Consistency

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Dear Facebook Friend:

 When someone with a knife hurts a bunch of people in St. Cloud, you tell me knives are no problem.

 When someone with a car hurts a bunch of people in Ohio, you tell me cars are no problem.

 When someone with a gun hurts a single person in Chicago, you say we must lock up all the guns in the nation.

 I’m not seeing the rationale.  Is the real problem the tool used to do the hurting, or the people doing the hurting? 

 Are you certain we’re locking up the right thing?

 Joe Doakes

I think it’s mostly the liberal imperative to “do something”.

Although it’s pronounced more like “dooooooooo something” for full effect.

Faster

North Carolina congressman starts the ball rolling on carry permit reciproity:

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-North Carolina, says he is preparing legislation that would allow those with concealed carry permits in their state to cross state lines.

According to the Daily Caller, Hudson’s legislation would allow people with a state-issued concealed carry license to carry a handgun to any other state that allows concealed carry if the person is not banned from possessing or transporting a firearm by federal law.

For your less logically gifted liberal friends, what this means is this:  people who have proven that they have clean criminal records, and often training in self-defense law will have their carry permits recognized by other states, just like drivers licenses.  These are people whose crime rate is two orders of magnitude less than then general public; the record over thfis past twenty years, in every single state, shows that carry permittees are vastly, vastly safer per capita, than the general public.

Of course, the Dems will filibuster it in the Senate, if it comes up to a vote there.

Let them.  Record every worfd for 2018.   Non-urban Demcoxrats will go extinct.

Lie First, Lie Always: Non-Sequitur Violence

My theory:  the Democrats, and left-leaning groups in general, are turning their focus to making big, broad, platitudinous statements designed to sound good to people who don’t really think about issues all that hard.

Last week was a case in point; the Strib was pimping a piece purporting to show the costs of “gun violence”, as well as some proposed “solutions”.

The piece – an “analytical report” by Americans for Responsible Solutions, which is the Gabby Giffords checkbook advocacy group – claims to run down the costs of “gun violence”.

And it starts off with a local example:

One recent tragedy at a small law firm in the Cathedral Hill area of St. Paul illustrates this all too well. On April 7, 2016, a disgruntled former client, Ryan David Petersen, entered the offices of North Star Criminal Defense, located on the second floor of the historic Dacotah Building, intending to kill either Dan Adkins, one of the firm’s managing partners, or Chase Passauer, the firm’s office manager. Petersen arrived at the office before Dan did and directed his focus on Chase—shooting him eight times with a .40 caliber handgun. The 23-year-old died in his office chair.3 Chase, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, had wanted to become a lawyer to help others before his life was cut short by…

Let’s stop right there.

Who killed Chase Passauer?  Was Ryan Peterson:

  1. A pedestrian who found a loaded gun unattended on the street, and stopped into the law office to seek help?
  2. A Quaker missionary who found himself drawn to a gun at Cabela’s and, hypnotized by its dangerous allure, decided he just had to kill someone?
  3. A DFL activist practicing for the post-Trump revolution?

We’ll come back to that.

Wait!  You Ignored Change Under Bus Seats!:  The report goes into some depth on the costs of single incidents of “gun violence” – noting that the medical costs of even a single episode of “gun violence” are astronomical; the average cost of a fatal shooting is over $40K; of non-fatal shootings, over $60,000.

Well, yeah – the cost of healthcare is pretty high for everyone.   It’s been in all the papers.

It also notes that the cost of investigating the crimes, trying to cases, and incarcerating offenders is way, way up there:

According to estimates by PIRE, the average cost of a police  investigation and related criminal justice expenses for a  fatal shooting is $439,217.13 Criminal justice expenses include salaries and benefits for public officials such as judges, prosecutors, and public defenders, as well as the cost of incarceration, which in a federal facility averages more than $30,000 per year for each inmate.14 Minnesota taxpayers  spend approximately $45,688 per year incarcerating each inmate in state prisons

Yep.  Lawyers, judges and prisons don’t come cheap.

So the alternative is…what?

Does harassing the law-abiding gun owner in any way address this?  Other than creating more felons?

The report also goes through costs to employers – like Mr. Passauer’s – as well as, incredibly, lost wages.  Not only those of the victim…:

According to data derived from the PIRE cost of injury model, the average value of lost work for a single fatal shooting is $1,742,722, while for a nonfatal shooting requiring hospitalization, the figure is $81,559.
When a gunshot victim…

…but also the perp:

…or incarcerated perpetrator is an income earner for his or her family—especially the primary breadwinner—the impact of lost wages on the family can be severe.

Ah.  Clearly the answer is to not send murderers to jail.

Well, no.  That’s not what the report suggests.

Where Have We Seen This?:  The report does suggest “solutions”.

Any guesses?

The Economic Cost of Gun Violence in Minnesota identifies three sets of solutions, each addressing a specific risk factor:  universal background checks for gun sales, neighborhood revitalization programs, and hospital-based violence intervention strategies. The investment required to implement these lifesaving solutions is minuscule compared to the yearly cost of gun violence in our state.

