• Zaun Responds to Misleading Iowa Gun Owner Attack

    February 19, 2017

    The image above was posted on the Iowa Gun Owners Facebook page on 2/19/17. This deliberately misleading information urged their members to contact Zaun under knowingly false pretenses.

    Deliberately Misleading

    Senator Brad Zaun is responding to false allegations that he has pulled his support for Stand Your Ground legislation in Iowa.

    Sunday, February 19th, the Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) Facebook page posted a picture of Senator Zaun with a caption falsely claiming that he had “withdrawn his support for Stand Your Ground law!” The post included Zaun’s home and cell-phone numbers and encouraged their members to call him. The problem is this Iowa Gun Owner call to action was deliberately misleading as many of their members soon found out from Senator Zaun himself.

    Zaun has been a supporter of Stand Your Ground for years. Despite IGO’s claims he has not pulled his support for Stand Your Ground law, and Senator Zaun continues to be a very outspoken advocate for pro-gun legislation in Iowa (he’s even been known to carry in capitol, much to anti-gunner’s chagrin).

    Zaun’s Response

    Iowa Senator Brad Zaun’s Response to Iowa Gun Owners Deliberately False Attack on Him.

    Senator Zaun has been issuing the following response to anyone that emails him about his so-called lack of support for Stand Your Ground. He’s also asked us to help him set the record straight and share his comments about this matter:

    “It is correct that I scratched my name off Sen. Bertrand’s/Aaron Dorr Stand Your Ground bill. Several weeks ago, I mentioned to Sen. Bertrand to not harass members of our new Republican caucus and that Stand Your Ground language will be included in one big pro second amendment omnibus bill. Recently, it was brought to my attention that IGO was dropping robo calls in some Senate Republican districts and delivering about 4” of petitions from IGO that only included the first name and last name initial. It was at that time I scratched my name off of Sen. Bertrand’s bill.

    With that said, I have not changed or weakened my position on our second amendment rights including Stand Your Ground. I will be advancing the omnibus bill which will include Stand Your Ground language.

    To be clear Aaron Dorr has no political capital with me and never will, as in the past he has compared me with Nancy Pelosi, once again using this as a fundraising effort. Have you ever seen an email alert from him that is not asking for your money?

    I personally know many members of the Iowa Gunowners Association and have much respect for, my problem is not with you, but just that you are being used to pay for Aaron Dorr’s salary.

    Brad

    What’s Going On & Why Is IGO Lying?

    There are several so-called Stand Your Ground bills that have been introduced this legislative session. These bills would remove Iowa’s current “duty to retreat” law that requires law-abiding run from a self-defense situation. Currently there are at least three Stand Your Ground Bills in the Iowa Senate:

    Senate File 25 | Senate File 70Senate File 262

    Zaun has previously indicated his support for all of three of the bills. He had been a co-sponsor of SF262 (the bill favored by IGO), but pulled his support for that bill after IGO had allegedly started to badger some of Zaun’s fellow Republicans about this matter.

    It’s important to note that SF262, which was introduced on February 25th by Senator Rick Bertrand, an IGO ally, is an almost word-for-word copy of SF25 which was introduced on January 11th, the very first day of the 2017 legislative session.

    To recap, Stand Your Ground was introduced on the very first day the session as SF25. An almost exact copy of that bill is introduced over a month later in the form of SF262. The original version is still viable and in perfectly good standing, meaning there’s no need to introduce a duplicate version of a perfectly good and viable bill. IGO then starts to trying to drum up co-sponsors for their duplicate Stand Your Ground Bill (SF262) by threatening Senator Zaun’s fellow Republicans. What happens next? Senator Zaun, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, withdraws his co-sponsorship of SF262 (talk about your plans back-firing…).

    All of this leads to IGO releasing false information about Zaun’s lack of support for Stand Your Ground and deliberately misleading IGO members into harassing a staunch supporter of gun owner rights. What does an organization gain from lying its own members? Who knows?

    Now, it all might have worked except that Senator Zaun has been setting the record straight with everyone that calls him up, and now IGO members have been getting a dose of reality about Senator Zaun, Stand Your Ground and the code of ethics the Iowa Gun Owners operates under.

    Make no mistake Iowans, Stand Your Ground is still very much alive. Senator Brad Zaun continues to support Stand Your Ground (just no longer the IGO backed SF262 version). And IGO has been caught spreading false information to the very people who support them.

    It Makes No Sense

    When you consider all of the facts this whole ordeal makes very little sense. Senator Zaun has a reputation in the capitol as an extremely staunch and outspoken supporter of pro-Second Amendment legislation (including Stand Your Ground). Gun owners who are truly in the know have known this about Zaun for years.

    Zaun is also the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is a critical fact that cannot be overlooked. Almost every single pro-gun bill in the Senate gets assigned to the Judiciary Committee. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee Zaun has the power to decide which bills get scheduled for votes and which bills get “filed away” never to see the light of day again. Ask yourself this, if you were running a group of Iowa gun owners and pushing a Stand Your Ground bill (like, for instance, SF262), do you think it would be a good idea to alienate and attack a key legislator who can single-handedly kill your bill? Do you think that would increase or decrease your odds of success?

