Monday, October 18, 2010


I've been debating with Joan Peterson, a Brady Campaign board member who blogs as Japete at

Joan had been writing as if she is just an ordinary woman from Minnesota who believes in common sense gun laws.  Based on a blog post by WeerdBeard, I asked Japete (I wasn't sure of her identity at this point) if she was a Brady Campaign board member or similar.  She first demanded "why do you need to know this information.  She finally wound up admitting to being a member of the local Million Mom March (A Brady subsidiary group), and on the board of several anti domestic violence groups--but for some reason repeatedly refused to either confirm or deny whether she was a Brady board member, although she clearly denied being a paid staff member.

After a bit of Googling, I found that Joan Peterson is listed on the Brady Campaign web page as a Brady Campaign board member and the President of the Minnesota Million Mom Chapter.   Both Japete and Joan Peterson had a sister who was murdered with a gun by an ex in 1992.  Both are from Minnesota, and are associated with the Brady Campaign and the Million Mom March.  I am convinced.  I cannot think of any sensible reason to be evasive about being a member of the Brady board, unless you are trying to be deceptive.

Evasion and deception are very common on her blog,  Joan has repeatedly said that she does not want to ban guns--she just wants to keep them out of the hands of the wrong people.  Like most of her statements, it needs examination and clarification--although she says she does not support a gun ban, she does support a renewal of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.  According to her, banning many guns isn't a gun ban--you have to ban all guns for it to count as a gun ban.   She won't say what the second amendment protects--as far as I can tell, she thinks it protects the government's right to arm the national guard or something.

She wants to end the gun show loophole by requiring background checks on all gun purchases at a gun show rather than just the purchases from dealers.  Even when directly asked she will not say whether she wants to require background checks on all sales, nor does she say how she will handle purchases where the initial meeting is at a gun show, but the actual transaction takes place somewhere else.

Joan thinks that it is wrong to criticize US Representative Carolyn McCarthy, because  McCarthy's husband was shot by a spree shooter.   This especially applies to criticism of the laws McCarthy proposes or her ignorance of the details of her laws.  (McCarthy is the one who was questioned on the content of the 1994 assault weapons ban, and was unable to correctly explain what a barrel shroud was--she thought it was 'the shoulder thing that goes up')

Recently we have been discussing laws on machine guns.  From 1934, civilian machine gun ownership came under heavy federal regulation.  Since then, only 2 legal owners have been convicted of machine gun crime.  Despite this near perfection among legal owners, in 1986 the Hughes Amendment closed the registry--existing registered guns could still be bought and sold, but newly built or imported ones could not be owned by civilians.  I've asked several times how this 50 year near perfect record required further restrictions--and if that record wasn't good enough, what gun law would be good enough?   She made disparaging comments about unrestricted sale of machine guns, which isn't close to what we were discussing.


  1. Joan Peterson stated in several interviews she was "disappointed" in the Supreme Court decisions -- Heller and McDonald -- that ended gun bans.

    So, tell me again Ms. Peterson how you don't support a gun ban?

  2. Anonymous9:59 PM

    She does not support gun bans because she does not see a handgun ban as a "gun ban". In her world, those two words describe a total and complete prohibition on all firearm ownership, period, and nothing else at all.

    She literally does not comprehend the English language or its application... and she wants to convince people that SHE IS RIGHT. *twitch*

  3. Her posts are getting increasingly bizarre. Her rant today almost had me convinced that she is an agent provocateur.

    Hopefully she'll get fed up and try to ban swimming pools or motorcycles, and leave gun owners alone.

  4. You wrote:

    > I cannot think of any sensible reason to be evasive about being
    > a member of the Brady board, unless you are trying to be deceptive.

    Well, for one thing, there are thousands of gun-crazies out there who think nothing of making death threats, including one guy who blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, so if Ms. P. wants to keep her well-reasoned site separate from her Brady affiliation, it does make sense.

    Best wishes,

    --Mike Barkley, Candidate for Congress,

  5. Coincidental, commenting on this months-old post, just when another anti-second amendment activist got kicked off Twitter for outing people. I'm guessing you want to claim some sort of hypocrisy.

    Back when I was active on Usenet, there were a few people who would insist 'lurkers support me in email', an unprovable statement when someone was losing an argument. 'Death Threats from gun nuts' is basically the same thing. Credible death threats should be reported to authorities, otherwise ignored. I've occasionally run across death threats when clearing out my spam folder--I doubt any of them were even directed at me specifically. I've also seen some pretty innocuous statements being misconstrued as threatening, including my last comment on Japete's blog back in January.

    Joan's Brady affiliation has been open for quite a long time as far as I can tell--It was disingenuous of her to use the handle Japete, then claim to be 'outed'. I wasn't at all interested in knowing specifically who she was, that was a side effect of learning she was a Brady board member.

    And I would be interested in knowing of her well-reasoned site--apparently I was reading the other one.