So Let Me Get This Straight…

A deeply mentally ill child of immense privilege

…from a family that is very, very likely left of center (given where the father lives and the industry he works in), not that that necessarily should matter…

…who stabbed three victims, shot three (of whom four were men and two were women) and critically injured two more with his car…

…in a gun-free zone…

…in a state that has some of the “toughest” gun controls in the country, and spent the last year ratcheting up restrictions on law-abiding gun buyers…

…is the fault of the NRA and the gun-rights movement?

Frivolous

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Since the right to an abortion and the right to bear arms are both fundamental Constitutional rights, this ruling should pave the way to institute some long overdue sensible restrictions on abortions: background checks with photographs and fingerprints, registration with the government, limit to one abortion per year, classroom training before the procedure . . . these are all required to possess a firearm so they should be required to obtain an abortion.

 

Next, I’d like to see the Star Tribune’s registration and the background checks on their reporters.

 

The worst part is the “reasoning” the judge uses.  Citing a few mass shootings, but carefully avoiding the other 99% of the murders he uses as justification, those being the killings committed with guns that were not registered and will never be registered, carried and used by felons who can never legally own or carry. Nothing in these regulations will address the real problem; therefore, the regulations are not substantially related to a legitimate government purpose and should have been stricken down.

 

Joe Doakes

The epidemic of judges ignoring the Constitution is one we as a society are going to need to deal with if the Constitution is ever to really matter.

On The One Hand…

…if I did have a gun and a carry permit, I’d never carry openly.  Part of it is that is that it’s the sort of thing you want to keep under wraps if you ever need it.

Part of it is that the anti-gun movement has trained the weak-minded to be such incredible ninnies.

And part of it is that it is, to some people, a scary imposition.  And while I disagree with them, there’s no point in picking fights I don’t need to.

Indeed, there is a definite point to meeting people halfway in terms of perceptions.  When the group that eventually became GOCRA got organized almost twenty years ago, one of its ironclad rules was “No Camo”; nobody was to wear camouflage to any of the group’s events.  The point?  Help people see that shooters were like them, not like their stereotypes. 

So while I understand and respect the opinions of many of my open-carry activist friends – “a right un-used is a right easily abridged” - I’ll demur on carrying openly, since while there are as many good reasons to carry openly as there are to wear camouflage, there are exactly the same reasons not to. 

Don’t get me wrong; I disagree with Chipotle’s decision to ask shooters not to bring guns into its stores.  They’ve got a lot of customers to keep happy, and the bobbleheads who decided to use a Chipotle to stage their pro-open-carry protests ruffled some feathers. 

The Denver-based company notes that it has traditionally complied with local laws regarding open and concealed firearms.

But in a statement Monday, the company said that “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.”

 Of course, it’s not really about complaints from real people.  There are professional ninnies involved:

The announcement came after a petition by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has called on other companies to ban firearms in their stores as well.

 Of course, there are two dumb calls here; the “protesters” picked a fight they really didn’t need to – and Chipotle caved in to an astroturf group’s toothless yapping. 

That said?  I’m not boycotting Chipotle, for the same reason as David Harsanyi:

As a 2nd Amendment fan, I believe Chipotle is making a mistake. Yet, it isn’t exactly undermining our Constitutional rights by asking consumers to keep their guns out of their businesses. (Please read Charles Cooke’s dismantling of the perpetually confused Sally Kohn’s attempt to conflate two very distinct ideas.) Though Chipotle acted for the wrong reasons, it has every right to create an experience for its consumers that it finds safe and inviting.

Fact is, if the CEO of Qdoba’s was a libertarian plutocrat who supported all my favorite organizations, I’d still choose Chipotle because when it comes to food I owe more to a good product than a philosophically sound owner. Chipotle was founded on an exemplary idea and its execution and consistency have won my business — even when I disagree with its choices.

