Of Those With Cow, And Those With Moo

This session, Senate File 2639 (and its house companion, HF3238) have been the subject of a lot of misunderstanding (including on this very blog).   The bills would define how local authorities enforce federal law regarding dealing with firearms in the hands of those accused of domestic abuse.

The bills have also been the subject of an amazing amount of grandstanding rhetoric.

We’ll talk rhetoric first.  Then we’ll talk about the bill.

Aiming Low:  Representative Tony Cornish has, for a long, long time now, been the prime mover for Minnesota’s Second Amendment movement in the Legislature (after the retirement of Pat Pariseau).  Nobody has ever, ever called him “soft” on Second Amendment issues and escaped without being laughed out of the conversation.

But Cornish isn’t stupid.

After the debacle of the 2013 session – where the DFL marched into the legislature with reams of gun-regulation and confiscation bills copied and pasted from California, New York and Pennsylvania, and got publicly humiliated by the “Army of Davids” that the Minnesota gun rights movement mobilized, and a bipartisan assortment of pro-Human-Rights legislators – the anti-rights crowd, led by a more capable batch of professional politicial consultants and armed with shopping carts full of Michael Bloomberg’s cash, came to the Capitol with a brand new plan.  Their goal; find an emotional, red-meat issue that crossed party lines and would involve ratcheting up some sort of gun regulation, to eke out a win and help take the stench of death off of gun-control political efforts.

And there has been no better year since the seventies for the DFL to try to jam something down.  Remember – the DFL controls both chambers of the Legislature, and the Governor’s office.

All they’d have to do to pass any law – magazine restrictions and backdoor registration, to say nothing of taking guns from those accused of domestic abuse – is close ranks.

The fact that any such move would be political suicide is the result of two decades of organizing by the Minnesota 2nd Amendment movement – GOCRA, the MN-GOPAC, the NRA, the Twin Cities Gun Owners, and more. 

But politics is a two way street.  Both sides can play it – and Michael Bloomberg and the Joyce Foundation bought themselves some consultants who know how to play.

Remember – Tony Cornish, and all the other pro-human-rights legislators, are facing a DFL majority.   To avoid getting steamrolled, one of two things is needed:

  • Being OK with being steamrollered, or
  • canny negotiation.

Cornish and the rest of the pro-human-rights lobby chose negotiation. 

We’ll come back to that.

We Interrupt This Story For Some Law  – Domestic abuse is no laughing matter.  The law provides victims of domestic abuse some remedies under the law.  It also provides those accused of domestic abuse with the the right to due process.

Here, more or less, is now the process works (and every situation is different, so curb your inner lawyer.  Or outer lawyer, if you went to law school):

  1. Joe alleges his spouse, Jane, is beating him.  He goes to get a restraining order
  2. A judge signs off on an ex parte order (which means “one party”) “order for protection” (OFP).  The OFP prohibits contact (to say nothing of abuse) between Jane and Joe.  Firearms are, however, not an issue – yet.  It’s a temporary order, until the hearing (aka “due process”)
  3. Joe has Jane served a copy of the OFP.
  4. Jane has the option to request a hearing to review and contest the order.   She can (and probably should) bring a lawyer – it’s serious business (this, by the way, is the part many accused of domestic abuse skip, which screws things up for them badly).
  5. If  the judge believes, after the hearing that Jane is a significant threat to Joe’s safety, the judge may make the order “permanent” (which really means generally three years or so).
  6. If the order finds that the threat is really serious, the federal “Wellstone Amendment” may prohibit Jane from possessing firearms.

And it’s here that the contention slips in.

SF 2639 and HF 3238 were originally given to the DFL by Michael Bloomberg’s organization.   I’m not sure that Alice Hausman would have been arrogant enough to submit the bills in their original form,  which did not allow those accused any due proces at all, with guns required to be stored elsewhere as soon as the complaint was filed, before any hearing took place. 

Power Changes Everything - Like its namesake, the “Wellstone Amendment” is big on pronouncements and short on details.  It says those accused of a certain level of domestic abuse shouldn’t have firearms.  It leaves the details to the states.

And the original versions of the two bills, as sent from Michael Bloomberg’s organization, did terrible things with those details;  they would have invoked the Wellstone Amendment when the initial, temporary order was invoked (i.e. before any hearing), required the accused to store their guns with the police (for a “reasonable” fee that would be anything but in real life) and served as de facto gun registration.

And in a state like New York or Connecticut, with a weak or nascent gun rights movement, that’s exactly what would have passed.

But Minnesota’s Real Americans have spent the past two decades organizing one of the most potent grass roots movements in the state.  It’s a movement that has swayed entire elections in the past (the 2002 House race).  And after the humiliations the DFL suffered in 2013, they figured they weren’t going to get away with the ”loud and stupid” strategy favored by the likes of “Moms Demand Action” and the like.

So the DFL came to the gun rights movement, looking for a solution that would give them a “win” on domestic violence, but not stir up the hornet’s nest needlessly.  And the movement – GOCRA, the NRA and the like – gave them the solution.  To return to our example above, Jane will need to store any guns she owns with friends, the police, or a licensed dealer, but only after the hearing for the permanent order.  The new bill will require Jane to transact this within three days, and for the police to notify the judge two days after that.

No guns move before “due process” – a hearing, with counsel – has taken place. 


Let’s make sure we’re clear on what just happened – and I’m going to put this in loud blue text to make sure everyone catches it; even though the DFL controls both chambers and the governor’s office, they had to come to the Gun Rights movement to get some form of their bill passed.   And the bill got turned from Michael Bloomberg’s fascist nightmare into something that can exist in a free society. 

It wasn’t perfect.  But when you’re outnumbered two chambers to none, and have a DFL governor who will follow whatever way Big Left pulls his leash, “perfect” isn’t an option.

Everyone’s A Kamikaze With Someone Else’s Plane - When you walk into a restaurant, and see two items on the menu – peanut butter sandwich, and lard sandwich – you can try to order a Porterhouse with a baked potato.  You can order it, and order it, and order it again.  All it’ll do is give you a pissed-off waitress, and no food at all.

And that’s the strategy that some “gun rights” groups, including Iowa-based “Minnesota Gun Rights”, took.   They spent the session demanding that the pro-Second-Amendment minority impale itself on demands to completely reject the legislation – which was the “porterhouse steak” option in a restaurant full of peanut butter and lard.

Their “plan”:  pretend that fuming and spluttering and making grand pronouncements and handing the DFL a cheap chanting point for the fall would be anything other than an invitation to a catastrophe for liberty. 

This, of course, gives us not only the prospect of watching a Michael Bloomberg-penned bill get signed into law and the wholesale violations of rights that would follow, but to the Democrats going into the fall elections with reams of Alita-Messinger-paid ads saying that GOP legislators “voted to give guns to wife beaters”.  It’s a message that only the stupid would believe – but as the 2010 election showed us, there are 8,000 more stupid Minnesotans than smart ones.  And that’s all they need to maintain control of the House – giving the DFL even more time and power to jam down even worse gun laws.

