The Good Guys Win One

Governor Dayton has reportedly signed HF878, the Public Safety omnibus bill that included five second-amendment-related provisions:

  • Barring thengovernornfeom confiscating guns during states of emergency

  • enacting carry permit reciprocity with several other states
  • allow Minnesotans to buy long guns in non-contiguous states
  • eliminated the capitol felony trap
  • allows Minnesotans to own and use their federally-licensed suppressors.

This is a big win for human rights.

Thanks to Governor Dayton for heeding the overwhelming will of The People, and signing the bill.

Thanks also to a newly-active NRA, to MN-GOPAC and to GOCRA, as well as to the legislators who made it happen.

And thanks to you, the Real Minnesotans, for speaking out so loudly and clearly.

What does this mean for next session? More on the show this weekend, and on the blog next week.

Make My Day, Part II

A few hours ago, we discussed the fact that public safety omnibus bill containing five very important expansions of Second Amendment rights has passed the House, the Senate, and the conference committee with a bipartisan majority.

Now, here’s what we need you to do about it.  Minnesota’s Second Amendment activists – GOCRA, MNGOPAC and the (newly-active) NRA are asking for your help.

And they’re asking for it today.  Even right now.

Get On Those Phones: Minnesota’s Second Amendment advocacy groups have called upon you, the Second Amendment supporter, many times to contact your legislators. And you – we – have delivered; your calls and emails have crushed all opposition in the past. All but the most ardent metro Democrats fear and respect Minnesota’s Second Amendment movement.

Now, it’s time for Governor Flint- Smith Dayton to know your polite, civil wrath.

Here’s The Plan: here’s what we need to do:

1. Call Governor Dayton and ask him to sign SF878
Telephone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717

2. Email Governor Dayton:.

3. Sign the petition to Gov. Dayton.

4. Share on Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #notSilentMN

We need to go beyond lighting up his phone lines.

We even need to go beyond breaking all previous phone call records.

We need, figuratively if not literally, to melt the capital phone system into a puddle of copper slag. We need to give the governor’s staff PTSD from the sheer number of incoming phone calls. We need to cause the capital phone system to violate laws of quantum physics.

Start now.

Seriously. Pick up your phone, and call the governor’s office at 651-201-3400 or 800-657-3717

Be polite – but let him know that an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the legislature is not to be trifled with.

Make My Day

Here’s the good news: over the weekend, an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of Republicans and Democrats, in both the House and Senate, voted for the public safety omnibus bill as finalized by the conference committee.

How overwhelming was the majority?

Here’s how overwhelming:

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That is a veto proof majority in both the House and the DFL-controlled Senate.

How important is this? This bill will:

  • Abolish the capital felony trap – by recognizing that the Capitol police have instant access to the database of carry permit holders, just like every other cop in the state of Minnesota.
  • Bar the governor for ordering the confiscation of firearms during emergencies. The governor of Minnesota has immense, wide-sweeping emergency powers, almost completely unregulated by law. This will prevent the situation that new Orleans residents ran into after Hurricane Katrina, with government officials and police going door-to-door to confiscate firearms, rendering citizens defenseless in the face of looters.
  • Legalize the ownership of federally licensed suppressors – mufflers for guns.
  • Allow Minnesotans to buy a long arms from non-contiguous states.
  • Make Minnesota permits reciprocal with many more neighboring states. This is great if you, hypothetically, constantly wind up having to stop at gas stations in Moorhead or East Grand Forks, to avoid inadvertently becoming a felon in North Dakota. Again, hypothetically.

So that’s the good news.

The Bad News – Governor Flint- Smith Dayton has said that he will veto the bill, over the suppressor provision.

Of course, the photo above – the votes for a bipartisan, vetoproof majority passing the bill – might give Governor Flint-Smith Dayton pause. Getting a veto overridden is embarrassing.

You know what else would give her him pause?

We’ll talk about that at noon.

 

Event Of The Social Season

“Protect” Minnesota – the gun grabber group that’s been washed away from the front of Minnesota’s gun-grabber crowd by a sea of Michael Bloomberg money – is having an event.

And not just any event.  Nosirreebob – it’s their “signature” event (emphasis added):

Dear Heinrich,

I’m pleased to invite you to our signature annual event at the Capri Theater on Monday, June 29.

SAFE: A Benefit to End Gun Violence is a celebration of community and safety featuring a musical theater concert to benefit Protect Minnesota. Directed by Joshua Campbell, SAFE! is a concert with performances from some of the most renowned local theater artists: Aimee K. Bryant, Ann Michaels, Jennifer Grimm, Kasono Mwanza, Tre Searles, and Katie Bradley.

So I wonder if the esteemed cast and crew are getting paid for this “benefit?”  Director Josh Campbell appears to be a working actor/director (much respect!) – i.e., one would expect he’d be too smart to do it gratis.

The show features songs from pop, rock, and musical theater that celebrate safety and community with short plays, scenes, and monologues reflecting on gun violence interspersed throughout. If you’ve been with us the past two years, you know that this will be a show you won’t want to miss.

Now, this will be the third year for this particular event (or so Rep. Martens’ email says); representatives of the Human Rights movement have found themselves barred from the event in the past.

But I may just try to make a point of being there on the “red carpet” to see who shows up

(It’s Monday, June 29th at 6:30 PM at the Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway)

 

The Racism Of The Gun Grabbers: Part MMMXLVIII

I’ve had the occasional liberal complain to me that I’m being overly broad when I say that all gun control efforts are rooted in racism.

Why yes, of course, gun control’s history is rooted in the ongoing effort to disarm black slaves, freedmen, and citizens from colonial times through the Jim Crow era.

