Media Quiz Time: The Answers!

Last week, David Chanen of the Strib wrote a piece – a decent one, actually – about the straw-purchase flim-flam that put a gun in the hand of Ray Kmetz, the New Hope shooter who was legally barred from owning guns at all.

And the story omitted something that almost no story about guns in the Twin Cities media has, in recent or even distant memory.

There was no obligatory, supercilious, and utterly wrong quote from Heather Martens!

Of course, several commenters, starting with Mr. D, got it within minutes of my posting this morning.  Y’all know me too well.

Still, this is a virtual rupture of the space-time continuum.

What next?  A Strib piece about politics that doesn’t quote Larry Jacobs?

I feel like anything is possible!

Why Did Mike Freeman Let A Straw Gun Buyer Walk?

The Strib ran a relatively decent story about the background of the New Hope shooting incident, where 68 year old Ray Kmetz, using an illegally-obtained 12 gauge shotgun, shot and wounded two New Hope police officers before being killed.

The officers are recovering, Kmetz is dead, and the issue is mostly closed…

…except for the matter of Michael Garant.

All Straw, Nothing But Straw:  Garant purchased several shotguns from an online gun auction.  According to the Strib story:

Kmetz was the highest bidder for three shotguns from K-Bid Auction in Maple Plain, which were actually bought by Garant in August at Full Metal Gun Shop in Princeton, authorities have said. Garant informed gun shop owner Troy Buchholz that he used the alias “Ray Kmetz” during the online auction because he didn’t want people contacting him from K-Bid’s site, according to court documents.

Show me a law-abiding gun owner who doesn’t look at that story and ask “who does Garant think he is?  The BATFE?”

As the story notes, the gun shop screwed up bad; the Strib writer (one David Chanen) talked with John Monson of Bill’s Gun Shop, who spelled out how it’s supposed to work.  Long story short: not like that.

Longer story shorter; Garant allegedly used an illegal purchasing tactic to put a gun in the hands of Ray Kmetz.

And Garant is being charged.  End of story.  Right?

Not My Job, Man:  Back in the 1990s, after some high profile shootings, the legislature and some city councils worked to give county prosecutors some tools to use against gun criminals, including straw buyers.   These were laws that had the combined, bipartisan approval of anti-gun zealots and pro-Second Amendment Real Americans, by the way – because they went after criminals, rather than the law-abiding gun owner.

And the county prosecutors used those to tear into criminals who used guns with a vengeance.

No, not really.  The laws largely languished.  Sources tell me that former Ramsey County attorney Susan Gaertner pled the charges from the laws away as parts of plea bargain deals every single time, sticking zero gun criminals with charges stemming from the anti-gun-crime laws.

And yes, prosecutors have some discretion in their charges, and plea bargains are a useful tool for unclogging the courts.  But it’s also no surprise that an extreme gun-grabber prosecutor would avoid the use of a law that might provide objective evidence that gun violence is a matter of violent people, not availability of firearms.

Susan Gaertner was that anti-Second-Amendment extremist.  And some say Henco prosecutor Mike Freeman is, too (although he’s made a few good calls in his career)

Gun shop screws up bigtime.

Bored To Tears:  When the police traced Ray Kmetz’s shotgun, the trail led to Garant.

You don’t need an expert to know what happened; Kmetz, who had been civilly committed several times, was utterly unable to buy a firearm.  Garant allegedly bought the gun, using Kmetz’s name but his own background – and then showed up at the gun shop in Princeton and bought the gun under his own name.

How illegal is it?  John Monson of Bill’s Gun Range calls it:

“This was a classic straw purchase,” Monson said. “If this guy couldn’t get arrested and charged, who could?”Monson says “internal process woulda stopped this cold”.

After the New Hope shooting, police traced the gun to Garant, and arrested him; it was the Thursday afternoon after the shooting took place.

And on Friday, notwithstanding the fact that the prosecutors have 36 hours to investigate and come up with evidence, Henco attorney Mike Freeman cut Garant loose – according to sources with knowledge of the situation, Garant was released as the Henco Sheriff’s office was still investigating.

Sheriff Stanek was not amused:

Sheriff Rich Stanek said he was befuddled by that decision. “We absolutely had state law supporting us,” he said. “We just need enforcement of current law.”

