Friday, January 25, 2013

Molon Labe!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

End Gun Free School Zones In Iowa

Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) reports that this week, Representative Tom Shaw (R-10), will introduce new legislation in the House which would remove schools from the list of areas where Iowans with a permit to carry weapons are prohibited to carry. According to IGO,  Rep. Shaw, a current police officer, "knows firsthand that he can't be everywhere at once and that the only way to prevent events like this from happening is by arming potential victims."

You can help to get this historic piece of commonsense legislation passed here in the Hawkeye State.

First, go HERE and find out who your State Representative is. Send him or her an email urging them to co-sponsor Shaw's bill. (You can use the sample letter below if you'd like.)


Dear Representative:

I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor the new bill being introduced by Representative Tom Shaw (R-10), which removes public schools from the list of areas where citizens with permits to carry concealed firearms are forbidden to carry. The current ban creates a nuisance for Iowa's hundreds of thousands of permit holders who must displace their weapons (which they can carry just about anywhere else) just to pick up their kids at school. More importantly, the creation of "gun free zones" around schools creates an atmosphere attractive to psychopaths who want to rack up a lot of kills before armed police arrive, as we've seen in Columbine and Sandy Hook Elementary.

In a July 2012 New York Daily News op-ed piece, John R. Lott points out a salient fact from his research that should be required reading for everyone on both sides of this debate: "With a single exception, every multiple-victim public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms." That fact alone is shocking and points out the failure of "gun-free zones" of any kind in this country.

In 2000 Professors John R. Lott Jr. and William M. Landes released an exhaustive study of "Multiple Victim Public Shootings." Some key findings from that study:

  • "Right-to-carry laws reduce the number of people killed or wounded from multiple victim public shootings as many attackers are either deterred from attacking or when attacks do occur they are stopped before the police can arrive."
  • "Given that half the attackers in these multiple victim public shootings have had formal diagnoses of mental illness, the fact that some results indicate concealed handgun laws reduce these attacks by almost 70 percent is remarkable."
  • "Not only does the passage of a right-to-carry law have a significant impact on multiple shootings but it is the only gun law that appears to have a significant impact."
  • "[S]tates with the fewest gun free zones have the greatest reductions [in] killings, injuries, and attacks."[Emphasis added.]

There are many things that contribute to school shootings and many proposed solutions. Armed guards and police presence at schools are great, but cost money when budgets are seemingly always stretched thin. Gun control laws are unconstitutional infringements upon the people's freedom and come with political backlash. Ending the pointless "gun-free school zones" would increase safety and cost the state nothing. Please co-sponsor Representative Shaw's bill.



Second, since you're already writing emails, why not drop Rep. Shaw a line and tell him thanks for doing the right thing. IGO points out that he's about to (metaphorically) be in the crosshairs of "Anti-gun blogs, the media, and anti-gunners in the Capitol," so a kind word might be appreciated. Tom Shaw's official email is:

Thirdly, pass this information along to your friends!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

An Open Letter to State Rep. Muhlbauer

Dear Representative Muhlbauer:

I was interested in reading your recent interview in the Daily Times Herald titled “Muhlbauer: Ban, seize semi-auto weapons.” In the article it was suggested that you would like Iowa to ban and confiscate “big guns,” “semi-automatics,” and those that are “not hunting weapons.”
Why do you believe that people may be able to own some plinking firearms for recreational purposes but not defensive arms which may serve a deadly-serious purpose? Probably your reasoning is that others, police and soldiers, bear arms for that purpose. Indeed they do and thank God for them.
But the existence of these valiant “others” doesn’t absolve the rest of us from our duties as Americans, as neighbors, as husbands and fathers, or as men. If a fire started in your home would you not try to extinguish it even though you’re not a professional firefighter? If your child or your neighbor was injured would you not try to aid him even though you’re not a certified paramedic?
Why then this attitude that being prepared to defend oneself or ones family against criminal attack is unthinkable? Why then this attitude that being prepared to stand in defense of liberty is superfluous? Unfortunately this attitude is not uncommon among many pampered modern Americans.
What an unbelievably inflated sense of self-worth you must have to believe that humbly-paid civil servants (with families of their own) have a duty to risk their lives to defend your life and liberty while you won’t shoulder any of the responsibility yourself!
I hope that, despite your best efforts, your fellow citizens of Iowa will remain able to keep and bear arms without any more infringements placed upon that right. Even if you don’t choose to personally exercise that right, you and your family will be safer because of it.


