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the Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) Facebook page posted a picture of Senator Zaun with a caption falsely claiming that he had “withdrawn his support for Stand Your Ground law!”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).
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.
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:
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?
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.