The state statute on straw buyers reads that “whoever recklessly furnishes a person with a dangerous weapon in conscious disregard of a known substantial risk that the object will be possessed or used in furtherance of a felony crime of violence is guilty of a felony.”

Stanek said he understands that the county attorney has prosecutorial discretion, but he believes the Legislature’s intent in creating the law supported charges against Garant.

According to Henco prosector Freeman (as related in the Strib), it was just too much a stretch (echoing Dakota County attorney and anti-gun zealot Jim Backstrom,who seems to think his attorneys are too incompetent to tell the difference between a murder and self-defense).

Here’s the applicable statute:  MN 609.66.1c:

Subd. 1c.Felony; furnishing dangerous weapon. Whoever recklessly furnishes a person with a dangerous weapon in conscious disregard of a known substantial risk that the object will be possessed or used in furtherance of a felony crime of violence is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

Garant admitted to furnishing the weapon.  The Strib story indicates there’s evidence that Garant knew Kmetz’s record made him ineligible to buy it himself.  Proving Garant knew there was “substantial risk” – well, isn’t that why all those attorneys make the big taxpayer bucks?   Admitting he knew Kmetz was unqualified is the very definition of “knowing and reckless!”

This should have been a no-brainer for Freeman’s office.

So why would Mike Freeman let a case like this slide, only for the Feds to pick it up?

Because he doesn’t want to give any, er, ammo to the Second Amendment movement by using a law we support to put an obvious criminal in jail?

Road Not Taken:  But that last graf of mine is conjecture.

And it’s about the best I can manage right now – because I’m a mere blogger.  A guy who writes polemics in his spare time, works a full time day job, yadda yadda.

You know what would help, though?

If there were an institution – perhaps one that owned things like printing presses and transmitters and, nowadays, websites.  And maybe staffed by people whose job it is to look into stories like “why doesn’t the county attorney in the state’s most violent county use the straw buyer law to pin local charges on a guy who put a gun in the hands of a man who shot two cops?”   People who, perhaps, consider themselves part of a near-monastic order of people who consider “the peoples’ right to know” a sacred calling, above reproach by mere lay people, but which exist to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”…

…even if “the comfortable” is a former gubernatorial candidate from a party whose asses their various publications kiss with full tongue?

Absolute Moral Authority

Remember Cindy Sheehan?

The woman whose soldier son was killed in action in Iraq, and became an anti-war crusader, and a hero of the left (until she started attacking Barack Obama, when she became an untouchable).  Before she parted ways with the left, the left said her ordeal gave her “absolute moral authority”.

And indeed it’s not unusual for people to grant a little extra credence and tolerance to people who’ve directly suffered because of something they’re protesting against.

So I expect lefties with integrity to belly up behind a Colorado bill drafted by a Columbine survivor, which would allow law-abiding citizens with carry permits to carry at schools:

Colorado Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, was a student at Columbine High School in 1999 when two seniors went on a massacre that killed 13. Now he has introduced legislation that would allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to be able to conceal and carry in public schools, according to The Denver Post.

“This bill will allow honest law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm for protection if they choose to,” Neville said in a statement. “But most importantly, it will give them the right to be equipped to defend our children from the most dangerous situations.”

Can you hear that?  That’s moral authority talking.

Going On The Offensive

It’s been a busy couple of years for Real Minnesotans (and Real Americans) [1].

We’ve had an anti-gun president for six years, and we spent two years with a completely DFL government – and the DFL platform calls for restricting guns in the hands of the law-abiding (“Reasonable gun control that promotes public safety and crime prevention”).  They were energized by the Sandy Hook massacre and, moreso, hundreds of thousands of dollars of Michael Bloomberg’s money.

And it all came to nought, due to the efforts of Minnesota’s pro-Second-Amendment grass roots, especially the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance and the Minnesota Gun Owners PAC.

Now, we have a GOP majority in the State House – including several members elected with direct support of Real Minnesota – and a Senate DFL majority that has many significant pro-gun members.

It’s time to go on the offensive.