    And if you were truly supportive of passing Stand Your Ground legislation in Iowa wouldn’t you support any bill that could effectively accomplish this goal? Not just a duplicate bill that you copied and pasted from someone else and now call your own? And if you were truly supportive of Stand Your Ground wouldn’t you be honest with your members and explain that even though a key senator pulled his or her support for “your” bill there are other Stand Your Ground bills that allow you to accomplish your goal?

    Don’t Believe Us?

    Numerous followers of the Iowa Gun Owners Facebook page have started to get wise the IGO lies.

    We’re fully aware that there are some Iowans who like IGO and will refuse to believe any of this. That’s fine, but if you’re one of them we challenge you to start asking questions like the ones above. Post a link to this on the IGO Facebook page. Or better yet, post Senator Zaun’s response to the IGO attack and see what happens. When your comments get deleted, post it again (if you haven’t been banned). Then ask yourself if a group that misleads it’s members and then deletes anyone who questions them is really working in your best interest. Start Googling and asking around in forums and other Facebook gun groups that aren’t associated with IGO. There are gun owners all over Iowa who’ve come to the realization that this group is surrounded by controversy, bribery and sketchy behavior (just ask imprisoned and former Iowa Senator Kent Sorenson).

    Finally, we know there’s a good chance IGO will lash out at us for supporting Senator Zaun. Let them. It won’t do anything to stop us from accomplishing our goals or even slow us down. We know the truth of the matter and so do our members. We also know the Iowa Firearms Coalition is the only truly effective Second Amendment group in Iowa. The only group to get pro-gun laws passed in this state. The only group that lawmakers will work with. And mark our words: We’ll be the ones standing by the governor’s side when Stand Your Ground is signed into law. The beauty of all this is you don’t have to take our word for it. Ask around. Google us. We’re confident you’ll be encouraged by what you see.

    It’s a shame that good, truly pro-Second Amendment lawmakers get drug through the mud by supposed gun rights “advocates,” but that’s the reality we face here in Iowa. For those of you who know the Truth About IGO, kudos and thank you for your support. For those of you who are just learning the truth: welcome, you are most certainly not alone.

  • Gun control advocates resort to fake terror attack in Iowa

    December 30, 2015

    A new low

    It’s pretty common knowledge that gun control pushers don’t like Second Amendment advocates, but new details show just how low anti-gunners are willing to stoop in order to stop pro-gun owner legislation in Iowa.

    Michael Dekota McRae recently plead guilty to one count of “Conveying False Information Concerning A Biological Weapon.” That charge stems from an April 3rd, 2012 incident where McRae wrote a threatening letter to Des Moines Representative Ako Abdul-Samad and packed it with a powdery white substance. The letter, filled with racist slurs, threats, and curse words was written to make gun owners look like racist terrorists. Here’s the kicker though, McRae was working as Abdul-Samad’s legislative clerk at the time. He wrote the letter, filled the envelope with a powdery white substance, sent it to Representative Abdul-Samad via inter-office mail and then McRae purposely opened the letter in the middle of the a House debate.

    Here’s the text of the note McRae wrote:

    Racist, threatening letter written by Michael McRae that was laced with a white powdery substance.

    Racist, threatening letter written by Michael McRae that was laced with a white powdery substance.

    As anyone can plainly see McRae uses racial slurs and threats to try to make gun owners and Stand Your Ground advocates look like murderous racists. A new low for gun control pushers here in Iowa and the rest of the country.

    Historical context

    The incident occurred on April 3rd, 2012. Earlier in the legislative session the Iowa Firearms Coalition and the National Rifle Association had pushed Stand Your Ground legislation for the first time in state history. Prior to this no one else cared about enshrining your right to Stand Your Ground in the state legal code. The bill passed the House 60-38 but the Senate leadership refused to allow a vote on the bill once it landed on their desk. Since then the Iowa Firearms Coalition has continued to lead the charge for Stand Your Ground in Iowa, and a handful of others have come along to assist our efforts and follow IFC’s lead.

    Fortunately though after a length investigations McRae’s 2012 facade fell apart and he was eventually arrested. Earlier this year he was charged with Conveying False Information Concerning A Biological Weapon. In late 2015 McRae plead guilty and will be sentenced in late March of 2016. He faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

    Politics, lies and simulated terrorism

    Michael McRae's 2015 plea agreement in which Representative Ako Abdul- Samad's clerk pleads guilty to faking a terrorist attack.

    Michael McRae’s 2015 plea agreement in which Representative Ako Abdul- Samad’s clerk pleads guilty to faking a terrorist attack.

