Thursday, May 22, 2014

Liza O'Connor's Climbing Out of Hell

Liza O’Connor provides a deeper analysis of Iowa’s gun laws.

As an author of fiction, I tend to take reality and bend it for my readers’ entertainment. In this case, I took Iowa’s vote to allow blind people the right to carry a loaded weapon in public places and had fun with it.
Only a gun wasn’t going to work for me, because my character wished to go hunting. Also Sam, the sheriff of my fictitious town, would have never have given Leroy a permit to carry a gun. So I seized upon the fact that no permit is required for hunting rifles in Iowa. You can buy whatever and as many you want when it comes to ‘long’ guns. Now to shoot deer or turkey, you do require a hunting license, but that doesn’t concern Leroy. He wants to shoot pigeons
This left only one issue. I needed him to hunt in a park that borders Main Street. Since the town is fictitious, I had the park registered as hunting grounds as long as hunters don’t aim towards the town. Most towns in Iowa will not let hunters anywhere near their cities, because not all hunters are good shots… or sober, for that matter. But Denton is a very small town, population 2,154. And they have a very fine bit of wilderness near the river, which their ancestors used to bring home a quick meal. In the Victorian era when Denton was a prosperous river town, a half acre of the land was gentrified with several gazebos, or follies as they called them, park benches, and lots of bushes that require endless trimming. Despite all their changes, no ever removed the land’s classification as hunting ground.

Thus, when Leroy sits on a bench and fires an AK47 into the air, towards the sound of pigeons cooing in the trees, he is breaking no laws. He is not aiming towards the town and he is hunting on legal hunting ground. It doesn’t matter that he’s blind and cannot see what he’s shooting. Iowa doesn’t think that should impede a person’s right to carry arms.
Now you might challenge me that hunting and carrying a gun are very different things. That is true. Iowa has always perceived handguns to be far more dangerous than hunting guns. They’ll allow a twelve year old child to go hunting without supervision. (Any younger and they have to bring a parent along.). So when I say hunting regulation is lax, I mean it’s sound asleep.
Iowa’s official reason why they MUST allow blind people to carry loaded guns while walking about in public is because to deny them this right would put them in trouble with the federal Disabilities Act. If that is their reasoning, then it would be likewise illegal to deny Leroy his right to sit on registered hunting ground and shoot up into the tree with his AK47.
While four other states do allow blind people to hunt, they require a seeing partner to aim the gun. Most of these states allow laser beaming, so it’s easier for the seeing person to adjust the gun accurately, so it hits the deer instead of the trailer house a half mile further in the woods.
Iowa has no such regulations. Thus Leroy doesn’t need a seeing partner.
In case you’re curious, the four states that specifically allow blind people to hunt are Texas, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. That doesn’t necessarily mean blind people aren’t hunting elsewhere. In some cases, such as Iowa, it means the situation has never specially been addressed. But since Iowa isn’t requiring the blind person carrying a loaded gun in public arenas to have a seeing partner, why would they require such in their less regulated hunting?
And that is why Leroy gets to hunt pigeons with his AK47. Now let’s learn more about Trent’s redemption.

Climbing Out of Hell

Book 4 of the series

A Long Road to Love
Romantic Comedy
Billionaire Trent Lancaster has destroyed his relationship with the only woman who ever loved him. Now we discover the full truth of what happened.
He actually had reasons for his behaviors.
Still, there is no going back. Trent has lost Carrie forever, but he would rather die than marry Coco, so he does just that. Trent gives away most of his possessions, fakes his death, and starts over with a new face and a better attitude in a small town in Iowa where his half-brother Sam is sheriff.
Losing his true love has fundamentally broken Trent to his core. His only chance for happiness is to become the better man Carrie had always seen inside him.
True change is not easy. Can Trent grow up and become a man we can love?