And worse, in its way?  These astroturf groups engaged in “blue-on-blue” campaign that was either deeply stupid or intensely cynical, trying to brand not only the GOCRA but Tony Cornish as weak-kneed on gun rights.

Over a bill that was going to pass in some form no matter what anyone did, but which the DFL had to come to the Gun Rights movement for anyway.

Representative Cornish, writing on Facebook, gave us perhaps the best quote there is on the subject:

When the train is coming down the track, it’s admirable to stand and raise the middle finger, but…sometimes it’s better to do the damned best you can to change it’s route and avoid a much less desirable fate.

And those were the only two choices;  throw a finger at Bloomberg, get run over by the train, and have a law that would allow people’s Second Amendment rights to get run over as well – which isn’t even a symbolic victory, since it would make taking back the House that much harder – or enact a bill that basically gave a framework to federal law that protected due process.

When you get a choice between peanut butter and lard, take the peanut butter.  And this fall, find a better restaurant.  One with some cooks that know how to cook a porterhouse.


A spokesman from the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance responds to Joe Doakes’ piece this morning.

The letter from GOCRA follows, with added text bolded by me:


Doakes is referring to the modifications to 518B.01 on page 4.

At 4.16, you can see the existing language:

4.16 Subd. 6. Relief by court. (a) Upon notice and hearing, the court may provide
4.17 relief as follows:

and at 6.16, in the same subdivision, here’s where the new language starts:

6.16 (g) An order granting relief shall prohibit the abusing party from possessing firearms
6.17 for the length the order is in effect if the order (1) restrains the abusing party from

Due process is preserved.


In the chaos of this past few weeks, I’d missed the final version of the bill. 

It’s not perfect – but as the spokesperson says, due process is preserved.  And in a session where the only thing that separates “good” laws from “bans on magazines over seven rounds” is canny and tenacious negotiation rather than slogineering in pursuit of prinicple, it’s really the better of many possible endings.

UPDATE:  More on this story tomorrow.

The Harsh Reality

NOTE:  As noted in a subsequent post, Mr. Doakes is in rare error about the effect of the bills he refers to.  Please see the linked post for the response from GOCRA – which includes comments from Joe Doakes indicating that he misread the law.

Unlike some bloggers, I never remove posts – but I will make sure the context is clear. 


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Amending the statute relating to loss of firearms rights.

Allegation of child abuse – must have actual notice of the hearing so you can attend to contest issuance of the order.

Conviction for domestic abuse, stalking – you lost your case at trial, so you had notice and could contest the verdict.

Standard ex parte 518B.01 domestic abuse restraining order – no such requirement. Your domestic partner complains and you instantly lose your right to possess any firearms, for self-defense or hunting or anything. You don’t even have to turn in the firearms – the court must order the cops to go to your house and seize them, without a warrant.

It already passed the House so it should become law this session. Ripe for abuse and unlikely to save lives. But who will stand up against it?

Joe Doakes

“Standing against” it is the easy part.  Derailing a DFL political train, not so much.

The state is full of gun groups (some of them actually based in Iowa) that “stand against” this bill, loudly and with impeccable principle.

The problem, of course, is getting the votes to force changes to the bill.  Some of the most noxious provisions did get stripped out early (back in March), but the DFL is waiting with the “What you support wife-beaters?” line at a moment’s notice.  Count on it.

And remember – they have the votes, and leadership that owes Michael Bloomberg a victory, even a small one, after all the money they poured into this state in the past couple of years.

So some version of this bill is going to pass.

And if you’re a gun owner, the only solution is taking back the legislature with actual pro-Second-Amendment legislators.

Not posturing.  Not bellowing about principle, or demanding a “constitutional carry” bill in a DFL-controlled legislature where we barely avoided a seven round magazine restriction last year.

UPDATE: More on this story tomorrow.

Be Thankful, Peasants

Two billion in new taxes.

A 1.2 billion dollar surplus (thanks, GOP majority from 2011-2012!), which means “unexpected” money collected in taxes, and is money that is lost from the economy.

That’s a total of $3.2 billion extra dollars sucked out of the Minnesota economy – about $600 for every man, woman and child in the state, or close to $1,000 for every taxpayer.

And we’re supposed to be thankful that the DFL majority deigns to “give” us $550 million “back”.

That’s about 17 cents on the dollar.

If you gave your cashier a $20 bill for a $15 meal, and you got 85 cents in change, I’m going to guess you wouldn’t be “thankful”…

Compare And Contrast

Governor Messinger Dayton signed an increase in the state’s minimum wage today. 

What Governor Messinger Dayton Said:  “People who work hard should be paid enough to achieve the American Dream”. 

What Governor Messinger Dayton Actually Meant:  “I have now found a way to force the private sector to buy votes for the DFL”. 

Personal note:  One of my kids is working for more than the current minimum wage, but less than the new one.  I hope it’s the children of the sitting DFL legislators who lose their jobs when the wage rises, and not my kid. 

But I’m going to guess there’s not much chance of that.

Oceania Has Never Bullied Eastasia, Winston

The bill that the Metrocrats chose to call the “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” passed the Senate. 

Let’s look at what’s in a name.  Because the name “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” is intensely misleading – almost to a geometric fault.

There are so many names for this bill that are more appropriate:

The Redundant Feel-Good Act:  Every school district already has a bullying policy.  It’s the law. 

The PC Payoff Act:  This bill - probably soon to be a law – is a chit being paid back to the DFL’s supporters by the party currently in power, creating not only a protected class of students, but a super-di-duper protected class. 

The Full Employment For Bureaucrats Act:  This bill – which creates a huge unfunded mandate on top of all the others foisted on our school systems, to the point where many districts are nothing but mandate delivery systems with occasional spurts of “education” – will create a whole new class of administrators.  And they’ll belong to unions, who donate their dues money to the DFL. 

The Full Employment For Trial Lawyers Act:  The bill makes the entire process of dealing with “bullying” even more legalistic than it already is.  Legalistic means “designed to be controlled, and especially litigated (at an exquisitely expensive hourly rate) by lawyers”. 

The Type-Cast Your Child For Life Act:  Everything related to everything that can be defined as “bullying”, no matter how torturously, will become part of a child’s permanent academic record.  Which will affect childrens’ future chances at higher education, jobs, the military, jobs requiring security clearances and the like, long after the child has grown out of whatever phase they were in when they were bullies (and that’s assume they were rightly and justly accused of “bullying”, since the bill is also…)

“Stasi Had The Right Idea!” Act:   Anonymous informants?  Giving those who accuse others of bullying complete immunity from consequences if it turns out that the accusations were fabricated? 

The “Further Proof That North Dakotans Are Smarter Than Minnesotans” Act:  Other states – including our grown-up neighbor, my home state of North Dakota – address bullying by addressing bullying, passing laws that address actual behavior rather than creating the infrastructure for a network of secret denunciations and…

The Ideology Police Act:  …making all beliefs that don’t toe the PC line, especially personal religious beliefs, however manifested or stated, a form of behavior that needs to be watched and suppressed, overtly or subtly, “for the good of the children”.       