And that’s precisely the agenda that GOCRA announced on Monday.  Here are the highlights:

  •  Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution – I wasn’t aware that the human right of self-defense wasn’t in the Minnesota Constitution.  Notwithstanding the fact that McDonald v. Chicago incorporated the Second Amendment onto the states, it’s high time our constitution said so too.
  •  Ban “Emergency” Orders for Gun Confiscation – Minnesotans are expected to trust to the integrity of the cops.  But New Orleans residents found that that trust was misplaced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as cops went door to door confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens.  This needs to be explicitly banned under Minnesota law.
  •  Legalize Firearm Suppressors – Forget what you see in the movies; they don’t “silence” firearms, and they’re not a tool of assassins.  They’re like a muffler for your firearm, just like the one you’re legally required to put on your car, preventing harmful levels of noise from damaging peoples’ hearing.
  •  Constitutional Carry – The law-abiding citizen doesn’t have to jump through hoops to exercise their right to speak, worship, publish or assemble or, theoretically, be secure in their homes and possessions (we’ll need to work on that, too).  Why should guns logically be different?
  •  Stop Police Departments from Delaying Purchase Permits – Some police departments exercise passive-aggressive liberties in issuing “permits to purchase” firearms.  This needs to be addressed.
  •  Remove Redundant Capitol Complex Carry Notification – Back in the 1990s, when the state didnt’ have computers for most of its record-keeping, and carry permits were typed out on Selectrics at your local police station, the current law – you must notify the head of Capitol Security to carry in the Capitol complex, including the History Center – made sense, sort of.  Today, when Capitol Security has access to permit information in real time, it does not – except as a felony trap.  Time to fix it.
  •  Self Defense Law Reform – Minnesota self-defense law is fairly simple in statute – but quite complex in its case law.  There are a lot of hidden “gotchas” in self-defense, that can put a law-abiding citizen in jail even though they behaved objectively correctly.  Law with “gotchas” is bad law.  It’s time to fix it.  This is actually the most important one, in my book.
If you’re not a GOCRA member, you should be.  Every activist in a maroon shirt makes the impression on our legislature – already huge and impressive -that much bigger.

 

[1] Minnesotans/Americans who believe all ten amendments of the Bill of Rights are rights of the people.

Women And Guns, Take III

OK.  Deep breath.  It’s game time.

I tried twice yesterday to get through a piece by Rochester TV reporter Devin Bartilotta of WTTC television in Rochester.  There were two references to “Packing Heat” in the first ten seconds of the report; I just couldn’t go on.

But with that out of the way, it wasn’t a complete lost cause:

Bartilotta:

BCA data indicates a 312 percent increase in the number of permits issued to women from 2011 to 2013 in the zip code zones that are mostly in Olmsted County. In 2011, 122 permits were issued to women in that area. In 2012, the number jumped to 134. Then in 2013 it nearly doubled to 381 permits. 36 percent of those permits issued to women in 2013 were issued to women who were younger than 40-years-old. Those numbers are still dwarfed by the more than 1,200 men who got permits in 2013 in the same area.

Lisa Polowski, who processes the gun permits in Olmsted County, says the national 2013 firearm bump could be prompted by the 2012 shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.

“Things like that in society were really feeding into this, that people really feel the need to protect themselves” Polowski said. “Our numbers went up by probably 60 percent for a permit to purchase.”

But in generally safe and quiet Southeast Minnesota, women might still feel threatened.

“Self defense is what it boils down to,” said Marquette.

“Many times it’s an equalizer. Because many times their attackers are bigger, stronger, and this may help them,” Bierly said.

OK, after a couple of false starts, that’s not bad.  And incredibly, we actually saw a news report about a Minnesota that doesn’t bring in an obligatory comment from the useless Heather Martens – perhaps an advantage to getting news from a Greater Minnesota outlet.

So that’s all to the good.

We almost made it to the end without another cliché.

I said almost:

But in an increasingly violent world, the need for personal protection is putting more women on target.

Ms. Bartillota – does that sentence actually mean anything?

To the extent it does, it’s wrong; the idea that the world is getting more violent is, like “packing heat”, another media cliché – and unlike “packing heat”, it actually does some harm.   The world is not “increasingly violent”.  Violent crime is plummeting – in the parts of the country where guns are least “controlled”, anyway, where violent crime is off by half in the past twenty years.

But hey, at least we got to the end!