Sam burst into the kitchen, frowned at Trent, then focused on Dani. “Leroy is at it again. I thought you said you were going to hide the damn thing?”
I did. But there aren’t many places one can hide an AK-47 rifle.”
Well, you hid it worth shit because it’s raining lead again at the downtown square!”
She gripped her head as if it might explode.
What’s the problem?” Trent asked.
Sam rolled his eyes. “Iowa passed a law allowing blind people to carry guns in public. So her grandfather, who is blind as a bat, sits on a bench in the square and shoots his AK into the trees.”
What’s he trying to shoot?”
Pigeons,” Sam and Dani answered at once. She glared him into silence and continued her reply. “He likes pigeon soup. A Pakistani doctor told him it would prevent strokes.”
Well, he’s giving me a stroke,” Sam snapped. “You have to make him stop!”
I’ve talked to him until I’m blue in the face. He won’t listen to me. Most of the time he thinks I’m three-years old. Who listens to a three-year-old?” She threw her hands up in frustration and turned back to the grill.
Trent didn’t care for the way Sam pushed Dani. Grandparents were impossible to boss around…at least his had been. “Why don’t you talk to him?’
Sam released a hurricane of air. “Because the mayor told me to stay away from him, since he is not breaking any laws, and any attempt on my part could result in a lawsuit against the town.” He eyed Trent. “You should talk to him.”
Sam, Trevor’s been in town an hour. You know Gramps doesn’t trust people right off.”
Neither do you, yet here he sits, like an old friend, watching you cook him dinner.”
She rescued the burgers off the grill, slapped them both on buns, and shoved one at Sam. “This is your hamburger. Trevor is holding out for braised lamb.”
Point still stands. Look, I think he can do the job. I intended to hit him with a ticket but he was so nice I sent him to you instead. He’s a likable guy. Let’s send him out and see if he can stop this madness.”
Then I’m shutting this bar down for safety violations.”
She stared at him in shock. “What violations?”
Don’t worry. Mr. Olsen will find something. He owes me big time after last night’s poker game.”
Trent stood up. “Sam, you’re digging yourself into a hole. Your initial solution was excellent, and frankly I’m honored you think so well of me. I’ll go talk to him right now. Just tell me how to get to Pigeonville.”
Sam grinned and slapped him on the back as he led him out of the kitchen. “Way to man up. Seriously, I’ll owe you one if you can get the gun away from Leroy and bury it six feet under.”
Trent just hoped being a nice guy didn’t get him buried six feet under as well.
Released May 1, 2014
Book Four of the series:
A Long Road to Love
Climbing out of Hell
Easily, the best of the series!”

Other books in the A Long Road to Love series
Book One
Worst Week Ever
Love this book and couldn't stop laughing from beginning to end.” 5 stars – Alves - Amazon

Book Two
Oh Stupid Heart
Be warned though, this book is completely different from The Worst Week Ever. Yes, there is still humor, dry wit, situations that you would think...NOT AGAIN but this one humanizes Trent more.” 5 stars - Brian’s Mom – Amazon

Book Three
Coming to Reason
Once again, Ms. O’Connor has written a brilliant book about the complexities of relationships, good and bad. Again, to me, the book is the best break up book EVER and it left my heart singing in the end. Best. Book. Ever…
Other Books by Liza O’Connor

Liza O’Connor
Author Bio:
Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.
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Worst Week Ever
Oh Stupid Heart
Coming to Reason


  1. Thanks for having me on your site.

  2. Great post, Liza. Really, those laws are insane. I tweeted.

  3. Fun post, Liza, But I think Leroy just might hit a pigeon.

    1. He does. He pretty well wipes out the pigeon population of Denton. But his ears ring from the AK 47, so he doesn't hear them dropping.

  4. What a fun scene and I love that you have taken a real life law and showed how silly it really can be! :)

    1. Yeah, it's much funnier in fiction than real life. Since he's shooting straight up, the bullets should tumble down which makes them less lethal, but it turns out bullets are really lethal when falling from the sky. They are most dangerous if you shoot midway in the air so the bullet lands 2 miles away. But in fictionland I have metal umbrellas save the day.

  5. I don't think I'd advocate blind people carrying guns. I seem to recall a Mr. Magoo animated with him swinging a shotgun around. Oh, well. Interesting article, Liza. And best of luck with your series.

    1. Thanks Marva. I don't advocate blind people having guns either, but Iowa sure does.

  6. Being Canadian the whole concept of gun ownership baffles me. But still a fun post.

    1. Allowing blind people and 12 years to carry AK 47s baffles me greatly. It baffles people in Iowa as well. There's a U tube which shows a father complaining because his 14 year old daughter cannot, according to current laws, shoot a hand gun, but she can shoot his rifles. I, personally, don't believe a kid should be shooting anything at all. Father thinks she should be able to shoot both.

  7. I was surprised Virginia wasn't one of those states. This looks like another winner, Liza. Congrats on your release!

  8. I heard about this law a while back and thought it absolutely absurd, but that's a conversation for another day. On a positive note, this was an entertaining blog post and I loved reading a glimpse more about Sam... more Sam!

  9. The absurdity is what made me create blind Leroy to shoot in the only direction he thought was safe: up. But gravity makes that unsafe as well.

  10. What an interesting post. I thought our gun laws were bad, lol. Love the series.