“Hospital based violence intervention strategies” – trying to talk victims and perpetrators out of lives of violence – might be less stupid.  As the report rather un-PC-ly notes:

 “Interpersonal shootings disproportionately involve young men of color living in underserved neighborhoods, so any effective violence intervention strategy must focus attention on this at-risk population.

…where “underserved neighborhoods” is PC code for “crime-ridden cesspool in a city ruined by decades of Democrat rule”, dealing with those actually involved in the vast majority of criminal shootings might actually make sense.

On the other hand, we’ve been trying “neighborhood revitalization” for decades.  It turns out that prosperity – organic, market prosperity, not government subsidy – and law and order, and lots of both, is the only real neighborhood revitalization program that works – and that doesn’t happen in inner cities run by Democrats.

Ever.

Of course, that could happen.

But as to “universal background checks?”

I’d love to ask the people who wrote this report:  “So tell me how the people who are committing the vast majority of the crime today – who overwhelmingly use guns that are stolen, purchased by straw buyers, or, in the world of gangs, often shared among gang members in multiple crimes – who aren’t currently getting background checks, are supposed to start getting them?

Which takes us back to Chase Passauer.

A Minor Technicality:  In re the murder of Mr. Passauer, the report notes that Ryan Peterson was, in fact…

a convicted felon who was legally  prohibited from possessing a gun.

Who would not have taken a background check.

Whether his neighborhood was revitalized, and whether a social worker talked with him at a hospital, or not.

They Tend To Be Shoddy Anyway

Levi Strauss and company has opted to make their stores criminal-safe.

Moms Want Action is all tingly about it – which, of course, means royalties for stock photo vendors!~

levipansies

Know how you can tell it’s a stock photo? Because the model is 40 years younger than any female in “Moms Want Action” .

To be honest, I haven’t bought Levis in years; for the same money, Duluth jeans are much much better, and given their clientele, they’re way too smart to post their stores.

But if you’re so inclined, drop Levi Strauss a line.  Their Facebook page is a good place to send a message.

 

Drip Drip Drip

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The authorities insist there is no evidence the Ohio State attacker had a membership card from ISISAnother member of Local 473 of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolf Muslim Terrorists.

 Seriously, how many “lone wolves” does it take to make a pack?  Can’t anybody in the media admit there’s a pattern to this violence?

 Joe Doakes

Not just a pattern – a motivator.

ISIS is specifically targeting people in the west who are susceptible to being teased into becoming martyrs to do exactly this sort of thing, via their online and media outreach.  Their website and (very slick) magazine show would-be martyrs how to carry out mass shootings (likely including San Bernardino, Orlando and, quite possibly, Saint Cloud), vehicle attacks (like Nice, France and of course OSU), IEDs (like the Boston Marathon), and, well, stabblings.

So  yes – it’s an asynchronous pack.

And we know that the only response to a pack is a bigger, better, and still more civilized pack.  Which at least some people in Ohio get.

Change In The Weather

This past three weeks has been fascinating; I’ve watched a whole lot of people I’d considered fairly rational, sensible people completely losing their grip on reality. I could talk – “joke”, sure, what the heck – about how people on the political left frequently seem groaningly ignorant about history, but that’s a separate subject for another time.

I’ve seen some of them writing or sharing *precisely* the sort of end-of-the-world apocalyptic gloom and doom that they were mocking *some* Republicans for writing eight years ago – advice about surviving the end of civilization, the fall of civil society, barbarians at the gates, pretty much the whole “Walking Dead” bit.

The part that has me the most interested, though, is the dark, furtive references some of them are making to “resisting”…whatever it is they’re worried about. Some are even taking measures they’d considered downright unholy – indeed, measures that a month ago most of them were working to foreclose.

And while I detest schadenfreud, I just have to ask those liberals; are you finally starting to understand (however irrationally and mistakenly) why some of us bitter, gun-clinging deplorables fought to hard to protect the *originalist* interpretation of the Second Amendment?

Maybe just a little?

I’ve seen more than a few liberal writers claim that black people arming themselves is how we’ll “finally” get gun control.  Only at the hands of Democrats.  The NRA has been arming minorities since 1866.

On

Moms Want Action – the pro-criminal group funded entirely by liberal plutocrat Michael Bloomberg – posted this over the weekend:

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-5-17-44-pm

Oh, that’s so cute.    A group of smug, privileged, Whole-Foods-shopping, MPR-listening, Subaru driving insta-activists say “it’s on”.

No, ma’am (including that “mom” with the beard in the back row on the left).  You’re wrong.

It was “on” on election night, when the plutocrat who owns your organization, Michael Bloomberg, spent nearly a million dollars in Minnesota.  To capture two seats (and lose several more ).

And even that’s not completely right.  It’s been “on” for thirty years.  Millions of Real Americans – men, women, black and white, urban and rural – started giving your boogeyman, the “gun lobby”, some actual teeth.