And yes, modern gun control was launched as a white liberal response to the inner-city riots of 1968.

“But surely things have changed”, they say.

Surely they have not; the secret committee that issues carry permits in Illinois, with no review and no accountability, is denying permits to law-abiding black people at a rate vastly higher than white Illinoisans (Illinosians?  Illlinoids?):

One such example, Michael Thomas was puzzled that as a former Air Force reservist who routinely carried a gun during military service and has never had a run-in with the law, was turned down, even though the law does not afford police the discretion to deny permits to those who meet the prerequisites and who are not legally prohibited. But Thomas is just one of more than 800 people who have been denied licenses by the board. This board meets behind closed doors and keeps its records and reasoning secret. Even when applicants meet all the criteria, the board says they have no obligation to explain themselves… even when it seems clear that the only disqualifying factor is the color of the applicant’s skin.

Thomas wrote to the Illinois State Police, requesting a review of the decision, assuming that it must have been a mistake.

“I have never been arrested or convicted of any offense, either misdemeanor or felony, in the state of Illinois or any other state,” Thomas explained in his letter. “I have no criminal record of any type.”

The state police sent him a letter back, saying that the board’s decisions couldn’t be reviewed. Thomas, they explained would have to petition a court in order to appeal.

Fortunately, guns remain the one area where the the tide of liberty is rising, and all boats are being lifted: 

So that’s what Thomas did. He joined 193 other Illinoisans – many of whom happen to be African Americans – in filing lawsuits against the state police. Interestingly, few Caucasians who applied for the permit in Illinois have found themselves denied, even when their records are a bit more tarnished (though without felonies), than Thomas’s squeaky-clean background.

It’d be unseemly for a Second Amendment supporter to deny a state – even a state as patriarchal and authoritarian as Illinois – its’ Tenth Amendment rights to administer laws reserved to it the way its elected representatives decide.

Unless, of course, the 14th Amendment is being piddled on.

Here’s hoping this case has the same impact as Heller and McDonald.

 

Tone Sharks

If I ever need to describe the term “laborious”, I merely refer my listener to “any time public radio tries to prove that it isn’t biased to the left”.

A few years ago, I heard “Weekend All Things Considered”‘s anchor, Bob Simon, carry on an extended conversation with that noted champion of media balance, Ira Glass, on the sheer preposterousness of the idea that National Public Radio was biased to the left.  Glass referred to a series of studies that NPR had carried out, which included a process of “tone analysis”.

Now, I’ve found no evidence on way or another of what was or wasn’t covered by this “tone analysis”.

And the reason the concern isn’t entirely idle came roaring back at me this morning while listening to an NPR newscast referring to a Milwaukee woman who set up a group representing families of, as the newscaster put it, “black men killed by police and vigilantes“.

They’re referring, of course, to armed citizens – many of them also black, by the way – who used lethal force in self-defense, and then overcame the serious legal hurdles involved in defending their own lives from immediate threats of death, as judged by courts that are frequently deeply unfriendly to self-defense.

And of course, “Vigilante” is a bad thing, to “progressives”.

And then I looked further; to National Public Radio, pretty much every citizen that uses lethal force in self-defense, especially when government a can’t or won’t defend them, is a “vigilante”.

Just wondering if the “tone analysis” missed this bit?

Thanks For Nothing, Checkers Players

In recent weeks, we’ve spoken of the plague of Second Amendment activists who believe that by putting all of our effort into Constitutional Carry – making all state gun laws equal to Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, Arizona and Kansas – we’ll solve all our problems.

Note:  this works only in thoroughly libertarian-conservative states like Kansas, Alaska, Wyoming and Arizona, or places with ornery shooting traditions like Vermont.

How counterproductive would it be in a more purplish state, like Minnesota?

Well, in Minnesota, the Human Rights movement focused mostly on passing practical, attainable legislation (like the Omnibus Public Safety bill, which needs your support).

How about Colorado?  Formerly a red state, now pretty much sickly purple and likely to keep sliding, the legislative movement to repeal the post-Sandy-hook magazine restrictions (Coloradans are limited to 15 rounds) faced an uphill battle at best.

Enter “Rocky Mountain Gun Owners” – affiliates of the same “National Association of Gun Rights” that is also the parent for the controversial “Minnesota Gun Rights”, as well as similar groups in Iowa, Mississippi and Kansas.   RMGO joined with the anti-gun Bloombergers in opposing a public safety omnibus bill that would have repealed the magazine ban.

How did that work?

How do you think?

RMGO and NAGR stomped their feet and demanded full Constitutional Carry, from a legislature that’s controlled by anti-gun Democrats, and will likely remain that way for some time.

The problem with these groups is that playing checkers very loudly is no substitute for knowing how to play chess.

Much more on this in coming weeks.

In The Interest Of Investigation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats keep telling me how easy it is to buy guns, easier than buying fresh vegetables.

I have cash. I’m a willing buyer. How do I find one of those sellers?

I’m not worried about the background check – I could pass – I just want to buy one of those “off-the-street” pistols all the cool kids have.

I presume the sellers are mostly criminals. Sadly, I spend all my time around bureaucrats. I’m like those guys in “Office Space” trying to find a money-launderer . . . I don’t know any criminals, or even where to look for them.

Any SITD readers know any criminals looking to make a quick buck selling me a pistol for cash? Or I’d take an assault rifle, if that’s more convenient. Either one.

Joe Doakes

I wish some of the puling lower vertebrates that make these claims – like Heather Martens – would actually go out with a video camera and try to prove it.

That would be pretty interesting.