Women And Guns, Take II

Let’s try this again.

This morning, I started trying to dissect a report by Devin Bartolotta at Rochster’s KTTC-TV on the number of women with carry permits in southeastern Minnesota (numbers which are reflected statewide and are not limited to Rochester).

In my first attempt to write about the story this morning, Bartolotta’s report jumped into groaning cliché so early I had to abort my report this morning, and decided to take another run at it now, over the noon hour.

So let’s try it again.  Bartolotta’s report focuses on the number of women who are getting carry permits in the greater Rochester area:

Chris Marquette is a permit to carry instructor. His weekly classes are packed with women who want to learn more about packing heat…

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

ARE YOU ****ING KIDDING ME?

“Packing heat?”

HOLY MARY MOTHER OF JESUS H. CHRIST ON A HARLEY DAVIDSON!  That’s TWICE IN THE FIRST TEN SECONDS OF THE REPORT!

Good Lord.

OK.  I’ll try again tomorrow morning.  If I have to kick off the day with a shot of bourbon to mellow out, I’ll do it.  But I’ll get through it.

Honest.  I will.

Women And Guns

Gun control in America, since pre-Revolutionary times but not letting off in the least over the past 50 years, is largely about disarming African-Americans.  Because while #BlackLivesMatter, our powerstructure doesn’t think they “matter” enough to give them the means to defend themselves like any other citizen.

But I digress.

Along with ethnic and social minorities, the left is intensely skeevy about the idea of women with firearms.  Because as everyone knows, nothing “empowers” women like being completely dependent on external parties like the police to defend womens’ lives and safety.

And it shows in this piece from Rochester’s KTTC TV from last week, about the number of women getting carry permits in southeastern Minnesota.

The report, by reporter Devin Bartolotta, starts:

More Minnesotans are packing heat…

Scraaaaaaaaatch

What?

“Packing Heat?”

(facepalm)

WHY IN THE FLAMING HOOTIE-HOO DOES THE REPORT HAVE TO RELY ON THE DIMMEST, DUMBEST CLICHÉ IN THE ENTIRE AMERICAN MEDIA?

We’re four words into the story, and already KTTC can’t help but resort the Mike Hammer/Mickey Spillane-vintage honker “packing heat” to refer to “carrying a firearm”?

I’m sorry.  It’s completely thrown off my approach, here.

I’ll try again over the noon hour.

http://m.kttc.com/w/main/story/125765940/

The Media And The Screamingly Obvious

On Monday, 68 year old Raymond Kmetz walked into the New Hope City Hall with a shotgun, shooting and wounding two police before other police killed him.

And the Pioneer Press, in relating official Minnesota’s confusion as to how Mr. Kmetz got his gun, revealed a number of truths about the gun issue (for the multi-millionth time) that, for some, could be a teaching moment, if they’re smart enough to be taught.

The man who brought a pistol-grip shotgun to New Hope City Hall on Monday night and started firing at police officers before being gunned down was not legally allowed to have a firearm, authorities said Wednesday.

Wait – so now the media is telling us that people who aren’t supposed to have guns…can get them?

Someone with a long history of mental illness, who had been incarcerated twice for making terroristic threats, subject to numerous restraining orders, and whose possession of a shotgun was a federal felony, was able to find a gun?

The next thing you know, they’ll be telling us that people with felony records can get them!

What next?  Juveniles with gang affiliations?

The answer, obviously, is to disarm the sane and the law-abiding.

Surprise, Surprise

Who predicted this?

Oh, yeah – all the good guys.

Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.

“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”

As you were.

Good Guys 1: Idiot 0

One of the most important things you learn in Minnesota carry permit training is that having that permit doesn’t make you a junior lawman. Find me a legal carry permit holder who believes that their permit entitles them to wade into disputes, gun drawn, like Dwight Schrute, and I’ll show you someone who should probably have their permit re-examined.

But it’s hard to find those examples – because carry permit holders almost never do anything quite that stupid. Are there examples? I’m sure there are, somewhere – there are likely several million carry permitees nationwide, and in a group that large, you’re going to have someone who screws up, sometime. I just can’t think of any recent examples right now. I doubt you can either.

