Insider Games and Fear at the Capitol in Des Moines

“No one wants to be the next Daryl Beall.”

That’s what one capitol insider reported to me in the Capitol this week as gun bills began to move through the House and Senate Committees.

Anti-gun legislators are scared.

They should be.

In 2014, many of them were removed from office after Iowa Gun Owners revealed the truth about their hostility towards the 2nd Amendment.

Daryl Beall, a long time anti-gun incumbent, who’d enjoyed the establishment gun lobby’s “A” rating in the past, was soundly booted from office once we showed people that he was sponsoring radical Bloomberg-styled gun control bills like ‘Universal Background Checks’ and more.

Many political observers thought that Beall couldn’t lose – and they were all wrong.

Iowa Gun Owners plays to win – we don’t exist to make friends in the legislature.

That’s why we unloaded in former Senator Beall’s district using direct mail, radio ads, social media, email blasts and boots-on-the-ground, going house-to-house exposing his radical agenda.

And he wasn’t the only one to feel the heat from gun owners in 2014.

You know this. The media knows this. And, more and more every day, anti-gunners in Des Moines know this too.

That’s exactly why we are seeing gun bills move in the legislature now. Anti-gunners in Des Moines are nervous that they will be exposed for killing Stand-Your-Ground legislation.

This bill has received a MASSIVE response from gun owners like you and from legislators in the House and Senate, and it’s vitally needed legislation that every legislator should be able to support.

Yet Senator Steve Sodders, Senator Mike Gronstal, and Representative Chip Baltimore are doing all they can to kill this legislation.

It’s an inside deal, to protect political careers, and it stinks.

So it’s absolutely no surprise that other bills are moving in the place of Stand-Your-Ground.

Legislators NEED to be able to point to something, anything, to be able to tell the voters in 2016 that they supported your right to keep and bear arm – while killing Stand-Your-Ground the whole time.

Of course, even as this bait-and-switch happens, Iowa gun owners are benefitting from this pressure.

The other gun bills moving through the legislature have many components that are solidly pro-gun. We should know, we wrote them in previous sessions.

The concept of making the permit-to-purchase handguns optional – we had that legislation introduced and run via the late Rep. Dwayne Alons multiple years in a row.

Repealing the law that makes parents criminals for teaching their children to shoot a handgun until they are 14 years of age – IGO worked with former Rep. Tom Shaw to introduce that bill just last year.

The same legislators who are championing this legislation now – aggressively moved to kill it in the past. In fact, they attacked legislators like Alons and Shaw for being “radical” or “extreme.”

(Gun owners in Iowa owe these two former legislators a huge debt of gratitude for advancing these items in the face of such attacks and back-stabbing.)

Now they are passing these bills.

What’s changed?

It’s you. Your calls, your emails, your Facebook messages, your trips to the Capitol, and your visits to weekend forums have sent a resounding message: pass Stand-Your-Ground legislation now!

And it’s the power and size of Iowa Gun Owners – gifts bestowed on us by you and thousands like you.

The almost 100,000 members we have on Facebook are a constant worry in the minds of anti-gunners in Des Moines.

The radio ads we unveiled this session on legislators like Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Judiciary Chairman Steve Sodders scare all of their colleagues.

Anti-gunners used to be able to do one thing in Des Moines – and tell you something else when running for re-election. Those days are over now, and they all know it.

So now the bills that were extreme last year are perfectly normal this year. This is what happens when powerful legislators make deals in smoke filled back rooms that dot the bars on Grand Ave. just blocks away from the Capitol.

They benefit – at your expense.

So make no mistake: this is all being done to shut down the pressure on Stand-Your-Ground legislation and to try to protect political careers in 2016.

That’s why we need you to do four things right away:

  1. Take a moment to send this pre-written email to your State Senator and State Representative right now, insisting that they advance SF137/HF52 this session, with no weakening amendments.
    • You can find your legislator’s name and email here. The email is below.     
    • Make sure they know you’ll remember, at election time, if they kill this bill – regardless of whatever else they advance to buy political cover.
  2. Call them, and tell them the same thing. The House switchboard is 515-281-3221 and the Senate switchboard is 515-281-3371. Make sure they are hearing from you!
  3. Send this email to all of your friends across the state so they know what’s really happening in Des Moines.
  4. LIKE Iowa Gun Owners on Facebook so you can get the absolute latest updates on these pieces of legislation as the session progresses.
    Understand that your pressure is the ONLY reason why ANY gun bills are moving in Des Moines – and it’s always been that way. For that I want to thank you.

Understand that politicians in Des Moines have no compunction about lying right to your face. They’ll tell you one thing while doing the exact opposite on the Floor of the legislature.

Lastly, understand that your legislator may be being duped in the process as well, and not even aware that anti-gunners in the Senate have worked out a deal with leadership in the House. So make sure he/she knows that Stand-Your-Ground is still your main priority.

Please send your emails and make your calls right away!              

For Freedom,

Aaron Dorr
Executive Director

P.S. Gun bills are on the move in Des Moines – in direct response to your calls and emails on Stand-Your-Ground legislation over the last 2 ½ months!

The phrase “No one wants to be the next Daryl Beall,” is a familiar mantra at the Capitol as legislators know what happened to their colleagues (like former Senator Beall) when large numbers of gun owners are educated at election time about the gun control bills they supported.

The bills moving now are moving because these legislators are looking for cover as they kill Stand-Your-Ground legislation.

There are good things in these bills (we wrote portions of it) but it’s designed to provide political cover for anti-gunners at election time.

So pat yourself on the back for getting gun-grabbers riled up enough to start moving gun bills. But make sure you call and email them (use this pre-written email below if you wish) and make sure they know you want to see passage of Stand-Your-Ground law this session!

Pre-Written Email:

Rep./Senator _______________________,

As a gun owner who votes in Iowa, I am writing to insist that you take action, this session, on Stand-Your-Ground law.

This bill (SF137/HF52) has tremendous support in the legislature in terms of co-sponsors, and would fix the most glaring issue with Iowa’s current self-defense laws by removing the duty to retreat before someone can defend themselves in public.

While I understand that other bills are moving in the legislature in response to the outcry of gun owners like myself, this is the bill I’m watching and I will remember what happens to this bill at election time.