Freedom Friday

The record number of background checks received by the National Instant Check System indicate – the second record in a row set on Black Friday – indicate enough firearms were sold in one day to outfit every single active duty Marine:

According to the FBI, over 200,000 background check requests associated with the purchase of a firearm were submitted to the agency on Black Friday, marking a new single-day record. The previous record was set on the day after Thanksgiving in 2016. In both 2017 and 2016, enough guns were potentially purchased on Black Friday to arm every active duty Marine.

Or, to put it another way, to outfit every single active duty service member in the Norwegian Army, Navy and Air Force ten times over.

Words fail me; I shall turn to music:

 

Chalk It Up To Video Games?

Millennials trend left on everything but guns – where they turn into Real Americans.

Polling in gun politics is notoriously murky—much lies in the crafting of the question—but demographers have consistently reported a conservative streak in millennial attitudes on guns. Respondents aged 18-29 are the least likely in the country to support a renewed ban on assault weapons, at 49 percent, a fact that has helped drive nationwide support down to a record low. Pew’s data suggest that those falling in the youngest age range have dropped the furthest in support for “gun control” since 2000 (when the alternative is presented as “gun rights”). And when the question concerns the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority, concealed carry, millennials appear to lead the country. According to Gallup’s version of the question in 2004, the notion that concealed guns made for safer spaces polled at 25 percent; 11 years later, it registered at 55 percent nationally. The greatest support came from those ages 18-29, at 66 percent, a full 10 points greater than the next highest scoring demographic.

There’s hope.

Represent!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

 

Texas woman shoots dead an armed home invader.  A private citizen using a pistol for self-defense?  That’s gonna mess up Penigma’s narrative, right there.

I think it was more Dog Gone’s narrative, although they shared some elements.

At any rate – Ms. Gone’s narrative has been moot for quite some time. here in MN and elsewhere.   She’s not here to defend herself – but that’s her fault.

No mention of a medal.  Surely some group should give her a medal?

“We, the members of the Podunk Booster Club, honor Mrs. Dorothy Smith for her courageous actions defending her home and her neighborhood, awarding her this Marksman Medal, a check for $357 which is her favorite caliber, and we invite her to ride in our car in the next parade.”

With a photo in the newspaper of her wearing the medal holding the enormous cardboard check, that could be a great PR move in certain areas of the state.

Joe Doakes

I like it.

The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight: Thanks For The Marketing!

During the many years when Representative Heather Martens ran “Protect” Minnesota, the organization developed a reputation as being dodderingly, genially incompetent – like a neighborhood garden circle where everyone forgot to bring gloves.

In the year or so since the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence took over at “”Protect” Minnesota, the image has morphed into a form of more aggressive, turbocharged incompetence.

As an example:  since Bence took over the group, I think I can count the number of email blasts on the mailing list that haven’t required additions, retractions, or correctioons of mistakes on one hand with a few fingers in change, up to and including erroneous announcements of major grants.

But this past Sunday was the best of all.

The “Pink Pistols” – a group of gays and their allies who promote self-defense under the rubric “Armed Gays don’t get bashed” 0- had a booth at the Minneapolis “Pride” festival, in Loring Park.  The Pistols’ booth usually gets a steady stream of interest – but it’s fair to say the Pistols’ name recognition among gays isn’t a whole lot higher than among the general population.

Enter “Protect” Minnesota.

According to a source in the booth, “P”M was passing around a survey asking if attendees had heard of Pink Pistols.

Which apparently drove a steady stream of curious passersby to the booth for their first introduction to the idea of not being a defenseless victim.

So what you say but “thanks?”

Pistol Protocol

Joe Doakes emailed me this request:

The case is over.  The next one hasn’t happened, yet.   This is the time to restart the conversation about the Pistol Protocol. Please run this letter on SITD.
Joe Doakes

So here is the letter:

Open letter to politicians, cops, citizens:

I write to enlist your support for law-abiding citizens.

The recent Falcon Heights shooting occurred two miles from my house.  I have a permit to carry a pistol, same as the driver. The cop was acquitted and social media is howling it’s a racial outrage but I’m not interested in who’s to blame in this specific incident.  I’m only interesting in making sure it doesn’t happen to me.

The evidence at trial boiled down to this:  the officer thought he gave a command which the driver failed to obey.  The eye-witness passenger thought the officer gave a different command which the driver was in the midst of obeying when the officer fired.  Neither the officer nor the eye-witness had time to think up a lie to pad the video to make themselves look better for a jury.  They both believed they were telling the truth as they heard it.  It’s a classic case of eye-witnesses recalling identical events differently.

I don’t want to die and the officer doesn’t want to kill me.  How can we work together to make certain that doesn’t happen?  Police have standard procedures for high-speed pursuit, for approaching a stopped vehicle, but apparently there is no standard procedure for Encountering A Lawfully Armed Citizen.  The advice I got in my permit-to-carry training was: “inform the officer you have a pistol and ask how he wants to handle it” which is another way of saying “There are no rules, the officer will make up something on the side of the road, but if you fail to comply, you die.”  That’s not good enough.  The driver might not hear clearly because of a crying kid or complaining passenger.  The office might not hear clearly because of traffic noise.  And instructions can be misinterpreted with deadly results.

The Falcon Heights incident is a vivid illustration of why the current make-shift policy is not good enough, why there must be a standard Pistol Protocol for officers and permitted carriers to know and understand, and why the high-stakes nature of an armed encounter demands the Pistol Protocol be stupid simple to understand and yet crystal clear to follow.

I think permit holders and law enforcement leaders should meet to negotiate a standard Pistol Protocol, add it to every law enforcement curriculum and role-play it in every permit-to-carry training session.   Here’s a draft:

Step 1.  Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) approaches stopped vehicle, Permit Holder (PH) rolls down window, puts hands on the steering wheel and keeps them there.  No other movement.

Step 2.  PH says “Officer, we need the Pistol Protocol. I have a permit to carry a pistol.”  PH says or does nothing else until PH receives verbal confirmation from LEO that the Pistol Protocol is in place.  If LEO fails to confirm, PH repeats the request for the Pistol Protocol.

Step 3.  LEO repeats back that PH wants to use the Pistol Protocol, thus verifying that the officer is aware of the existence of a legally permitted weapon and that a dialogue has begun about how to secure the weapon.  LEO says or does nothing else until he confirms that the Pistol Protocol is in place.  “I confirm you have a pistol and a permit to carry.  We are now using the Pistol Protocol.”

