This is an Idaho gun owner?

Yesterday I came across a letter from a supposed Idaho gun owner that really has me wondering. Is this some sort of Brady revenge for Mary McFate? Are they having people send out fake letters? Or is just some old guy with the early signs of Alzheimer’s?

July 8, 2009

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy                  The honorable Jeff Sessions
Chairman                                                        Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary   U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building           152 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510                              Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Sessions:

I am writing to express strong disagreement with the National Rifle Associations’ (NRA) views on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. NRA concerns were sent to you in a letter from Executive Director Chris Cox dated July 7, 2009.

I am a veteran, a manufacturing firm executive and a gun owner. I own three pistols, two riles and a shotgun. I enjoy hunting, target shooting, and the feeling of safety that guns provide.

I have lost respect and trust in NRA to deal with gun matters in America and encourage you to ignore their advice about Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation.

NRA characterizes the firearms issue through the narrow toilet-paper tubes of fear that ‘liberals’ with an anti-gun agenda will take away our guns. The reality is that illegal and improper use, storage, or transfer of guns is a significant problem in America. I strongly support gun ownership but come down on the side of organizational and personal responsibility and competence with respect to guns. Guns are dangerous.

When I was a youth and through my 30s I was an NRA member, looked forward to my American Rifleman magazine, and counted on NRA to help keep ‘gun control’ a private, not government matter. NRA provided hunter and sportsman skills, safety, property rights, and firearm maintenance training for many years; however, NRA’s emphasis has become political, not around firearm competence and responsibility. When I was a Boy Scout assistant scoutmaster, NRA was not there for my sons and other boys in the troop so I was forced to arrange gun safety and skills training through off-duty police. Here in Idaho where I live there are no NRA basic firearm training programs even though this is a great outdoor sports state.

I have high respect for Judge Sotomayor. If I were able to question at her confirmation hearing, here are some I would like to ask:

  • Do you believe that gun ownership in America carries responsibility by the owner to be competent in the storage, handling, maintenance, and use of the owned firearms?
  • Do you think that the ‘well regulated militia’ language in the second amendment implies that private gun owners should be trained and certified perhaps as automobile drivers are tested for knowledge, skill, and abilities?
  • Should gun ownership carry insurance requirements for liability and health damages caused by the gun owner?

Thank you for considering my views.


Laurence P. Gebhardt
1200 Aspen Drive
Pocatello, ID 83204

From reading what I can about this guy (samples are here [in the comments], here, here, here, and here) he has significant liberal tendencies. So this may just be an issue of supporting whatever the Democrats support. I assure you, what he says about the NRA and gun ownership does not represent any of the gun owners I know in Idaho. I know a fair number of gun owners that are unhappy with the NRA but what their problem with the NRA is that they feel the NRA should compromise less and take a stronger stand against unconstitutional and ineffective laws. Just the opposite of this guy. And he has basic facts wrong. Example:

  • He claims “the NRA’s emphasis has become political, not around firearm competence and responsibility”. I’m sure that comes as quite a surprise to:
    • The many thousands of NRA certified instructors
    • The thousands of people that shoot in NRA matches each year
    • The recipients of NRA range grants
    • Thousand and thousands of other people who have personally benefited from the many NRA programs
  • He claims “Here in Idaho where I live there are no NRA basic firearm training programs.” But probably 10% to 20% of the shooters I know in Idaho are NRA certified firearms instructors and regularly put on classes. It’s possible that isn’t true in Pocatello, but I have a tough time believing he even looked for someone that teaches NRA classes in Idaho.

He then goes on to suggest Judge Sotomayor should be asked questions that are totally inappropriate for a judge. They are appropriate for a legislator or someone in the executive branch, but a judge? And the content of the questions are of a type I would expect to be asked by some intern at the Brady Campaign.

This isn’t like any Idaho gun owner I know.


15 thoughts on “This is an Idaho gun owner?

  1. I wonder if this is the same Larry P Gephardt that got kicked out the Navy in ’92 for sexual assault of civilian employees at the Naval War College.

  2. He also says that he is a manufactoring firm executive. For which company? I want to boycott it, if possible (it may be that they deal in something I never come in contact with).

