Lie First, Lie Always: Delusions Of Adequacy

It’s been a frustrating week to be a Real American in Minnesota – an American who believes that law-abiding citizens should have more rights in the eyes of the law than criminals.

More on that tomorrow on the show.  Oh, yes – the show will fairly crackle with rage.

But there’s some comic relief.  Grim comic relief, under the circumstances, but relief nonetheless.

She Who Has Never Made  A Single Substantial, Original, True Statement About The Issue:  It’s been interesting seeing what the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence has rattling around her little ELCA-coiffed noggin.  This was in her email blast yesterday (emphasis added to highlight particularly comic passages by me):

I am pleased to announce that the House public safety committee omnibus bill introduced today in committee does NOT contain the Permitless Carry or Stand Your Ground bills! That was the goal of our Cure Gun Violence lobby day and rally on Tuesday—and we succeeded!

Make no mistake about it – the criminal-protection, black-victim-disarmament lobby, after spending ten times as much as the Real Americans in this past year for almost no results, obtained a victory of sorts, for now.  But they didn’t win it.   It happened due to nothing they did on their own.   Not one iota of it happened due to anything The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence’s fact-free rambling, the sanctimonious preening of the Dreamsicles, or the trunks full o Jacksons that the Bloomberg lobby spent.

No.  The GOP gave it to them.  They “won” a forfeited game.

Leadership in the Senate, apparently rendered pusillanimous via winning the majority, decided to play “protect the incumbents”, even though it’s three years ’til the election.

House leadership, hearing this, decided to play it “safe” – thus earning themselves a raft of well-deserved and impassioned primary challenges supported by a group of people…

…who, I can tell you right now, are pissed off at having their votes courted, but their policies ignored in the breach.

It was the kind of stupid error that makes being a Republican such a trying thing in this Godforsaken state.   How hard is it to dance with the ones that brung you?

But it wasn’t “Protect” MN’s f****ng win.  Those lumpen fossils and caterwauling shrews dominate their little echo chambers in Crocus Hill and Kenwood, and not a hell of a lot more.

The Lesson:  Even after years of winning, and of beating back serious challenges while in the minority, Real Americans not not relax.  We can not be complacent.  We can not trust the party for which most of us worked our asses off.

Liberal Messaging

On issue after issue after issue, the left’s messaging strategery seems to have changed to “pummel the public with inflammatory, scaremongering lies; the votes of the gullible, the incurious, the demented and the un-bright count the same as the votes of smart people, and are easier to secure”.

Focusing on the 2nd Amendment “debate” – it’s the one I read most constantly – the evergreen example is “Stand Your Ground laws allow people to KILL people because of the way they’re dressed”.

It’s balderdash, as we’ve explained in this space over and over.  The smart people know this.  The dumb people…

…are the intended customer for that particular lie.

With that in mind, New York’s junior machine apparatchik Kirsten Gillibrand has sounded off with a level of perspicacity reminiscent of Betty McCollum:


I was going to say “someone’s been watching too many “Miami Vice” reruns” – but that’d be too charitable.  While most liberals (and some Republicans) start out dumb on the gun issue, and some don’t get smarter (McCollum, ibid), it’s not like these hamsters exist in a vacuum.  It’s not like some NRA lobbyist, somewhere, hasn’t made Senator Gillibrand aware that silencers are far from silent.

Which means one of two things: Sen. Gillibrand is incurious about anything that doesn’t comport with the narrative she’s been given by her superiors, or she doesn’t care, and passing the narrative is the only goal.

I’m inclined to think “b”.

Lie First, Lie Always: The Anti-Gun Amateur Hour

Earlier this morning at the House Public Safety Committee hearings on the “Stand your Ground” billl, a “pro-bill” testifier erupted in a caracature of a pro-Trump, white supremacist tirade; at one point, he reportedly said it was time for gun owners to return to “lynching” people.

Then he got up and walked out.

He’s utterly unknown to Minnesota’s close-knit 2nd Amendment activist community.