Step 4.  LEO instructs PH as to the next thing the LEO wants the PH to do so the LEO can secure the weapon.  Could be “move your car to a safer location” or “open the door using your left hand and step out” or whatever the situation requires, taking into account lighting, weather, number of passengers, etc.  Whatever LEO instructs, PH repeats back before doing it, LEO affirms or negates (followed by repeat of intended instruction).    “LEO:  Using your right hand, slowly turn the engine off, then put your hand back on the wheel.”  “PH: I’m going to use my right hand to turn the engine off, then put my hand back on the wheel.”  “LEO: that’s correct, go ahead.”  At that point, the driver turns the engine off and puts his hand back on the wheel. 

Step 5.  PH, moving slowly as LEO watches, carries out all LEO instructions until LEO announces the pistol is secure.

Step 6.  When LEO announces the pistol is secure, the Pistol Protocol is not ended, it is in recess.  LEO instructs PH what else to do (driver’s license, proof of insurance) and writes summons or gives a warning to complete their other business.

Step 7.  When LEO is finished with other business, LEO tells PH that LEO is restarting the Pistol Protocol to safely transfer the pistol back to the PH but LEO does not transfer the pistol until PH confirms that LEO has restarted the Pistol Protocol.  “LEO:  I’m restarting the Pistol Protocol to hand the weapon back to you.”  “PH: We’re back using the Pistol Protocol now.” 

Step 8.  LEO tells PH what LEO intends to do with the pistol, PH repeats it back, then LEO and PH slowly and carefully transfer the pistol back to the PH.  “LEO: I’m going to hand you the magazine to put in your pocket, then the weapon to put in your holster.  Do NOT load the weapon until you have left the scene.”  “PH: You’re going to hand me the magazine to put in my pocket and the pistol to put in my holster, but I won’t load the weapon until after I leave here.”  “LEO, okay, here’s the magazine . . . pocket, good . . . and here’s the pistol.”

Step 9.  LEO and PH go their separate ways.
There could be fewer steps, more steps, enhancements and improvements, but the key elements are (1) both LEO and PH affirmatively and verbally acknowledging the existence of the pistol so they can deal with it safely and (2) both LEO and PH read-back instructions to avoid misunderstanding, before any movement takes place.
This draft is not perfect but it’s good enough to be going forward.  Next step, figuring out how to get pistol carriers and cops on board.  Volunteers are needed to negotiate in good faith.  And salesmanship to convince cops and permit holders that it’s something they need to learn.
Could use a catchy phrase to help people remember.  The fire prevention people hit a home run with “Stop, Drop and Roll.”  How about:

Say It.  Repeat It.  Do It.  

Tell me.  Hear me.  See me.

Listen.  Repeat.  Comply. 

I work for the local government bureaucracy.  My bosses are sensitive to political pressure and controversy.  I can’t speak out in my own name so I’m writing this under an assumed name to ask for help. 

If you see merit in the idea, please take the ball and run with it.  If it’s not your cup of tea, can you forward it to someone who might help?

The tragedy in Falcon Heights ruined several lives.  There is absolutely no reason to ruin more.  Help me prevent that.


Joe Doakes, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Why I’m A Second Amendment Voter

I detest litmus tests.

I always have.  They’ve always struck me as a way to avoid needing to think too hard about things, especially politics; as a way to avoid having to deal with the nuances that are inevitable with a realistic appreciation of the world around you.

But over the last year years, Second Amendment voting has become, if not a litmus test, at least a key indicator about a politician’s, or group’s, or person’s attitude about the most important political question of all.

We’ll come back to that.

There are a lot of reasons I support the right to keep and bear arms, and am an activist on the issue.  But there’s only one reason that it’s a litmus test to me.

Line Of Defense:  Self-defense?  Well, it’s important.  The idea that people should be forced to rely on the attention span of the state for their safety is fantasy at best, a toxic delusion at worst.

The police are under no obligation to protect you, and even when they knock themselves out to try, it’s a fact – when seconds count, the cops are minutes away.

Them? Or you? You get to decide this.

But self-defense isn’t why this is a litmus test issue to me.

Value:  And even if they were obligated to protect you at all costs in all situations?

As Jeffrey Snyder asked 25  years ago in A Nation of Cowards – do you really think that your life is of immeasurable worth, but that of the cop we call when things get ugly is worth $50K (or whatever we pay a cop these days)?  No – if your life is truly of immeasurable worth, then it’s truly your job to protect it – right?

If you truly believe that your life is of infinite value, while that of someone who risks their life for your is worth merely a salary and a life insurance settlement, I have to question your moral order.   Not here, of course.

The real question is, is it morally right to demand, and expect, that someone risk their life to save yiours, even with aunion contract?

Deterrence:  There is no rational doubt that armed citizens deter crime.

The number of crimes deterred in a year is hard to estimate, since most – including mine – are never reported.   The FBI used to say 80,000/year; Kleck estimated two million a year in the early ’90s, 98% of them without a shot being fired.

Whichever is right, each of those is a victory of good over…evil?  Decay?  Collapse?  Of right versus wrong.   Each of those victories, morally, is of incalculable good.

But that’s not the reason either.

A Good Guy With A Gun:  You know how you know that “a good guy with a gun” is an inherently good thing?

Jeanne Assam was a good gal with a gun when she saved countless lives at the New Life Christian Center in Colorado Springs on 12/9/07. She shot and wounded Matt Murray – who, reverie broken, backed off and shot himself.

Because Big Gun Control spends so much time and effort trying to attack the idea.  Not with facts – or at least, not by presenting facts in a way that can  be debated (and, inevitably, debunked).  “Shut up”, they explain.

There is a reason that mass shootings happen in places (schools, government buildings, posted property) or cities (New York, Chicago, San Francisco) or states (California) and not at NRA conventions or in Bozeman, Montana. Good citizens with the capacity to resist are a deterrent.

And as we’ve seen in a few mass shootings, when a good guy (or gal) with a gun interrupts the narcissistic fantasy, the fantasy implodes; the bad guy with the gun usually gives up, or kills himself.   Exactly as law enforcement says – move in on the shooter to break their reverie -although they don’t generally circulate that for public consumption.