The “Let’s Have More Bullying, Not Less!” Act:  Bullying tends to go up, rather than down, in places with bullying bills.   

The Metrocrat Power Grab Of 2014 Act:  The bill – which does nothing to address bullying of children that isn’t already covered by existing policies – does coalesce more power to indoctrinate, to punish dissent from the state-sanctioned social views, and to extort more from the taxpayer in the bargain.  And it does it during the last session during which the DFL is guaranteed absolute power.                 

Could someone in the legislature please see to this?


I’m a big fan of every Minnesotan who turns out to protect the Second Amendment.  While I quibble about some peoples’ motivations, let’s face it; the more people the DFL see arrayed against them, the better.

But while some Minnesota Second Amendment groups bellow about “no compromise!”, the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance shows the benefit of working across the aisle at a time when the DFL and its gun-grabber allies are in complete control of Minnesota’s state government.

As we noted last week, Senator Ron Latz introduced an utterly intolerable bill that would have utterly gang-raped due process. 

Minnesota’s Second Amendment groups responded.  Despite Latz’s making the Real Americans wait six hours for the hearing, representatives from the Civil Rights community stuck it out, and stuck it to the gun-grabbers in the hearings. 

And then, since talk is cheap and easy,  they got down to the real work:

Following GOCRA attorney David Gross’s testimony, and after discussion with the committee’s legal counsel, Sen. Latz inserted clarifying language that limited the order for transfer to parties who had received due process of law, not just an accusation.

As a result of our discussions, Sen. Latz also testified to the committee that he intended to support House amendments allowing for “third parties,” such as friends or family, to take physical possession of the guns ordered removed from the accused, providing an alternative to the forced confiscation and imposition of “reasonable” fees that would quickly exceed the value of the guns.

While we’re not a big fan of “we had to pass it to see what’s (going to be) in it,” Sen. Latz’s comments on the record were a good sign that there would actually be material improvements to the bill. Because lawmakers rarely make promises like this, on the record, without following through, we expect that Sen. Latz will keep the promises he made to the committee.

Of course, forcing them to keep their promises is part of the deal:

There’s another hearing Wednesday at 2:15 in Room 10 of the State Office Building, and if you can come to show your support for civil rights, we’d love to see you there.

I can’t make it this time – mid-days during the week are just not do-able.  But if you can, please do; the DFL Metrocrats need to know that Real America is out there watching.


The worst enemy that fabian statism has is generalized prosperity.

It’s always been a theory – ’til now.

The North Dakota Democrat Party can muster not a single Democrat to run for office anywhere in Bakken country, according to Rob Port:

Democrats have managed to recruit exactly zero candidates in legislative districts representing the state’s oil patch with all local district conventions completed and less than two weeks to go before their statewide convention…If we count the urban districts in Minot and Bismarck as being “oil patch” districts, we add five more: Districts 3, 5, 7, 47 and 35. Of those, all have a full slate of Republican candidates, and just one has Democrat candidates.

And the North Dakota Democrat Party is fielding candidates for only about 1/3 of the state’s legislative races overall, almost exclusively in the eastern part of the state:

That speaks volumes, doesn’t it? Democrats will talk a lot about oil and energy policy this year, but the lack of Democrat candidates in the oil patch tells us their arguments aren’t getting much traction where that policy has the most impact.

What a glorious time to be alive.

Our Passive-Aggressive Overlords

I went down to the Capitol last night for a 6PM hearing on SF2639 - Senator Ron Latz’s bill to punish people accused but not convicted of domestic abuse by confiscating their guns and keeping them confiscated, innocence notwithstanding. 

We started out on a high note; Michael Paymar’s attempt to create a felony trap for law-abiding gun owners in Capitol-complex buildings got turned into a fairly innocuous tweak to the existing notification law.  The law, by the way, dates to 1994, and is utterly obsolete, a relic of a time when law enforcement still kept records on paper files.  The notification law is obsolete and needs to be gutted and tossed entirely – but for now, it’s no big deal.

So I showed up at the Capitol.   As usual, I was among plenty of friends:

The nose count, last I checked, was 70-75 civil rights supporters to about a dozen civil rights opponents.

I did a nose-count; Real Americans outnumbered people there for “Protect MN”, as usual, by a lopsided margin.  

So we waited.  

Strategizing got done…:

GOCRA leaders churning on strategy.

…but for the most part, everyone waited.  And waited some more.

There were several updates from security; they were busy with other bills; they were going to get through a few more and then take a half hour break before getting to 2639.

So we waited some more. 

A few cases of water bottles, courtest of GOCRA, made the rounds. It was warm in there.

GOCRA brought water and granola bars, which theypassed out up and down the line (including to the anti-rights people; I had the singular pleasure of giving water and a granola bar to Rep. Martens).

They took the half-hour break – which ran more like an hour.  And then they re-convened – and addressed the Fetal DNA bill.  For an hour.

I had to leave; I was fighting a cold, and had to work this morning.

Latz didn’t bring up his gun-grab bill until nearly 11 – after he’d let Heather Martens and her friends in through the back door, essentially packing the hearing room with his supporters.  Latz has set himself apart, along with Reps. Paymar, Hausman and Martens, as one of the most virulently anti-civil-rights people in the Legislature; he quite clearly passive-aggressively used his power as committee chair to make the hearing as difficult as possible for the unruly peasants who had the affrontery to oppose him. 

Rob Doar, the VP of Government of Affairs for the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, summed it up about the same way: “Senator Ron Latz is wll established as one of the most anti-rigths legislators in Minnesota.  Under his leladership of the Jundiciary Committee, we’ve come to expect he’ll use every tool at his disposal to make hearings as difficult as possible for anyone who opposes his agenda”. 

At the end of the evening, the bill passed from the Judiciary Committee. 

Which is no surprise; the bill was going to pass Senate Judiciary no matter what; Michael Bloomberg invested a LOT of money in this session, and there needed to be something to keep the metrocrat troops rallied, for all that investment; the Metrocrats control the Judiciary Committee.  When Bloomberg says “speak”, Latz will bark on command. 

Now, reality sets in.  There needs to be a companion bill in the House; the House DFL caucus is panic-stricken about their chances this fall, and getting saddled with one of Latz’s gun-grab bills would be poison for a couple of outstate DFLers that are already fighting for their lives.  And Tom Bakk - who is an Iron-Range union guy who loves his big-game hunting – knows what long memories us civil rights advocates have.    If I had to bet, I’d say this bill dies in committee without getting to the floor, or at the very worst, in conference. 

Which is not another way of saying “relax for the rest of the session”.  There will be more hearings, more amendments, more attempts to weasel legislation through the system.

You need to call your legislators.  Thank the good guys.  Politely urge the ones who are wrong to reconsider.  Urge the fence-sitters to throw a vote for freedom. 