And here’s the key distinction, with emphasis added:

Now, if this company was forking over millions to some finger-wagging Michael Bloomberg-funded gaggle of authoritarians I’d would probably have to reconsider. But, as far as I know, that’s not the case.

 That’s the line, right there.

I didn’t patronize Minnesota businesses that posted “No Firearms” signs in the wake of the Shall Issue law passing in 2003.  Neither did so many others that the vast majority of those signs have disappeared. 

And I personally didn’t patronize Hewlett-Packard, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, KFC or Taco Bell when they donated big bucks to the Brady Campaign.  Either did hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of others – which is why those donations have evaporated.  Working to show up Moms Want Action’s! message as the vapid lies they are, and destroy their credibility with thinking people?  Goes without saying. 

But asking people to keep their guns out of plain sight in deference to the customers who may be hoplophobic ninnies, but whose money hits Chipotle’s bottom line with the same satisfying “ching” yours does? 

I’m not thrilled, but I get it.

For Those Of You…

…who’ve wondered “whatever happened to Landen Beard…”

Well, we don’t have any indication whatsoever that he was the BATF agent who flashed a gun at someone in rush-hour traffic yesterday, shutting down traffic in I94 while cops chased him down…

…and then released him.  Because the law apparently allows “undercover” plainclothes cops to threaten people with lethal force when they’re one cup of coffee short for the morning.

“Police powers” have gone way, way too far.

Of Those With Cow, And Those With Moo

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

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

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

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

But Cornish isn’t stupid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll come back to that.

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

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

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

And it’s here that the contention slips in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ever. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…Being Necessary For The Security Of A Free State…”

Citizen militias have been winning parts of Mexico back from the narcotraficantes.  

To do this, they’ve broken what pass for “the rules”; they’ve fought violence with violence; they’ve used weapons that are utterly illegal in Mexico (assault rifles, obtained by the same illegal means that people always use to obtain guns where guns are banned). 

And it’s worked. 

And it worked against a backdrop of, at best, government incompetence (they’ve never been able to make a dent in the narcotraficantes stranglehold on the area) or complicity (the narcos have bought off or co-opted vast swathes of Mexico’s government, including judges, law enforcement and the military). 

So now that the government is trying to co-opt the one thing that’s worked against the cartels

The government will go town by town to organize and recruit the new rural forces.

“This is a process of giving legal standing to the self-defense forces,” said vigilante leader Estanislao Beltran.

… is it surprising that some of the locals aren’t buying it?

But tension remained on Friday in the coastal part of the state outside the port of Lazaro Cardenas, where other “self-defense” groups plan to continue as they are, defending their territory without registering their arms. Vigilantes against the demobilization have set up roadblocks in the coastal town of Caleta.

“We don’t want them to come, we don’t recognize them,” vigilante Melquir Sauceda said of the government and the new rural police forces. “Here we can maintain our own security. We don’t need anyone bringing it from outside.”

This is precisely why the Second Amendment is, and must always be, a right of the people; because government at best is modestly capable of doing the right thing, and at worst is as bad as or worse than the problem, when it isn’t itself the problem.

Correction

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

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

———-

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

At 4.16, you can see the existing language:

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

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

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

Due process is preserved.

———-

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

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

UPDATE:  More on this story tomorrow.

The Harsh Reality

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

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

———-

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Amending the statute relating to loss of firearms rights.

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

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

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

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

Joe Doakes

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

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

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

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

So some version of this bill is going to pass.

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

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

UPDATE: More on this story tomorrow.

A Vote Against “Transparency”

I get why people open-carry.

Logistically, it’s less of a hassle; wearing a holster on the outside is more comfortable, and quicker to get to if, heaven forfend, you need to use your gun in a hurry. And I get the political motivation behind the “Open Carry” movement as well; “If you don’t use your rights, you lose them”, say its proponents, and I don’t disagree.