The moment I saw the photo (a screen grab from video),  that voice in my head that monitors stereotypes screamed “Carlton graduate and non-profiteer paid to be a false-flagger”.

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.

“He” registered for the event as “Ross Koon”

And, sure enough, searching for “Russ Koon” leads you to a Facebook profile.

And here’s his publicly-visible post:

So he misrepresented himself about being a pro-gunner, and his “testimony” was a “satirical” sham designed to defame people he pretty much hates.

That’s pretty much the whole story, right?


Of course not.  Anti-gun ghoul Joan Peterson tweeted instantly:

Coincidence that the doyenne of Minnesota criminal-safety is right there ready to go with a tweet in support of this bit of “satire?”

But that’s just a clenched old liberal exercising her penchant for overheated hypberbole – right?

Of course not.   Mr. Koons’ pro-criminal-safety pedigree goes back a ways.  Turns out Mr. Koon’s mother is one Mary Koon.  And Mary Koon is a pastor at ultra-liberal Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, and publicly lists as her “likes”…

…Moms Want Action.

(“But” you might say, “that doesn’t make her a member!”.  Perhaps.  On the other hand, it’s pretty much all you need to do to be counted as a member, so we’ll run with it).

So let’s sum it up:

  • The scion of one of Minnesota’s white, privileged “elite” liberal families lied about his personal beliefs, in order to…
  • Slander gun owners in front of the legislature, and did it…
  • …with the obvious, full knowledge of Minnesota’s anti-gun/pro-criminal-safety “elite”.

This was just the most egregious episode in a hearing where the anti-gunners essentially beclowned themselves, treating the hearings like a private flash mob.

Keep up the good work, Reverend Bence!

(Thanks to the crew from MNGOC for all the research on this post)

UPDATE:  From a witness:

He didn’t immediately leave the building. I watched him get hugs and attaboys from several of the anti-gunners present, including the lady in charge of handing out red Everytown shirts.

This was no random happenstance.

Lie First, Lie Always: The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence Can’t Seem To Tell The Truth. Ever.

My first carry permit instructor, the late great Joel Rosenberg, drilled into his students’ heads one key, overarching idea; that shooting in self-defense was, at best, the second-worst possible outcome to an incident.  “You’re setting off a nuclear bomb in your life”, he said.

Shooting in self-defense is fraught with peril, for even the most law-abiding citizen and the most legitimate shoot.

And the criteria for “legitimate shoot” – the use of lethal force in self-defense – are both oppressively vague (in Minnesota) and relatively iron-clad.  To you use lethal force legally in self-defense:

  1. You must not be a willing participant in the incident.   You can’t start a brawl, and then draw your gun when someone pulls a knife.
  2. You must reasonably, immediately fear death or great bodily harm.
  3. The force you use must be reasonable; you can only use it to end the immediate threat to your life.
  4.  You must make a reasonable effort to disengage.  One exception in Minnesota is when you’re in your home – which means “within the walls of your domicile”.

There was a shooting over the weekend in Madelia, Minnesota.  The Strib’s John Reinan was on the hagiography beat (a Strib specialty.  The Southern MN News stuck to the facts.

If I had to guess, bsed on the information we have in front of us right now (and Berg’s 18th Law would tell us that relying on the media for actual information is dodgy at best), I’d suggest that shooting at someone’s car to blow out a tire as they’re fleeing is legal in Texas, but probably a bad move under Minnesota law.   Again, just guessing, and the shooter, David Petterson, is innocent until proven guilty.

But I’m not here to talk about the case, or the media’s reporting of it – not this time.

I’m here to continue my mission of making sure every single sentient Minnesotan knows that “Protect” Minnesota, even more than most criminal-safety groups, are to fact what “Baghdad Bob” was to journalism.

The blood was barely dry before The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence – “P”M’s “executive director” and one of about half a dozen actual members – released her opinion.