Perspective

While legalizing firearm suppressors has gotten most of the attention this legislative session, I think the most vital part of the Public Safety Omnibus bill is Rep. Newberger’s “Katrina Bill”, which would bar the state government from confiscating citizens’ firearms during a state of emergency.

How important is this?  As we speak, in Maryland, the government is clamping down on the availability of ammunition…

IMG_3593.JPG

…which is another way of making civilian firearms useless.  Of course, during Hurricane Katrina, the local police went door-to-door, confiscating firearms.  Current Minnesota law allows the state governnment even more-onerous leeway than Maryland law.

And a quick note to the “Minnesota” gun groups that advocate focusing only on “Constitutional Carry”; even if that were to pass, it wouldn’t affect state emergency powers.

This bill needs to pass.

The LA Times Is To “Science” As Public Rest Rooms Are To “Rest”

I’ve been beating up media figures and their attempts to besmirch the Second Amendment and its defenders for most of the past thirty years, in one form of media or another; talk radio, newsletters, email list-servers, the blog, and talk radio again.

And I’ve noticed two major trends:

  • As the actual facts about guns and society get out to real people, and the pendulum swings ever-further in favor of human rights,  the true, die-hard orcs just get worse and worse, and sloppier and sloppier, at plying their dubious trade.  Example:  Heather Martens has never been one to fall back on fact in stating her case (she’s never once in her career made a substantial, factual original statement), but lately she’s sounded more and more like a banana-republic dictator protesting the health of her regime as things swirl down the drain.
  • On the other hand, the orcs continue to excel at their one useful skill; manipulating a biased, gullible and un-bright mainstream media.  And the latest tool toward that end is “science”.

No, really;  Harvard professor David Hemenway pretty much leads off his piece in the LATimes by not only trying to wrap himself in “science”, but admitting that it’s a tool for bludgeoning people into obeisance:

 

One of the reporters I complained to said that he had covered climate change for many years. He explained that journalists were able to stop their “balanced” reporting of that issue only when objective findings indicated that the overwhelming majority of scientists thought climate change was indeed happening, and that it was caused by humans.

So we’re off to a great start.

Hemenway’s goal; to do to coverage of the Second Amendment what politicized science has done for coverage of climate change.

And the method toward this “science” is the kind of intellectual clown car that might pass muster with leftybloggers, but not with anyone who can outthink sea monkeys:

So I decided to determine objectively, through polling, whether there was scientific consensus on firearms. What I found won’t please the National Rifle Assn.

The NRA might not have been “pleased” by what Professor Hemenway had to say, but only because they, like all of us pro-human-rights media activists, are so un-freaking-Godly bored by refuting the same intellectual effluvium, over and over and over again.  Which, naturally, they have done.

But this is my article – and to paraphrase the great Dexter, it’s a wonderful day to throw rocks and garbage at BS that’s mislabeled “science”: 

My first step was to put together a list of relevant scientists. I decided that to qualify for the survey the researcher should have published on firearms in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and that he or she should be an active scientist — someone who had published an article in the last four years. I was interested in social science and policy issues, so I wanted the articles to be directly relevant. I was not interested in scientists doing research in forensics, history, medical treatment, psychiatric issues, engineering or non-firearms (for example, nail guns, electron guns).

Most of the scientists who were publishing relevant articles were from the fields of criminology, economics, public policy, political science and public health.

So let’s recap:

  • Hemenway sought “scientific consensus” – a term that is itself unscientific.
  • He sought it primarily from “researchers” in fields that are, except for public health, not really “sciences” at all, and are generally famous for their shoddy standards and politicized nature of their research.
  • He sought it from people working at institutions (and even moreso, academic departments) where Constitutionalist, Originalist, conservative/libertarian thought has been largely extinguished, where academics who exhibit same can find their tenure denied and careers threatened.
And his conclusion:

This result was not at all surprising because the scientific evidence is overwhelming. It includes a dozen individual-level studies that investigate why some people commit suicide and others do not, and an almost equal number of area-wide studies that try to explain differences in suicide rates across cities, states and regions. These area-wide studies find that differences in rates of suicide across the country are less explained by differences in mental health or suicide ideation than they are by differences in levels of household gun ownership.

I’ll let you read the entire thing at your own leisure; the howlers keep coming.

I’ll sum it up for you; Hemenway:

  • managed to find a stratum of academics who manage to generate “scientific” effluvium about the danger of guns that manages to ignore the statistical fact that while the number of guns has skyrocketed and the liberality of gun laws has vastly increased in the past 20 years, violent and gun-related crime has dropped by half
  • found “public health” researchers who claim – via “metastudies”, or studies of other studies – that suicide is related to the availability of guns rather than mental health, even though the suicide rates of many nations that strictly control or ban guns are vastly higher than ours.
There are times that I wish the orcs could at least come up with an advocate who’d make it interesting.

Our Brahmins

Even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, Washington DC’s old-boy-and-girl network clamps down hard on civilian ownership of firearms.

Except for celebrities, and members of the political class:

By confirming that “members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office” and that they may transport otherwise illegal guns through the city — without any of the requisite checks, natch — the Metropolitan Police Department is effectively admitting that the standard rules do not apply to the political class. This, I suppose, should not be too surprising — this is the same police department, recall, that revealed earlier this year that it is happy to apply the city’s strict firearms laws to everybody except celebrities — but it grates nevertheless. Clearly, had Representative Buck not been a member of Congress, his behavior would have rendered him in violation of a broad array of harsh regulations — many of which carry felony charges.

