The Precious Few
By Aaron Dorr
Yesterday we informed you that dozens and dozens of House Republicans voted against
For many, this was in direct violation of their signed 2010 Gun Rights Candidate Survey.
For all of them this was in direct violation of the Republican Party of Iowa platform
wherein it says, “We demand full restoration of 2nd Amendment rights and call for a state
law authorizing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms, open or concealed, without a permit.” (7.15)
Before we proceed, Iowa Gun Owners wants to make it clear that we are non-partisan. We seek to pass gun bills, not to please any particular party. In the campaign season we couldn’t get any Democrats to sign our candidate survey. That’s why we worked hard to elect Republicans who did answer the survey. This is not about parties.
Iowa Gun Owners was there to force votes and call out the Democrats for being bad on guns in 2009 and 2010. We criticized them heavily for their anti-gun positions.
This year, because the new majority party refused to keep their campaign pledges, we are forced to lay the blame where it belongs.
While we will be shortly informing you about some of the biggest shocks in the vote on Constitutional Carry, today we want to highlight those few heroes of gun rights that stood their ground when it mattered. There are real people in the House that are fighting, day in and day out, for your gun rights. Here is some more information about them.
Constitutional Carry was run on the Floor this week by Freshman Representative Tom Shaw. Tom, until he won his election last Fall, was the Chief of Police in Laurens. Tom is also retired from the U.S. Navy.
Unlike more and more members of the anti-gun Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, Tom believes as many peace officers do – that guns in the hands of law abiding people only make Iowa’s peace officers safer.
Tom ran a tough primary campaign against an anti-gunner and won by a large margin after Iowa Gun Owners sent in a team of people to assist him with door knocking and direct mail. In the General Election, Tom’s opponent was so afraid of the gun vote she said that IGO members support the murder of federal law enforcement officers!
And she says we’re nuts??
Tom has sponsored bills for Iowa Gun Owners this year, and yesterday he did what very few would do and risked friendships and party support when he used procedural maneuvers to force a vote on Constitutional Carry when his party would not move a single gun bill!
Tom told us to not mention him in this email, but we refuse to allow this fierce loyalty to gun rights to go unnoticed. You can contact Tom at Tom.Shaw@legis.state.ia.us. Please thank him for his service this week.
Freshman Representative Kim Pearson was the chief bill sponsor for Constitutional Carry. Similar to Shaw, Kim ran a hard primary campaign against a candidate who refused to tell representatives from Iowa Gun Owners where he stood on the 2nd Amendment. After Kim’s solid campaign and a flood of campaign mail from IGO, Kim defeated her opponent by close to 50%.
Tuesday, when Representative Pearson saw members of the House acting like they were going to leave the chamber so as to not have to vote on Constitutional Carry she quickly acted and invoked a House rule that requires all members in the House to vote.
One after another, anti-gunners were called into the chamber where they were forced to vote. This would not have happened without Kim’s quick work and 100% commitment to the 2nd Amendment. Kim’s email address is Kim.Pearson@legis.state.ia.us.
Representative Dwayne Alons is a tough legislator serving his 13th year in the Iowa House. Dwayne was extremely active in forcing votes in Committee for Iowa Gun Owners last year. This year he was the lead sponsor of our bill that would repeal Iowa’s unconstitutional permit-to-purchase law that mandates that you, as a law abiding Iowan, must first get permission to exercise a Constitutionally guaranteed right and purchase a handgun.
Dwayne’s loyalty to his conservative beliefs has come at some political cost but where many would get nervous and cave in, Representative Alons presses on. In fact, he seemed as cool ‘under fire’ yesterday as he likely was when he was flying his F-16 fighter in the Air National Guard. All told, Dwayne has close to 4,000 hours of flight time in the F-16, F-4, F-100, and A-7.
As one who’s used the 20mm cannon which fires at 6,000 rounds per minute, Dwayne doesn’t understand why politicians are so concerned with allowing law abiding Iowans to carry the 9mm or 45ACP concealed. You can thank Dwayne be emailing him at email@example.com.
Representative Jason Schultz is another Republican legislator that has repeatedly stood tall for the 2nd Amendment. Last year, when the Democrats wouldn’t allow Constitutional Carry to come to the Floor, Jason used the same rules that Rep. Shaw did yesterday and forced a vote that made anti-gunners howl.
For those of you who attended last year’s Iowa Gun Owners’ ‘Freedom Rally’ you likely had a chance to speak to Jason there. At last count, Jason has more firearms than I do!
It’s important to realize that Jason’s vote yesterday was bold considering that he’s a Committee chair. Please take a moment to thank him by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reps. Glen Massie and Mark Brandenburg are two additional freshman who voted in favor of Constitutional Carry. Glen is from the South side of Des Moines and holds the seat previously occupied by IGO stalwart Senator Kent Sorenson. Mark is from Council Bluffs.
Representative Massie is a former U.S. Marine who shot long range rifles. He’s quick to inform me that ‘back in his day’ he did it with peep sights too – not the fancy scopes we have today. Glen’s been a supporter of the 2nd Amendment his entire life and has cosponsored every bill introduced by Iowa Gun Owners this year.
Glen’s email is Glen.Massie@legis.state.ia.us.
Representative Brandenburg is a teacher, business administrator, and a long time gun enthusiast. While he’s been out for a while recovering from a heart attack we have grown to enjoy working with him on 2nd Amendment issues in the House.
While still recovering from his heart attack, Mark showed more courage and resolve than many of his colleagues this week by voting yes on Constitutional Carry. We look forward to working with him more next legislative session to advance the 2nd Amendment here in Iowa. You can contact Mark at Mark.Brandenburg@legis.state.ia.us.
These legislators are the brave few who kept their campaign promises, honored the 2nd Amendment, and adhered to their party platform by voting yes on Constitutional Carry. This comes at a cost for each of these people.
We hope this brief behind-the-scenes look at the men and women who are waging this fight will show you how important your involvement in this fight really is.
These legislators are the reason why anything at all gets done in Des Moines on behalf of the 2nd Amendment. They have been there for us. In the future, we’ll need to be there for them again.
With your support we will make that happen.
(Aaron Dorr is the Director of Iowa Gun Owners)