So go ahead.  Prance around at your “rallies” in the safe parts of downtown, and in Eagan in your Dreamsicle t-shirts.  Parrot the same lies the good guys have been shredding for decades just a few more times.  Get bored and walk away again.

We’ll still be here.

And it’ll still be “on”.

Un Bravo Ragazzo Con Una Pistola

A good guy with a gun shoots two robbers at a pizzeria in Levittown, Pennsylvania:

The shooting happened late Tuesday night at Porfirio’s Pizza and Pasta, located in a shopping plaza in Levittown, about 25 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

The customer took out a gun and shot both men after they allegedly pistol-whipped him, Middletown Police Chief Joe Bartorilla told reporters.

The police are still investigating.  But I’m pretty sure we all know where this ends up.

 

Casualty Of Hysteria?

Ramsey County attorney John Choi released the findings of the investigation of the Philando Castile shooting.  Ramco charged Saint Anthony Park police officer Jeronimo Yanez with second-degree manslaughter in the death of the Saint Paul school employee last summer.

There are better commentators on the legalities and the sociology of this incident than me.

But there’s one angle that might be of some concern to those of you who exercise  your second amendment rights.  Castile was a carry permittee – meaning he had a clean criminal record (which also enabled him to get a job in a public school).

When you go through carry permit class, you’re taught that getting stopped by the police while carrying is one of the more dangerous times for a permittee.   The rules are vague, and cops are (as we saw in the incident) often badly trained on the law and how to respond to carriers.  But there are two generally-accepted trains of thought for the civilian carrier:

  1. Mention your permit and firearm only if the cop asks you to get out of the car.  If it’s a simple traffic ticket, it’ll never be an issue.
  2. Mention, calmly and casually, up front, that you have a permit and are carrying, and where, and ask the officer how they’d like to proceed.

According to the evidence released yesterday, Castile went with #2:

15078740_10154728652296764_6362730367883470947_n

Officer Yanez is, of course, innocent until proven guilty.

But – assuming the timeline above is accurate (and that will no doubt be a major subject at trial), it appears officer Yanez had a very intense reaction to…

…to what?

To the fact that Castile was a black male who, according to some stories circulating last summer, allegedly resembled a suspect in a robbery?

If that were true, Officer Yanez apparently didn’t follow felony stop procedures; he approached it as a stop over a broken tail light.  Which might, to the casual observer, make it appear like he wasn’t concerned Castile was the suspect.

Which leaves what?  The carry permit status and the gun.

It’s possible Officer Yanez reacted with panic to learning that Castile had a permit and was armed, and over the course of seven seconds, went from asking a question to shooting Castile seven times at point blank range.

Why?

We don’t know.  We may or may not find out at trial.

But I suspect, at least in part, that the hysteria about carry permittees and their guns spread by the anti-gun groups in this state had a role.   Groups like “Protect” Minnesota and “Moms Want Action” have been painstakingly training people, mostly in and near the urban core, to be terrified of firearms in the hands of civilians.

And if that’s true, then there’s blood – the real kind – on the hands of the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence and the rest of the pack of liars she leads.

Three

I’ve said for some time now that there have been two reasons I could get behind Trump; his SCOTUS picks, and his stance on healthcare.

And now there’s a third:

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump — who said he has a concealed carry permit — called for the expansion of gun rights Friday, including making those permits applicable nationwide. In a position paper published on his website Friday afternoon, Trump called for the elimination of gun and magazine bans, labeling them a “total failure.”

“Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own,” Trump wrote.

And he brings some fairly ineluctible logic to the argument:

The permits, which are issued by states, should be valid nationwide like a driver’s license, Trump said. “If we can do that for driving — which is a privilege, not a right — then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege,” Trump said.

It may be political red meat to keep his base whipped up.

Good.

The New Romans

Trump’s election has thrown a good chunk of the American left for an unexpected loop.

Not least of the loopers is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), famous for “ELCA Hair” and unctuous, smug politics slathered on a fairly neutered reading of the Bible.

And over at their “Engage” blog – the ELCA’s gun-grab propaganda organ, which blindly opposes the Second Amendment and bows down to Michael Bloomberg – they are more depressed than most these days.  They posted about the current lay of the land:

The recent election spells difficult days ahead for gun violence prevention (GVP). Trump’s victory, coupled with his blind support of the Second Amendment and bowing to the NRA, spell high odds against any GVP laws being passed.

I’d like to ask someone from “Engage” what exactly they mean by “Blind Support” – but I suspect none of them actually knows.

But I’d very much like to invite a representative from “Engage” onto my show, on any weekend of their choosing.  Because I’m dying to find out – among other things.

Similarly, with the Republicans now in control of the Minnesota House and Senate, similar negative progress is probably the norm. Elections matter.

They can take some solace in the fact that they actually haven’t mattered that much for a little over a decade.  Even when the DFL controlled both chambers two short years ago, there was a functional pro-Second Amendment majority in the Legislature.  You guys have been in a deep hole since about 2002, and it just got a lot deeper.

As it should be.