    Second Amendment advocates in Iowa know all-to-well that hardcore anti-gunners in the Iowa legislature, particularly the Iowa Senate, use their positions of power to block pro-gun owner legislation from ever getting a vote (stand your ground, constitutional carry, gun owner privacy protection, legalized suppressors, and many more). We also know that gun control zealots in Iowa have no qualms about resorting to misinformation and misleading information about pro-gun owner legislation in an effort to confuse the people of Iowa. But sadly political power plays and lies just aren’t enough for gun control advocates in Iowa. They despise the pro-gun owner movement so much that at least some of them, are willing resort simulated terrorism to stop our side from making any progress. This is why it’s imperative that we conduct our business with the utmost class. Anti-gunners are absolutely desperate to paint the picture that Second Amendment advocates are a bunch of racist bullies who threaten bodily harm to anyone who opposes them. We work very hard to prove them wrong, and we need you to do the same.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition was the first to introduce Stand Your Ground in Iowa, and will continue to lead the charge until we get this signed into law. We’ll continue to do the same for every pro-gun owner bill that we possibly can — whether it’s constitutional carry, suppressors, supervised youth handgun training. If you believe in strengthening our Second Amendment rights here in Iowa we highly encourage you to become an IFC member. In the mean time we’ll continue to Stand and Fight to protect and enhance the freedom of all 3+ million Iowans.

     


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

  • Dubuque Woman Raped & Murdered because Killer Had “Nothing Better To Do.”

    September 3, 2015
    Helmon Betwell, 19, of Dubuque is accused of raping and murdering a random Dubuque woman who was "in the wrong place at the wrong time" and because he "had nothing better to do."

    Helmon Betwell, 19, is accused of raping & murdering a random Dubuque woman who was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” because he “had nothing better to do.”

     

    “Wrong Place Wrong Time”

    A Dubuque, Iowa woman is dead after being raped and severely beaten by nineteen year old Helmon Betwell because “there was nothing better to do.”

    According to KCRG:

    Helmon Betwell, 19, told police he had nothing better to do early Tuesday morning and he wanted to get into more trouble. Police said Betwell told officers he did not know the victim and stated “she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

    Betwell told police he was breaking into vehicles in the area of 17th Street and Central Avenue around 4:40 a.m. when he noticed a female crossing the street, according to court documents. Betwell told police he knocked her unconscious and then carried her to a vacant property at 75 W. 17th Street. He told police that’s where he raped her and continued to “hit her everywhere.”

    Nearby traffic cameras recorded Betwell beating the woman and dragging her up the steps to the front yard of an abandoned building, where police said he admitted to raping and continuing to beat the victim, who authorities have yet to identify.

    Police claim Betwell ran back to his home on White Street, changed clothes and returned to where he left the woman. He beat her again before running off, authorities said.

    Betwell has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree burglary. His trial date is set for September 11th. His bail has been set at $1 million.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim of this brutal killing as well as her family and friends.

    We’ll likely never know exactly whether or not the victim of this attack could have prevented it. But we can use this gruesome story to remind ourselves and our loved ones to stay vigilant, maintain a high sense of situational awareness, and always be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones from evil people with “nothing better to do.”


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

  • Waterloo Native Saves Wife Before Being Beaten to Death with Hammers

    December 1, 2014

    Begic

     

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Waterloo, Iowa native Zemir Begic. Over the weekend 32-year-old Begic was beaten to death by a group of hammer wielding teenagers in the St. Louis, Missouri area. The Associated Press is reporting that Begic and his wife were in their car near Bevo Mills just before midnight Saturday when a group of juveniles surrounded his vehicle and began pounding on his car. Begic got out of his car and was almost immediately attacked by the group.

    The St. Louis Metro Police found Begic lying unconscious with injuries to his head, abdomen, face, and mouth at roughly 12:15 Sunday morning. He was taken the hospital, and then pronounced dead.

    In an interview with KSDK Arijana Mujkanovic, Begic’s wife explains how his last moments were spent saving her life: “The last thing he did before he actually died was pull me out of the way and put himself in front of me, basically giving up his life for me,” Mujkanovic says.

    KWWL is reporting that Begic was a native of Waterloo who was a student in the Waterloo district but did not graduate from there, according to Waterloo Schools spokeswoman Tara Thomas. According to his Facebook page, Begic attended Waterloo West.

    St. Louis Police have arrested a of pair teens aged 15 and 16. They’re reportedly still looking for two more. No motive for the attacks have been announced.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Begic funeral arrangements.

    Please remember this story the next time you and your loved ones are out in public. Being attacked by a mob of hammer wielding teens was probably one of the last things Zemir Begic and his wife had on their minds, but that does not mean the threat does not exist. This is another reminder that no matter where you are you must be prepared to defend yourself. Your personal protection is your responsibility. The police simply cannot be everywhere, and this is an unfortunate but perfect example of that fact. Please take a moment to visit our Permits, Training, and Iowa Carry Law Info page for more information on ways to protect yourselves and your loved ones.


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on 2nd Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.