In the Capitol, everyone would have you believe that the only way to protect our gun rights is to “cut a deal before you get something worse!”
Lobbyists eat/breathe/sleep it, legislators demand it, the media castigates those who fight against it – no one likes organizations who pull back the curtain on insider deals in the back of a committee room in the Capitol and expose these compromises, even when they result in less freedom.
They’d sooner keep it “in the family.”
That’s why you see organizations that are supposed to be their member’s representative to the legislature become the legislature’s representative to their members.
I see it all the time.
Lobbyists who pretend to lobby for gun rights going out to swanky joints for an evening of cocktails and “selfies” with their pet legislator even after he guts and stuffs their legislation telling them that, “you don’t understand how things work up here.”
It’s sad. Their members are the ones who empower them with donations and activism to fight for their rights and instead of holding the line, these other organizations use the position they’ve been given by their members to puff up and advance themselves personally.
Organizations and lobbyists like this will never be willing or able to stand fast when a deal is offered. They are too worried that if they oppose it, they’ll not get invited to the next cocktail party.
So not only will they not expose hidden gun control – they’ll attack anyone who dares to do what they won’t.
Make no mistake, politics isn’t all or nothing. The omnibus bill brought forth by the institutional gun lobby a few weeks ago had good policy in it initially.
We should know – we wrote those sections of code in years past, especially on the issues of repealing the age restrictions on when a child can be taught to shoot a handgun and on repealing the permit to purchase a handgun.
But the anti-gun leadership of the Senate, specifically Steve Sodders and Mike Gronstal, made it clear that they were not going to pass that bill through the Senate despite its bi-partisan support because they are anti-gun – unless gun owners would accept some “limited” gun control.
That’s why they’ve voted against Constitutional Carry, refused to sign candidate surveys, and blocked Stand-Your-Ground legislation from moving forward this year.
But since gun owners have become superbly organized into a fearsome fighting force over the last couple of years, these legislators are very concerned about losing their re-elections.
Everyone remembers what Iowa Gun Owners did, with your support making it possible, in races all over Iowa last year exposing anti-gun legislators like former Senator Daryl Beall.
Beall, a typical ‘nice guy’ in the Capitol, was working to advance Michael Bloomberg styled ‘Universal Registration’ legislation that would lead to the creation of a statewide database of gun owners.
Not only that, but he voted against Constitutional Carry, refused to back procedural motions to advance Stand-Your-Ground, and refused to sign his candidate survey.
So Iowa Gun Owners went to work in this district last fall educating people about what Beall had done.
We rolled radio ads district-wide like the one below, had volunteers going house-to-house passing out flyers, dropped mountains of direct mail into that district to give gun owners the facts, and lit up the district with an aggressive social media campaign.
If you missed the radio ad last fall, I’ve included it here for you to listen to – it always makes me laugh, picturing Beall’s face as he heard that ad for the first time.
As a result of this educational work, where we pulled back the curtain on what Daryl Beall was doing in Des Moines, he was booted out of office by a huge margin!
Better yet, his replacement in Des Moines is now a proud cosponsor of the Stand-Your-Ground law that we’ve been working on all year.
We’ve been doing this, one election at a time across the state, for years – and close to 30 incumbents who used to vote anti-gun are no longer in elected office.
That’s how you defend the 2nd Amendment!
Again, to all of our donors who make this possible, we can’t thank you enough. You are the backbone to all we do.
Of course, if your organization is more worried about maintaining friendships in the Capitol, you won’t run an aggressive program like that.
That’s why the institutional gun lobby gave Daryl Beall an “A+” in previous elections!
So it’s quite normal to have legislators rant and rave about Iowa Gun Owners.
We’re the only gun rights organization that plays for keeps and isn’t willing to be party to the backroom deals cut in the legislature.
That, and most of them have a friend who is no longer elected because we exposed their record at election time – whether in 2010, 2012 or 2014.
Radical gun grabbers like Senator Sodders and his pals used to be able to count on organizations being willing to accept whatever they dished out, even if they killed Stand-Your-Ground and Constitutional Carry legislation – and expected a “thank you, sir” in the process.
Those days are over thanks to the tens of thousands of members and almost 100,000 activists that comprise Iowa Gun Owners.
The legislature has simple options:
1. Pass the substantive gun bills that are before them – without watering them down.
2. Not pass the substantive gun bills that are before them – and deal with the consequences of that action at election time.
Either way, gun owners win by either achieving the policy gains that we want or by watching more and more gun-grabbers get booted out of office by mobilized gun owners in their districts.
But this only works if you and I don’t fall for their traps.