Nick Meli was a regular schnook with a Glock on 12/11/2011 when Jacob Robert walked into the Clackamas Mall in Portland, OR with a rifle and a couple hundred rounds. He killed two – and then saw Meli pointing his permitted Glock at him. He retreated into a store, and shot himself moments later. Two died. Only God knows how many didn’t.

But no – that’s not the reason that the Second Amendment is my litmus test.

Fun Fun Fun (Til The Democrats Take The Garand Away):  Let’s be frank, here – shooting is fun.   No – it’s fun!

The focus and concentration are a poor man’s Zen meditation.  A day of busting caps out on the range is about as much fun as one can have, by oneself, legally.

And for someone who always wanted to be one of those guys that could hot-rod a car, but never had the money or the mechanical aptitude?  Modern guns, being the modular creations they are, lend themselves to extensive hot-rodding; a plain-Jane AR15, or even AK or SKS, is within reach of a whole lot of people, an outlet for mechanical creativity that’s do-able even for people of fairly unimpressive mechanical skills.  Even Glocks have gotten “democratized”; it’s possible to buy aftermarket lower frames that allow one to soup up a humble Glock 19.

A vital policy point?  No, but certainly a factor, if only personally .

So while I’ll throw it on the “yea” side of the scale,  it’s hardly the reason the 2nd Amendment is a litmus test.

Being Necessary For The Security Of A Free State:  Of course, none of the above were the proximate reason for the 2nd Amendment – which was to allow The People to defend their lives, families, property and communities against encroaching tyranny.

The protection of property and the preservation of order; Koreans on the second day of the LA riots, after the police pulled out.

“What?  You’re going to try to fight a tank with a gun?   If government becomes tyrannical, you’ll have no chance!” the usual response goes – which strikes me as a bad attitude for a citizen of a free society to have even while they’re still “free”.  But we’ll come back to that.

There are two answers to that old chestnut:

  1. Nobody fights tanks with rifles.  You fight the truck that hauls the food, fuel and ammo to the tank.
  2. But think about it: what do we know about the average American serviceperfson?  That they are the children of people with two masters degrees in Political Science from Carlton, who shop at Whole Foods and listen to NPR and have “Coesist” bumper stickers on their cars and voted for Hillary?  No!  They are overwhelmingly the children of the blue-collar and middle-to-lower-middle class people that own the guns today.  If government, for whatever reason, decided to go door to door seizing guns, they’d be beating down the doors of the parents, brothers and sisters of people in the service.   How do you suppose that’d work?

The right to keep and bear arms helps ensure that an attack on freedom will be an attack on the standing army.   Which may be one of the best guarantors against the depredations of the “standing army” that our founding fathers so feared.

But important as that is, that’s not the reason, either.

Words Have Meanings:  No, the reason is this:   without the right to defend one’s home, family, property, community and freedom from both crime and tyranny, then “citizenship” is meaningless.

The word “citizen”, going back to its Latin roots, means someone who has the ability to govern oneself; one who is him/herself a microcosm of government – someone who has the means at hand to govern themselves, and to participate in and consent in their own government.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights spell out the things that a citizen of a free society is endowed with by their creator; the right to participate and consent in their government via speaking, publishing, assembling, petitioning and voting; the right to not having their status as a citizen spuriously removed without due process, via jury trials, right to representation, freedom from unreasonable searches;  the right to be fairly secure that their property won’t be arbitrarily seized…

…the  right, means and power to defend one’s life, family, property, community and freedom.  Just like the government in which one participates.

Words Have Opposites, Too:  So being a “citizen” means having the ability to see to one’s own self-government – by oneself, as part of a small community, or a larger body that governns by consernt of the self-governing citizens.  

And if you take away any of the means by which a “citizen” governs, what happens?

Are they  a slightly lesser citizen?  No – it’s like taking away a hydrogen atom and wondering why you don’t still have water.

When a citizen can’t govern him/her self, then they’re no longer a citizen.  They are a subject of whomever took those rights away.

Observing the Second Amendment is one of the key differences between being a citizen – a consenting party to one’s own governance – and a subject, one whose life, liberty and property exist by the good graces of their ruler (or ceases to by the ruler’s bad graces, often enough).

And knowing that is why I will no more vote for someone who stands for abridging the Second Amendment than I will for someone who believes in speech rationing, or no-knock warrantless searches of people without meaningful due process, for that matter.

All three are non-negotiable.  All three are essential.  All three are reasons to go to the barricades.  I will no more vote for someone who promises to abridge my role as a citizen – by turning me into a subject  – than I’ll vote for someone who vows to send Jews to camps in Idaho.

Details:  “What – you think citizens should own cannon?  Tanks?  Nuclear weapons?”

They’re kind of expensive, and I dont’ wanna think about what it’d cost to practice with any of ’em.  But since we’re arguing out in loopdieland, I’ll bite.  Sure – show me why I shouldn’t, in logical terms – meaning terms other than “It doesn’t seem right to me”.

Put another way:  I’m a law-abiding citizen.  I’ve never stolen so much as a candy bar in my life.,  If you put a gun in my hand, I’m still the same guy.  I’m not overwhelmed by the urge to harm others.  How is that different if you put a machine gun, cannon, flamethrower, tank, or submarine in my figurative hand?  It’s not.

It’s also a pointless deflection.  Very few people are pushing to buy tanks – and I don’t think the criminal market for them is especially big either.

Many people are pushing, constantly and with great ardor, to abridge my right to defend my life, family, property, community and freedom, though.

Wages Of Complacency

With the collapse (for now) of the Democrat majorities in Saint Paul and Washington, and especially the election of a pro-2nd-Amendment president, with the concomitant appointment of a suitably pro-2nd-Amendment replacement for Antonin Scalia, the threat to our Second Amendment rights has ebbed just a bit.  The pace of gun purchases and carry permit applications has slackened a bit.  You can find ammo on the shelves again.  You can find a decent AR-pattern rifle for less than the cost of a quality handgun.

The immediate, existential threat to a right that separates citizen from subject has faded just a bit.

And it shows.

This past legislative session, with a bipartisan pro-2nd Amendment majority in Saint Paul, not a single gun bill advanced through the GOP-controlled legislature.  Two excellent bills – a self-defense reform bill (aka “Stand Your Ground”), which  would have lessened the requirement to be a lawyer to use a gun in self-defense, and a Constitutional Carry bill – stalled in the House.