We can win this round.  Indeed, we can humiliate the bad guys, just like last year.

Nope, No Media Bias At All

The DFL controls both chambers of the legislature, as well as the Governor’s office.

They passed four billion dollars in total tax hikes last session, for a net two billion dollars in increases, without a single Republican vote.

But now the DFL needs GOP support to change tax policy? 

That’s what this piece – “GOP senators refuse to be rushed on sweeping tax-relief measure” – would have you believe.

No, really:

Dayton and DFL leaders have rushed to pass the measure to ensure the largest number of Minnesotans can take advantage of more than $50 million in retroactive tax relief by April 15. Senate DFLers used a rare procedure to try to speed passage by a day, but Republicans in the minority used their limited muscle to delay the vote until Friday.

Earlier in the week, Dayton chastised Senate DFLers for not passing the measure swiftly enough. On Thursday, Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, joined together to direct their wrath at Republicans.

Look – this bill was never intended as anything but an election-year bandaid for the DFL – allowing them to say “We cut taxes! (to some favored classes of Minnesotans, for a total of a tiny fraction of the tax hike we unilaterally jammed down two years ago)” in an election year when the MNSure flop and the 2013 tax and spend and gun grab orgy looks certain to cost the DFL dearly. 

Baird Helgeson is, in short, carrying the DFL’s narrative water:

“There is no good reason for Senate Republicans to block the bill’s passage,” Dayton said. If Republican legislators force any further delays, “they will be solely responsible for denying income tax cuts to thousands of Minnesotans.”

The measure is nearly certain to pass Friday because Republicans are out of options to block it.

Ahem:  the DFL doesn’t need one single Republican vote to pass the “tax cuts”.  Not One. 

Why is Baird Helgeson and the Strib carrying the DFL’s water? 

Will Rachel Stassen-Berger, Tom Scheck and Bill Salisbury catch the Strib on this fairly egregious bit of journalistic partisan narrative-fluffing?

Put On Your Demonstrating Shoes

So…what are you doing Thursday?

The DFL is back at it again.  Two gun control bills have been introduced so far this session – and they’re both bad ones.

As bad as last years’ avalanche of stupid?  Perhaps not.  But noxious in their own way.  And both of them are the camel’s nose under the tent.

The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance sends:

Civil rights opponent Ron Latz, chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced SF2639, a bill that would create de facto confiscation of firearms from persons accused of domestic violence. THE BILL WILL BE HEARD THURSDAY EVENING, March 20, at 6 p.m. in Room 15 of the Capitol.

While GOCRA has no love for wife-beaters, this bill goes far beyond protecting victims, and would impose a back-door theft of personal property through exorbitant fees.

The DFL is going to spin opposition to this bill as “supporting wife-beaters”, of course; the orcs are fluent liars. It’s the one form of language they’re good at.

And someone who’s legitimately convicted of domestic violence should give up their guns.  But this is on accusation - and as many has half of all accusations of domestic violence, at least during divorces, are false.

Capitol Carry Traps

Based on the flawed recommendations of lame duck Lieutenant Governor Prettner Solon’s capitol safety advisory committee, and steamrolled by lame duck Representative Michael Paymar, SF2690 would impose additional red tape hoops to jump through, and “gotcha” felonies for permit holders visiting the State Capitol Complex. THE BILL WILL BE HEARD THURSDAY, March 20, at noon in Room 15 of the Capitol.

Bad information leads to bad policy, and the information presented by the Department of Public Safety at those committee meetings this summer was terrible: the DPS spokesman had no idea that the DPS managed the permit holder database!

This bill would create a trap for harmless permit holders whose meaningless, duplicative, unused notifications “expired.” A visit to any capitol-area building — even the Minnesota History Center — after this false “expiration” would turn a permit holder into a felon.

This is one of the approaches gun-grabbers just love; make laws that create confusing restrictions that are bound, indeed designed, to entrap people.  Then, complain to the media about all the “gun felonies at the Capitol!”, and demand more gun control!

Anyway – GOCRA would love to see people at the Capitol this Thursday, as noted in bold above.   Needless to say, calling your representatives about these bills is going to be important.

Last year, the avalanche of real citizens showing up at the capitol shut the lavishly-funded gun-grab effort down.  Shot it down in flames.  Humiliated it.

It’s a new year, and a new session.  Time to beat the orcs back again.

DFL: “Peasants! Continue Rendering Tribute!”

This is the photo that “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” posted on Twitter just now, in the wake of the announcement that Minnesota has a billion dollar budget surplus:

That’s right, Governor Dayton. Thanks for putting $1.2 Billion in the state coffers. Those must have been some righteous Renoirs you sold.

Oh, wait. What’s that? The surplus is revenue above and beyond the $2 Billion in tax hikes that is forecast to be taken in by the state in the coming year.

From us. The taxpayer.

And yep, the DFL is already trying to think of ways to spend it – to give a little of it back to you, the people who  paid it in in the first place, and spend the rest on, largely, graft for the DFL’s owners supporters. 

Oh, yeah – notwithstanding the fact that the surplus exists solely because of the GOP’s restraint in spending and holding back the budget (imperfect as they were at that) over the past four years, the DFL is claiming credit…

…along with every dime they can from this surplus.

So yes.  Thanks, Governor Dayton, for taking more of my money – about $250 for every man, woman and child in Minnesota – out of the economy than even the DFL’s spendthrift budget could. 

Thank you so very much.

The Bakk Mahal

The DFL is trying to push through a new Senate office building, to house 44 Sentors and their staffs, for a price of around $90 Million. 

That amounts to $2,045,454.55 per Senator. 

Two million and change, to house a part-time employee.

For $2,045,454.55 per part-time employee, the state could afford:

  • A Winnebago Voyage ($150,000) for touring their district in style, and avoiding those pesky DUIs while in the Cities.
  • A Beechcraft Bonanza ($690,000) capable of getting them to and from their district, anywhere in Minnesota, quickly and in modest style. 
  • Office space in downtown Saint Paul – whose vacancy rate is around 20% even with massive numbers of state offices - for bargain-basement prices.  For the portion of the $2million left after buying the Winnebago and the airplane, each senator could rent 500 square feet of Saint Paul office space for 48 years (in the First Bank building, the one with the big red “1″ on the roof), 114 years (in the Degree of Honor building, a nice building not far from the Capitol), or 212 years (in the Empire building, a classic turn of the century building way downtown).  Or, alternately, rent 500 square feet of space for the year, and the Winnebago mobile office, and the Beechcraft, and leave a little over a million dollars left over that the state can…um, not spend. 

Or, y’know, just rent some cheap space and give the rest of the money back to the taxpayer.

The Ringer

The relationship between the Democrats and the  media occasionally usually seems intimate to the point of unseemly.

But it rarely seems like the media are directly employed by the Democrat party (Keri Miller and Lori Sturdevant notwithstanding).

But that’s changed.