Now what? We can take heart in Luke 21:5-19. It is the end time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He has entered Jerusalem. The final countdown has begun. He told his disciples the Temple would be destroyed, they would be persecuted by the state and religious leaders, some of them would be executed, and they would be rejected by friends and family. Yet, these realities would give them the opportunity to give testimony to the truth, and by their persistent endurance in telling the truth in the face of negative odds, they would save their souls.

Right.  It’s a great verse – one that’s resonated with a lot of us Second Amendment advocates, especially here in urban areas, for a long time.

The right to defend ourselves, our homes, our families and our society from aggression is granted to us by God Almighty himself.

That right – enabling us to bear the responsibility of defending our earthly freedoms while we’re in this world – is one of few that separates us from subjects of a king or dictator.  Without that right and ability, our “rights” merely exist until government – or someone bigger and stronger than us – decides to take them away.

History is full of innocent, unarmed people who were wiped off the map by bigger, stronger people; sometimes the victims shared our faith; sometimes the killers did, too.

Citing Luke indicates you put yourselves in the position of the disciples.

You are not.

You are in the position of Herod’s Jews, the ones that collaborated with the Romans in oppressing other Jews.  You are the oppressors, working hand in hand with those who would render us, not citizens, but mere subjects.

And while I’m a subject of God’s kingdom, on this earth, I’m a citizen.  Not a subject.  And if you want to take that away from me by civil means, last Tuesday’s loss isn’t the last you’re going to face.

By consistently telling the truth in the name of Jesus, we will gain our souls! We will be faithful disciples. God’s grace is sufficient for the task!

I’m not going to speak for God.  Neither should you.  On this issue, you are not qualified.

I’d be more than happy to debate this – although clearly you don’t have enough faith in God’s grace to face me in a civil discussion.

A Win And A Warning

Well, “Protect Minnesota” certainly seems happy – they broke out the “happy” stock photos yesterday!

pm

So Protect Minnesota is happy about something that happened in California?  Why is that?

Because they’ve got nothing to celebrate in Minnesota.

Bupkes.

Anti-gun Pro-criminal groups – “Protect” Minnesota and Moms Want Action, which are really nothing but puppets of Everytown, the group controlled and owned by New York plutocrat Michael Bloomberg – spent $800,000 in Minnesota this past cycle, most of it in the past month or so.  They heavily targeted several seats:  Roz Peterson in Burnsville, Sarah Anderson in Plymouth, and several seats in the purple-ish southwestern suburbs.

And they certainly had some effect…on Democrats, before the election.  Rep. Walz, from Southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, who has always made pro-gun noises commensurate with his largely rural district, felt comfortable (or arrogant?) enough circulate a photo of him with a couple of Bloomberg’s Dreamsicles the week before the election:

walzwithgrabbers

Walz posing with the Dreamsicles. Republicans in CD1 – make sure this photo comes back in 2018.

And at the end of the evening, all of that blood money got them…what?

They spent some of their money on Dave Hann – who was largely toppled by the changing demographics in his bluish-purple district and the mountain of indepedent cash.  Their loss – and only tangentially related to the Bloomberg spending.

And one House seat – again, Bloomberg’s cash was only part of the flood of Democrat money that poured into the state…

…and only speed bumps on the way to the GOP flipping the Senate and extending its control of the House.

The Future:  It’s not all god news.

“Protect” Minnesota and the Action Moms did, finally, learn something from the good guys.  They did in fact spend some time and energy cultivating and training volunteers, and getting into political action.  The years when we could count on Heather Martens’ incompetence and indolence to insulate Real Americans from reality are over.

We Real American joke – rightly – about the gun grabbers needing to pay for their volunteers…

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…while thousands of us turn out on our own time and dime to make the magic happen.  And it is a legitimate point of pride for the good guys.

But stop and think.

The pro-criminal groups have the money to spend, and they’re spending it like drunk Kardashians.

$800,000 to help, maybe, flip two seats in the legislature?  Well over ten times what all pro-freedom groups spent, combined?  That’s pocket lint to Michael Bloomberg.  It’s background noise to the well-heeled liberals who support the pro-criminal groups.

And while the volunteers may well be the Subaru-driving, Saint Olaf-attending, Whole Foods shopping, ELCA-haired caricatures that I gleefully point out to you, even a caricature out doing productive work on the street moves the needle.

So we pro-freedom people have a lot to celebrate today.  The SCOTUS has a fighting chance of breaking with the good guys for the next generation; the Legislature will no doubt put a “Stand Your Ground” measure on the Governor’s desk, and by my count, the GOP and outstate Democrats are painfully close to being able to override Governor Flint-Smith’s veto.   We won one against a flood of out-of-state money.

But this is going to get harder, not easier.

Oil up those wallets and keep those walking shoes ready.

Judge, Jury And Executioner (UPDATED)

We don’t know much about the man who shot two people at a dollar store on the mean streets of Burnsville yesterday.

And by “we”, I mean everyone but Erin Maye Quade, who promptly tweeted that the shooting proved the need for background checks.