That’s why we’ve been working so hard this week to sound the alarm about the revised omnibus bill – that has serious anti-gun additions to it – so that anti-gunners like Senator Steve Sodders aren’t able to fool Iowans into believing that they are pro-gun.
This revised version of this legislation implements a “searchable database that is accessible on a statewide basis.”
That’s a cut and paste right from the strike after amendment that was added to the original bill.
Of course, Gronstal, Sodders, and their lackeys will tell you how there are protections that preclude this being used to target gun owners.
But all one has to do is look to our gun owner brethren in NY and CT, where politicians changed the law and are able to harass gun owners, because they can march right down a list of gun owners.
Others claim that we already have a centralized list in Iowa.
But that’s not true, if it were why would they be trying to pass it again?
Furthermore, while individual sheriff’s departments have records that may be on their departmental computers, they are not searchable on a ‘statewide basis.’
Even if the gun-grabbers offered an iron-clad promise that they’d never change the law and come after gun owners – they could simply change the law in the future, especially in response to another mass shooting.
Whether it happens tomorrow or ten years from now, our children and grand-children would pay the price for our short term “gain.”
The revised bill also institutes a procedure for anyone, right down to convicted felons, to access permit holder data.
If a sexual predator wants to know about the co-ed down the street – he can find out just by asking.
If an employer wants to hire or not hire based on a perspective employees affinity towards guns – he can find out just by asking.
If the media wants to print names of permit holders – they can get that data just by asking.
Some would say that this revised code is better because we can “fix it later.” But that’s just hopelessly naïve.
Others claim that the media can already print gun owner data – that’s true, but they don’t dare because of how hard they got hammered for doing so last time. That’s why the Des Moines Register hasn’t published this stuff in a long time.
If we codify their ability to do this they’ll have a free hand to publish these names and they can say that the bi-partisan legislature supports them!
You can see why the gun-grabbers have done this.
Willing organizations at the Capitol will support them and encourage their members to support this – and attack Iowa Gun Owners for ‘standing in the way’ when what we’re really doing is fighting for 2nd Amendment freedoms for law abiding Iowans.
These organizations and legislators who lead them around like puppets should be ashamed of themselves for what they are trying to do to Iowans with this legislation.
Don’t forget, if they are successful, these anti-gunners can run on this bill at election time and claim to be pro-gun while they’ve worked to stop Stand-Your-Ground (SF137) all year – despite the fact that it has 24 cosponsors right now!
Don’t let them get away with this.
Please call your Senator right now and tell him to either amend the bill back to its original format, or vote against it.
Better yet, tell him to amend Stand-Your-Ground to the omnibus bill and pass a real substantive pro-gun bill. Tell them to stop talking about being pro-gun and actually pass pro-gun bills!
The switchboard number is 515-281-3371. Leave a message and then make sure and call them back Monday!
To find out who your Senator is, go here.
To find your Senator’s email address, go here.
Thanks for your support so far this session! The radio ads we’ve run, the postcard mail we’ve dropped, the robo calls we’ve launched – none of it would be possible without your support.
Please help us keep the pressure on!
As the session begins to wind down, these types of “deals” are trying to get cut and it’s vital we are able to sound the alarm. Whether you can give $100, $50, $25 or even just $5 – I hope you’ll do so right away.
Either way, please call your Senator, that’s most important.
(If you’re in North Central Iowa, be sure and come out to the Mason City gun show! It’s going on tonight from 5-9pm and all day Saturday at the North Iowa Events Center. Join IGO and get your free T-Shirt, get a decal, support Stand-Your-Ground and more. Come out and say hi!)
P.S. The power brokers at the Capitol do all they can to make sure that “what happens in Des Moines stays in Des Moines.”
Many lobbyists, organizations, and media outlets are active participants in this process and that’s why it’s no surprise to see so many people angry that Iowa Gun Owners has pulled back the curtain on the anti-gun amendments that have been added to the omnibus bill at the last minute.
But make no mistake, no matter how many ‘goodies’ the anti-gunners offer gun owners, you and I can not support a registry of firearms!
While it may not happen today, by giving politicians a list of gun owners, our children and grandchildren will certainly pay the price for this – just like gun owners in Connecticut and New York are right now.
So while there are lots of good pieces of policy in this bill, we can’t give in to the gun-grabbers in Des Moines who are looking for something to campaign on in 2016 – only to get re-elected to continue voting against Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground!
Call your Senator now at 515-281-3371 and tell him or her to amend this bill to remove the bad sections or vote it down!
To figure out who your Senator is go here.
To obtain your Senator’s email address go here.