But if I (hypothetically) did own a firearm, and did want to carry (again, hypothetically), I imagine I’d still carry concealed.  Partly it’s because I see no reason to let any neer-do-wells know that I’m the guy they have to worry about first.  And partly because the urban culture among which I live has so painstakingly trained the law-abiding citizen to be such ninnies around guns.

As we see in this story from Fort Worth, in which the news reports claimed fast food workers ran for the freezer at the sight of guys with guns:

It turned out the men, some of them from the group Open Carry Texas, were just staging a demonstration of their right to bear arms, Fort Worth, Texas, Police Sgt. Raymond Bush told ABCNews.com.

“When police showed up, there were four to six men carrying rifles,” he said. “The employees were in fear for their lives.”

No arrests were made and the gun owners went home after their demonstration.

Of course, the media are among those that’ve been training urban society to be ninnies, so you can usually count on them getting the story wrong:

[Demonstration organizer CJ] Grisham denied reports employees hid in the freezer, claiming they were the result of a customer’s false 911 call.

“There are a lot of people in that area who completely disagree with gun rights,” he said. “They have been doing this to us for months now – call the police with false reports of us waving around guns, scaring people.”

It’s worth noting that here in the Twin Cities, a pro-carry group has been staging such demonstrations for months, now . And even in ninny-run Saint Paul, their “demonstration” – which involved eating at a Culver’s on University Avenue – went smoothly, with neither gunfire nor police response.

Still – I figure that if I owned and carried firearms (hypothetically), I’m one ninny away from having a very complicated day.  And I have enough complications – and that’s not hypothetical.

The Bias Pageant (Vote Early And Often!)

The weekend saw not just one, but two bits of epic anti-2nd-Amendment bias in the Strib.  And not in the columns, mind you – it was in the “news”.

Contestant Number One:  Matt McKinney:  McKinney, whose coverage of the Darin Evanovich shooting in 2011 we spent so much time assailing back in the day.  Last week, he wrote about the Byron Smith trial in Little Falls.  Smith is accused of ambushing two youngsters who were breaking into his home.  Again.  The two -Haile Kifer, 18 and Nick Brady, 17 – were apparently not visiting Mr. Smith’s home for the first time.

How many times?

McKinney (with emphasis added):

The Little Falls homeowner had suffered a few break-ins in his home and his adjacent property in the fall of 2012, but didn’t go to the sheriff’s office until after an Oct. 27 break-in, when a shotgun and rifle, as well as other items were stolen from his home.

“A few break-ins” may have been a half-dozen or more.

How many break-ins is a person supposed to cheerfully endure?

To be fair to McKinney, it appears to this non-lawyer that Byron Smith broke one of the absolute rules of self-defense.  While he was not a willing participant, he had no “duty to retreat” in the home, and he may well have had a reasonable fear of being killed or maimed, the idea that he may have shot one or more of the burglars after they were down and no longer a threat may have been the one mistake he made.

On the other hand?  The Strib ran the story on a Saturday.  When the jurors weren’t sequestered, and could read McKinney’s heart-rending elegies to the victims.  Er, burglars.  Why would they do that?

And the County is charging him with first-degree murder – as if he’d been specifically planning to kill the two.

Why, it almost seems like the Strib has a desired verdict.

No – that’d be crazy talk.

The Second Contestant:  Baird Helgeson:   The Strib’s Helgeson wrote last week about the Schoen-Latz bill to take guns away from domestic abusers.

It’s not so much that the issue doesn’t warrant attention – domestic abuse is ugly and prone to violence.  Most people – even shooters – support some provisions to disarm people who are legitimately suspected of domestic abuse, with due process.

It’s the words “legitimate” and “due process” that are the clinkers.  Many – maybe most – domestic abuse charges brought during divorce proceedings are inflated or false, intended by angry spouses and sleazy divorce lawyers to try to skew the proceedings.   The accused – usually men – are often treated as guilty until proven innocent.  And even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction is sufficient to disarm someone for decades, maybe life.