It’s reminiscent of the eighties and nineties in New York City, when the average schnook couldn’t get a permit to carry a gun – but celebrities (Bill Cosby, William F. Buckley), government officials, and even media figures like the radical anti-gun NYTimes publisher Arthur Sulzberger, could; it was all in the connections.

But tying it directly to membership in the political class?  As Charles CW Cooke notes:

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” the Constitution promises. Do tell.

Indeed.

With all the good news for gun owners lately, it’s hard – but essential – to keep in mind that the Orcs still hold sway in much of the country, and our freedom to defend our freedom is only incrementally safer than it was 30 years ago, and not until the last orc is wiped from public life will that change.

The Boogeygun Is Everywhere!

The night before the infamous “Saint Valentines’ Day Massacre” – in which Al Capone’s Italian mob rubbed out much of Bugs Moran’s Irish gang in Prohibition-era Chicago – the Italians spent a sleepless night assembling their Tommy Guns from parts they’d purchased around and about Chicago and its surrounding area.

And before going out to massacre innocent locals or groups of high school kids, Mexico’s loathsome narcotraficantes frequently spend days in machine shops, a patiently milling and drilling and cutting bits and pieces of metal into workable weapons.

Yeah, of course I made that up.

Criminals in America’s most crime-ridden cities – Chicago and Camden and DC and New Orleans – can get illegal firearms far easier than the law-abiding citizen can get legal ones, and there’s no assembly required.

But in the imagination of the American left’s ninny chorus in the media, criminals are real do-it-yourselfers.   Because you can get “assault weapon parts” on EBay; I’m going to add some emphasis:

Yet for as little as $500, anyone with an eBay account can purchase all but one of the dozen or so necessary parts.

The only missing piece of the gun – the lower receiver

Let’s stop right there.

If you know anything about guns, you know that “I got everything I need for an AR15 but the lower receiver” is a little like saying “I got an entire car – except the frame”.

can be bought secondhand from private sellers who post classified ads on other websites, such as Armslist.com. The receiver is the only regulated part of the gun, but there are workarounds for obtaining one, too. Partially complete receivers can be purchased privately without a background check or serial number and finished by buyers themselves, or they can be built from scratch at home to sidestep having to register the finished gun.

In other words, if a crook wants an unregistered AR15, the options are to gather a bunch of parts – a barrel, a bolt and bolt carrier, a stock, a forearm, a couple of hundred bucks worth of goodies – and then either:

  • buy a complete lower receiver, which must be transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensed-dealer (with paper trail).
  • buy an unfinished lower reciever and, using non-trivial skills and tools – metal drills, a metal router and a few others – finish it.  And by finish it, we mean to a rather fussy level of tolerances; the AR15 is no zip gun.
  • Put all the parts in their junk drawer and buy a complete, stolen AR or AK from any number of sources; stolen guns, gangs, or Eric Holder.

It might be simplistic to say that “if criminals had the skills needed to assemble a complete, shootable AR, they wouldn’t need to be criminals.  But only barely.

It is, of course, the latest attempt by the US media to manufacture a gun crisis – which is easier than manufacturing the guns themselves; as a Mother Jones correspondent couldn’t very well conceal a couple years ago, back when the AK47 was still the left’s official boogeygun (again, emphasis is mine):

The hosts collect our paperwork without checking IDs. We don eye protection and gloves, and soon the garage is abuzz with the whir of grinders, cutters, and drills. Sales of receivers—which house the mechanical parts, making a gun a gun—are tightly regulated, so my kit comes with a pre-drilled flat steel platform. Legally, it’s just an American-made hunk of metal, but one bend in a vise later and, voilà, it’s a receiver, ready for trigger guards to be riveted on. Sparks fly as receiver rails to guide the bolt mechanism are cut, welded into place, and heat-treated. The front and rear trunnions, which will hold the barrel and stock, are attached to the receivers.

Sounds easy?

Well, I know there are machinists in my audience.  But to the less handy among us – say, Mojo writers – it’s a non-trivial exercise.   I love the illustration in the Mojo story:  “Making your own receiver – the part that holds the firing mechanism – requires no background check”.  Which may be true, but it also requires a non-trivial set of metalworking skills and tools.

You’re a crook.  What’s easier; spending an evening with a bunch of people painstakingly assembling  an AK (or the much fussier AR) from scratch, or buying one from a fellow crook in a tenth of the time?

It’s not confusing to anyone who’s not an NPR reporter.

I Gazed Upon The Chimes Of Freedom Crashing

Back in the seventies and eighties – the nadir of gun rights in the US – the antis used to cite a statistic; “85% of Americans support gun control”.

It was misleading and out of context, of course; the question asked if people supported any form of gun control.  By that metric, “wanting to keep guns out of the hands of felons” is “supporting gun control”.

But the fact remained; a significant number of Americans, deluded by two decades of anti-gun propaganda in the media, had come not to appreciate their Second Amendment rights.

And that has changed.

According to Pew, a decisive majority of Americans oppose gun control.

Exactly two years after President Obama’s bid for gun control following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting died in Congress, a new poll has discovered a huge shift in public opinion to backing Second Amendment gun rights and away from controlling gun ownership.

The reason: Americans now believe having a gun is the best way to protect against crime, 63 percent to 30 percent.

Pew Research Center found that while support for gun control once reached 66 percent, it has dropped to 46 percent while support for gun rights has jumped 52 percent, the highest ever in the past 25 years.

Despite years of the media and educational/industrial complexes best efforts, and hundreds of millions in “progressive” plutocrat money, Americans have figured out what our self-appointed “elites” can’t seem to; more guns in the hands of the law-abiding equals less crime.