Now, if you follow any of the “Gun Grabber” chat rooms and Facebook pages you’ll find all sorts of bellicose talk from anti civil rights people; claims that they’ll raise a commotion if they see someone with a permitted firearm, or even make up crimes and call the police.

Few of them (outside the media) have done anything about it so far.

Until this week, anyway:

.According to the sheriff’s office, Michael Foster, 43, saw Clarence Daniels, 62, in the Walmart parking lot with a gun holstered under his coat.

Foster followed Daniels into the store, put him in a choke-hold and brought him to the ground, the sheriff’s office said. He then started yelling that Daniels had a gun.

Mr. Foster is being charged with battery. I hope Mr. Daniels presses charges with vigor and glee.

Further proof, really, the biggest danger involved with the law-abiding carry of firearms is the ninnies who oppose it.

UPDATE:  Oh, yeah – there’s a racial angle.  The attacker was a white guy.  The innocent carrier, black.

Racist.  Just like every single gun control law.

Let’s Get Ready To Lobbbyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Next Monday – January 26 – will be the first annual MInnesota Gun Owners Lobby Day (MNGOLD).

It’ll start with a rally in front of the Capitol.

After that, we – you, me, all of us – will do something that normally only highly-paid union stooges get to do; lobby the legislature. We’ll go inside, and politely, fairly and civilly meet with every single legislator, and let them know face to face that we’re watching, and that we vote.

Arrange your time off now! I am!

More details from the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (Web, Facebook, Twitter) and the MN Gun Owners Political Action Committee (Web, Facebook, Twitter).

Discredited

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Star Tribune finally deigns to report that Department of Public Safety altered the Application to Carry a Pistol form, to include more than a dozen illegal questions. Heather Martens is fine with that.
Heather Martens . . . said some of the questions on the form reveal information that may not turn up in a background check. Further, she said, where 80 percent of the state’s gun deaths are by suicide, even the simplest questions may get honest answers. “I could say that some of those questions are very important questions, and there’s no downside to asking them,” she said. “I wish they asked everybody who is buying a gun, ‘Are you planning on killing somebody with this?’ and a certain number of people are going to say yes. That’s just the way it is

First, it’s not 80%, it’s less than 70%. Still tragic, but let’s be honest about the numbers.

Second, the percentage doesn’t matter; the questions weren’t asked on an Application to Commit Suicide. Suicides don’t get permits.
Third, as Rep. Tony Cornish pointed out, the questions are irrelevant because only information law enforcement needs is exactly what turns up in a background check.

Fourth, notice the smooth slide away from the subject at hand – Permit to Carry – over to her pet peeve – Permit to Purchase. Too bad the reporter doesn’t have a clue about gun rights, so she doesn’t notice she’s being lied to by misdirection.

Joe Doakes

Dear reporters here in Minnesota; why do you keep going to Heather Martens for information on firearms issues?

If you had a source in any other area who always give you false information, and always made your reporting wrong, would you keep going back to them?

There really isn’t any excuse for this, anymore.

The Bad News

Minnesota human rights advocates got the Department of Public Safety to roll back a series of intrusive and, I suspect, illegal questions on the Minnesota carry permit application form yesterday.

That’s all to the good – as I noted below.

Now, let’s talk about reporting.

Channel 5′s Beth McDonough reported the story.  You can go to the link to watch it; the fella in the maroon shirt is not “Corey Bowman”, but in fact Andrew Rothman, president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.  Editing glitches happen.

But what I’m going to do is emphasize all of the elements in the online story that are prejudicial, signs of bias, or lead to much bigger questions – or would, if we had a news media that was interested in asking big questions of government, which we largely do not.

I’ll add emphasis to the parts of the story with the problems:

The way you apply for a permit to carry a gun in Minnesota is back to the way it was.

It’s all because of 18 questions on a new application. Some argue it asks for too much information.

Like a lot of Minnesotans Corey Bowman owns a gun, “being a hunter and avid outdoorsman.”

Helping to give Minnesota a reputation as the land of 100,000 guns. [1] In fact, 165,000 people have permits to carry, according to state records—the most ever in Minnesota.

To get a permit to carry, you have to fill out an application, one standard form. But before Tuesday, that application contained 18 fewer questions. Some of those include: whether you’ve been in treatment for substance abuse, fled the state to avoid prosecution or if you’ve been convicted of a crime as a juvenile.