“Opinion” is putting it as charitably as ethically possible:

Look!  Boogeymen!:  Nord Bence starts out shaky:

We are already hearing chatter from the gun lobby about how unfair it was for law enforcement to charge David A. Pettersen with second-degree manslaughter and intentional discharge of a firearm in connection with the shooting death of Nicholas T. Embertson in Fieldon Township on Saturday. They are saying that this case demonstrates why the Stand Your Ground bill (HR0238), introduced earlier this session by Rep. Jim Nash of Waconia, should be passed.

Not sure what “Gun Lobby” the Reverend Nord Bence is referring to – neither GOCRA nor MNGOC nor the NRA have publicly opined on the case.  Minnesota Gun Rights is a potemkin organization – a scam, if you will.   They are not “the gun lobby”.

They also don’t know the law much better than Nord Bence; “Stand Your Ground” is useless if you don’t reasonably, immediately fear death or great bodily harm.  Not to do the county attorney’s job, but under Minnesota law, shooting at a fleeing car might not fly in court.

Preacher, Heal Thyself:  The Reverend Nord Bence – like her predecessor, Heather Martens, has yet to make a single, original, substantial, true statement on the issue of guns. I’m not sure she’s “lying” – telling untruths when you don’t know any better is merely ignorance.

But while Nord Bence is a comically inept spokesperson, it’s a good thing she’s got preachin’ to fall back on.  Because she’d make a terrible lawyer:

The Nash Stand Your Ground bill is dangerous for many reasons – not the least being the serious risk it would pose to communities of color and immigrants in our state.

Nord Bence keeps saying this.  I’m not sure she could even tell you why.   I’d guess it’s because one of her superiors in the Criminal Safety movement told her “FEELING THREATENED BY A HOODIE JUSTIFIES MURDER” or some such twaddle.

Which ties into this next bit:

 

But we should not forget that HR0238 would also tie the hands of local law enforcement and obstruct their ability to fulfill their sworn duty to protect the communities they serve.  If it were to pass, almost any shooting could be justified because the shooter “felt threatened,”

And again, as we noted a few weeks back, Nord Bence is either legally illiterate, or lying, or both.   While Minnesota’s self-defense laws are a marvel of unclarity, they are pretty clear on the point that you have to have an immediate fear of death or great bodily harm that you can convince a jury is “reasonable”.

Hoodies don’t count.

Will “teenagers speeding away in a car” pass muster?  I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Pettersen case demonstrates why it is so important that law enforcement personnel retain the right to do their job and determine when charges are warranted.

And Nancy Nord Bence demonstrates why “getting your information from “Protect” Minnesota is actually worse than getting no information at all.

The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight, Part V: Everyone With ELCA Hair Looks The Same

All this week we’ve been talking about “Protect” Minnesota’s press release, a week ago today.

And when I say “talking”, I mean “checking its many false assertions, and mocking it to a fine sheen”.

I – like the release itself – saved the worst for last.

Like Going To Courtney Love For Legal Advice:  We noted yesterday – the Reverend Nord Bence is utterly unclear on how self-defense law works.

In this next bit, she transposes that ignorance onto society at large.   I’m going to add emphasis:

Moreover, the Stand Your Ground bill represents a particular threat to people of color and immigrants, who are often met with suspicion by Minnesotans because they look and dress differently. If it were to pass, almost any shooting could be justified because the shooter “felt threatened,” even if the “threat” was a hoodie or a hijab.

This is a flaming lie.

You can not kill people because they make you nervous. Don’t be a moron.

Nord Bence isn’t the first to use it, of course; when self-defense reform was passed (with a bipartisan majority) in 2012, liberal commentators – from bloggers to Dakota County Prosecutor Jim Backstrom and Chaska police chief Scott Knight – made the same claim; that you could kill someone who “gave you stink-eye” or who “made you feel uncomfortable”.

It’s a lie, of course; “I felt uncomfortable” or “I’m scared of hijabs” is not “reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm.”

And if the legal system started letting people off the hook for shooting people for those reasons, then it really, really wouldn’t be the guns’ fault.