So most shooters agree – disarm the violent, but give people due process.

The responsible anti-gunners and the Minnesota 2nd Amendment community have been negotiating over a current bill for a while now, trying to make sure everyone’s concerns get addressed.

So look at the tone of Mr. Helgeson’s piece.  I’ll add emphasis for things like cheerleading and repeating Heather Martens’ chanting points under the guise of “news reporting”:

Minnesota could be on the verge of breakthrough changes in some of its gun laws.

“Breaking through…” against what?

Until now, no restriction on gun ownership has been too small to draw the fierce opposition of gun rights groups and their supporters.

“Small” to whom?  This blog spent a lot of time last year showing how big the “small” restrictions actually were.  That is, apparently, of no interest to Helgeson.

Just a year ago, a proposal for broader background checks for firearms purchases was crushed at the Capitol despite attempts to weaken the bill enough to get it approved.

“Crushed” sounds so…bad.  How about “defeated”?

This time, a rank-and-file police officer — who also happens to be a DFL House member from St. Paul Park — is leading the effort to take all firearms, including rifles, away from those who stalk or abuse their partners. His careful ­legislative campaign is winning surprising support.

Notice how Helgeson is framing the issue?  Gun rights supporters are tyrants, “crushing” and “weakening” legislation from the plucky, reasonable underdogs of the DFL!

The narrative is served!

He has a powerful partner — Republican Rep. Tony Cornish, a retired police officer and the Legislature’s most outspoken advocate of gun rights. He ­regularly carries a handgun into the ­Capitol.

Presumably as “the Darth Vader March” plays in the background.   That plucky Dan Schoen!

The bill, which has run a gantlet of House committees, faces its most serious test Monday, when the full House is scheduled to vote on final passage.

Now, if I were a reporter exercising my personal biases, I’d say the bill “slithered through a series of House committees where members, weary of defending bad gun bills from well-informed citizens, gave it a solid working-over”.

But good bills “run gauntlets”.

Here’s the interesting part – and perhaps the part the Minnesota anti-civil-rights lobby would prefer Helgeson not have written:

The proposal would put Minnesota at the leading edge of a larger national movement that, after meeting with defeat on more ambitious proposals, is aiming at narrow niche victories in areas with broad public ­support, such as preventing domestic homicides.

Leading the way to “Victory” against the big bad shooters!

That is, of course, Michael Bloomberg’s current strategery – to kill the Second Amendment with a million cuts. 

I wonder if Helgeson would be so excited about laws that tossed biased “journalists” out of the trade?  Probably not – he (and I) would likely turn into civil libertarian absolutists.

Narrative alert!

The bipartisan nature of the measure has drawn the attention of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, a devoted gun owner who has been leery of tightening Minnesotans’ right to own firearms.

The left trots that out whenever Dayton needs to appear “moderate”.  He’s a “devoted gun owner” – but not one of the icky bad ones!

“It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there,” said Rob Doar, a lobbyist for the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, which has dropped its objection to Schoen’s bill. “We agree with making sure the guns get out of the house,” so long as there is ample due process.

There is some question as to how accurately Helgeson related Doar’s quotes.  I’ll be talking with Rob about this soon enough.

Studies show that half of all domestic abuse homicides in Minnesota over the past three years involved a firearm.

“I absolutely believe without a doubt that lives will be saved by this,” said St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing, whose office handles about 1,000 domestic violence cases a year.

All likely true.  But they’re significant for what they set up:

The gun culture of this country is so disturbing,” said Marree Seitz, whose daughter Carolyn was shot and killed by her husband several days after filing for divorce in 1996. “So much of the domestic abuse is so flammable, where the littlest thing can set the person off,” she said. “The accessibility of the weapons makes it such a natural thing.”

It’s as if Helgeson thinks he’s writing a buddy movie – the unlikely good/liberal cop bad/conservative cop taking unlikely sides against “the gun culture”, personified by all those unwashed gun maniacs that swarm the Capitol “crushing” and “weakening” their precious gun laws.