Benjamin R. Cashner
[Address & Phone Number Redacted]

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Iowa Gun Stories

As the public debates gun control and Congress reconvenes, the Second Amendment stories are piling up faster than I can get to them. Although I don't want to be a Johnny One Note, you can expect this blog to be pretty guncentric until some of this gun control craze blows over (if ever).

Here are a few stories from around Iowa:

Iowa Lawmaker Dan Muhlbauer: Take Semi-Auto Guns from Owners

In an interview with the the Carroll Daily Times Herald, State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla, says Iowa lawmakers should  ban "the big guns that are out here, the semi-automatics and all of them" and “start taking them” from owners who refuse to surrender any illegal firearms through a buy-back program.

You can read the article linked above then let this asinine baby-kisser know what you think of his plan. Email:  Capitol Phone: 515.281.3221

Des Moines Register Column Incites Violence Against Gun Owners

Another plan coming from the brilliant minds on the pro-gun control side was posited in a supposedly tongue-in-cheek column in the Des Moines Register. In it, columnist Donald Kaul says his plan would:
  • "Repeal the Second Amendment[.]"
  • Tie GOP leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner "to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control."
  • "Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal."
  • Raze the NRA's headquarters.
  • "Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing works for me."
Kaul can write whatever the hell he wants, but something tells me that if a pro-gun advocate wrote a column calling for political leaders to be dragged behind pickups, buildings to be destroyed and American citizens to potentially be killed, it would be the lead story on every news show in America.

Brownells Business Booming Before Ban

If nothing else, the threat of the various bans that are being floated in the U.S. Congress has been good for business for may local gun sellers as well the world's largest supplier of firearms accessories, which is located right here in the Hawkeye state.

The Huffington Post reports that Brownells, located in Montezuma Iowa, has been swamped with orders for standard (20-30 round) AR-15 ammunition magazines. In one recent three-day period the company sold the number of AR-15 mags that it normally sells in 3.5 years. Apparently customers are fearful that magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds may soon be banned, causing them to snap up the standard capacity mags while they are still available.

Let's all work to make sure that those concerns are unfounded.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Feinstein's Deliberate Collateral Damages

The unspeakable tragedy in Newton Connecticut has pushed the issue of gun control back into the national spotlight. Because of the sheer atrociousness of this crime, the issue seems to have some traction this time. There has always been a contingent of politicians and activists who have called for ever more gun control, but now it seems that some of the public is beginning to agree.

Since so-called "assault weapons" have been used in this and several other high-profile shootings, there is an increased call for regulation of this ill-defined class of weapons. Long time gun-hater Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the author of the original 1994-2004 federal "Assault Weapons Ban," is more than happy to help. When Congress reconvenes in January she will introduce a
new assault weapons ban
even more stringent than the last.

I won't take time here to expound upon the ineffectiveness of the old assault weapons ban. Many others have already done so. (Fox News:
Assault-weapons ban no guarantee mass shootings would decrease; LA Times: The Big Lie of the Assault Weapons Ban ) I won't spend time once again debating the old saw that "You don't need an assault weapon to hunt ducks." (Second Amendment- Purpose)
In this post I'll focus on another why Feinstein's gun ban should be opposed.

Feinstein's new ban would ensnare many otherwise law-abiding gun owners. The new ban affects many weapons not affected by the original ban. According to the
this would include the trusty old M1 Carbine, a model of the Ruger Mini-14, and ALL models of the AR-15. These weapons (as well as many others) could no longer be manufactured, sold, transported, or imported. Ones already in private possession would have to be registered with the federal government under the National Firearms Act and their owners would have to be photographed and fingerprinted and pay a $200 tax. (Never mind that BATF doesn't have the staff to process the sudden influx of countless millions of these applications.)

Picture some old guy who's had an M1 Carbine in the back of his closet since 1955. If the bill passes, he may very well be unaware that his old carbine has magically transformed into a schoolyard-spraying death hose that has to be registered with the federal government and that he is now in violation of federal law.

When most people picture an "assault weapon" they picture a semi-automatic rifle like an AK-47 or AR-15. However the ban extends to shotguns and pistols as well, so many other gun owners may find themselves caught similarly unaware.

These don't appear to be the deranged killers that we want to put in jail, but will require the time and resources of our already overburdened police and courts all the same. Feinstein's new gun ban would potentially make criminals out of millions of peaceable American gun owners and still not prevent some future mass shooting. Maybe that's the plan.

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