You know what’s the most glorious thing about this effort?  The whole thing, nationwide, is entirely grass roots.

Perhaps the GOP should outsource its messaging effort to the shooters.

Perfect Is The Enemy Of Good

I need to get in shape.  The best way to do this is to win the Olympic Decathlon – because those people are in the best shape in the world.  I’ve decided that if I’m going to do anything about my physical fitness, it’ll be “win the Olympic Decathlon”.

“But Mitch”, you may ask, “how do you plan on getting into that kind of shape?”

You’re not paying attention.  I said my goal is to “win the Olympic Decathlon”.  It’s not to “spend years training to be in the Olympic Decathlon”.  Training is not winning.  They’re completely different words.  If I win, by definition, I’ll be in amazing shape.

“But Mitch”, you may continue to hector me, “nobody, not even the most amazing athletes, competes at level without years of…”

And I’ll cut you off right there.  You’re clearly not listening.  I’ll win the Olympic Decathlon.  Then I’ll be in shape.  Any questions?

Jeez,  You people are such Real Athletes In Name Only (REANOs).

Much Ado About Ado:  We’ve written before about the entire group of organizations aligned with the “National Association of Gun Rights” (NAGR), including “Iowa Gun Owners” (IGO), and their Minnesota “cousins”, “Minnesota Gun Rights” (MGR).  I put “cousins” in scare quotes, because the groups are really one and the same; they’re both run by the Dorr Brothers out of Des Moines; occasionally, they don‘t even get all the “Iowa” references out of their Minnesota fundraising materials.  It’s gotten to the point that a bipartisan group of pro-Second-Amendment legislators – including some who supported MGR in the past – have come out against them for raising lots of money but not actually doing anything with it.   Their defenders note that they did drop some fliers and ran two – two! – radio ads supporting Roz Peterson in Burnsville; their detractors note that their lack of registrations with the state mean they were strictly limited in the amount of money they could spend – as in, $1,500 or so – and that the Peterson race was not decided on gun issues and, for that matter, nobody thinks their involvement made a stitch of difference in Peterson’s victory.

But that’s yesterday’s news.

This week, the Iowa Firearms Coalition fired a broadside at IGO for opposing an omnibus gun rights bill.

Give Me Everything I Want, Or Give Me Nothing I Need:  The omnibus bill covers a wide swathe of gun rights projects:  preventing the media from getting permittees’ personal information, removing the ban on parents teaching their kids to shoot, making permits attach to the person rather than the gun, allowing people whose permits are denied to seek reimbursement if the denial is overturned, and a slew of other things (that make me praise the wisdom of the crew that wrote Minnesota’s carry law.

And IGO is against it.   Instead, they are pushing – as they did two years ago – a “Constitutional Carry” bill”, similar to the laws in Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and Vermont.

Nothing wrong with Constitutional Carry; it affirms that the Constitution grants us a right to keep and bear arms; no law-abiding citizen should have to ask, or pay, the state to exercise their rights.

Nobody disagrees.

But IGO is under the impression that any effort spent on “lesser” bills legitimizes state control over your right to keep and bear arms, and reduces the chance of winning full constitutional carry.  And so they’re fighting against Iowa’s Omnibus Gun Bill:

This same group actively lobbied against the Shall Issue concealed carry reforms we passed 5 years ago. If they had their way we’d still be holding out for a “perfect firearms bill” that never had a chance at passing. Had they been successful hundreds of thousands of Iowans would not be able enjoy the freedom to lawfully carry concealed weapons that we enjoy today. Instead of working to protect and enhance the Second Amendment rights of Iowans by any means possible, this group of gun owners would rather gamble everything on improbable, all or nothing, high stakes bills. This approach is almost always guaranteed to fail and their track record proves it. Not one single piece of pro-gun legislation they’ve sponsored has ever reached the Governor’s desk, let alone been signed into law.

Now they’re up to their same old tricks, working again in lock step with Bloomberg and Company, this time to kill Iowa’s Omnibus Gun Bill.

Long story short, IGO is helping the Bloomberg repress gun rights in Iowa.  And unless you live in Wyoming or Alaska, winning Constitutional Carry is going to be long, drawn-out process of winning hearts and minds, rather than my campaign to win the decathlon.

Problem is, they want to do the same thing in Minnesota.

“Incrementalism Is A Four Letter Word”:  Every gun rights group that matters has “Constitutional Carry” as a goal.  Some – the NRA – are exceedingly pragmatic about it.  Others – GOCRA – see it, correctly, as something that, like “Shall Issue”, is going to take years of lobbying, education and hard political work.  This includes teaching a legislature – which is is mostly pro-gun, even on the DFL side – the benefits of Constitutional Carry in a state that, in case you hadn’t noticed, isn’t much like Wyoming or Arizona.

But IGO, and it’s Minnesota cousin branch office MGR, take the tack that spending time and effort on anything “less” than Constitutional Carry not only legitimizes the gun control that exists, but makes it less likely we’ll ever get Constitutional Carry.

Both claims are absurd, of course; gun control was imposed piecemeal over decades as media and liberal propaganda affected voters’ attitudes about guns; undoing the attitudes will take time (although the process is well underway).   Does anyone think that the gun movement should have held off on filing the Heller and McDonald cases, and waited for the One Big Case To Throw All Gun Control Laws Out?  Does anyone think winning “shall issue” in Illinois makes it less likely that Illinois will ever further loosen their restrictions?

