"Iowa" Gun Ban Group Folds

According to a Radio Iowa report, Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence (IPGV), a group dedicated to incrementally banning gun-ownership in Iowa, has disbanded due to lack of funds. The article states that the group was founded in response to the 1991 shootings by deranged student Gang Lu on the campus of the University of Iowa (a gun-free zone, I might point out).

While IPGV might have started out as a grassroots campaign, it quickly turned into nothing more than a surrogate for the large anti-gun Joyce Foundation out of Chicago (on the board of which President Obama served at the time).

According to a 2005 article by lawyer/author David Hardy, the Joyce Foundation dumped $250,000 into IPGV in 2002 and again in 2004. After he checked IPGV’s tax records (which are open to the public, since IPGV was a tax-exempt “charity”), Hardy concluded that “it would appear that the ‘grassroots’ group’s entire contribution income and budget consists of the Joyce money.” That’s right, in that time period apparently not a single Iowan contributed a penny to this supposed group of “concerned” Iowans. IPGV has also received funds from the Joyce Foundation during other years and from Freedom States Alliance, which is also largely funded by the Joyce Foundation.

Poor fiscal management might have helped to hasten IPGV’s fall. According to analysis at the LonelyMachines blog, in one particular year 67% of IPGV’s funding was gobbled up paying themselves salaries while only 3% went toward the group’s stated mission. No wonder that not too many Iowans opened their wallets up for these clowns and no wonder that the Joyce Foundation finally slapped IPGV off the teat.

I recall that after 9-11 gun control groups decided to target .50-caliber rifles for elimination. “It can shoot down airliners!” they warned in a tizzy. Well, you could theoretically bring down an airliner tossing a well-aimed bar of soap, but it would be a million-to-one shot. Anyway, IPGV jumped on the bandwagon as usual.

I read a news article in the “Cedar Rapids Gazette” where John Johnson, then Executive Director of IPGV, was trumpeting the supposed evils of these .50-cals. I looked online and quickly found who must have been handing Johnson his talking points: Tom Diaz from the anti-gun Violence Policy Center (which is largely funded by guess who… the Joyce Foundation). Johnson didn’t just use these talking points as a starting point, he mindlessly parroted the words almost verbatim. A couple examples:

  • Diaz: “It is indeed almost impossible to exaggerate the lethality of these weapons of war.” Johnson: “It is almost impossible to exaggerate the lethality of the .50-caliber sniper rifle.”
  • Diaz: “Translate that into civilian terms and you have the perfect weapon for assassination and terrorism[.]” Johnson: “[B]ut in civilian terms, you have a perfect weapon for assassination and terrorism.”

I shot off a letter to the “Gazette” pointing all this out and which I concluded, “It’s easy to see who is controlling IPGV’s agenda, and it’s not the people of Iowa.” In a stroke of good luck they published my letter three days before Johnson had one published in which he used those very talking points, hopefully eroding his credibility. It was fun for this David to sling a stone at a (then well-funded) Goliath.

In the end, however, IPGV probably wasn’t brought down by the efforts of gun owners like myself so much as it was by it’s own waste, greed and inefficiency. But like the mighty Soviet Empire, as long as it topples who cares why?

It should be noted that while IPGV couldn’t find many actual Iowans to support their cause, pro-gun freedom groups like Iowa Carry (which relies primarily on dues and contributions from living, breathing Iowans) seem to be surviving and growing.

So on behalf of myself, Iowa’s gun owners, and every other Iowan who wouldn’t open their wallet to IPGV, let me say: “Good riddance!” I think I’ll celebrate IPGV’s demise with a trip to the shooting range.

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