And yet they try soooo hard!

Legislators were still working on the proposal late in the week, ensuring that gun advocates could approve the changes.

The measure puts opponents in the difficult and politically dicey position of defending gun ownership rights for domestic abusers and stalkers.

Right!  And in case any of you missed it, Baird Helgeson was there to say it’s so!

The measure has strong support from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the country’s largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization.

Not to be confused with “gun control group”.  Good heavens, no.

The group was founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has poured millions of dollars of his personal fortune into the cause.Just this month, Bloomberg pledged an additional $50 million to try to match the NRA’s formidable membership base, lobbying force and campaign organization.

That’s good ol’ Bloomie; just another plucky billionaire underdog, fighting against those millions of regular middle-American nuts!

“Clearly, we ran into a buzz saw last year,” said Paymar, who runs a nonprofit organization aimed at reducing domestic abuse. “The environment was toxic at the time.”

Regular citizens turning out and making their opinions crystal clear = “toxic”.

Good to know.

Now It’s Time To Vote!:  Who wins the first ever “Strib Bias Pageant?”

Who Wins This Week’s Strib Bias Pageant?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

 

 

Results will be announced tomorrow. Vote early and often!

Settled Science

Via h John Hinderaker at Power Line, still more empirical evidence that “shall issue” laws reduce violent crime, including/especially gun crime:

The CCW dummy variable is significant and positive, but the assault weapons ban is insignificant. Given that the average gun-related murder rate over the period in question was 3.44, the results of the present study indicate that states with more restrictive CCW laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher. In addition, the Federal assault weapons ban is significant and positive, indicating that murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal ban was in effect. These results corroborate the findings of Lott and Mustard (1997). These results suggest that, even after controlling for unobservable state and year fixed effects, limiting the ability to carry concealed weapons may cause murder rates to increase.

I urge you to read the study.  Long story short:  ”shall issue” laws, at the very worst, have no negative effect on crime, and may reduce it.  ”Assault weapons” bans, on the other hand, are worthless.

Yet again.

Outgoing Fire

The first officially recorded legal self-defense case involving a civilian with a legal handgun and carry permit in Chicago in several decades took place over this past weekend.

Real American 1.  Scum 0.

The incident happened about 2:40 a.m. on the 5400 block of West Van Buren Street, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Michael Sullivan.

The man was walking from his garage to the front of his home when two males in hoodies appeared in a gangway between his home and the neighbor’s home, Sullivan said.

One of the two men pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed at the man who took out his own gun and managed to fire several times at the males, Sullivan said.

The males fled the area without being struck and the shooting did not result in any property damage, police said.

The Real American wasn’t charged with anything, and probably won’t be.

But this even is important far beyond that little gangway between those two houses.  For the first time, the common schnook in Chicago has exercised his right – and moral duty – to defend himself, his family, his neighborhood, his city and his society from crime.  After decades of having to sit and take the incoming gunfire like it’s just another variety of Lake Michigan gale, and to watch a generation of (mostly minority) kids get ravaged by gang bangers who’ve turned the city’s less fashionable zip codes into their private shoot-em-up arcade with real guns, Chicago’s Real Americans have joined the fight to take their streets back without the city treating them like “the real problem”.

To many more!

55 Lives

UPDATE:  Some of the commenters (see way below) are right.  It is a little early to be doing the end-zone happy dance. 

So I’m going to park my conclusions until a) the end of summer and b) a year from now.  I am 104% confident I’ll be doing an end-zone happy dance then, and that will be largely attributable to carry  permitting (and focusing law-enforcement on criminals, rather than law-abiding citizens.

Yep, I jumped the, er, gun. 

For now.

———-

The murder rate in Chicago is off this year.

Sharply.

As in, 55 fewer than at this time last year.  That translates into about a 40% reduction in the murder rate.