Part of the blame rests with Senate Majority Leader Warren Limmer, who made it clear early in the session that he didn’t want to risk his one-vote majority on “risky” bills that would expose his vulnerable freshmen to controversial votes.

Four years before the next Senate election.    In a session where his Senators wijll be as far-removed from re-election pressure as it’s possible to be.

But OK – part of the job of the majority leader is to keep the majority; to win elections.  And part of politics is picking your battles, and drawing as few targets on your people as possible.  And the GOP in the legislature remembers what happened in 2012, when they overreached on issues that were much more vital to many constituents than they were to the rest of Minnesota.

So risk-aversion is understandable.  Right?

Yeah – but the Senate is hearing two bills on abortion restrictions that are going to draw Liberal Plutobucks and busloads of irate women in pussy hats to the capitol to vent their ninety seconds’ hate for weeks on end.

So the real question is, who are the real risks to the MN State Senate.

Judging by the legislation the GOP majority has agreed to work on, it’d seem leadership ranks those risks in the following, descending order:

  1. Pro-lifers, who turn out by  the thousands for pro-life events at the Capitol, give until it hurts, and treat it as a life-or-death issue (as, indeed, it is) always.  No pause.  And who make their electoral muscle utterly nakedly visible every time they need to, by mobilizing money, volunteers, and (in most of Minnesota), decisive numbers of votes.
  2. The DFL. 
  3. Second Amendment Groups.  Because while nobody, but nobody, turns out the troops on the defensive like the shooters, when the alarm turns off, we all go back go normal, like the battle is won.  We don’t turn up for hearings.  We don’t donate money – MInnesota’s 2nd Amendment lobby has not one paid staffer; Everytown pays four or five people to organize the issue, full-time, in Minnesota alone.  The good guys?  All volunteers.  And volunteers burn out, need to find jobs, get families – they do all the stuff real people have to do.

The pressure seems off now.  But all it took was a decade of taking our eye off the ball in the seventies and eighties, and we very nearly lost the Second Amendment.  The game can turn faster than a late-inning Twins lead.

There is no relaxation when it comes to protecting freedom. And when politics is your medium, you have very few friends, and an awful lot of people who need to respect you.

And sometimes, you gotta give them a reason to respect you – if not your reason, then your power.

The Mission For Today – And The Next 10 Months

As this is being published, there’s a hearing going on down at the State Office Building.

With that in mind, let’s run down the current situation for the two Second Amendment bills we’ve been following:

Deadlines And Commitments:  As of today:

  • “Constitutional Carry” is pretty much dead for this session; House Public Safety passed it, but it never went to the floor, since the Senate never passed a companion bill.  It’s not been added to the House version of the Public Safety omnibus bill, since the Senate isn’t adding it.  It’s effectively over – for now.
  • The Self Defense Reform bill – which, in cases of otherwise-legal self-defense, would take away a county-prosecutor’s discretion to try to send you to jail for not running as fast and as far as he thinks you should – looks like it’s in the same situation.

But it’s not.  Not quite.

Stay with me, here.

The Long Game:  At the hearings  House Public Safety Committee is going to be voting on Representative Nash’s Self-Defense Reform bill.

After which it will go to the floor for a vote.

You might way “What’s the point?  There’s no Senate companion!   It’s dead!”

And you’d be right.  For this session.

Here’s the deal; if it passes from the floor this session – the first of the biennium – it remains passed for the next session.  We don’t need to pass it in the House again for two more years, if needed.

This means we’ll have ten months to pressure the Senate into listening to the real will of the people.

What this mean:  Your job – our job – is, if not crystal clear, at least vital:

  • Today – as in, today – call the members of the House Public Safety Committee.   Tell them this needs to pass.
  • Before The Bill Comes To The Floor (and I’ll let you know when it does):    Call your representative.  Tell them you will not be amused if HF 238 isn’t passed.
  • Before the next session:  Get on the horn with your Senator.  Their leadership just missed a golden opportunity to score a win with three whole years before their next election.  They can still do it with two years of cushion.  Don’t blow it.

Let’s get on this.

Time For Some Action

Gun owners.

When we’re on the defensive – as we were 3-4 years ago, here in Minnesota – we are the most motivated people in politics.  We make people sit up and listen – or we throw them out of office.

But when times are less perilous?   It’s another story.  And it’s understandable; unlike the anti-gun / criminal safety movement, we have jobs, families and real lives.  We can’t just drop everything and run down to spend a day at the Capitol for anything but a serious emergency.

And let’s be honest – compared to 15 years ago, never mind 30 years ago, we Real Americans of the 2nd Amendment movement are doing pretty well.  The 2nd Amendment may be the only liberty where the needle has been pushed the right way – but we have pushed it.

But complacency is what got us the 1970s.  And it could happen again.

This year, there are two important 2nd Amendment-related civil rights bills on the agenda:

  • HF188, authored by Rep. Jim Nash, would make permits to carry optional throughout Minnesota. A law-abiding citizen should not have to beg government permission to carry a firearm – and the little card has no bearing on whether people commit crimes or not.  
  • HF238, also authored by Rep. Nash, provides some much-needed reforms Minnesota’s self-defense laws, codifying decades of case law (thus removing nobody-knows-how-many felony traps from the rules of self-defense), removing the so-called “duty to retreat” in Minnesota law.

Now, it’s was a fair bet Governor Dayton would have vetoed either or both bills.

And then again, maybe not; antagonizing shooters helped the DFL lose pretty much all of rural Minnesota; Dayton could easily have doomed a few more of the remaining outstate Democrats by vetoing these bills – and caused any number of other headaches by vetoing the omnibus bills they were going to be parts of.

But the GOP caucuses haven’t put the bills into the omnibuses yet.  Word has it that Senate leadership is “playing defense”, trying not to lose seats (notwithstanding their next election isn’t until 2020).  And if the Senate isn’t going to push the bills, there’s no point in the GOP pushing them.  Right?

Wrong. 

And there’s a report that at least one GOP legislator from a safer-than-safe district is afraid of the Dreamsicles.

It’s time for the GOP to pay back some of the political capital that the 2nd Amendment movement has invested in it.  And  if safe Republicans are going to profess political “fear” a couple dozen  ELCA-haired, deluded bobbleheads in orange?   It might be time for them to re-learn what political “fear” really is.

And that means you and I need to step up.