Magical Thinking:  NAGR is run by one Dudley Brown – who was highly involved in Ron Paul’s various campaigns for President.  The IGO/MGR’s Dorr Brothers are  linked to Ted Sorenson, an Iowa Ron Paul mover and shaker at the center of a scandal involving Michele Bachmann.   Some of MGR’s most prominent adherents in Minnesota were also heavily involved in the Ron Paul effort, and are still involved with “Liberty” groups.

Nothing wrong with that.

Except that too many “Liberty” groups believe that if you “stick to your principles” and think big thoughts and accept no compromise, freedom just happens.

I’m oversimplifying, of course.  Or perhaps I’m overcomplicating.  If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about many of the ranks of Ron Paul / “Liberty” supporters, it’s that they want to change the world in big ways, but they seem to eschew the idea of doing it through the political process, which they seem to deem too corrupt.

And so MGR, like its IGO home office, has gathered about it a lot of people who want big changes, and like to think and argue big thoughts about those changes…

…but can’t spell out a way to actually get the law changed so that their big ideas become actual policy.

I’ve tried.  Oh, Lord, I’ve tried. I’ve challenged MGR supporters; “You want Constitutional Carry or nothing? OK – in a state where the idea of “people carrying guns without permits” scares the crap out of at least half the voters, and whose votes count as much as yours do, how do you get to passing a law?”

The answers get more and more vague the more you press them, and always devolve back to one form of “magical thinking” or another.  *

At any rate; beware of people promising big results if you just belieeeeve.  And give.  Because in politics more than most parts of life, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

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At The Capitol

It’s been a big couple of days at the Minnesota State Capitol for Second Amendment supporters.

Yesterday, the House Public Safety Committee passed all or parts of four bills as part of the Public Safety Omnibus bill:

  • HF830 (Lucero), the Interstate Purchase bill (legalizing buying firearms from states that aren’t contiguous to Minnesota.  I bet you didn’t know that was illegal?)
  • HF372 (Nash), which would abolish the capitol felony trap (the requirement to notify the head of Capitol Security if you’re a permittee who’s carrying is obsolete and serves only to dangle the threat of a felony over otherwise law-abiding citizens)
  • HF722 (Newberger), perhaps the most important of all, the Katrina bill, barring state government from seizing firearms during a “state of emergency”.

It’s an omnibus bill – which means when it goes to the Senate, the bills have a decent chance of either passing, or putting a lot of DFL senators on record as anti-gun extremists. While the majority in the Senate is pro-Human-Rights (even the DFLers), most of the committees are controlled by anti-gun extremists like Ron Latz.

Now, here’s the big part; tomorrow, the House is voting on four stand-alone bills.  Yes, it’s redundant to the omnibus bill; it’s theatrics, to show the Senate (and governor, and the media) how much popular support these bills have.

They’ll be voting on Lucero, Nash and Newberger’s bills, as well as Mark Anderson’s bill  (HF1434) to allow Minnesotans to put mufflers on their guns and preserve their hearing, as they do in 39 other, smarter states.

Here’s The Deal:  The debate and vote are at 3PM tomorrow.  If you can make it down to the Capitol at 3, preferably wearing a maroon shirt, ideally a GOCRA t-shirt (or anything but camouflage, basically); it’d be great to show the House (and the Senate) that we’re serious.  We always do.

There’s a decent chance these bills can pass – and leave the Human Rights movement in a better position to further expand the rights of the law-abiding in future sessions.

Posted

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ordered a couple of magazines for my Combat Commander. Didn’t like them, wanted to return. My usual shipper is the UPS Store on Lexington but no, their franchise agreement says they can’t ship guns or gun parts which they interpret broadly to protect their franchise. Fair enough, they gave me directions to the UPS hub in Minneapolis where I found this sign.

Guy at the counter confirmed they can ship magazines – even loaded ones, if I declare it – but no, I can’t carry my pistol on my belt while I drop off the gun parts I’m returning. He was perfectly nice about it, that’s just the company policy. The logic of higher management escapes me.

Joe Doakes

It reminds me of all the companies I’ve worked for that put “Workplace Violence Policy” chapters in their employee manuals.  The “policy” invariably involves forbidding guns on company property – which, perforce, means barring the law-abiding from defending themselves against, well, workplace violence.

The Elmer Gantries

When it comes to Second Amendment rights groups, I’ve always said “let a thousand flowers bloom”.

You prefer to fight the national fight by proxy?  Send your $35 to the NRA.  Want to get more into the thick of things nationally?  Contribute to the Second Amendment Foundation.

Wanna affect what happens in the Minnesota legislature?  Support GOCRA.  Wanna affect who gets elected to the Legislature?  Support MNGOPAC.  Feel like taking it to the streets?  The Twin Cities Carry Forum is the place to go.

If you want to donate money to an organization that seems to have little tie to Minnesota, that is closely linked to a network of similar organizations that seem to do more harm than good in the legislature in other states (Iowa, Colorado and Mississippi), which probably means it’s a good thing all that Minnesota fundraising has no visible impact in the Legislature itself?

A bipartisan group of pro-Second-Amendment legislators would like to have a word with you about that:

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This bipartisan group of legislators, most of whom have been key leaders in pushing back the Bloomberg-financed gun grab bills, are urging you not to be fooled.

