By Jim R. Schwiesow

October 23, 2006

Tell me when did liberty ever exist when the sword and the purse were given up? --Patrick Henry


As the man alighted from his car and was walking to the door of his home he was startled to see the frozen and still form of a small serpent lying in the grass adjacent to the walk. Filled with compassion for the creature, the man picked up the stiff little reptile and carried it into his home, where he gently and compassionately wrapped it in warm towels. With loving care he revived the creature. When the snake was fully resuscitated and mobile, it lashed out suddenly and struck its benefactor with a venomous bite. As the man lay dying he said to the snake, “Why would you repay my compassion with such treachery? I brought you into my home and I treated you with kindness.” To which the snake replied, “You knew that I was a snake when you brought me in.”


I tell you this story to emphasize the importance, nay the necessity, of being able to recognize the snakes that come, uninvited, into our lives. They may masquerade as benevolent benefactors. They may ingratiate themselves with flowery talk about wanting to assist in the protection of our loved ones. Or they might use the approach that is so familiar to old-time law enforcement officers, “Hi there, we’re from the government and we are here to help.” Sure they are, like the snake they are maneuvering themselves into position to inflict that last fatal strike.


Make no mistake about it the snakes are on the move and when one contemplates the progress that they have made in regard to the abridgement of the protections and guarantees of the constitution, and the skillful maneuvering into place of an increasingly socialistic order it should give pause to some serious consideration as to counter measures, if, we - a once free people - are to regain the liberties that we have lost.

Socialistic liberal groups, legislative representatives on both the state and federal levels, the courts - and yes some governors - have made great strides in their attack upon the second amendment guarantee of our right to keep and bear arms. It’s time – no it’s way past time – to fight back.


For twenty-eight years, as the sheriff of Sioux County, Iowa, I held the absolute and unconstitutional power to deny my constituents the right to self- protection. Their right to protect themselves from criminal predators, and the right to protection from the tyranny of a run-a-way government, was entirely in my hands. Statutes, in the State of Iowa, gives the individual sheriffs in the ninety-nine counties of the state, the sole discretion as to whether a citizen may go armed for his own protection and the protection of others. This power is not only unconstitutional; it is inherently unjust in that it denies equal rights and equal treatment for, and of, the people. The fact that a citizen’s rights depend upon the whims and caprice of a single individual flies in the face of all that is reasonable and proper in a free society.


That I did not avail myself of that legislatively delegated power was fortunate for the people who resided in my county. But, what of the rest of the people in the state? In many instances sheriffs, who cared not about the second amendment or the absolute and inalienable right to personal protection, routinely denied concealed carry permits to all but law enforcement officers. I remember well a conversation that I had with one such sheriff. When the subject of the issuance of gun permits came up, he informed me that it was his policy to deny all such applications. When I reminded him of the second amendment right of citizens to keep and bear arms he exploded, and said, “F*** them and their rights, in my county I grant that right, and if I choose not to issue gun permits there is not a damn thing that they can do about it.” He went on to say that the NRA had written him a letter regarding his refusal to issue permits, and that he had told them that they could stick their letter in their a**. And believe me I have cleaned up the language here. But, that is the state of affairs in the State of Iowa, and it has not changed to this day.


I am happy to be able to report that this particular individual no longer occupies such an important office. The gun owners of his county united. When it was time for his re-election they as a group - and individually - campaigned against his re-election. They went door to door and spoke personally with their fellow citizens about the despotic tendencies of this man who occupied the highest executive position in the county. And their dedication and commitment to the task paid dividends. On Election Day the man was removed and replaced, a well-deserved outcome for an ethically deprived despot.


This is the kind of action it will take if we the people are to regain control of the government that is raining destruction upon our rights and our liberties daily. We have to cast this silly notion of party loyalty aside. We have to go after the pernicious vultures that prey upon our individual liberties in their quest to meld us into an easily manipulated socialistic society. We have to promote and vote for people of integrity. Not only the integrity to do what is right, but the integrity to refuse to do that which is wrong in exchange for money and votes.


It behooves us be ruthless in our condemnation and censure of those who betray our trust and merciless in removing them from office. It is in our best interest to stalk the betrayers of our constitutional republic with righteous fervor, and remove them from any authority over our personal lives. We have to unite and fight, both as a people and individually, to obliterate a reprobate government and renew the institution set in place by the framers of the constitution.

And if we do not, my friends, we will soon be cannon fodder for a socialistic state.


Patrick Henry led us into this column, and he will take us out, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect anyone who approaches that jewel! Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force, and whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined!”


© 2006 - Jim R. Schwiesow - All Rights Reserved