It’s Go Time.  It’s time for all law-abiding 2nd Amendment human rights supporters to get on the line and burn up the phones, today.

Call your representative and your Senator.

And call:

House Speaker Rep. Kurt Daudt
Office: 651-296-5364
E-Mail: rep.kurt.daudt@house.mn

Majority Leader Rep. Joyce Peppin
Office: 651-296-7806
E-Mail: rep.joyce.peppin@house.mn

Public Safety Committee Chairman Tony Cornish
Office: 651-296-4240
E-Mail: rep.tony.cornish@house.mn

Politely tell them that they need to deliver.   We’re not complacent, and our support is not to be taken for granted.

This needs to be a political flood of biblical proportions.

Grassroots Win!

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

This from the MNGOPAC:

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

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

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

It smells like victory .

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

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

plagiarism

More on MGR.

“You Won’t Be Seeing Me Again”

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

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

The investigators also praised Jason Falconer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If there’d been more than one attacker?

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

The lesson for the law-abiding gun owner?

No compromise.  No retreat.  No surrender.  

None.

Neerja Bhanot

It was thirty years ago today that Neerja Bhanot won India’s highest honor for bravery in peacetime, the Ashoka Chakra Award when her jetliner, Pan Am Flight 73 from Mumbai to the US, was hijacked by terrorists from Abu Nidal, who were specifically targeting Americans.

Wikipedia takes up the story:

After 17 hours, the hijackers opened fire and set off explosives. Neerja Bhanot opened one of the doors. Although she could have been the first to jump out of the aircraft and flee to safety when she opened the door, she decided not to and instead started helping the other passengers to escape. Neerja was shot while shielding three unaccompanied American children from a hail of bullets of the hijackers. Out of a total of 41 American passengers, two were killed during the hijacking. A child on board, then aged seven, is now a captain for a major airline and has stated that Neerja Bhanot has been his inspiration and he owes every day of his life to her. 

I’m including the story partly due to its historical value…

…and partly to counter the notion that the cultural left continues to push – the idea that the individual is helpless in the face of adversity, to say nothing of aggression, without “the village” – the suffocating fog of government there to protect and validate them.  This thesis is trashed on a nearly-daily basis.  Faced with imponderable evil, against the most daunting odds, ordinary people do the most extraordinary things.  To attempt to has always been considered one of the greatest virtues of mankind.

And I’m here, in part, to keep reminding you of that.

So that, more importantly, you can remind others of that.

Our Elite Lefty Alt Media

After spending a few weeks going full-blown fanboy over the Pillsbury Foundation/Bloomberg Youth’s “gun buyback” last weekend, the leftymedia has its feelings hurt by the mockery the conservative alternative media (including this blog) has heaped on the “events”.

The piece, by the inevitable Corey Zurowski, is entitled “Gun fans mock Minneapolis’ buyback program over crude homemade shotgun” – after the shotgun that our Joe Doakes noted at one of the buybacks.

legal shotgun

Oh, we mock the buybacks for a lot more reasons that that.

We mock the buybacks because they don’t affect crime. Never have, never will.

They didn’t take any guns “off the street”; virtually all the people turning in guns were middle-aged folks from the surrounding area who were trading junk guns for more in gift cards than they’d ever get from a buyer.

We mocked the bald-faced graft – the transfer of money from Pillsbury Foundation donors and Minneapolis taxpayers (via the dozen or so cops that were working the “events”) to – let’s be charitable – “artists”, as well as enterprising rummage-salers.

We mocked the media (smile, Corey Z!) for their unability or unwilingness to dig past the press releases; at both buybacks they ran out of gift cards after *maybe* 10-15 guns were turned in. If the buyback “bought” more than 30 guns, no witness can confirm it. Most of the guns were garbage that were “donated”, AKA “thrown away” at the buyback.

The shotguns *was* functional – just go google “Slamfire Shotgun”; you can do it yourself. The homemade shotgun was a prank, a joke played at the (literal) expense of the smug, sanctimonious, ELCA-haired dreamsicles running the events – but probably the LEAST mock-worthy part of the event.

Oh, and we mock Corey Zurowski as a “reporter”;  in the caption of the photo of the homemade-yet-parodic shotgun ,he sniffed “Gun fans allege this primitive weapon was turned in a Minneapolis’ buyback event. There’s just no evidence that it actually happened.”

Click to enlarfge

Click to enlarge

But then, in the final paragraph of his own article, Zurowski carries a quote from the Minneapolis police’s public relations officer: “The gun in question was turned in,” says Minneapolis police spokeswoman Catherine Micheal. “Our people inspected it, found out it was operable, however crude the construction, and that’s why it was accepted.”

So yeah, we do some mocking there, too.

And it’s absolutely glorious.

Iowa “Minnesota” Flim-Flammers

We’ve written at some depth in the past about Minnesota Gun Rights – an astroturf fundraising group that raises a lot of money and generates a lot of strident social media about 2nd Amendment politics in Minnesota, but has never actually delivered any significant results.   A bipartisan selection of Minnesota’s most committed pro-human-rights legislators repudiated MGR a few years back.

In 2014, they dropped a few boxes of literature in the Roz Peterson race in Burnsville – and claimed credit for the victory.  This, and a couple of misplaced ads on AM1130, were their total effort that cycle.

In this primary cycle, they sent a lot of email to the Hackbarth/Bahr race, and also direct-mailed GOP activists in the Daudt/Duff race.

Well, guess what?

13876490_658436934304188_5987754586542672190_n

MGR is claiming credit for Cal Bahr’s victory over Hackbarth in HD31B – as seen in the social-media meme that’s been circulating all day today

Near as I’ve been able to find from my sources on the subject, MGR’s entire “campaign” in the Bahr/Hackbarth contest was email.

But let’s break it down:  Tom Hackbarth had:

  • become not especially popular in his district anymore
  • lost the endorsement of a district with a very well-organized party unit.
  • not lost the endorsement of either of Minnesota’s legitimate human rights groups (GOCRA and MNGOPAC/MNGOC), due to his flawless human rights voting record – but then, Bahr looks very strong on the issue, too, and both groups noted it).

So sure.  Of course a couple of emails from MGR did the trick.

Of course, MGR expended even more effort in the Daudt/Duff race next door in 31A, apparently even sending paper mail – a sign of real commitment.

And the results?  Daudt stomped Duff.