Before any details were known.

Not only before the investigation had started, much less turned up any information, but before an arrest had been made.

She wants to represent you in the Minnesota House.

If you live in HD57A, please bring some friends to the poll and vote for Ali Jimenez-Hopper.

UPDATE:  Early, unofficial report:  the shooter is a registered sex offender who is legally barred from having guns.

Yep. That background check sure woulda done the trick.

Prohibition

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed about this story:

Two thoughts:

One, prohibition doesn’t work.  Not even in prison.  People will get what they want, somehow.  Gun controllers, take note.

Two, dead men tell no tales and they also buy no cocaine. There’s always a trade-off, in every policy choice.

joe doakes

Today’s debate:  “Divulge details about HIllary, or stay alive?”

A Good Guy With A Gun: South Dakota Edition

71 year old carry permit holder shoots carjacker in Sioux Falls:

A couple was sitting in their vehicle in the parking lot of the Red Rock Inn on 41st Street when [suspect Edward] LeBlanc attempted to steal their car. Clemens says LeBlanc forced open one of the doors of the car and hit the 71-year-old driver. However, the driver had a handgun in his pocket, and shot LeBlanc twice.

Police eventually located LeBlanc at a nearby McDonald’s. He was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Clemens says the driver, from Bixby, Okla., had a concealed weapon permit and likely will not face any charges. His injuries were not serious.

In Chcago, this would’ve ended with a jacked car, an injured or dead senior citizens and a pristinely unharmed criminal.

I like this way better.

When Out And About Tomorrow

There’s a “League of Women Voters” event in Bloomington tomorrow:  “Guns, the Issues”.

It’s going to be a panel discussion featuring, on the pro-criminal side, the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence of Protect Criminals Minnesota and Maplewood Police chief (and DFL mouthpiece) Paul Schnell, versus Bryan Strawser and Sarah Cade of the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee.

How to get there?
Schneider Theater at Bloomington Civic Plaza,
1800 West Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431

Tickets are free, but they’re asking you to register here.  And all questions are being solicited in advance1, so get ’em in there.

I’ll see you all there tomorrow evening.  Hope you can show up; the pro-criminal side doesn’t have much game, but they don’t have much to do, so they tend to show up at these events.

Bad Influence?

Whenever stories about law-abiding citizens carrying firearms within the bounds of their state laws comes up, you can count on some leftist bobblehead, clearly unfamiliar with the feeling of testosterone in “his” veins, vowing to take any gun “he” sees away from the rightful owner and bring down the wrath of almighty Goddess upon the citizen.

Y’know – the stuff the left accuses carry permittees of wanting to do, but that never happens.

Lamentably, it happened in Kansas this week – and it was no laughing matter.  A “man” noticed another Kansan carrying his firearm.  It just gets worse from there:

Police said Smith was allegedly upset about another man carrying a concealed weapon. He took the gun away from the man, pointed it at him and another man, and shot the victim in the leg, according to the allegations.

The victim was taken to a hospital with with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Bond for Smith was set at $10,000.

Smith is an idiot, and the county attorney should be charging the weasel with attempted murder as well as use of a stolen firearm in a crime.

Now – just watch Moms Want Action try to blame the gun for this.

Grassroots Win!

After being the targets of a whooole lot of Bloomberg spending (and a few Dreamsicles pestering them), the Savage City Council last night dealt a humiliating rebuke to Moms Want Action, Everytown, and Bence’s Biddies, refusing to even take up a proposed gun store ban within city limits.

This from the MNGOPAC:

Thanks to the efforts of the Scott County GOP, local activists, and members of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus & PAC, the Savage City Council discussed – but made no motion to move forward – with a ordinance restricting gun stores in the City.

This is a HUGE VICTORY for gun owners across the state.

I love the smell of burning stacks of Bloomberg cash in the morning.

It smells like victory .

Oh, yeah – I’ve written about Minnesota Gun Rights in the past.  It’s the Iowa-based group that raises lots of money, doesn’t do much actual work in Minnesota, and claims credit for others’ work.

And now, just claims others’ work; after the Savage City Council decision, they lifted the MN Gun Owners Caucus’s lede word for word:

plagiarism

More on MGR.

Empaneled

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Concealed carry permit holders should ask for a subcommittee to deal specifically with the issues of how police treat lawfully armed citizens.

Joe Doakes

Up until the Castile shooting, I’d have said most Minnesota cops were pretty decent around law-abiding shooters.

I suspect most are.  But as the anecdotes roll in, clearly there’s room for improvement.

So let’s improve.

Lie First, Lie Always: Ninnies Gonna Ninny

Guns are a public health crisis.

Not the way anti-gun advocates claim they are, of course; gun deaths are down 50% in twenty years, and further still in places with more guns (not so much in Democrat-addled urban cesspools).  If cancer or heart disease deaths had dropped 50% in twenty years, “public health” advocates would declare a miracle.

But there is a public health problem related to guns.