That’s not just a reduction.  That’s a free-fall.

And while one can expect crime to get worse in the summer, this is a month on month comparison.

So what’s changed in Chicago in the past two years (2012 was horrible, 2013 merely very very bad)?  Was in the police chief?  The police’s methods?  The number of gang-bangers?  A sudden ”come to Jesus” by the gang bangers?

No, nay, nope and uh-uh.

No – the only real change in Chicago’s legal landscape in the past year is that law-abiding citizens can get firearms.

Locked And Loaded: And the difference is drastic:

The first three months of 2014 have seen the fewest number of homicides since 1958 — six fewer than this time in 2013, and 55 fewer than this time in 2012, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The city is on track to have hundreds fewer deaths – perhaps a 30-40% drop – than in 2012.

Emanuel: Firing Blanks From A .25: The city of Chicago is trying to spin things otherwise, claiming it’s gotten illegal guns off the streets and has changed up its training – which reinforces the point Real Americans have been making all along; it’s the criminals, stupid.  Make life complicated for criminals, and stop bothering the law-abiding citizen, and you get less crime.

It’s fun to watch the left – led by Media Matters, a Soros-sponsored attack-PR firm that prefers poor black inner city people to sit down and shut up unless they’re at the polls voting Democrat – try to spin their way out of this.  Here was Media Matters after a particularly bloody weekend in Bear town last summer:

The recent bloody headlines out of Chicago relayed the sad tale of the city’s deadly weekend, where seven people were killed in shootings and more than 50 were victims of gunfire…the Chicago news triggered the usual response from conservative gun advocates, who love to mock the city’s homicide rate…Conservative conspiracists such as Rush Limbaugh even claim Democratic politicians, including Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel, want the city’s murder rate to remain high so they can use the killings to advocate for stronger gun laws.

Call it “satirical but accurate”.

Cut The Crap, Focus On The Results: Not satirical but still accurate is the fact that Media Matters and the entire left were wrong again, as always.  And we – the Real Americans – were right.

And there are 55 families in inner city Chicago right now who are mighty happy about it.  They may not know who they are.  And that’s the way it should be.

Why are white liberals so blasé about dead black children?

RIP Otis McDonald

In the late sixties, a justifiably obscure SCOTUS’ “decision”,  ”US v. Miller” (a depression-era case involving a robber who was murdered before his case made it to the court, and for whom no attorney argued before the high court) was dragged out of the legal ether by a series of liberal, activist judges, and installed into a misbegotten place as binding precedent that led, by a tortuous “logical” route, to the Second Amendment being interpreted for four decades as a “collective right”.   Just the way the Ku Klux Klan interpreted it until the 14th Amendment came along.

The Heller case began the process of flushing this noxious bit of authoritarian posturing down the latrine of history.

But it fell to Otis McDonald – a seventy-something black man who just wanted to defend his life and property against the crime that had overrun the neighborhood where he’d lived since 1971, in which he’d raised three of his children – to deliver the coup de grace against Chicago’s racist, classist gun ban.

Otis McDonald

It was merely the latest of several fights for McDonald, who was 76 when the SCOTUS upheld his demand to be allowed to defend himself, his family and his property, and not be treated like the government’s livestock.

It was one of many battles he fought in his long, full, unsung-but-productive life.

McDonald started life as one of 12 children of a Louisiana sharecropper who’d left the land at 17, deep in the Jim Crow era.  He worked for decades as a janitor at the University of Chicago, joined the union, earned a living, raised a family…

…and watched his neighborhood decay from a comfortable blue-collor area to a crime-ridden gang shooting gallery.

He sought “permission” to own a handgun – because as an older man, he couldn’t stand up in fight against one predatory teen, much less the whole pack.  The city of Chicago, adhering to the gun control movement’s orthodoxy that black people must only be seen and heard at the polls, and shouldn’t be getting all uppity in between elections, shut him down with, as it were, prejudice.