Rob Doar of MNGOPAC/MNGOC said in social media “[MGR] swung much… much harder at Daudt, who won with over 72% of the vote…If they had any sort of political power, it surely would have manifested next door in 31A.  They are riding coattails, spinning stories…”

Friends don’t let friends repeat MGR claims.

Whose Time Has Come

Church (synogogue, temple, mosque, where-ever) is the last place most people think they’ll have to confront violence.

But today’s world shows us that sometimes even when you don’t think you’ll be confronting violence, violence confronts you, whether you’re Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Sikh, or whatever you are.

Lt. Col. Rex Grossman will be conducting one of his “Sheepdog Seminars” in Shakopee this Saturday.  There are still tickets available.

And there’s a discount for GOCRA members – admission is $49.50 instead of $69.  If you need to join GOCRA to get the discount, by all means do!

 

Rights

I’m not going to talk politics, here. I’m going to talk morality and ethics.

First: as a general rule, it’s considered immoral to make someone accountable and responsible for something, but to withhold the rights needed to carry that responsibility out. It’d be wrong to say “raise this kid!” without giving someone the rights to, y’know, raise the kid.

Right?

Second: If someone said to you “I have the right not to be hit by a tornado”, you’d think they were nuts – right? Your rights don’t affect nature – do they?

Likewise, if someone said “I have a right not to get hurt while driving”, you’d likely respond “there is no “right” to be exempt from bad luck, equipment failure, or even human negligence – your own, or someone else’s”.

No – in both cases, you have the *responsibilty* to protect yourself, and especially your family, from these dangers that nature, technology and human nature throw at you. You listen to the sirens and haul the kids down to the basement; you check your tires, you make sure your kids are belted in, and yourself to boot; you watch for drivers who seem impaired or reckless, and drive defensively. You have the *right* to take action to meet your responsibility to *avoid* having human nature, mechanical nature, or Mother Nature harm you and yours.

So in this past week and a half, since the atrocity in Orlando, a lot of people have been arguing about the Second Amendment. One line I’ve heard a lot is “your Second Amendment right doesn’t trump my right not to get shot!”, usually from people who think they’re making a show-stopper point.

They’re half right; the Second Amendment trumps nothing. Literally. Because there *is* no “right not to get shot”. There is only a responsibility to try to deter, deflect or end threats to your community, to you, and your family.

Like Mother Nature, human nature is full of ugly surprises and perversions; people who want to take what’s not theirs (criminals), people who think that violence is a means to a political end (terrorists), some who think killing is their ticket to immortality (rampage killers) and, every so often, someone who thinks their will to power is more important than your life, liberty and happiness; none of them have the “right” to do any of it, but that doesn’t prevent them from doing it anyway.

Do you have a “right” not to be affected by the worst human nature has to offer? In an abstract sense, maybe – but discussions of “rights” with criminals, terrorists, madmen and tyrants are about as useful as discussions with tornados and flat tires.

You don’t have a “right” not to be affected by perversions of human nature, any more than you have a right not to be affected by tornados, earthquakes or blowouts. But you do have that responsibility.

To meet that responsibility, you have rights; the right to take actions that protect everyone; you don’t need a permit to check your tires, to take your kids to the basement when the sirens go off [1]…

…and the *right* to defend you and yours from the worst of human nature with a firearm (among many, many other options – from speech, peer pressure and dogs, to locked doors and motion lights, through restraining orders, police calls and the like). The Second Amendment doesn’t grant this right; our creator did, just like our rights to speak, worship, publish, and so on. To try to suppress that right – the right to uphold that responsibility to protect ones self, community and family – is as immoral as giving people any other responsibility without rights.

There is no more “right not to get shot” than there is a “right to shoot people” [2].

——

OK, I lied. There’s some politics in here too.

Some people who should know better have been given to stroking their chins and intoning “y’know, the 2nd Amendment exists and is a right – but we’ve rolled back other rights, like the right to own slaves”.

Sure – we’ve changed the Constitution. The 13th Amendment abolished the “right” to own other humans – an institution that was morally repugnant BECAUSE it stripped away the other human’s rights. Basic principle, here: one person’s rights can not infringe other peoples’ rights.

But abolishing the Second Amendment – or more likely, trying to ban a class of firearms – has less in common with the 13th Amendment than the 18th, which banned alcohol. Like Prohibition, the gun grabbers believe that if they just regulate what people can get their hands on, they can repeal human nature itself!

Prohibition made everything that it was trying to help, even worse, and had unintended consequences that were far worse than the original problem (all-time high crime rates, ballooning government spending, contempt for the law).

Naturally, this’ll be different.

Anyway – you don’t, ever, get more freedom by taking other peoples’ freedom away.

[1] although don’t give the Saint Paul DFL any ideas

[2] other than in self-defense, naturally

One For Your Mental Library

I commend this article – Why I “Need” An AR15″, from the left-leaning “Medium”, by apparently left-leaning writer Jon Stokes – to all of you who have an interest in the Second Amendment, pro or con.

Those of you who oppose the Second Amendment – or even just “assault weapons” – should read it to unlearn some of the complete fabulism that a sloppy and incurious (at best) media has brought to the subject.

Those of you who support the Second Amendment can fill in your intellectual war chest with some new arguments; as, indeed, I did.

For that matter, the disclaimer at the beginning is pure gold:

some 5 million Americans have decided that they do, in fact, “need” an AR-15. Are all of these people bloodthirsty savages? Delusional survivalists? Military fetishists? Insecure men with tiny… hands?

If you’re prepared to answer ‘yes’ to all of the above and consider the case closed, then please move on and don’t read anymore. This article isn’t my attempt to justify anything to you — it’s not a defense of what’s in my gun safe or of the AR-15 itself. If, for you, my AR-15 ownership is prima facie evidence of my mental instability, sexual inadequacy, lack of a conscience, or what-have-you, then I honestly don’t care what you think about this issue. You can go back to broadcasting your own moral superiority on social media, and I can go back to tuning you out until your rage therapy session is over.

(Nota bene: While my comment section is intended to be a vibrant, diverse conversation reflecting many points of view, comments I deem to reflect the point of view in the second-to-last sentence – AKA “stupid” comments – will be deleted without fanfare.  Disagree with me all you want.  Do it stupidly in almost every other post on this blog, past, present or future.   But not here.   That is all).

Worth a read.