And I can’t prove it, but I suspect Nord Bence knows this; while she eschews discussion with people who actually know the issue, she’s certainly had people try to set her straight.    At any rate, it’s a cynical lie, made in a complete vacuum of truth.  She should be ashamed, and I am looking forward to the chance to tell her to her face.

Already minorities are purchasing more guns than ever before because they feel afraid2;

Well, to be fair, the media did spend an entire election cycle pumping up irrational fear.  And they do have the same legal right to arm themselves that everyone else does.  I encourage law-abiding minorities to avail themselves of their rights (not “privileges”) along with the rest of us.

And for all the media’s manufactured barbering over “Stand Your Ground”, there are two facts they somehow never get around to:

  • “Stand Your Ground” was not a factor in the Zimmerman/Martin case.  Not even a little:   Even the prosecutor admitted that Zimmerman never had a chance to retreat.  The defense never invoked Florida’s “duty to retreat” exemption in Zimmerman’s defense, because he never had to.  It was a non-factor.  It was the media, and liars like The Reverend Nord Bence, who made it an issue.
  • Minorities invoke “Stand Your Ground” laws more often than whites when claiming self-defense:  In the only stats we have on the subject, it turns out that black citizens are twice as likely to invoke Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law, per capita.

passage of this bill could lead to a wholesale arming of communities that feel threatened by it.

Which, I suspect, is the part that bothers Nord Bence and her followers the most.  There’s a reason why their events – every last one – take place in lilywhite places like Eagan, and Burnsville, and Kenwood, and at the south end of the Stone Arch Bridge, and not at Plymouth and Sheridan, after all.

We’re Almost Done!:  Finally:

 And more guns mean more gun violence.3

No, they don’t.

Finally:  We wrap up with the big finish:

Protect Minnesota calls upon all Minnesota citizens—84% of whom support comprehensive background checks to keep firearms out of dangerous hands–to voice their opposition to the passage of these radical bills. We call upon leaders from both parties in the legislature to keep these bills from moving forward.

Every anti-gun legislator outside the metro area has been defeated; ask them how many Minnesotans support background checks?  Support for both bills is bipartisan and spread throughout this state, just like in 2012.

So when The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence says:

Yep, Reverend. Game on indeed. See you at the Capitol. I’ll be the one that’s part of a big freaking crowd of friendly, courteous, hardworking Minnesotans. You’ll be the one mincing about at the head of your pack of shrill husks. Bring the pain, ma’am.

And we call on Gov. Dayton to promise to veto these bills if they pass, confident that he will recognize them as bad for Minnesota and dangerous for Minnesotans.

Yes.

Yes, Governor Dayton.  Please, please please please please please.  I beg of you.

Once again, answer to your party’s lunatic fringe, and veto two bills that will pass with unanimous GOP support, and that of every DFLer who’s more than half an hour from downtown Minneapolis.

Give the GOP a club to use to smack up every DFL representative in the third tier of ‘burbs.  Give the GOP a statewide rallying point against the next DFL candidate for governor.  Turn the masses of shooters out; they tend to dial back the intensity of their activism unless they have something to rally around, more’s the pity, but this will serve nicely.

By all means, follow the advice of a woman who, to be charitable, has just expressed cataclysmic ignorance of every single fact she presented in this Doestoyevskian press release.  Of a woman who, as I’ve shown, is wrong on every single substantive claim she tried to make (and she knows it; it’s why she never, ever faces Human Rights advocates in open debate).

Follow the advice of a woman who might, on a big day, muster 100 middle aged white people with ELCA hair to phumpher and rut about, against the masses who turn out on sub-zero evenings in Saint Paul against her, and routinely melt down the Capitol switchboard, just in time for the gubernatorial campaign.

So yes, Governor Dayton.  Take the advice of the Right Reverend, and sow the wind.  The DFL will reap the whirlwind in 2018.

Sounds like a lovely plan to me!

Or, y’know, just sign the bills, follow the will of the people (who’ve been paying attention), and leave the state a slightly better place, at least in one area.