Those questions lasted less than 36 hours online, because of backlash from gun rights enthusiasts.  [2]

“At worst, it’s creating dozens of additional opportunities for somebody to make an accidental mistake that results in the denial of their permit application or even criminal charges,” according to Andrew Rothman with the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

The now-former application said the information was required, leaving the impression the permit couldn’t be processed without all the questions answered. And that’s okay with Corey Bowman.   [3]

These are the kind of questions that would pick out the people that don’t need to have the firearms,”  [4] Bowman said.

The Department of Public Safety told us it updated the permit to carry form to reflect changes made by lawmakers in 2014.   [5]

So let’s go through them one by one:

  1. Nobody has ever called Minnesota anything of the sort.  For starters, there are at least 2.5 million guns in Minnesota.  I get it – reporters like their snappy quips.  But please.
  2. Was Martin Luther King a “civil rights enthusiast?”  Are the people who are protesting police brutality “civil liberties enthusiasts?”  Were the Occupy Minneapolis people “rape and filth enthusiasts?”  No.  Someone who tinkers with model airplanes in his spare time is an “enthusiast”; people who fight for civil rights are “activists”.  Unless, apparently, it’s the Second Amendment.
  3. Well, that’s great.  Who the hell is Corey Bowman?  I’m sure he’s a fine person and al, but why is Corey Bowman’s opinion important to us?  He’s an authority on carry permit law because he’s a hunter?
  4. No.  The permits are issued or denied based on information that is available to police for the asking; criminal and court records and things in that weight class.  This was nothing but a petulant attempt to try to trip people up.
  5. What changes in the law?  Other than the domestic abuse law – which affected permits after they were issued, and for which the information needed to deny permits is already automatically available to the police – there were no changes in the law in the 2014 session that anyone I know can think of.

More on this, hopefully, tomorrow.

The Good News

The state Department of Public Safety, operating outside the bounds set by the Legislature, added a series of additional questions to the online (and at some point, one presumes, print) Minnesota carry permit application form.

Some of those include: whether you’ve been in treatment for substance abuse, fled the state to avoid prosecution or if you’ve been convicted of a crime as a juvenile.

The backlash from Minnesota gun owners got those changes removed in a day and a half.

The Minnesota Republican Party could learn a lot from Minnesota’s Second Amendment human rights activists.

Sure, there’s bad news.  Or should I say, Bad News.

Back at noon with that.

Pick Your Battles

In the days since the Paris Charlie Hebdo and Jewish Deli massacres, it’s become fashionable in media circles to say, in one language or another, “I Am Charlie Hebdo”.

I’m not.

The French paper was sort of like the American satirical institution South Park – with an unhealthy dose of that traditional drug of the European idle elite, mindless and often nihilistic pseudointellectualism.   And among that class’ fatal conceits in the days since the massacre is the idea that free speech will win out over terror.

It’s BS, of course:

Freedom and individual liberty can, and must, win over terror; “The pen is mightier than the sword” could only have been written by someone who never had to bet his life, and certainly not his family’s lives, on it.

Against civil, political opponents, speech is fine; against those who’d kill you, our freedoms need a more aggressive, tangible defense.

But Charlie Hebdo was not the criminals; the terrorists were.

Along with big media outlets like the AP and the NYTimes, I’ve been asked why I don’t run Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons.  Unlike the AP and the Times, I’m not a hypocrite – I don’t get any particular kick out of offending peaceful, law-abiding members of any faith just because I can.  Most Muslims, especially in America, want nothing to do with violent Shi’ite or Wahhabi extremism; I feel no need to piddle on their faith to stick it to terrorists…

…especially because my “beat” in Minnesota, and we have plenty of thin-skinned personality cultists in this state who don’t take satire well:

Anyway – just as the best defense against bad speech is better, louder, good speech (which this blog and my show are), the best defense against a bad guy with a gun remains…:

…a good guy, or gal, with a gun; uniform optional and, in extremis, not strictly necessary.

Satire is many things; it is not bulletproof.

Turn Out For Freedom!

Two weeks from today – January 26 – will be the first annual MInnesota Gun Owners Lobby Day (MNGOLD).