Perhaps you recall; a few years ago, I was part of a small group – along with left-leaning reporter David Brauer and several Senate staffers – that rewrote the Senate’s media credentialing rules.  The changes opened up the Senate to all manner of alternative media, including bloggers.

That was a good thing.

But one of the rules read like this: “Organizations owned or controlled by registered lobbyists, political parties or other party organizations (defined as organizations registered with the Campaign Finance Board or the Federal Election Commission) shall not be granted credentials.”

Bill Glahn noticed something:

It turns out that in 2012 and 2013, the senate Democrats paid a total of $30,250 for “research” to a company listed as “Enlighten Enterprise” of 254 Wheeler Street in St. Paul.

Records on file at the Minnesota State Secretary of State’s Office show that a company called “Enlightened Enterprises” was registered at that address on July 25, 2012 by a Shawn Towle. The first payment from senate Democrats to Enlighten Enterprise occurred on July 26, 2012.

As pure coincidence would have it, a Shawn Towle is listed in both the 2012 and 2013 editions of Capitol News Coverage Directory as an accredited member of the senate press corps, representing Checks & Balances. That Shawn Towle is also listed in the current 2014 edition.

Sources in the Senate tell me Towle is at press conferences, pressing Republicans and back-slapping Democrats…

…which is fine, and not much different than the rest of the Capitol press corps.

But none of them are paid by the Senate DFL Caucus.

Is the Senate DFL paying for “media” presence, and violating its own rules in the process?

Someone should ask Tom Bakk…

More later.

No Retreat. No Surrender.

While much of conservative Minnesota is having a hard time with “messaging”, the Real Americans of Minnesota’s Second Amendment human rights movement have a clear, resounding one.

This from the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA), in their session-eve email blast; it’s as crystal-clear a statement of principles and positions to the Legislature as you could ask for:

  • Minnesota’s law-abiding gun owners will not take the blame for the actions of criminals
    We refuse to be treated like those criminals
  • You don’t work for Michael Bloomberg and his billions: you work for your Minnesota constituents!
  • We know what [Bloomberg's] “universal background check” proposal really is: universal registration. And we will not sit still for it.
  • You have a perfectly good criminal control bill, HF1325, co-authored by 99 senators and representatives, waiting for your action

As always, the gun rights movement – GOCRA, MN-GOPAC, the TC Gun Owners and Carry Forum, the NRA and the like – will be working hard to hold back the Metrocrat orcs’ assault on Real Americans’ freedom. 

And they need you. 

Look – whatever group you prefer, there’s one to fit your style, temperament and philosophy. 

  • Dying to bite off a bite-sized piece of activism?  Sign up for GOCRA, and be alerted when action – phone calls, emails, hearings at the Capitol – is needed (send ‘em a few bucks; they will put ‘em to good use). 
  •  Wanna put your money to direct political use, endorsing and influencing elections?  Send MNGOPAC a buck or two, or a few hundred.    
  • Wanna fight the fight on main street – and University Avenue, for that matter?  Shelley and the crew at TC Gun Owners and Carry Forum have been spreading the gospel in the wilderness. 

Hell, help out all three.  It’s not like the Orcs are going away any time soon.

As much rhetoric as the Democrats have expended in the past eighty years about class warfare, this is the true class war in America; our would-be “elites” want Real America disarmed; the plebeians, the underdogs, the people are the Real Americans. 

Never let the Legislature forget it.

That Sucking Sound

The 2014 Legislative Session kicks off today. 

The DFL controls both chambers of the Legislature, and the Governor’s office.  It’s a little tiny bit less monolithic than all that sounds – Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Speaker of the House Paul Thissen hate each other with a throbbing passion, and Mark Dayton is madly triangulating between both in preparation for his re-election bid (appeasing Bakk on some issues, like gun control, while throwing bones to Thissen, like his Lieutenant Governor selectee, Frau Blücher).

But here’s really all you need to know; the DFL’s priorities for this election:

  1. Pay Off Their Sharks:  This being an even-numbered year, the session will deal with bonding, not the budget.  Look for an avalanche of “infrastructure” “investment” that may or may not be actual investments in infrastructure, but will send lots of fiscal love to the DFL’s most important constituencies – the state employee unions.  It will be a fiscal orgy.
  2. MNSquirrel!:  Look for anything – anything – to distract the low-information “independents” from the complete debacle that is MNSure.  Minimum Wage hikes?  Vikings Stadium hearings?  Medical Marijuana?  Puppy Mill legislation, complete with tear-jerker footage on KARE11 delivered just in the nick of time?   Hell, all that and more.  The sky’s the limit.  Look for Tom Bakk to dance naked on the Capitol steps to divert attention from MNSure, if necessary.  The media will do its level best to ensure it’s not necessary, of course. 

The MNGOP’s mission?  Same as last session; focus on fighting a rear-guard action while trying to gin up a message that resonates with the higher-information voters that actually pay attention, all the while focusing the tensions in the GOP in a creative rather than destructive direction, leaving the good guys with the electoral ammo they need to retake the House, and God willing the Governor’s mansion, this fall.

Simple, huh?

Weeds Of Our Discontent

The worst kind of political errors are ones where conservatives give liberals an unearned moral victory in a grab for the high ground. 

Carly Melin – who was a 25 year old HamLaw graduate who was airlifted to northern Minnesota precisely in time to meet residency requirements to run for the seat for which the DFL had hand-picked her, when she was elected in 2010 – is taking on Big Law Enforcment on their opposition to the proposed Medical Marijuana bill, in this case in an interview in a Northern Minnesota newspaper (emphasis added):

[INTERVIEWER]: Gov. Dayton has said he will not sign the medical marijuana bill this legislative session if it does not have support of law enforcement. In fact, he made a campaign promise to that effect. The Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition has made it clear they will not endorse the bill. Where does that leave you?

[MELIN]: We never expected the bill to be passed as written. We expected to use it as a starting point to discuss legislation going forward. Unfortunately, the Law Enforcement Coalition will not discuss specific provisions of the bill with us, and have instead stated that they are opposed to the legalization of medical marijuana for any purpose. In other words, they have a blanket opposition. This makes it very difficult to have a conversation on how to shape the bill.

 Q: Why do you believe MN’s law enforcement agencies are so adamantly opposed to medicinal marijuana?

A: There are many individual members of law enforcement who are supportive of medical marijuana. In fact, one of them is a co-author of the bill, Rep. Dan Schoen, state representative and police office from Cottage Grove, MN. Law enforcement in northeast Minnesota have discussed some flexibility, which is a lot further than we got with the statewide leaders. It is the head honchos and lobbyists down in St. Paul who are the problem. Marijuana being illegal is big business for law enforcement. The forfeiture of property relating to marijuana crimes brings in big revenue to law enforcement agencies. They are worried that legalizing medical marijuana is a step toward the decriminalization of marijuana, which in turn would impact their budgets. I hope that isn’t the basis of their opposition to medical marijuana because there are sick Minnesotans in need of this medicine, but in my experience carrying this legislation they primarily express concerns that this will lead to the recreational use of marijuana.

