Dave Sam Paredes

SAM PAREDES, left, and Dave Souza pose for a picture at the Jan. 15 Georgetown Divide Republican Women Federated monthly luncheon. Courtesy photo


Gun Owners of California: Saving gun rights one citizen at a time

By From page A4 | February 08, 2013

The Georgetown Divide Republican Women Federated hosted its monthly luncheon at the IOOF Hall on Jan. 15, with a special guest speaker and at least 80 people in attendance. Returning a third time was Executive Director of Gun Owners of California Sam Paredes.

Gun Owners of California is a non-profit lobbying organization formed to protect and preserve Second Amendment rights. GOC fights at the Capitol in Sacramento, while the GOC Political Action Committee is dedicated to defeating anti-gun politicians and replacing them with solid pro-gun leaders. The group’s pamphlet states, “We know the battle must be fought politically, therefore we must also accept the fact that money and organization are power. The more resources and members an organization has, the more powerful they are.”

Awareness of current issues is a key aspect, and, according to Paredes, too many voters rely on television to inform them.

“Simply being aware about the issues and talking to friends, neighbors and family members is a huge help,” he said. “For example, a message or virus can spread through the Internet like wildfire, and so can a good message spread through a family. Most elections are run by margins. We’ve had elections run in California that were won by less than 100 votes this last year and two years ago. We just need people willing to take their time to help.”

Paredes assists people like Dave Souza — who plans on running for an El Dorado County Board of Supervisors seat in 2014 — who began as concerned citizens interested in making a change in the world. Paredes helps such people learn the things they need to know, to groom them as it were, for the ballot. Among the things they do for candidates are recruit, train and assist in fundraising. Finding new leadership requires seeking different types of groups for that person with a special spark, who is articulate, nice and well-educated.

“We look for people like Dave Souza, and John D’Agostini, salt-of-the-earth guys. There’s an awakening happening in California,” said Paredes, who has spoken to 106 different groups in the last 18 months. “We love having people come and be a part of taking action.”

To get more involved with GOC, visit the Website at

“It’s not a secret, there’s no magic; it’s just hard work,” said Paredes. “We need law-abiding citizens willing to testify to the Legislature or show support at rallies and different events.”

According to Paredes, the legislators do everything they can to make it hard for citizens. For example, they will only allow two people from the GOC to speak for two minutes in a testimony. For that reason the GOC typically chooses the most articulate and effective people.

The basic theme of Paredes’ speech at the Republican Women’s meeting was stand up for your rights, or give them up. Stand up, or roll over. Pro-gun citizens have fallen asleep. Many have nearly given up the fight and are sitting back, while their rights are being taken away, according to Paredes.

And why are they trying to take our guns away? Paredes asked. His answer was simple: Because they’re afraid of us. And they have a good reason to be afraid, because they may deserve what’s coming, he said.

“The law they fear is the law of the Old West, of the quick and the dead,” said Paredes. “We know about the lies behind the Wall Street bailout. We know about the lies behind 9/11. The training and control over the masses is blatant and disgusting.”

The government has been using our First Amendment right (press) to take away our Second Amendment right (to bear arms), Paredes said.

Brooke Rother, former Georgetown Fire Board member, said he agreed.

“They are very specific in what they allow to be disseminated,” he said following the meeting. “All the good things that happen with guns are never portrayed as anything, and all the little bad things that happen with them are blown out of proportion, as if that’s the only thing that ever happens with them. It’s up to us to educate ourselves.”

“I can’t blame the politicians because we elected them. We can’t blame them for doing what we’re allowing them to do,” Rother added. “We have to either take responsibility for it, or accept it. I feel sad if we let this right go. The feeling that freedom is free is wrong. Freedom takes work, it takes responsibility.”

Audience member Cliff Habig recalled when the Communist Party said they were going to take America without a single shot.

“This is what they were talking about,” he said. “This gun control is a new way for the government to control us and overtake us. Pay attention to what’s going on around us. Remember the frog that you can place in a pot of water and slowly heat it until he cooks and can’t get out.”

“Television is slowly degrading our children,” Habig continued. “(It’s) another form of control.”

Johnny Fuentes of Breezy Screens is a landowner, and has a shooting range on his private property in Georgetown. Fuentes is a former Marine and marksmanship instructor hoping to help the community in his own way with his expertise and guns. He’s interested in a class for women, educating women about gun safety at his home. The class will be free and the first course will be book learning and discussion. Second class will teach the components of a gun, loading, reloading, handling, cleaning and safety of weapons.

“Women need to be more proficient than men, with guns,” said Fuentes. “Because who’s the victims most of the time? Guys don’t mess with guys. Usually it’s the women and children. My goal is to somehow implement something that doesn’t involve the government.”

This gun safety course for women will be held later in the year when warmer weather returns.

Michele Hardy

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