It’s the mental health of uninformed, emotionally-supercharged gun haters that would seem to be the crisis.

The Bryght:  Bryan Strawser runs Bryghtpath, LLC – a business consulting firm that works with corporations on disaster preparedness, recovery, communications and security.   Strawser is also a leader of the MInnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee – which gets involved in political campaigns – and the Minnesota Gun Owners’ Caucus, which lobbies the legislature (along with the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance).  It’s a good business.

His company has an office in the Northrup King Building (NKB) complex – a 100-year-old group of warehouse and light-manufacturing buildings that were turned into offices a while back, when Northeast became hip again.  The complex rents to a number of businesses – and a warren of artists, who keep their studios in the shabby-chic-yet-affordable space the NKB offers.  The complex is not an arts collective – it’s a bit of commercial real estate – but with nearly 200 artists, studios, and small galleries, the NKB is one of the lynchpins of Northeast’s art scene.

Strawser briefly listed the Coalition and the PAC alongside Bryghtpath on his office mailbox.  He also allowed a friend (a mutual friend, as it happens) to use the space to conduct a few carry permit classes (which, for those who haven’t been, consist of lectures and Powerpoints; the actual guns used for qualification are used at the firing range).

Anyway – Strawser has run his business out of that space for a little over a year now.

Along the way, a few of the artists who rent space took notice of Strawser’s affiliations, and took umbrage.  Strawser, being a communications guy, dealt with the issue the way he usually does; inviting people down to his office to talk.  Many of them did.  Conversations were had, agreements to disagree were reached, nerves were salved to the point where Strawser and a few of his artist neighbors threw an open house to discuss the issue with the rest of the building.

And that shoulda been it.  Right?

Not Bryght:   Please.  This is Minneapolis.  A city that elects Alondra Cano to office.

Howard Christopherson is an artist in the NKB; in addition to building picture frames, he runs one of the many small studio/gallery spaces that the NKB hosts.

And last summer, he started casting aspersions about Strawser on the building’s tenant page, as well as his own Facebook account.

And he was displeased:

For 13+ years I have proudly described this building as a great place. A giant Art Building, filled with artists, creators, furniture makers and sellers along with jewelers, painters and photographers etc. I guess we now add Pro Gun People who will for some money, teach you how to conceal and carry and they will lobby the St. Paul Capital to keep the gun pipeline flowing and easy to obtain.
I am disappointed, confused and dismayed that a Gun Proponant has a studio in the same building.

And, social media being what it is, a few of the building’s other artists started kibitzing amongst themselves.

Around this time, the building’s management pointed out the obvious; Strawser was a law-abiding person, running a perfectly legal business, doing something he had every legal right and qualification to do.  Not only that, but he’d agreed to keep all carry permit training out of the building.

Not good enough for Christopherson who, to protest against the indignity of sharing a building with people who saw the world differently than he, decided to fight back with the only weapon he had; to deprive the world of his deathless and eternal art.  He sent out a mass email to his list promising to refrain from displaying during any of the building’s constant stream of arts events.  One other building tenant, Sharra Frank, has apparently opted to break her lease because of Strawser – after spurning with Victorian theatricality Strawser’s offer to sit down and discuss.

And that’s where things sat for a while.

Layers and Layers of Gatekeepers:  Enter Sheila Regan, the “arts” “reporter” for the City Pages and fairly well-known left-wing activist in the Twin Cities (including, according to some reports, a member of an anti-gun organization – something a real journalist might have felt the need to disclose in reporting this sort of story).

She  took a statement from Strawser.  (I can’t speak for Bryan, but I know that when dealing with today’s City Pages, I’d never consent to a verbal interview without recorders rolling.  I’d prefer to do it entirely in writing; that way there’s a paper trail to correct the inevitable inflammatory inaccuracies.  Of which there were plenty; the online story went through three rounds of corrections as Regan repeatedly referred to Strawser as a “lobbyist”.  He’s not).

She did, however, end the story with a charming little editorial coda; she posted this bit of “art” (I prefer the term “artiness”, but nobody asked me):

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It’s “Journalism” AND “Art!”   It’s called “NRA Aphrodisiac”, 2015 Tom Quinn Kumpf, “Love in 2016.”

Speaking of public health crises – why is it that antis are so obsessed with shooters’ genitals, sexuality and bodily fluids?

Oh, yeah – it’s just another way that bullies try to shame dissidents; by sexualizing the non-sexual; a simultaneous deflection into meaninglessness and an attempt to humiliate.  It’s the visual version of what Donald Trump said, and Bill Clinton did.  It’s a stupid person’s substitute for knowing things.  It’s why anti-gunners love to fall back on tropes like “shooters are compensating for something”, and “gun fondler” – because it’s easier than knowing what you’re talking about.

And, given how prevalent the left uses it as a substitute for knowing anything about the subject, it may be another one of those public health crises we’re talking about.