Leave aside the potential benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana use (I’m not a weed kinda guy, but it’s cut out one of the foundations of the Drug War that’s made parts of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Richfield and the Brooklyns such lovely places); this is pot for sick people.  Nothing more. 

Melin’s right – and it’s galling for a libertarian-conservative.  Allowing cops, district attorneys and the like set medical policy is just as stupid as letting letting health insurance companies write a national healthcare law.  The entire reason for the opposition is the protection of their own little fiscal fiefdom. 

As Craig Westover points out on Facebook (I won’t link to it, since not all of you are Facebook members), this is a fundamentally conservative stance, getting government out of the relationship between doctors and patients. 

This is an issue where conservatives – especially those who care about liberty in its many forms – should be out front.  Not cowering before a law-enforcement group that is largely beholden to “progressivism”.

MN-GOPAC Endorses Ortman

The gun-grabber movement is going to make a particularly insidious push to attack your second-amendment rights in the upcoming session.

The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC is launching an opening salvo, getting on the endorsement board for the upcoming Senate race and backing Senator Julianne Ortman:

 “Throughout her time in the Minnesota Senate, Julianne Ortman has been an energetic and consistent advocate for Minnesota’s gun owners, “ said Mark Okern, Chairman, Minnesota Gun Owners PAC.  “She has demonstrated a strong commitment to policies that protect the rights of Minnesotans to hunt, enjoy the shooting sports, and protect their families from violent criminals.”

The gun-grabbers are going to be doing a lot of talk about “common sense”. Ortman gets it – there is no “common sense” to the idea of the gun-show background check:

As a Minnesota State Senator, Julianne Ortman consistently opposed gun control measures that would have impacted the rights of law-abiding Minnesotans while having no impact on violent criminals.  Senator Ortman supported the Minnesota Citizen’s Personal Protection Act in 2003 and 2005.  She also supported Stand Your Ground legislation in 2012 that was later vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton.  Most recently, she was a strong and vocal advocate for gun owners as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during several days of hearings.

 “As United States Senator, we are confident Julianne Ortman will continue her strong support for Minnesota’s gun owners and be a leader on this issue not only for Minnesota but also for the nation, “ said Okern.

Ortman has gotten a mixed rap – but, I maintain, has done a good job of earning conservatives’ support, especially that of the communities that support the Second Amendment. She was vital in pushing the “Good Gun Bill” last session – a finger in the eye of the “Let’s Just Ban Something!” crowd.

I think it’s a good call .

Tramps Like Us, Baby We Were Born To NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m in the studio today from 1-3.  I’ll be talking with former House minority leader and gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert about the race for the GOP nomination.  Then, former Representative Jim Knoblauch will join me to talk about his lawsuit against the new Senate Palace Office Building.
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow,  Brad Carlson is  back!  Brad’ll have Marty Seifert on the show.  “The Closer” airs from 1-3 Sundays!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!


Michael Paymar is leaving the House:

State Rep. Michael Paymar announced Wednesday he will leave the Legislature after his current term expires.


The St. Paul Democrat is the chairman of the House Public Safety Committee; his district is considered safe Democratic territory.

No.  New York under Boss Tweed was “safe Democrat territory”.  Michael Paymar’s Highland Park, a part of Saint Paul that ponied up seven figures in donations for Kathleen Soliah’s defense fund, is a whole level beyond that.  The DFL could endorse a bag of dog food and get 60% of the vote, and most of the voters would say the bag of dog food made perfectly good sense in the debates.

Paymar collided this year with his party’s leadership over whether to change Minnesota’s gun laws. His bill to expand background checks and restrict gun purchases stalled when House leaders declined to call a vote.

Well, no.  It stalled when Paymar’s (and Hausman’s, and Rep. Martens’) copy-and-paste gun-grab bills served their purpose to the people who paid for their offices.

Best of luck, Representative Paymar.


Desperate to keep the stadium finance “plan”…er, afloat, the state is making another big push to try to sell “E-Pulltabs”:

In Duluth on Tuesday night, about 35 charities and bar owners showed up for a chance to test-drive all the electronic pulltab and bingo games now available in Minnesota. They got tips from charitable gambling leaders and bars along the North Shore who use them. They received the latest data from state officials on Minnesota’s most popular e-gambling counties, the effect on charity collections and more.

“I’ve seen the machines before, but I’ve never tried them,” said Duluth bar owner Mike Ronning, checking out the electronic pulltabs. “It’s fun. I just don’t know if it’s right for my place.”

The upshot:  people are still keeping them at arms length.

One wonders if we might have saved a whole lot of trouble doing thisbeforethey made them the key revenue-generator in the state’s Viking stadium jamdown.

The Left Hand Doesn’t Know What The Further-Left Hand Is Doing

Depending on who you believe, the DFL apparently traded away a minimum wage bill for money to restore the building they see as their clubhouse the State Capitol.

I stress the “depending on who you believe” bit, since I’m not entirely sure they even know themselves.

Or maybe it’s just me.  Anyway – I read the story in the Joyce-Foundation-supported © MinnPost, and it seems a little confusing.

The piece, by James Nord, starts out by noting (I’ll add emphasis) that…:

DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler and two Republican legislators who declined to speak on the record say Senate leaders came to a deal that secured a bonding bill for Capitol repairs and ensured an orderly end to the session in exchange for no action on those two policy provisions.

Winkler, the chief House sponsor of the minimum wage legislation, said Republican lawmakers told him of the deal. He described his understanding of it to the Star Tribune just after the session ended May 20.

No, you need not link to the Strib; I’ve done it for you. Here’s Winkler’s quote:

 Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley said leaders in his own party ditched a proposed minimum wage increase to accomplish other priorities.

Senator Bakk agreed with the Senate Republicans not to pass a minimum wage bill and not to pass the bullying bill, in order for them to agree to support a bonding bill to restore the State Capitol building,” said Winkler, who heard the same story of the deal from House Republicans.

But – back to the Joyce-Foundation-supported © MinnPost, now – later in the Nord piece, Winkler says:

Winkler told MinnPost that he was standing next to House Speaker Paul Thissen at the speaker’s rostrum when Minority Leader Kurt Daudt told Winkler about the agreement…Thissen said in an interview that he had heard about a supposed deal but didn’t have any specific knowledge of it. He hadn’t discussed the issue with Bakk or Hann.

When asked about the diverging stories, Winkler responded, “Well, that may not have been a deal, but all the Republicans believe it was a deal. One way or another, somebody’s misinformed.”

This past session was replete with stories of how the various factions in the DFL were disjointed, how the left hand didn’t know what the farther-left hand was doing.    Especially amusing were the stories about how very, very badly Paul Thissen and Tom Bakk hate each other, and what a hard time they had working together.

But a legislator appearing to disagree with himself?  That’s a new one even for me.

MinnPost: Heather Martens’ PR Firm

The MInnPost is an organization I’d very much like to respect. It includes a raft of people I’ve considered good reporters.