It’ll start with a rally in front of the Capitol.

After that, we – you, me, all of us – will do something that normally only highly-paid union stooges get to do; lobby the legislature. We’ll go inside, and politely, fairly and civilly meet with every single legislator, and let them know face to face that we’re watching, and that we vote.

Arrange your time off now! I am!

More details from the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (Web, Facebook, Twitter) and the MN Gun Owners Political Action Committee (Web, Facebook, Twitter).

We Are All Charlie – In More Ways Than One

Some say last week’s attack in Paris underscores a change in terrorist tactics – from high-overhead, difficult attacks on “hard” targets (targets that are in some way defended), like the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, the USS Cole, and even US airliners on 9/11, to “soft targets” like the Nairobi Mall, schools in Pakistan and Nigeria, tourist hotels and synogogues, and rooms full of recalcitrant journalists in cities where guns are banned in fact or effect.

It’s a trend that intelligence officials say makes the fight against terrorist threats more complex and potentially more disturbing because the kinds of attacks now grabbing global headlines require far less planning and are harder to detect and disrupt.

It’s not a new trend, of course; after 9/11, Al Quada attacked a disco in Bali, buses and trains in London and Madrid, and countless other “soft” targets.  And the PLO was massacring Israeli school children in their kibbutz classrooms and buses (the 1970 Avivim Massacre, the Kiryat Shmona massacre, and the Ma’alot Massacre) over forty years ago.

There are those who say the answer is to give police and intelligence even more power than they already have – which makes sense on the one hand, and pushes us further down the slippery slope toward having no freedom at all, in which case the terrorists will have not only won, but they’ll keep killing people anyway.

The Israeli examples are instructive, of course; after the three heart-wrenching massacres I list above (which killed 42 school children altogether), the Israelis started allowing teachers to carry legally-permitted guns in the classroom.  Over time, that morphed into security guards, which I think is a step back, but the point is they turned “soft targets” into “hard targets”.

In parts of the US, “soft targets” are a little harder; many, many people have made themselves into “harder targets” with their legally-permitted firearms, to the chagrin of not a few murderers (spree killers rather than terrorists, although to the would-be victim, the distinction is secondary).

And Minnesota is one of those places with a fairly enlightened civilian carry permit law.  It could be better – see Arizona, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming – but it’s gotten better over the past decade.

So Minnesota targets should be just that little bit “harder”, right?

Oh, no.

(Sad trombone).

Back to the drawing board there.

Tickets To The Theatre

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This case explains the Minnesota law on when you can plead self-defense. The burden is on the Defendant to prove facts to the judge before being entitled to argue self-defense to the jury. The judge decides what defense you can present to the jury. You have no Right to plead self-defense.

That’s fine for this guy, he’s an obvious trouble-maker; but what about the next time a White guy shoots a Black yute and Al Sharpton’s mob shows up? Are we going to get even-handed justice or political theatre that denies God-given rights existing long before the Constitution was adopted?

I showed this case to an acquaintance, who said:

“As for the question whether this Defendant had a reasonable belief of personal threat to his well-being: Of course he did. Only White, liberal, former-prosecutors-appointed-judges don’t know that.

In this Defendant’s world, in the cesspool that he swims, the true state of affairs, the reality, the actual fact is that yes, whoever is banging on the door at that time of night is more likely than not armed, and is almost certainly there to do you harm. It’s as true for a Black man living in North Minneapolis as for an Italian in Brooklyn or a Cuban in Miami.

Liberals can’t reconcile this reality with their self-delusion as to the underclass. They believe the Poor are Victims and Victims are Passive, except when they’re erupting in well-deserved riots against Rich White people. The notion that people in the under-class routinely behave worse than people in the middle class is contrary to The Narrative. Liberals prefer their vision of reality to the Defendant’s objective reality and thus deny him a chance to justify his actions.”

I think Minnesota’s law is too strict. If you want to argue self-defense, you ought to be allowed to. The jury can sniff out when it’s a bogus
claim. Preventing Defendants from putting on a defense is bad policy.

Joe Doakes

i’m trying to imagine a group that would push back harder against having their discretion pared back than prosecutors and the police; judges would probably qualify.

