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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.


‘Deadly force’ bill advances out of committee

By Lynda Waddington | 03.03.11 | 7:46 am

A bill that allows Iowans to protect themselves or others with deadly force has been approved by an Iowa House committee, clearing its first legislative hurdle on the way to becoming law.

The bill, House File 7, has drawn critics, especially within the ranks of law enforcement, who hold concerns that the measure could result in an escalation of a situation that otherwise might have been resolved non-violently. And, as The Iowa Independent previously reported, legal experts fear that when combined with legislation assigning personhood rights to fertilized eggs, the bill could allow those on trial for killing abortion or family planning providers to say they acted in defense of another person.

Had the measure had not gained committee approval this week, it would have effectively been defeated for the 2011 legislative session. Yet, while the move by the committee guarantees that the bill will have a chance for further debate, it does not mean that the measure will ultimately be adopted by both chambers and sent to Gov. Terry Branstad.

Sponsored by 29 GOP House members, House File 7 seeks to expand state law regarding use of reasonable force, including deadly force. Current state laws provide that citizens are not required to retreat from their dwelling or place of business if they or a third party are threatened. The proposal would significantly expand this so that citizens are not required to retreat from “any place at which the person has a right to be present,” and that in such instances, the citizen has the right to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect himself or a third party from serious injury or death or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

The proposed legislation also provide criminal and civil immunity for those that use such force, unless a subsequent police investigation shows probably cause that the actions taken were not “reasonable.”

… A law enforcement agency may use standard investigating procedures for investigating the use of force, but the law enforcement agency shall not arrest a person for using force unless the law enforcement agency determines there is probable cause that the force was unlawful under this chapter.

If it is later determined by a court or jury that the person was justified in using reasonable force under the circumstances, and the person is found not liable in a civil court, the person shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees, court costs, compensation for loss of any income, and reimbursement of any other expenses incurred as a result of being arrested and charged, to be paid by the civil plaintiff. …

Lawmakers on the House Public Safety Committee voted 13-9 to advance the bill. The vote fell strictly along party lines.

The “personhood” bill, which has been championed by Iowa’s social conservatives, has not yet gained the committee approval it needs in order to advance in this legislative session. The Family Leader and other conservative groups continue to push their supporters to encourage lawmaker support for the measure.

If both bills would become law, legal experts believe the combination could prove deadly for abortion providers. One bill states that a person exists from the moment of conception, while the other allows for the use of deadly force for the protection of such a person.

In addition, the “personhood” bill would likely make illegal any form of birth control that creates an unwelcome environment in a woman’s uterus for a fertilized egg. Using those guidelines, it remains unclear if pharmacists dispensing birth control pills or emergency contraception — or family planning counselors advocating their use — could be viewed as someone endangering the life of “a person.”

The two bills combined also appear to place women in the role of second-class citizen. Although House File 7 would allow any Iowan facing danger to react to and eliminate such a danger, even if such actions led to the death of another person, the “personhood” bill provides so such path for pregnant women facing medical complications. House File 153, the “personhood” bill, does not include language that would allow legal abortion under any circumstance.

Lobbyist declarations on House File 7 show 15 organization publicly opposing the measure, ranging from the Iowa Police Chief Association to the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa. Gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association of America and the Iowa Firearms Coalition along with social conservative organizations like the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition are registered in support.

Only the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition has also registered its support of House File 153, the “personhood” bill. The Iowa Independent did reach out to the group’s lobbyist, Norm Pawlewski, for the organization’s reasoning behind the two supportive declarations, but no response was provided.

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  • egc52556

    So if a pharmacist is held liable for selling a product that harms a “person”, then will gun shop owners be liable for selling their products? Guns harm persons all the time, and there is no debate about the personhood of their victims.

    How about if a pregnant woman claims the fetus (the “person”) could cause her “serious injury or death or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Some pregnancies can cause death to the woman. Being forced to carry a “person” inside one’s uterus against one’s wishes could certainly be considered “serious injury”… it might perhaps even be a “forcible felony.”

    This debate ought to be interesting.

  • Citizen Kane

    Where are the jobs?
    This is so fraught with leagal issues, will we impeach the judges again when they throw this in the trash too? We will have to ban invetero fertilization as well, not all of the fertilized eggs survive that procedure as well. Will all these doctors have goverment sanctioned targets on their backs?

  • Dave L

    HF7 Allows people to use reasonable force without having to retreat. I am from Indiana and we have had this law for some time. There has been NO wild west shootouts in Indiana, Kentucky or other states where this has passed. I should not have to fear going to prison for defending my family against violent predators anywhere I have a right to be. I have found all gun carriers I have met to be levelheaded and well trained. Many have more training than your average policeman. I agree with the law and I am an admitted environmentalist and “tree hugger” (liberal in many areas), but I also believe in the right to defend my family anywhere I have a right to be. I also have a carry license and act responsibly!

  • David Larson

    In the states that have passed this and had it in force for some time there have been no major issues. Law abiding gun carries are still just that…. Law Abiding!

  • Anonymous

    The states that issued Castle Law Doctrine laws were initially concerned about new violence.  The standard phrase was Wild West and bloodbath.  And after they adopted the laws?  The newspapers note that nothing like Wild West happened at all.  Even to the point that those who were most opposed to its adoption are now openly scratching their heads wondering why it didn’t cause a problem.

    Watch the facts that follow the adoption of  a new policy.  Facts are informative.  And in this case, Castle Doctrine had universally  been the way to go.  Don’t take my word for it.  Don’t follow your guns are evil predjudice.  Investigate the facts.

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