Now, I’ve written a bit about “Minnesota Gun Rights”, as well as “Iowa Gun Owners” and the “National Association of Gun Rights” in the past year and a half.  And I get two questions about the subject:

  • “Berg, aren’t you connected with GOCRA?  Isn’t this just trying to thin out the competition?”:  I’m “connected” with just about everyone in the Second Amendment movement.  I network like a madman.  Hello – I’m a blogger and talk show host; I go where the info is. And no – “competition” is good, where the goal is “who can be the first to drag Governor Flint-Smith kicking and screaming to the table to sign the legislation we want”.  As I believe I and the sixteen oversigned legislators have established, MGR isn’t really competing on that front.
  • “MGR stands for Constitutional Carry – GOCRA, the NRA and MNGOPAC don’t.  If we pass Constitutional Carry, we won’t need any of the other legislation.  Why waste time?”:  That’s a little like saying I’m swearing off dating until Morena Baccarin returns my calls.  I mean, if I get into a position where Morena Baccarin returns my calls, great – but until I do (and I’m not), what then?    Saying “We’ll accept nothing but Constitutional Carry, and any lesser legislation merely accedes to government’s power to regulate  your God-given right to self-defense”.  Which is true – in a philosophical sense.  The law is not philosophy.  If the Minnesota gun movement had adopted that idea in 1994, we’d still be begging our police chiefs for carry permits, mostly in vain.  And the simple fact is, until we get a pro-Second Amendment governor, and legislatures that are not just mostly pro-Second Amendment (as they are today) but very strongly so, we’re not going to get Constitutional Carry.  Minnesota is not Arizona or Wyoming or Alaska.  By the way, passing Constitutional Carry won’t solve many of the other gun related issues – like reciprocity, the Capitol felony trap, or the right to purchase in non-contiguous states.  It just won’t.
  • “Isn’t ‘Shall Issue’ just a moneymaker for the carry permit instructors that run GOCRA?”:  No more so than fund-raising over a pie-in-the-sky proposal that is years away from passage, assuming everything goes perfectly from an electoral perspective (which Minnesota Gun  Rights is doing absolutely nothing to assure).

More later.

Let’s Make Michael Bloomberg Crap A Cactus

Up there with Easter, Christmas, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, this coming Saturday is one of the most wonderful times of the year.

It’s the Shooter Show at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale.

Shopping for a new gun?  Dozens of manufacturers will be there, showing their wares.  Bring a driver’s license, buy a box of ammo, and you can test fire any of the hundreds of pieces for free.  Prices are coming down from the panic-buying highs of a couple years ago, so it’s a great time to buy!

Plus – door prizes and giveaways (accessories, goodies, and even firearms), charity raffles (ditto), and…

…ahem…

…full-automatic machine gun rentals.  Buy a box of ammo, take your pick, pony up, suit up, and poke more holes in more paper faster than you ever knew possible.  Last year I shot the M1928 Thompson and the KRISS.   This year?  I’m focusing on the Bren, and/or the BAR.

Oh, yeah – I’ll be doing the show from Bill’s, live from 1-3PM on Saturday.  Stop out and say hi.

Why yes – I’ve been looking forward to this all year long.

It’s Back

“Stand Your Ground” is back.

The bill – which would do nothing but remove the “duty to retreat” from self-defense on your property and in your car – was slandered as a “Shoot First” bill three years ago when it was passed by a bipartisan majority in both chambers (which, as an aside, is positive proof that the opposition was looking for the stupid vote; does anyone knows what happens to the person who shoots second?).  Governor Messinger Dayton issued a veto that was bought and paid for by big anti-gun interests; the metrocrats that controlled the Legislature at the time didn’t override him.

This year’s edition has a bipartisan slate of authors, a decisive majority of support in the House, and enough support in the Senate to make it interesting…

…and a governor – Tina Flint Smith – who will veto it forthwith (by pulling wires attached to Mark Dayton’s writing hand).

Of course, the point with this bill – and Senator Branden Petersen’s “Constitutional Carry” bill – is to do what the Second Amendment movement did over the previous two DFL-controlled sessions; rack up anti-gun votes by DFLers in greater Minnesota.  The DFL got trounced outstate in the 2014 elections in large part on the strength of gun votes; it can happen in the Senate in 2016.

Which is exactly how we got “Shall Issue” carry permits 12 years ago.

I worry at times that the lessons from the Carry Permit battle have been lost to a generation of pro-gun activists.  Shall Issue took from 1995 to 2003 (and again in 2005) to pass.  Eight years (with another year of maneuvering around a pet DFL judge).  It involved playing political chess, not checkers.

So suit up, people.  Winning your freedom isn’t for the faint of heart.

Break Out Your Maroon Shirts

Tonight, and Thursday morning, the legislature is going to be debating a bill – HF722, sponsored by representative Jim Newburger – which would prevent government from confiscating civilian firearms during states of emergency.

This is no idle worry; after Hurricane Katrina, the police went door to door through the storm ravaged neighborhoods, confiscating peoples firearms, leaving them helpless in the face of looters and thugs.

There are going to be two rounds of hearings:

  • Tonight at 6 PM, in the Civil Law committee. This will be in room 500, at the State office building. You can park for free in lot AAA, at Aurora and rice, after 4 PM – and meters are generally open along John Ireland Boulevard after business hours, too.
  • Thursday morning at 10:15 AM in the Public Safety committee. This will be in room 10 at the state office building.

Second Amendment humans rights advocates are on the offensive, this session – but that doesn’t mean anything is a shoe in. Showing up at hearings, or calling your legislators, is still essential.  Maybe moreso than ever.

Any DFLer who votes against this bill is essentially tipping their hand; they won’t “waste a crisis”, and if offered the chance will use that crisis as an excuse to extort firearms from the law abiding citizen. They need to be held accountable for this 2016

Word’s Getting Around

Heather Martens has never once made a substantial, true statement about firearms or the Second Amendment.

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Her testimony at the Minnesota House was more of the same: Martens claimed that silencers were “designed” to allow people to commit murder and get away with it.