Your call.


The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight, Part IV: I Don’t Think That Word Means What The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence Thinks It Means

On Tuesday and yesterday, we discussed “Protect” Minnesota’s factually vacuous response to the House’s Constitutional Carry bill – which would allow people who are otherwise entitled to carry firearms to do so without having to jump through hoops.

Today, we’ll shift the focus to “Protect”‘s response to the self-defense reform bill – which The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence refers to as “stand your ground”, because the left and media paid a lot of good money to try to stigmatize that term after the Trayvon Martin episode, of which more later.

Field Marshal Of The Legion Of Invincible Ignorance:  I keep thinking I’ve found the Reverend Nord Bence’s dumbest lie of the lot.  I keep finding worse ones.  But this one may be the bottom of the barrel:

The Stand Your Ground bill (HF0238) would change Minnesota’s existing authorized use of force law by removing the obligation to retreat from danger before using deadly force. If passed, it would be admissible to use deadly force any place and anytime a person subjectively believed their life to be threatened, except against peace officers.

This part is actually true – not that it does Nord Bence’s larger point any good.

The presumption of innocence would be given to the shooter, while burden of proof for prosecution would be with the state. This is the law in Florida that enabled George Zimmerman to get away with the murder of Trayvon Martin.

It’s only two sentences – but they are steeped to saturation in ignorance and untruth.

Reverend: Please read the Fifth Amendment. Get back to us. Thanks.

Read the Fifth Amendment.  The accused always have a presumption of innocence!  The burden of proof is supposed to be with the state!

One wonders if the Reverend truly doesn’t know this – or if she is aiming on purpose for the dumb and illl-informed.

Minnesota currently allows individuals to use deadly force in self-defense, which is appropriate. But it’s an objective standard.

That is 180 degrees removed from correct.  It is subjective!

It’s called the “Reasonable Person” standard; would a “reasonable person” – or 12 of them on a jury, as Joel Rosenberg explained it – believe that you were in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm?   That was a start; those same reasonable people had to believe you also used lethal force appropriately, and weren’t taking part in a fight you were willingly part of.

It’s simple in concept, it’s intensely complicated in court, it’s generally logical, it makes lawyers rich…

…and it’s anything but objective.

You have to be able to show you actually were in danger and that you tried to retreat before resorting to deadly force. This bill removes the obligation to retreat and specifically gives the presumption of innocence to the shooter.

No.  The Constitution does.

The bill merely means that a prosecutor can’t try to hold an arbitrary, subjective definition of “retreating” against someone who is otherwise legitimately defending their life.

This is a major change in our understanding of what it means to defend yourself, a completely subjective standard.

Well, the Reverend Nord Bence is close to a point.  If she and her followers were to learn the current law and what the bill would actually do, it’d be a major change in their understanding, all right.

The Future:  The Reverend Nord Bence asks:

Is that what we want for Minnesota?

You’re a 120 pound woman who works at a shopping mall.  As you walk to your car, a man approaches you, draws a knife, and says “Bitch, get in the car”.  As he steps to grab you, you draw a handgun and shoot him.  He bleeds out as you wait for the police.

A decision you made in a fraction of a second ended one life – perhaps justly – and has just changed yours forever; as the late Joel Rosenberg said, you’ve just dropped a nuclear bomb into your life.

The county attorney will look at the evidence, and weigh it against the statute and, in Minnesota, a lot of case law.