But over the course of Minnesota’s gun debate over this past session – brought on by Minnesota DFL legislators launching a raft of authoritarian gun bills, including at least one that called for confiscation of certain firearms – the MInnPost has shown a very crafty bias toward the anti-Second-Amendment crowd. From Erik Black’s series suggesting that the Second Amendment was just too complicated for modern people, to the fawning coverage the entire publication gives Heather Martens (“Executive Director” and one of very, very few actual members of “Protect Minnesota”), down to Doug Grow’s apparently pre-written slime job on Representative Hilstrom’s compromise “good gun bill” during the past session, the MinnPost has supported the orthodox anti-gun line to a fault.

Why is that?

It might be this:

I’m not sure, but a $50,000 grant from the rabidly anti-gun Joyce Foundation might have something to do with it.

No, correlation doesn’t equal causation. The fact that the MinnPost threw all sense of objectivity and journalistic detachment to the wind this past session on the gun issue and getting a nice-sized grant from a group that has bankrolled anti-gun groups around the country for over a decade could be purely a coincidence.  And it’s not like opposing the Second Amendment doesn’t come along with the left-of-center beliefs most of the staff hold. 

But when I read Doug Grow’s “coverage” of a post-session wrapup party for “Protect Minnesota“, the piece had the faint whiff of “PR” to it.

Given the outcome of the legislative session, the tone of Tuesday night’s meeting sponsored by Protect Minnesota was surprising.

Heather Martens, who leads the organization that long has been a force for advocating for stricter gun-control laws, urged the 23 people who attended the North Minneapolis meeting to think about the “successes” that came out of the session.

On first blush, that may seem like a hard thing to do, given that gun-rights organizations got all they wanted: No universal background checks, no limits on magazine capacities, no assault rifle bans.

It’s simple. There were no successes. Heather Martens – who has never, not once, uttered or written an original, non-numeric statement about firearm policy that wasn’t a lie – and her “group” were, er, shot down at every turn.

But “Protect Minnesota” doesn’t exist to convince people. It exists to manipulate the media – and, via them, the people.


Confederates! With Guns! Defending Slavery!  

Which may be what led to this next statement by Grow (with emphasis added):

And by the end of session, cowed legislators refused to even have a floor vote on anything resembling major gun-law change.

That’s just wrong.

The legislators weren’t so much “cowed” as organizing behind Deb Hilstrom’s Good Gun Bill (Ortmann’s in the Senate). Half of the House, comprising reps on both sides of the aisle, co-authored her compromise bill.  And when the backroom “negotiations” between the metro DFLers (who were carrying Heather Martens’ water to the point that one, Rep. Alice Hausman, let Heather Martens do her job for her) broke down, the bills were scuppered from the floor by a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and responsible outstate DFLers.

But that doesn’t fit the “big bad NRA!” narrative, does it?

History Is Written By Those With The Printing Presses

Grow carries on his stenography for Martens (emphasis added):

Martens told the group there was victory in the bipartisan support for $1 million to fund a law that requires the state to file data with the feds on those who should be prohibited from owning firearms.

The law requiring the state to file the data was passed in 2009 but was never funded, essentially making it useless.

Will Grow mention that it was a DFL legislature that scuppered that funding? The metrocrat Democrats didn’t want a bipartisan-backed background check to give the impression that it worked better than actual harassment of the law-abiding citizen.

“But Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln…”

Grow feels obliged to list the outcome of the tiny group’s self-therapy session:

The successes:

Phone-banking (more than 1,000 calls to legislators sitting on the fence).

Legislators reported that constituent calls ran at least 50:1 against the DFL’s bills.

Media coverage was complete.

Yeah, the suspense was killing us on that one.

That’s what Heather Martens does – get friendly media coverage. She’s the Larry Jacobs of the gun issue – the one, single, sole person that every Twin Cities “journalist” calls for the left’s take on guns in Minnesota.

We’ll come back to that.

“Wait – That Was Your “Intellectual” Argument?”

One of the other “Successes”, according to Grow:

Finding a “visceral” message, one that appeals to the emotions as well as the intellect.

I got a laugh there.

Emotion is the only message Heather Martens’ group has! Talk with any of her group’s “members”, I dare you. You’ll get a broadside of anger and grief over Sandy Hook (but never, ever Chicago, or any other crime scene where the kids don’t look like the children of NPR executives) – and not even the faintest whiff of an “intellectual” message.

Although, as always, I do invite Heather Martens on the NARN to make that “intellectual” case. I’ve been asking for nine years, now.

You Don’t Do Business Against The Family

As Martens via Grow noted above, one of their “successes” was “complete” media coverage.

Now, there’s no surprise there. Most of the media editors and producers in the Twin Cities support gun control. Other reporters, I suspect, haven’t the depth of knowledge on the issue to know that pretty much everything Heather Martens has ever said on the issue is a lie.

But Doug Grow’s piece – really, his entire history covering Martens for the MinnPost – has been at a level of obsequious fawning that outstrips the rest of the media.


Well, I’ve got a theory.  And remember – it’s just a theory.  I’ve got nothing but circumstantial evidence to back it up. 

But do you remember way up above, where we pointed out that the MInnPost gets big bucks from the anti-gun Joyce Foundation?

Guess who else is bankrolled – to the tune of “most all of its budget” – by Joyce?

This might not be “conflict of interest” for Grow, in any actionable sense of the term. But I’d think that identifying the fact that both Doug Grow’s and Rep. Martens’ jobs are paid for, in whole or part, by a non-profit supported by liberal plutocrats that is the single major funder of anti-gun organizations might have been worth a mention. 

Again, correlation doesn’t equal causation.

But given the complete abandonment of any sense of balance or concern for fact on the part of the MinnPost in covering the Second Amendment issue – not to mention Grow’s obsequious. fawning, toenail-painting coverage of Martens and her “group” this session -  ”causation” doesn’t seem like a big stretch.


Who coulda seen this coming?

Representative Michael Paymar got an op-ed placed in the PiPress last week.  He used the space to complain about the way the session turned out for his gun control agenda.

Now, as I noted a few weeks back, Paymar has settled into the legacy of Wes Skogland – who I once nicknamed “Lying Sack of Garbage” for his facility and fluency at lying about guns, gun laws, and the law-abiding gun owner.

And this op-ed is no exception.

The legislative session concluded, sadly, with very little progress on preventing gun violence.

Well, no.

The murder rate in Minnesota – with and without guns – has plunged over the past 20 years, and especially the past ten, as Minnesota’s gun laws “liberalized”.  Minnesota is a much safer place today than it was in 1993.

That’s progress!

But that’s not the kind of progress Skoglund…um, Paymar – wants.

So what did Paymar want?  And what was the purpose of this Op Ed?

It’s simple:  to deceive the people – especially the low-information voters the DFL depends on.

The Magic Disappearing Months:   His first complaint is that his raft of bills just didn’t get enough time:

I’m disappointed that legislators didn’t have an opportunity to vote, or even debate, sensible gun control measures like background checks.