Heroes Are Hard To Find: Anyway, Regan apparently interviewed Christopherson, and Christopherson gave his side of the story.  And in so doing, while wrapping himself in the “peace” label that artists supposedly spend their creative lives marinading in 1, let slip some interesting factoids (emphasis added):

Christopherson says his vocal opposition to Strawser being in the building was instinctual. Many of his heroes have been shot or killed by guns, including his father (in WWII), President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, Che Guevara, and Dian Fossey. He also lost his brother, Jimmy, and his good friend Eduardo Blidner recently to gun suicide.

Mr. Christopherson:  you can not simultaneously wrap yourself in “peace” and lionize Che Guevara, a racist, homophobic, totalitarian mass killer.   Sorry about your father and brother, but it wasn’t a “gun” that killed either of them; it was an enemy soldier and a mental illness.

Robert Kennedy and John Lennon were murdered in a place where civilian guns are illegal.  And not to nitpick – that’d be kinda ghoulish – but Dian Fossey was not shot; she was bludgeoned to death.  

The other tenant, Sharra Frank, also had a complaint (again, I’ve added emphasis):

Around that time, Frank had been helping to arrange a field trip for her son’s school, where they would tour the Northrup King building. “When I discovered this tenant was there, I felt so conflicted,” she says. “I thought this was such a family-friendly safe space.”

When she brought her concerns to the manager regarding whether guns were allowed in the building, she learned that by state law, landlords can’t restrict their tenants from having guns or carrying guns in a space.

So Frank decided to leave. “I know I can’t invite people into a space where I’m hiding info that might make them uncomfortable,” she says. She adds that she doesn’t feel safe bringing in youth and people from marginalized communities into the building. “Also, I didn’t feel I could creatively make work because I would feel distracted.”

So many questions, Ms. Frank.

Since when are artists “family friendly?”   I love artists – I am an artist, for chrissake, and most of my family two generations before and after me are to one degree or another too – but I will scout out any gallery before I bring kids inside.  Some of those folks are seriously twisted.

“Youth”, who grow up playing “Red Dead Redemption” and “Grand Theft Auto”, will be distracted by a genial, law-abiding guy sitting in an office, believing different things than you do?  Do tell.

And “marginalized youth” are in plenty of danger from guns…

…owned and carried illegally by the people in their communities who are doing the marginalizing.

And if demonstrably law-abiding people doing legal things in a legal way that is a minimum of two orders of magnitude less likely to get you hurt than the general public makes you and your clients uncomfortable – well, I think I found our “public health crisis”.

So Where Are We Now?:  Mr. Christopherson is apparently still mortified that someone in his building is doing a legal thing he’s allowed to do, and, operating under the assumption that the Northrup King building is an arts collective (it’s not), mobilize a campaign of shaming and bullying against someone…doing perfectly legal stuff that makes him unconmfortable for utterly irrational reasons.

Ms. Frank has apparently broken her lease.  Since space in the NKB is both inexpensive and in immense demand, I’m sure that’ll work out well for her.

Both would seem to have turned Bryan Strawser’s presence in “their” building into a neurotic obsession, which they’re manfesting in bullying, shaming and gaslighting, apparently seeking the thing that all “artists” seek; absolute ideological and personal conformity. 2

So all you gun-grabbers who jabber on about guns being a “public health crisis”?  You’re right.

Oh, yeah – Bryan Strawser continues to be a law-abiding citizen doing things he’s legally entitled to do.  No trail of bodies seems to have ensued from this.

Sheila Regan still hasn’t disclosed her political bent in covering the story.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE:  Join the backlash!  If you’re an artist – or just value freedom – “like” “Artists for the Second Amendment” on Facebook.

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Keeping The Peace

As very few of you know, I was on the road a good chunk of this past two weeks; in Hartford the last week of September, and I just got back from Jacksonville late yesterday.

Naturally, I was keeping a close eye on Hurricane Matthew, which I beat out of Jax by about 12 hours.

The most vulnerable time for people and communities during these sorts of disasters is when the population is dislocated; evacuated, out of power, or bludgeoned with massive damage.  If worse comes to worst, coastal Florida and South Carolina might be all three of the above.

Just a reminder to potential looters; last year, Governor Scott signed a law allowing law-abiding gun owners to carry their firearms while complying with evacuation orders without need for a permit (emphasis added).

“As Hurricane Season approaches it’s critical that our rights are protected during natural disasters,” advised Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-Petersburg, in a statement. “With the signing of SB 290, all lawful gun owners will be permitted to carry a concealed weapon if they are complying with a mandatory evacuation during a state of emergency. I’m proud to have sponsored this bipartisan bill ensuring that we have the right to protect our families during these sometimes chaotic times.”

Brandes bill, SB 290, creates an exception to Florida’s prohibition against concealed carry of a weapon without a permit by allowing adults not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm to temporally do so while evacuating. The law allows for a 48-hour window that this would be allowed after the evacuation has been ordered. However, the governor can authorize an extension as needed.

Compare this to the arm-twisting that needed to happen with the metro DFL to ban the governor from confiscating firearms during emergencies, and you can see who actually supports freedom, to say nothing of public order.