Lie First, Lie Always: Audio Carnage

Andrew Rothman of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance was apparently on WCCO yesterday.  “Protect” MN put out an email blast for its badly-informed chanting point bots to call in – which I doubt worked especially well.

StraightOuttaFacts

I was extraordinarily busy over the weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to listen.

But “Protect” MN’s email blasts are always low entertainment (emphasis added):

Dear Heinrich

Mr. Rothman is one of the most vorciferous

advocates for the gun lobby in our state.

And Nancy Nord Bence is one of the most vociferously bad spellers in Minnesota public life.

He makes his living teaching Permit to Carry classes and representing the most extreme views of the NRA at the Capital

No.  No, he does not.  He earns his living in a day job like the rest of us.

This is the level of accuracy one expects from “Protect” MN.

I may just listen to the podcast for the carnage.

If You’re Looking To Get Your Carry Permit…

…or are coming up for renewal, this is gonna be fun.

GOCRA is doing a fundraiser tomorrow – a Carry Permit training class conducted by Professor Joe Olson, the guy who wrote Minnesota’s carry permit law.

You will get, officially, the very best legal training on carry permit laws available – straight from the metaphorical horse’s mouth.

Proceeds go to the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance – the people who’ve pretty much single-handedly beaten the orcs in Minnesota for the past three decades.

Oh, yeah – registration ends today!  Get on it!

The Dreamiscle Ghouls

Today’s the day all the gun-grabbers have planned for their big…day.  They’ll be having their little events, wearing their orange t-shirts, looking a little bit like human Dreamsicles.  And they’ll be marching their marches, doing their speeches, yadda yadda.   I wouldn’t be surprised if the huge papier-mache heads turned up.

To pimp the event, The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence sent this out yesterday:

Dear Heinrich,
According to the Star Tribune, “In the first five months of 2016, 123 people have been shot in Minneapolis–97 of them on the North Side–compared with 65 during the same period last year. At the current pace, north Minneapolis will eclipse last year’s total of gunshot victims by late September.”

Let’s let that sink in.

At a time when Minnesota’s murder rate outside North Minneapolis has sunk to levels half that of Norway, and competitive with the rural west, the North Side is turning into Beirut.

Could we perhaps have a crime problem?

Why, of course we do.  Seems like common sense, doesn’t it?

What’s to be done about escalating gun violence in the urban core? How are we to protect the families and children living in communities where flying bullets and wailing sirens are becoming ever more commonplace?
There has been a lot of finger pointing: at the gangs, at the police, at the legislature. As I stated in a letter published in the Star Tribune yesterday, the problem is multi-faceted and requires a multi-faceted response.

That sounds almost reasonable!   Of course the problem is “multi-faceted”.  Everyone knows this.

And in fact, for a brief, shining moment, Rev. Nord Bence almost sounds like she’s aiming for “reasonable”.   She comes sooooo close…:

And everyone who understands that we can protect gun rights…

…before making the inevitable detour into loopdieland:

…without handing over our right to live in safe communities to the gun lobby, and that common sense gun regulation is absolutely necessary and long overdue, and that what is really lacking is not the knowledge of how to solve the problem of gun violence, but the courage to do so.

And right there, my bemusement and, let’s be honest, mild mockery turned into toxic disgust.  Behind that Dreamsicle Orange is a toxic hatred.

People are dying.   Children are afraid to play outside.  Near North is a shooting gallery.

And after disclaiming “finger pointing” at gangs, cops or politics,  The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence wants to blame it on “the gun lobby?”

What she’s saying is “people – mostly (but far from all) who live in places where the crime rates are plummeting as the number of legal gun owners soars – standing up for their Second Amendment rights is what is killing people in North Minneapolis”.  

The Rev. Nord Bence is using those bleeding, broken, largely black bodies to take a smug, dim whack at the “gun lobby” – which, in Minnesota, is “Minnesotans”.  

In her own way, The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence may be an even more toxic, irrational figure than Heather Martens; behind Heather Martens’ comical uninfored bumbling was a non-profiteer who really didn’t know what she was doing;  behind the Reverend Nord Bence’s ELCA hair and veneer of reason is toxic bigotry.

 

Like Protesting, But For Upper-Middle-Class, Kenwood/Crocus Hill Matrons

I made it down to the Senate Legislative Office Building – AKA the Tom Bakk Mahal – at 7AM this morning for the big Michael Bloomberg pep rally.

As usual, the Real Americans were out on the street at 7AM on the button.

As of 7:11AM – twenty minutes before the doors opened – there were five criminal-protection advocates, and over two dozen Human Rights supporters.

The Human Rights groups were there, showing a little Minnesota hospitality, distributing coffee and donuts to the assembled crowd, outside and (when the doors opened) in:

img_0200.jpg

Setting up the coffee stand at 7AM. The criminal-safety advocates liked the coffee and donuts as much as the Human Rights supporters.

Soon, the doors opened, and the lines formed inside to get the 250 tickets.

Of the first 50 or so people in the line, probably 3/4 were maroon-shirt-wearing Human Rights advocates. The criminal-safety advocates came dribbling in after 8AM, presumably after their sustainable yoga classes.

And it was kinda funny.

As we noted yesterday, this whole event – “hearings” called by Senator Ron “I Went To Harvard, You Know…” Latz in “support” of bills that can not go forward, because the committee deadline was several weeks ago – is a sham.  It’s a fake hearing.  It’s a pep rally for the Bloombergs, held up until late April because Bloomberg had to focus their money and time on states where they have a chance of affecting policy, few as they may be.  Minnesota is waaaaay down the list.

And I had a few observations.

“Turnout”:  As I noted the other day, Senator Latz scheduled this meaningless hearing at 8:30 AM on a Tuesday for a reason; he knows that Minnesota’s gun owners have jobs, kids, families and lives, and all of them need attention at 8:30 on Tuesday morning.

And that’s who turned out; about 80 working, middle-class Minnesotans – blue-collar, white collar, technical people, businesspeople, men, women.  Regular folks.

On the other hand, the gun-grabbers who showed up this morning fit two basic descriptions:

  1. Non-profit employees and other people being paid to be there
  2. Retired or semi-retired upper-middle-class white liberals with that “Volvo-driving Saint Olaf alumni ELCA church member from Crocus Hill / Kenwood / Linden Hills” vibe about them.