And so he, along with three other co-plaintiffs, filed suit – which duly led to the Supreme Court and, in 2009, victory in the case that bore his name, and incorporated the Second Amendment as law binding all lesser jurisdictions; the right to keep and bear arms was, as it has always been, a Right of The People, not the National Guard, not to be frittered away by self-appointed racist elitists out of the fear of armed brown men that motivates all gun control.

McDonald, on the day of his case’s epic victory.

McDonald, a humble man without even a high school education, accomplished more to secure freedom than many buildings full of Ivy-League-spawned pundits and lawyers ever will.

Otis McDonald passed away last week at age 79, after a long battle with cancer.

Massood Ayoub:

As a black man in America, he fought his way up from economic disadvantage to earning a good living for his family. He fought against violent crime in his adopted city of Chicago, and in so doing came to his most famous battle as the lead named plaintiff in McDonald, et. al. v. City of Chicago. In the plaintiffs’ landmark victory in that case in 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that neither the Windy City nor any other city could ban law-abiding citizens from owning handguns for defense of self and family. The McDonald decision helped pave the way for the concealed carry permits now being issued throughout Illinois

.And the wages of McDonald’s victory are being felt – despite the media’s attempt to suppress them – today.  More at noon.  Oh, yes – oh, so much more at noon.

And so rest in peace, Otis McDonald.  Your legacy – leaving your world a freer place than the one you came into  - is one that shames those of a whole lot of people who came into this world with advantages you never dreamed of.

At noon today:  McDonald’s legacy is already saving lives.

Guns And NARNs

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

  • I’m live at Bill’s Gun Range in Robbinsdale from 1-3.  I’ll be talking with Mark Okern of the Minnesota Gun Owners’ PAC about the session, the election, and the state of gun legislation in Minnesota.  Then, Susan Eckstein from the U of M College Republicans on the Campus Carry Campaign.
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow,  Brad Carlson is on “The Closer”!

(All times Central)

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

Join us!

An Idea Whose Time Is At Least Three Years Away

Remember the bloodbath that Minnesota was in 1973 and before? 

I remember the episode in November of 1971, in rural Hitterdahl, Minnesota, about 20 miles west of Detroit Lakes.  Oscar Gundersson, a plumber and handyman, was playing bridge with his wife Trina and their farmer neighbors, Rolf and Edna Berndsen.  Oscar though Edna had cheated on a hand.  Being a second-generation Norwegian-American, he skipped straight past accusation, anger and argument, and pulled a pistol from his overalls, shooting the woman.  Then, anxious to kill all witnesses, he shot Rolf and, finally, his wife, before jumping in his car and driving toward the Canadian border in a killing spree that left six additional dead and ended with Gundersson living in Indonesia, scoffing at the law.

Or the sad episode of Ruth Slorbie, who was shopping with her husband, Olaf, at the downtown Minneapolis Daytons in October 1970.  Weary of waiting in lines, she pulled a revolver from her purse and, according to a Minneapolis Star article, calmly executed six people who got in her way, calmly “changing clips” as she wandered from department to department, her husband indolently shuffling behind her holding bags of purchased merchandise, until the police responded. 

Er…wait.  None of those happened.

Before 1974, Minnesota did not require the law-abiding citizen to have a permit of any type to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise. 

You may recall – Minnesota was a pretty low-crime state, back then.    Of course, being a Democrat-dominated state, when the winds of Political Correctness bade the left to restrict guns back in the seventies, at the Second Amendment’s legal and social nadir, Minnesota followed suit – for no real empirical reason, of course.  Which is, of course, a common thread among most gun-control legislation, and all such rules that affect only the law-abiding; none are ever supported by evidence.