 

“You Won’t Be Seeing Me Again”

The FBI released the details of their initial investigation into the Saint Cloud mall mass stabbing last month, including the first public look at the store video.  MPR News covered it.

Warning; the video is  graphic, if you haven’ been completely desensitized to violence:

The investigators also praised Jason Falconer.

Falconer’s actions are instructive to anyone who is a carry permittee, and – with a little luck – to voters this fall:

Thornton said Adan had asked Falconer if he was Muslim. Falconer, said no but saw the knives and identified himself as an officer.

Adan initially turned away from Falconer and the officer followed repeating that he was law enforcement and ordering the man to drop the weapons.

If you were a citizen with a carry permit and a legally-carried handgun, at this point, you’d have a bit of a conundrum.

The Minnesota self-defense statute allows lethal force in self-defense to protect one’s self “or another” from death or great bodily harm.  But case law also establishes a “duty to retreat” (outside one’s home) – you have to undertake all “reasonable” means to avoid the use of lethal force.

What is “reasonable?”  For your purposes as a citizen, that will be decided by a county attorney.  As Joel Rosenberg used to say, while you, the citizen, had seconds to decide whether to defend yourself or not, under immense stress, often under low-light or confusing conditions, with a lethal threat bearing down on you, the county attorney will take days or weeks, in a well-lit, warm office, with sheriff’s deputies guarding him, to decide that question.  And at the end of the day, it’ll likely be at least in part a political decision; a DFLer will often file charges (although we’ve been surprised in the past), while a DA in Kandiyohi or Pennington counties will hail the shooter as a hero.

In other words, it’s vague.  Intentionally so; county attorneys like to have lots of discretion; they don’t like to have to work under all sorts of immutable rules any more than you do.  Of course, you and I don’t hold peoples’ lives, freedom and lifes’ savings in the palms of our hands, either.

That was the crux of the”Stand your Ground” law that passed the Minnesota legislature in 2012 with a decisive bipartisan majority, only to get vetoed by a governor who was acting as a marionette of big-money anti-gun special interests; put the benefit of the doubt on the side of the law-abiding citizen.

Oh, yeah – and the next time some gabbling anti-gun hamster asks “why does anyone need more than seven shots?”, you can show them what happened in Saint Cloud; Jason Falconer is an expert “three-gun” competition marksman and marksmanship instructor, an absolute master of the craft of putting pieces of lead into things.

And here’s what happened (I’ve added emphasis):

“Upon following Adan into Macy’s and repeatedly announcing his authority and commands to drop the knives, Adan ran toward Falconer with the knives raised two separate times, then continued to crawl toward him with a knife in his hand even after being shot during to separate prior charges at the officer,” Thornton said.

Falconer fired 10 rounds, striking Adan six times, he added. Store video showed Falconer shooting while backing away from Adan as the attacker continued to approach with his back turned.

Adan fell to the ground multiple times after being shot and still had a knife in hand. He tried to get up a final time using a store sign for balance.

So – an expert marksman (and cop) fires ten shots at contact range, and misses four times (which is actually abnormally good, even for point-blank range engagements); he scores six hits, during most of which the attacker kept charging.

If the shooter had been less expert, and hit the attacker fewer times?    If the attacker had been high, or dissociative?  If the defender had a smaller-caliber firearm (Falconer’s pistol was a 9mm)?  If the defender didn’t have any unobstructive, flat, clean room to back-pedal away from a charging man with two knives?

If there’d been more than one attacker?

Even with a “large” magazine, a defender in that situation could very well have learned what a Thanksgiving turkey feels like.

The lesson for the law-abiding gun owner?

No compromise.  No retreat.  No surrender.  

None.

When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife

In the past, we’ve spent some time beating up the group “Minnesota Gun Rights” – a group based in Iowa, affiliated with the National Association of Gun Rights.  NAGR’s affiliates nationwide have a fairly cohesive strategy:

  1. Lead with a lot of no-compromise rhetoric – often on non-issues – on cheap social media.
  2. Use that rhetoric to raise a lot of money.
  3. Claim credit for other groups’ work to raise more money.

We see this yet again this cycle.

MGR is flogging this ad on social media:

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With this caption:

Senator Rod Skoe voted AGAINST pro-gun Constitutional Carry legislation! Add your name to those demanding he apologize for betraying gun owners!

APOLOGIZE, Sen. Skoe!

Now, Rod Skoe is a DFLer – but he’s about as outstate a DFLer as you can get.  He’s been solidly pro-2nd-Amendment.  He’s one of the linchpins of the gun movement’s bipartisanship (outside the 494-694 ring) in this state.  He’s one of the good guys, and always has been. 

Oh, yeah – and there never has been a vote on “Constitutional Carry” (which would make the 2nd Amendment your carry permit) on the floor of the Minnesota Senate.   Or, to the best of my recollection, the House.  A quixotic Constitutional Carry bill from Brandon Peterson died in committee, I think, last session – but that was it.

If Minnesota Gun Rights says it, its probably false.