But Joe is right. That would’ve been one of the handy benefits of the “Stand Your Ground” law the Governor vetoed a few years back.

Next Week: Make Your Voice Heard!

Just under four weeks from today – January 28 – will be the first annual MInnesota Gun Owners Lobby Day (MNGOLD).

It’ll start with a rally in front of the Capitol.

After that, we – you, me, all of us – will do something that normally only highly-paid union stooges get to do; lobby the legislature.    We’ll go inside, and politely, fairly and civilly meet with every single legislator, and let them know face to face that we’re watching, and that we vote.

Arrange your time off now!  I am!

Open Letter To Bremer Bank

To: Bremer Bank
From: Mitch Berg, Ornwry Peasant
Re: Your Wish Is My Command

Dear Bremer,

Couldn’t help but notice this photo:

IMG_3117.JPG

It’s one of your banks, apparently newly posted with a sign declaring the bank a safe place for criminals.

Oh, I know – what it really says is Bremer Bank doesn’t want people to bring guns into their branch. Of course, all the sign really does is tell the law-abiding gun owner – the ones who will actually obey the signs – that your bank would prefer that we remain disarmed while on your property, notwithstanding the fact that the criminals, being criminals, will not.
Now, I don’t have any money in your bank, and you won’t be losing much by my saying “I never will”.

But we law-abiding shooters talk. And I have a hunch we’re gonna be talking about this sign.

Think about it.

That is all.

When Scheduling For Next Month…

Just under four weeks from today – January 28 – will be the first annual MInnesota Gun Owners Lobby Day (MNGOLD).

It’ll start with a rally in front of the Capitol.

After that, we – you, me, all of us – will do something that normally only highly-paid union stooges get to do; lobby the legislature. We’ll go inside, and politely, fairly and civilly meet with every single legislator, and let them know face to face that we’re watching, and that we vote.

Arrange your time off now! I am!

More details from the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (Web, Facebook, Twitter) and the MN Gun Owners Political Action Committee (Web, Facebook, Twitter).

They Really Never Do Waste A Crisis…

According to Big Gun Control, the reason that the two policemen in New York City – a city that is historically among the most hostile to the law-abiding gun owner, a place that is doing its passive-aggressive best to scupper the spirit of Heller and McDonald, while more or less living up to their letter, a place that still is mired in the stone-age in terms of the attitudes of the political class toward the law-abiding gun owner…

…is that it’s too easy to get guns in New York.

Since the victims were Asian and Latino, I guess they couldn’t blame race…

Selective Disservice

When gun grabbers compare crime rates between the US and Europe, if you ever noticed that they focus entirely on lethal shootings?

There’s a reason for that:

“There are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK, making it the most violent place in Europe. Austria is second, with a rate of 1,677 per 100,000 people, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Holland. By comparison America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000.” The Guardian
So hey, Europe, how ’bout you shut the f*** up about gun control?

The left’s duplicity about the real comparison in crime rates between the US and Europe is verging on Berg’s law territory.

Marias

For those of you who thought Stalin had been dead for over sixty years?  His spirit lives on in this video by anti gun zealot whackdoodle Rejina Sincic – which urges kids to steal their parents’ guns and give them to their teachers.

Leave aside the Orwellian appeal to kids to spy on their parents for the “babadthink” of own ing firearms in the home; she’s also asking kids to commit not a few crimes.

In Minnesota, as far as I understand the law, the kid is…:

  • Stealing private property – although their parents might not press charges, it’s pretty much felony larceny; that’s not an inexpensive pistol.
  • A minor carrying a handgun – at least a misdemeanor, depending on the state.
  • Carrying a concealed handgun outside the house without a permit – a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the state.
  • Carrying a handgun onto school property – a big-time felony.
In a more restrictive state?  If the teacher and other staff didn’t react appropriately (call the police without touching the firearm, have the entire school locked down and sealed off until HazMat teams can arrive), they could well be charged with a crime or two, themselves, ignorance of the law notwithstanding.

Am I missing anything?

Ms. Sincic’s Twitter Feed (@QueenSincic) is predictably trite about the issues that, I’m sure, Ms. Sincic doesn’t know she’s raised.

So if you go to Twitter, please, I beg of you – urge Ms. Sincic to appear on the NARN with me on January 4.