he Iowa Army National Guard has dropped plans for urban warfare training in the western Iowa town of Arcadia after being deluged by nearly 100 e-mails and phone calls from gun-rights advocates nationwide.
The four-day event in April would have involved between 90 and 100 combat troops arriving in the Carroll County community in a convoy with a Blackhawk military helicopter flying overhead.
Troops would have gone door to door, asking the town's 443 residents about a suspected arms dealer and conducting searches of homes if property owners volunteered in advance to cooperate. There was no opposition to the Guard's plans from city leaders. But gun-rights advocates were outraged, and news about the exercise became a hot topic nationally on radio talk shows and the Internet.
Arcadia Mayor Oran Kohorst said Monday he was disappointed the exercise had been canceled. He said he had not heard of a single objection from residents, and he said the City Council supported it. At least two guardsmen live in Arcadia, and many residents either have served in the military or have family members who have served in the armed forces, he said. "This was completely blown out of proportion," Kohorst said. "They were going to come through and meet with the townspeople and just practice going in and out of their homes. They were never, ever going to confiscate guns or anything like that."