  3. What bearing does his naval career have on his gun politics? Is that always the first thing you guys do when dealing with a potential “enemy?”

    I didn’t find anything too suspicious in the letter, until, I have to admit, he posed those questions for Sotomayor. They seemed a little weird.

  4. You mean his ad hominem attacks and blatant lying about NRA training programs were perfectly acceptable to you?

    Color me unsurprised.

  5. “Is that always the first thing you guys do when dealing with a potential “enemy?””

    And why not. These anti-gun people have been lying and cheating and misrepresenting gun owners for 2 generations. It’s more than past time that they got a taste of their own medicine.

  6. Joe,
    Thanks for the link.
    Well, after reading his bio, I guess I can’t really avoid him. “ASD constructs and repairs vessels that operate in Alaska waters”. So whatever those ships carry might end up at my door step. Ah, well.

    But I am a little more upset that he graduated from the U of U, and still turned out as liberal as he is. But the brief bio didn’t say WHEN he graduated. That may account for it. Utah’s usually been a fairly conservative state, but there was a time when it was a lot more Democrat / liberal, back in the day when being Democrat meant representing the people, instead of perverts, deviants and socialists. But there’s no accounting for individuals.

    And to mikeb302000:
    One of the first rules of warfare; Know thy enemy. Find out what his/her/its backgrond is, where it’s “coming from”. After all, when someone’s attacking you and your way of life, in order to strike back, you need to find out that enemy’s weaknesses.

    What’s your’s, I wonder?

  7. Hey mikeb, the lefties play the character assassination game all the time – I figure that turnabout is fair play, especially since I don’t find myself particularly weighed down by “ethics” when it comes to guy who’s Naval career ended in disgrace as a black mark on our armed forces.

  8. Mikeb, maybe you and this guy can start a group called Rapists for Gun Control.

  9. The fact that Gebhardt is using the standard anti-gun talking points is the main issue. That he has other, pretty serious, baggage is just icing on the cake.

    The age-old tactic of saying, “I’m a gun owner and a hunter, but…” has grown thin. The idea is that we’re supposed to give him more credence because he’s a gun owner. Never mind human rights and never mind the constitution, and certainly don’t use logic. That he is a “gun owner” calling for more restrictions on gun owners is all we’re supposed heed.

    If that’s how a good argument works, i.e. your status alone gives extra credence to your otherwise silly assertions, then surely your military career status is as valid as your status as a gun owner. Hence they cancel each other out and we’re left with just the silly, anti rights/pro nanny state assertions made by a nobody.

    I assert that your status as a gun owner, cop, soldier, etc., or one who can juggle six bowling pins while ridding a unicycle and whistling Dixie, is irrelevant to the conversation at hand.

  10. Wow. I am as pro gun rights as any of you, but I don’t see why you need to attack the guy like this. He is just another anti-gunner with misinformed opinions. No need to stoop to their level. He probably believes what he is saying, but he just hasn’t been “enlightened”. We need to educate these folks.

  11. “He is just another anti-gunner with misinformed opinions.”

    And a vote.

    And a computer, and/or pen, paper, and Senators’ addresses.

    If misinformed opinions were all this Bigot had at his disposal, I might agree with you that he’s a harmless nincompoop. But that’s not the case, DCDC; Gebhardt is actively campaigning AGAINST my rights. He’s attacking me when I’ve never in my life done him a bit of harm. I’m pretty sure all the other commenters on this thread can say the same – I’d be very surprised if anyone reading this site has ever met, much less harmed Gebhardt. But he attacks our rights and by extension our persons; that opens him to counterattack.

    If he doesn’t want gun owners bashing him, he ought not try to deprive us of our rights.

    And as far as “He probably believes what he is saying, but he just hasn’t been “enlightened”. We need to educate these folks.”…

    Beliefs aren’t facts. Beliefs are a dime a dozen; if they’re not based in fact they’re like belly-buttons – everybody has one, and they don’t do much. Facts win arguments. If he hasn’t been “enlightened”, it’s because he’s not willing to research facts; probably because he has his head up his politics-hole. And educating these folks is what Joe does, right here, every day. Feel free to tell Gebhardt to try to keep up… I’ll bet he’ll tell you to shut up; he’s not interested in facts.

Comments are closed.