Sure – in the same way that car mufflers were designed to allow hit-and-run drivers to sneak up on victims.

If you want real facts about suppressors, GOCRA as usual has the answers.

 

Long Overdue

To: The entire Minnesota state legislature
From: Many hypothetical, westbound Minnesotans who may have had to stop at gas stations on the east bank of the Red River every time they go back to visit their parents to transfer something that is perfectly legal on the east bank but is a felony on the west, and vice versa into the trunk.
Re: Reciprocity

You have a bill in the hopper that would do a job that the Public Safety commissioner was supposed to do over 10 years ago; make carry permits reciprocal between Minnesota and states whose permits are “substantially similar” to ours.

The Public Safety Commissioner 10 years ago took the most anal retentive possible view of “substantial similarity”, and made Minnesota permits reciprocal with an almost useless assortment of other states; Minnesota permits are no good in any of our neighbor states, and vice versa.  And the state of North Dakota created a special class of carry permit, expressly designed to conform to Minnesota law, to get Public Safety to honor NoDak permits (and vice versa).  Governor Flint-Smith’s Public Safety commissioner has ignored the legal imperative to change the rules accordingly.

You have a chance to fix that this session.

Please do.

A Miracle Of Physics

This form email has been making the rounds at the capitol in Saint Paul.  The person who sent it to me is under the impression that it shows the gun-grabbers are running out of good ideas and smart people.

Au contraire, said I.  This letter is a miracle, bordering on the first radio signal and the first nuclear fissile pile.

Because so much stupid is jammed into this email, it violates what were once thought to be inviolate laws of physics.

The woman – she’s a suburban matron from Mound – comes out swinging:

I oppose legalizing silencers in Minnesota (HF 1434). Silencers are designed to let people commit murder and get away with it.

Only in the movies.

They do the same thing for guns that mufflers do for cars; forestall hearing loss.  They take 30 decibels off the “bang” of a gun firing. What does this mean?

This:  “…for most commercially available fire arms and cartridges, this ends up only reducing the noise level to somewhere in the range of 130-150-ish dB for a supersonic cartridge and 117-130-ish dB for a subsonic cartridge. For reference on just how loud that is, an ambulance or police siren is typically between 100-140 dB. So this isn’t exactly the “whoosh” sound Hollywood depicts.”

Someone’s been watching too many movies:

In addition, silencers would compromise Minneapolis’ crime-fighting “shot-spotter” technology.

About as much as things like buildings and cars and anything else that gets between a shot and a shot-spotter microphone.  In other words, not really.

I also oppose HF 305, a bill to let North Dakota legislators decide who can carry guns in Minnesota. Under current law, state law enforcement reviews other states’ laws to determine if the other states’ permits should be recognized in MInnesota. That is as it should be. We should not let North Dakota legislators decide what is best for public safety in Minnesota.

This is mad ignorance.

The law allows the Commissioner of Public Safety decides whether other states’ carry permitting laws are “subsantially similar” to Minnesota’s.  North Dakota implemented a two-tier system – one permit for residents, and another for non-residents, specifically to cater to that absurd restriction in Minnesota law, to help avoid creating a felony trap for law-abiding citizens from both states.  Knowing, as I do, er, “friends” who have to stop in Moorhead or East Grand Forks when travelling west to move, er, payloads to the trunk, this change is long overdue.  Not that author of this post knows the difference.

Two other bills, HF 830 and HF 372, are unnecessary. In particular, weakening our laws around carrying guns at the Capitol is a step in the wrong direction.

But she doesn’t favor us with a reason why.

That’s simple; she’s parroting something someone else told her.  There is no downside to the proposal; Capitol Security has real-time access to the database of carry permittees; the current notification statute is a throwback to the days when permits weren’t computerized.

Please join me in opposing these bills.

[“Writer’s” name redacted]
Mound, MN 5536

She must be on the “Minnesota Progressive Project” farm club.

Orwell Would Puke…

,,,at this proposal, from the usual assortment of Metrocrat hamsters.  It may be the worst anti-gun bill, and the most toxic attack on civil liberty, in recent years.

It would essentially allow any cop or domestic violence victim to claim you brandished a firearm and have the authorities remove all firearms from your house and person.

Without even a hint of due process.

I say again; without even a plaintive whiff of due process.

Now, this bill is DOA in the House; Tony Cornish, a legislator who makes Ted Nugent look like Oprah Winfrey on Second Amendment issues, is chair of the Public Safety Committee; the DFL may as well deliver the bill directly to the paper shredder.

So why do it at all?

Politics:  Because Ron “Did You Know I Went To Harvard?” Latz is running the show in the Senate public safety committee, so it’s pretty much guaranteed a floor vote.  Which means a bunch of GOP senators will be on the record with “no” votes, which will be dutifully relayed during the 2016 campaign as “Senator X voted to give firearms to domestic abusers and people who threatened cops!” by the Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota.

That’s my two cents worth, of course; I have no doubt that Ron Latz would love to send SWAT teams to the home of every law-abiding gun owner on principle, but the political realities don’t support it right now.

We’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE: GOCRA is taking this bill very seriously, and so should you:

Everyone has moments in life where things seem hopeless. A death in the family, a job loss, PTSD from military service, a divorce… Responsible gun owners know that a doctor or psychologist can help. But this bill would encourage doctors to trick you into signing away your rights!

Imagine: there you are. You’re hurting. You go see a professional. He listens, then says he can help. He gives you a pile of forms to sign. Buried among them is a form created by this bill — one that puts you on the NICS no-buy list. “Voluntarily.”

Call your legislator. Tell them this bill needs to be killed with fire.