Why bring it up?  Because the  battle over guns is a battle between classes; between the “let me take care of myself and my family” class and the “you will take the rights we grant you and you will like it” class.

The criminal-safety supporters were handing out little “Moms Want Action” stickers. By the way – just try to buy a “Moms Want Action” T-Shirt, anywhere. While GOCRA hands out the maroon shirts to anyone for any kind of donation, or even no donation at all, the Moms pretty much vet applications for their t-shirts. They literally keep a database of Human Rights activists to not sell to. These two ladies, by the way, are right about the middle of the Moms’ demographic.

And the “Crowds?”   That was the interesting part.

This is the criminal-safety crowd’s “Lobbying Day” – the day they try to turn out their full force to descend on the Capitol.  By my count, they managed maybe 70-80.

Now – even though today’s bills don’t matter, and it wasn’t the Human Rights community’s lobbying day (we wrote about that about six weeks ago – GOCRA turned out two hundred for Gun Owners Lobbying Day last March) – which is kind of hilarious, “lobbying” when the committee deadline has passed – and it was a work day, the good guys, the Human Rights advocates, turned out about the same number of people.

On a workday.

For a meaningless hearing and a ridiculous farce of a Bloomberg-paid event.

Of course, had it mattered – like Michael Paymar’s gun grab bills three years ago – the good guys would have had 600 maroon shirts on the scene from 8AM ’til midnight.  Every time.

Who’s got the momentum?

Postshriek:  I had to leave before the hearings started; unlike most of the criminal-safety advocates, I have a day job with some actual non-political demands.

As I was walking out the door, I was on the cell phone with a friend who was asking about the event.  I saw a woman – sixty-ish, with a face that had not a single laugh-line in evidence, but plenty of frown lines and scowl lines, if you catch my drift.   She was carrying an anti-gun protest sign.

I held the door for her, as I described the crowd in my private phone conversatoin, in terms that expressed a little disbelief that this was the best the criminal-safety groups could manage.

The woman turned to me and said, uncomfortably loudly, “thanks for laughing at us!”

Somewhat non-plussed (and trying to multitask), I responded “you’re welcome”.

I mean, what was I supposed to say?

The Slow Advance Of Progress

Last week, Mississippi became the ninth “Constitutional Carry” state – allowing any citizen who is legally entitled to carry a gun to carry, without need for a state permit (which was the system in Minnesota until 1974, by the way).

And in the wake of that move, North Dakota legislators sound like they’re maneuvering to make the state the tenth state to not require law-abiding citizens to jump through hoops to exercise their Constitutional rights.

Rob Port:

I spoke with Becker about the legislation last night, and he said it’s an important issue for our state.

“A Constitutional Carry law removes the restrictions that are an impediment to ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed’ clearly stated in the Second Amendment,” he told me.

If Constitutional Carry passes, and when – not if – it is a complete success, it will be much harder for Minnesota’s pro-dictatorship groups (ProtectMN, Moms Want Action, Everytown For Big Brother) to yap about it.

 

A Tale Of Two Rallies

Yesterday was Minnesota Gun Owners Lobbying Day – where Real Minnesotans came together to lobby their legislators to pass Second-Amendment-friendly legislation, and shun the stupid bills that Michael Bloomberg is paying for.

And since the legislature was busy talking about all the bills they were introducing, the other side – to the extent you could call it that – was also at the Capitol.

Let’s compare and contrast.

The Herd:  Here is the “group” from the pro-slavery group “Moms Want Action”.  12795444_968288993264081_1091895865801671749_n

Count ’em.   That’s 26 people.  And most of them were being  paid, directly (DFL pols, people on the Bloomberg payroll) or indirectly (cops representing the Police Chiefs Assocation) to be there.

If one-third of the people in that photo above were not present for vocational reasons, and being compensated in some way for their time, I’d be amazed.

In other words, at the most Moms Want Action drew eight “activists”.  And that’s being generous.

10557737_1307821325898351_1701097658400438802_o

Drone photo courtesy Dustin Doyle

The Pack: Meanwhile at the foot of the Capitol Mall, there was a different crowd – distinguisted by being an actual crowd.  It was GOCRA’s “MNGOLD” group – or as the sensible refer to them, the “Real Americans”.
1078558_968289009930746_361960396492997776_oI was proud and honored, by the way, to have been invited to be the Master of Ceremonies.   We were joined by an array of speakers, each of them authorities in their area of the issue; Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt (who pledged a lonely death for all of Bloomberg’s bills this session), Oleg Volk (who talked about life without freedom in his native USSR), Rep. Jim Nash, a second-Amendment leader in the House, Professor Joe Olson, the longtime leader of GOCRA, as well as GOCRA president Andrew Rothman and Rep. Tony Cornish, who noted “a bill won’t get passed if it never comes up for a hearing” – which, in his committee, none ever will.

I counted about 170 people – mostly younger, almost exclusively working people, outdoors in temperatures that hovered below 40 degrees as the rally started,  taking a few hours off from their mostly private-sector jobs to come and fight for freedom; most of the crowd, clad in their maroon GOCRA t-shirts, went straight in to the Capitol to buttonhole their legislators and let them know the votes they expected (and to thank the good ones for the pro-freedom votes they made, if applicable).

And not a single one of them was there because it was their job (other than the state’s NRA rep).

That is, conservatively (how else) about seven times the crowd of unemployed/underemployed wannabe social justice warriors and other layabouts that came out to work toward your enslavement.  Or more like 20:1, if you just count people there voluntarily.

If it’d been a Saturday – or a vital hearing – the odds would have been 2-3 times as strongly in the Real Americans’ favor.

Welcome to hell, pro-slavery activists.

High Noon. Today.

Come on down to the Capitol (lower mall) today at noon for Minnesota Gun Owners Lobbying Day.

There’ll be a few speakers – I’m MCing – but the important part is each of you.  The whole idea is this; we, the people, are going to head into the Capitol and lobby our legislators to support good gun bills, and oppose the stupid ones.

This has a huge effect on the legislature.  Having hundreds of the good guys in their maroon Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) T-shirts, all over the place really starts a few of ’em thinking (especially when they compare the crowds to the pathetic drizzle of nattering crones who show up for ProtectMN, Code Pink and Moms Want Action rallies).

So I do hope to see you down there.

High noon!

TANGENTIAL QUESTION:  I wonder how much street crime there’ll be around this rally?