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By Larry Pratt
November 25, 2008

One of the emblems of Hurricane Katrina was the horrific invasion of Patricia Konie's home by members of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). They entered Miss Konie's home -- against her expressed wishes. The Oakland TV station video of this can be seen here.

Miss Konie (as she is universally known) was told that she needed to leave the city even though the storm had passed, her home was high and dry, and she was well-provisioned. One of the cops asked what she would do if a looter invaded the house and she lifted her antique .38 revolver as if she were holding a paperweight. "With this," she said.

One of them immediately shouted: "She's got a gun." Three of these big thugs then tackled her in her kitchen, breaking her collar bone. As they scuffled on the floor, one of them said, "We're just trying to help you."

The CHP attack team then hauled Miss Konie (pronounced Connie) out of her house, manhandling her into a truck to be shipped off to South Carolina for three months. Taxpayers also got stuck with the $3500 bill for providing shots and general care for her dog during this time.

In a conversation with Rep. Steve Scalise of New Orleans, I asked whether this little lady who probably does not weigh 100 pounds had had her gun returned. The Congressman had her phone number in his blackberry, and he had his staff get an answer to this question. She had not, of course, gotten her gun back.

So we agreed that even though GOA could not get in the business of indemnifying gun owners who have been abused by their government, we could make whole this very conspicuous lady who had suffered from an out-of-control government.

I travelled to New Orleans on October 22 for the presentation of a replacement .38 caliber handgun. Scalise arranged for this to be done at the Pro Sport Shop in downtown New Orleans. Miss Konie made the purchase, and we had the news conference which went very well.

After the media left, the shop owner called in for a Brady Instant Check -- as required by law -- but was told the sale could not go through. Apparently, Miss Konie's birth date on her Medicare
records did not match the date on the driver's license she used for the sale.

So, the government invades Miss Konie's home, breaks her collar bone, steals her gun, and then uses a law that does not keep criminals from getting guns to keep Miss Konie from getting hers!

Don't you feel safer knowing how the Brady Law has been protecting you from the likes of Miss Konie?

An additional dimension of government thuggery emerged during my visit. While serving in the state legislature, Representative Scalise got acquainted with Jim Gel, the owner of Pro Sport Shop. The City of New Orleans had been suing Pro Sport because a gun that had been legally sold there had ended up being used in a crime. Scalise got a law passed that cut the lawsuit off at the knees, but not before it had cost Pro Sport tens of thousands of dollars.

While the City lost the case, they were not finished hammering Pro Sport. During Katrina, when the store was abandoned, neighbors reported seeing the police invade the store from the front, and on another occasion, from behind.

No wonder the population of New Orleans has declined post-Katrina. Many folks found that life was better after they fled the city and ended up in new locations.

The travails of Miss Konie and Pro Sport spotlight all that is wrong with the attitude of too many in government who consider themselves above the law.

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Miss Konie's continuing abuse by government also underscores the need to get rid of the Brady Law. The National Academy of Science and the federal government's Center for Disease Control have both found that there is no research that indicates that any gun control law has lowered crime. Even more reason to junk a bad idea and say: "Bye, bye, Brady."

� 2008 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved

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Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.

He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution & Militias, 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.

The GOA web site is: Pratt's weekly talk show Live Fire is archived there at:  

E-Mail: [email protected]

Either Pratt or another GOA spokesman is available for press interviews.









One of them immediately shouted: "She's got a gun." Three of these big thugs then tackled her in her kitchen, breaking her collar bone. As they scuffled on the floor, one of them said, "We're just trying to help you."