Minnesota became a “may issue” state in 1974 – carry permits were issued entirely on the whim of local police chiefs, meaning that the law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment rights were subjected entirely to the whim of their local police chief.  Police chiefs in Greater Minnesota issued permits pretty liberally; in the Metro, it was entirely based on political connections; law-abiding citizens were routinely turned down, while pals of cops and local pols could get permits even with lengthy criminal records.  The chief of Bloomington’s police department famously said that nobody in Bloomington really needed a permit, but made sure his wife – alone among the city’s women – was issued one. 

MInnesota rolled part-way back, ten years ago, with the passage of our “shall-issue” law; there are currently nearly 160,000 permits active in Minnesota, nearly double the number estimated in 2003. 

But what if we rolled the laws back even further?  To 1973? 

Last week Senator Branden Peterson and Representative Steve Drazkowski introduced a bill that would do just that; institute “constitutional carry” in Minnesota.  A law-abiding citizen would require no state permit to exercise their constitutional right to carry a firearm in a safe, responsible manner.  It’d give us the same law as Vermont, Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming. 

It’s an utterly symbolic proposal at this point, of course; the bill was introduced after the committee deadline, and even if it hadn’t been, it would have had no chance of passage with a DFL-controlled legislature and governor.  At a time when Michael Bloomberg is buying astro-turf groups to push genuine, bad restrictions in a legislature currently controlled by the DFL, it’d be misplaced to spend a whole lot of energy on it.

Yet. 

But kudos to Senator Peterson and Representative Drazkowski for firing a shot, as it were, across the DFL’s bow.  Here’s to more in a friendlier future. 

 

Ground Stood

Citizen in Alabama shoots, kills man who was herding customers in a dollar store into a back room at gunpoint. 

It seems like a no-brainer, right? Man with a gun is herding innocent third parties into a back room like a bunch of cattle.

Well, in Alabama it is.  Alabama has a “stand your ground” law, which says a law-abiding citizen has no “duty to retreat” when facing a lethal threat. 

Minnesota, of course, has no such law.  If the same episode happened in Minnesota, what would happen? 

That would depend entirely on the vicissitudes of the county attorney.  In Pennington County, the county attorney would likely buy the citizen a drink.  In Dakota County, Jim Backstrom – who has a long history of lying about law-abiding citizens and their right to self defense – would likely find any excuse he could to file charges. 

What does it say about our legal system when a persons’ freedom, life, liberty and exercise of their Constitutional rights is governed entirely by the whims, prejudices and bigotries of partisan hacks living in sinecures?

Progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

I’m given some hope by the story that a group of U of M students are actively working to get the U of M to lift its ban on students exercising their civil liberty and right to defend themselves from the crime that’s endemic in the U of M area:

A string of robberies on the U of M campus late last year escalated on Nov. 11, when the campus went into lockdown because of an attempted robbery at gunpoint, and the suspect got away. A month later, in December 2013 there was another armed robbery on campus.

Predictably, the pro-carry students are smart and well-informed:

U of M freshman William Preachuk believes things could have ended differently if he’d been able to pack heat. “I would believe that I have the right to defend myself; I have the right to protect others as well as myself only if the situation allows it,” William Preachuk said.

Preachuk signed a petition Monday that’ll be sent to the Board of Regents asking to be allowed conceal and carry on campus.

Susan Eckstine with College Republicans is a permit holder and trained in using a gun. “If I was able to carry a firearm here on campus I’d feel a lot safer to protect myself from a life threatening situation,” Eckstine said.

Other students, however, continue to make me worry about the next generation:

“You’re only creating more potential violence by adding more weapons than the other way around,” sophomore Jennifer Lakritz said.

I’m going to assume Ms. Lakritz has been taught that this is a fact, but not taught the almost supernatural research skills that’d show her that that’s a complete lie

“I feel if you really are afraid for your protection then you should have police officers around instead,” junior Kevin Jacob said.

Huh. 

Mr. Jacob:  how do you arrange to have the police “around”, as your personal security detail, if you are genuinely afraid? 

How precisely did you manage to pull that off?