Well, yes.  They did.


The DFL-controlled legislature spent endless weeks debating gun control bills in committee.  They started in late January, and ran into April.  The DFL launched nearly a dozen gun bills – everything from background checks to re-jiggering the concealed carry law to confiscating guns with magazines larger than seven rounds.  There were many hearings.

Paymar just didn’t like what he heard.  Minnesotans turned out in force against his agenda.

It was a show of resolution even the DFL couldn’t ignore.

The real debate – the one in Minnesota’s homes, streets, businesses, VFWs – has been held, and resolved.  The DFL lost.

“Look At My Bloody Shirt!”:  Paymar next tries to turn to numbers – and, again, lies about ‘em:

It is not surprising the public is cynical about politicians and political parties. Every year, 12,000 people die from firearm homicides and 18,000 more from firearm suicides, and yet, our elected officials continue to abdicate their responsibilities.

Again – according to what?

The firearm murder rate, nationwide and in Minnesota, is a fraction of what it was when Michael Paymar’s talking points were written in the eighties.


After the unimaginable massacre of 20 children at Sandy Hook and the shootings at Accent Signage in Minneapolis, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a movie theatre in Aurora Colorado, a political gathering in Arizona, a college campus in Virginia, a high school in Colorado, and the random shooting in Oakdale — not to mention the thousands of gun deaths in our cities — I thought we had reached a tipping point.

And we did reach that tipping point.  It was over a decade ago, when a majority of  Americans realized that none of the DFL’s gun bills would have prevented Sandy Hook, Accent, or any of the other shootings that the DFL waved about like bloody shirts in the hearing rooms.  None of them would have saved a single life in any of those atrocities.

And most Americans – not the low-information NPR-listening hamsters that vote for Paymar, but the real ones – know this.

And that was the tipping point.

Follow The Money:   Paymar notes that:

The hearings were informative, demonstrating that preventing mass shootings and reducing gun violence in our communities are both challenging and complex... We can’t ignore the conditions that give rise to gang activity and violent crime. We can’t ignore the glorification of violence as a means to settle conflicts.

Although ignore them we did.  Why?  It’d be easy to say “because the key stakeholders in creating each of those problems – our disastrous urban education system, an urban culture that glorifies violence, and a Hollywood that rakes in billions from glorifying mayhem, are respectively key Democrat power blocs, constituencies and donors”.

But just because it’s easy, is it necessarily wrong?

Details, Details:  Paymar moves on to his final attempt at legislation:

I authored the Gun Violence Prevention Act. This legislation would have given law enforcement the ability to deny a permit to purchase handguns or semi-automatic military-style assault weapons if the applicant was determined to be a danger to self or others. The bill would have tightened up laws on “straw purchases” of firearms that often end up in the commission of crimes. The centerpiece of the bill was universal background checks — extending checks to gun-shows, Internet sales and private sales. Sales to relatives and hunting rifles were excluded.

The bill also removed due process by denying appeals to those wrongly denied, by giving law enforcement sweeping power to act like shrinks, and adding a level of bureaucracy to handing down firearms to ones next of kin and, above all, required all firearms transfers to go through federally licensed dealers – requiring a payment of a fee to both the police and the dealer, a system that’ll add a minimum of $50 to the price of every firearm, and likely more, as a substantially similar law did in California.

While criminals found other black-market means of getting firearms, avoiding the background check system completely – because criminals don’t work within laws, much less obey them - the poor were even further priced out of the market.

Reductio Ad Paymar  Paymar continues:

The NRA and its affiliate organizations claim that background checks are an infringement on Second Amendment rights. They claim that background checks won’t prevent crime or mass shootings — that only law-abiding citizens will be inconvenienced. If that’s the case, then perhaps we shouldn’t require background checks on any purchase of a firearm…But in 1999, after the mass shooting at Columbine High School, the NRA’s leader, Wayne La Pierre, told Congress, “It’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes for anyone.” What has changed?

Here’s what’s changed; the Democrats.

Twenty years ago, it was possible for gun rights supporters to find common cause with the likes of, for crying out loud, Paul Freaking Wellstone.  In the nineties, the NICS system was set up via the bipartisan efforts of people who actually wanted to deal with crime, rather than disarm society.  The NICS system – supported by the NRA as well as liberals – actually made an impact in crime.

The Democrats – especially Paymar and the DFL, wasted months of legislative time this session pursuing bills that would never have had any effect on crime.

“All My Friends Say I’m Right!”:    Paymar reels off an unsurprising list of supporters:

The Supreme Court has been clear: Reasonable gun restrictions do not infringe on the Second Amendment. Polls show that 70 percent to 80 percent of Minnesotans support background checks — Democrats, Republicans, metro and rural. The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, neighborhood groups ravaged by gun violence and Gov. Dayton all support background checks.

The poll was an absurd push poll; of course people support background checks – in the abstract.  I support background checks, in the abstract.

The devil is in the details.  The bill Paymar offered was rife with opportunities for abuse, and one that even the dumbest SEIU member could see would have no meaningful effect on crime.

“Why Don’t All You Child-Killing Scumbags Want To Have A Meaningful Dialogue With Me?”:    Paymar closes with a call to dialogue:

Also, upon reflection, I wonder if there is room for dialogue and common ground between both sides on this volatile issue. I was vilified by some for my advocacy for gun control. But, when I had chance to talk to gun-rights folks face to face and with my legislative colleagues (especially from rural districts), we found areas of commonality. We all care about our children’s wellbeing. We all want to keep firearms out of the hands out of people who shouldn’t possess them. We all want our communities to be safe places. Is it possible to end the demonization of each other? Is it possible to listen to different perspectives? We can and must find solutions to prevent gun violence.

As one of the people who vilified Michael Paymar with remorseless accuracy, I’ll answer that.

You want dialogue, Representative Paymar?  Excellent.  I’m more than up for it.  Let’s talk. Perhaps we’ll both learn something.

Your interest in “dialogue” might seem more sincere might seem more authentic if you hadn’t just supported Representative Alice Hausman’s HF241, which called for the confiscation of firearms with magazines of more than seven rounds.  Not background checks; confiscation.

It might seem a little more sincere if your own efforts at “Dialogue” reached out to people other than fellow legislators and people inside the clubby little anti-gun clique that you surround yourself with:

Jane Kay, Heather Martens and Rep. Paymar after a gun bill hearing.

That’s Heather Martensleader and (it’s reasonable to suspect) sole member of “Protect Minnesota”, a woman who’s yet to make a single true, non-numeric statement about firearms.  Ever.

And next to her, Jane Kay, who tweeted during a hearing:

You want “dialogue?” Talk with the real people involved in this issue. Not satirical cartoons like Heather Martens. Not hate-choked extremists like Kay. The real people.

Until you do, all your talk of “dialogue” is just vapor.

In fact, I’ll meet you halfway.  Please come on the Northern Alliance Radio Network one of these next Saturdays.  It’ll be a real dialogue – complete with an articulate opponent.