordered by Deputy Sergeant Eric Stein shorlty before he was killed in the line of duty in April.

“I will carry that weapon as long as I am here,” said Shipley. “I think it is probably going to be a tradition, when I am gone I will pass it on to the next guy who takes my place.”

I've been looking for a small tractor

And found an upcoming auction for June 17th and 18th, in Centerville, IA.

Looks like a bit of farm history being sold here. Click for more pictures

Monday, June 6, 2011

About those criminals in Johnson County?

Sean McClanahan and crew are checking the facts regarding how many of those permit holders are criminals.

Sheriff Pulkrabek claims 20%, upon further review...

Not so much.

Iowa gun shows for June, 2011

I apologize for my tardiness. There was a show in Cedar Rapids the past weekend and I forgot all about it. (Too many irons in the fire)
Jun 3-5 Cedar Rapids, Hawkeye Downs

Jun 24-26 Des Moines, Iowa State Fairgrounds
*** 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 or added, please let me know in the comments.

For more details go to Iowa Gun Shows

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another sheriff complaining criminals get permits to carry

Since most misdemeanor convictions isn't a hurdle for passing a background check, some people who have been guilty of a minor crime in the view of the court system are allowed a carry permit in Iowa.

Some sheriffs don't like the idea that these citizens are able to get a permit.
Scott County Sheriff Dennis Conard says short of a felony, Iowa's new gun law allows nearly anyone with a misdemeanor record to get a gun permit.

"Most of the sheriffs in Iowa were not fans of the new law," said Conard.
I guess we can add the Scott County sheriff to the group with Linn and Johnson County sheriffs, who don't like the loss of power over the permit process.

And he's repeating the 20% line.

I doubt that if he doesn't appreciate the income generated to the county:
The cost of the new gun permits are more expensive than in the past. The new permits have generated $150,000 in revenue. $120,000 of that stays in Scott County.

Friday, June 3, 2011

If Edwards needs bail money, he should call her

Source, the Des Moines Register from the 2008 caucuses:

Laura Lundell, of Coralville, tries to bring supporters over to the camp of Democratic presidential hopeful former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., before the second round of voting during the democratic caucus at Kate Wickham Elementary, Thursday January 3, 2008, in Coralville, Iowa.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

County sheriff still unhappy with carry law

Johnson County Sheriff, Lonny Pulkrabek made the claim that 20% of permit holders have criminal records.
“My biggest beef is they took all the discretion away from the sheriffs under the premise of wanting more law-abiding citizens to get permits, but what they’ve done is allowed more people who are criminal, non-law-abiding citizen to carry guns,” Pulkrabek said.
If most of the sheriffs in Iowa hadn't acted like little tyrants regarding the permits, then they would still have their discretion. Which, by the way, they still have the power but the appeals process can overturn their decision.

Since the law went into effect on January 1st, how many of these "criminals" have broken the law? If they had, I'm certain the good sheriff would have made hay in the media over it.

I have not heard of one (and that doesn't mean that it hasn't happened). If any of my (still) loyal readers have heard of one incident, please let me know. We need to expose these miscreants of society so that their permits would be revoked.
Johnson County issued 1,295 permits in the first four months of 2011 compared to 552 in all of 2010.
That says all we need to know about the Johnson County Sheriff and his desire for a return to autocratic power.

Another sheriff takes a different view of permits

A little laissez faire or change of heart?
The new law does things such as increase the life of a gun permit from one to five years and takes away sheriffs' ability to deny people permits, [Sheriff] Van Otterloo said.

"I had discretion before," he said. "I could base it on whatever I needed to base it on."
It seems that Plymouth County Sheriff Van Otterloo doesn't see the current law is a big issue. That seems to be a contrast to sheriffs from Johnson or Linn counties.

Another county sees an increase in demand for permits.

Who would have thought?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The search for Camp Stranded, treehugger edition

(No giant redwoods in Iowa, but plenty of other native hardwoods to choose from.)

This chapter is titled:
You can't see the forest if there's no trees!

I will not claim any sort of expertise regarding hardwood tree and forestry management. I'll defer to experts like True Blue Sam who knows way more than I do on the subject. I like my hardwoods about an inch and a quarter thick and wide enough for the planer and I was lucky enough to work with my dad using many of what he used to call "shades of wood." My kitchen table was made by him after we moved into our present home, simple and well made construction of native Iowa red oak.

In Iowa, the extension service provides a forester for different areas of the state. The ISU Forestry Extension has some good resources such as publications and links for information and you can signup for conferences and local field days.

From the department of repetitive departments, we have the Iowa DNR providing much of the same service at the Iowa DNR Forestry site. But they have unique information as well. Here's a list of native trees and shrubs of Iowa. They also run the State Forest Nursery which can be a good place to get trees on the cheap. But you gotta go by their rules:

TO PURCHASE you must agree:

  • to plant and use the nursery stock requested upon the described property for establishing or improving existing forests, erosion control, game or water conservation with these restrictions;
  • to NOT resell or give these plants away with roots attached to any person, firm, corporation or agency nor to plant any of them for new windbreak, shade or ornamental purposes;
  • to protect all planting from fire and domestic livestock grazing;
  • to forfeit for destruction any trees planted or used in violation of the above restrictions.
Since you can't use a DNR tree for a windbreak, there are other sources: Henry Fields, The Nurserymen (for some non-native species) and the University of Idaho Nursery are a few of the many places out there.

On a previous post I mentioned that one parcel we looked at had a very good amount of timber, some of which could be harvested soon. But we also looked at ground that seemed a bit bare for us.

This last parcel we looked at (and one I cannot lay claim else I jinx it) has over 2500 walnut, about 1000 oak and hundreds more of maple that the current owner planted 5 years ago by seed. Most of the walnut are about 3 feet tall now as the grasses are not giving them a chance to grow.

Could be, could be...