  • Did you legitimately fear death or great bodily harm?  There was a knife, and his statements indicated he was bent on mayhem. Check.
  • Were you a willing participant?  Obviously not.  Surveillance camera footage showed you were clearly accosted.  Check.
  • Did you use appropriate force?   You shot him, he dropped, you ceased fire.  You ended the immediate threat.  Check.
  • Did you make a reasonable effort to retreat?   You were 120 pounds and in reasonable shape.  He was 250 and kind of a slob.  Could you have outrun him, thus avoiding the incident?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But here’s what will happen; a decision that you had to make in a second, in a dark parking lot, under the most stress you will ever feel, will be gone over by someone with a BA in Political Science and a JD, sitting in a warm, well-lit office, protected by deputies with badges and metal detectors and guns, to determine if you tried hard enough, in his utterly subjective opinion, to retreat.   If he decides you did not?  You will go to trial, and spend your life’s savings trying to stay out of jail – not over whether you were reasonably afraid, but over the prosecutor’s opinion of your reflexes.    In the hands of a zealous-enough prosecutor, “duty to retreat” becomes an utterly subjective way of punishing people for otherwise perfectly-legitimate shoots.Like the one we just demonstrated.

That is why we need this law.

Oh, it gets worse still.  More tomorrow.


The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight, Part III: That Golden Ticket!

I’m continuing my five-part series going over “Protect” Minnesota’s press release on the Self-Defense Reform and Constitutional Carry bills, which were introduced last week in the House.

But first, a quick aside.

Records:  While the criminal-safety  movement would like you to think otherwise, gun violence is neither generally random nor unpredictable.  Our violent crime rate – which has been dropping for two decades – is not evenly distributed across the population.

I’m not referring to geography here – although the numbers also manifest geographically.

Ethnicity, either, for those of you who are inclined to see racial dog-whistles in all conservative writing.

But it’s a simple fact that if a person gets to age 21 without a violent felony record – whether they’re from rural Kentucky or downtown Baltimore – the odds are pretty good they will go through their entire life without one.

And the vast, vast majority of firearm crimes involve people with records of violent and serious property crime, either as perps, victims, or both.  It’s exceedingly rare that someone of any race with a  pristine record vis a vis violent and property crime shoots someone.  (Mass shootings are usually an exception – but they are also a different  phenomenon and, notwithstanding the coverage they receive, are vastly rarer.  Also, they are overwhelmingly associated with places where victims are disarmed – but that’s another discussion).

This isn’t a tangent; it’ll come back up.

Clairvoyance?:  Consider the following scenario:

A man walks out of a bank.  He’s carrying a sawed-off shotgun (a violation of federal law) and a bag of cash.

A policeman rolls up.  A policewoman jumps out and, taking cover behind her car, yells “Show me a your carry permit!”

That sounds absurd, doesn’t it?  It is, of course.  There’s a crime underway.  The subject’s paperwork is less relevant than the fact that they reasonably appear to be in the middle of committing a violent felony.

Here’s another scenario; a policeman sees a middle-aged black family man, with his wife and his kids, sitting outside a Dairy Queen across from Lake Josephine, drinking malts and talking about their day.   A passing police officer sees the imprint of the butt of a handgun under the man’s shirt.

It’s possible that the guy is carrying illegally – and the cop may well walk over to ask if the man has a permit (he does) and advise him to tuck in a little to avoid getting ninnies riled up.  But it’s pretty much a fact that middle aged family guys, Tony Soprano notwithstanding, generally aren’t gangsters on the warpath.

This discussion brings us to The Reverend Nord Bence’s next point (with emphasis added by me):

The permitless carry bill also represents a particular threat to law enforcement officers, who cannot possibly discern who is a “good guy with a gun” and who’s a “bad guy with a gun” during the few seconds they would have to respond to a lethal threat.

Um, what now?

Does The Reverend Bence think carry permits are externally visible?

If the officer is facing a lethal threat – an immediate threat to their existence on this planet in this lifetime – permit status is irrelevant.  If you present someone with a legitimate fear of death or great bodily harm, the paperwork is irrelevant.

And not just if you’re a cop.   One of the criteria one must face to justify lethal force in self-defense as a civilian is a reasonable, immediate fear of death or great bodily harm.  If someone is waving a gun, a knife, a machete or a chainsaw at you, and a reasonable person – 12 of them, really – would agree that your life is in danger right now, then the law doesnt’ require  you to be a mind-reader, whether you wear a badge or not.

And if your fear is not reasonable, you are going to be in trouble – as Saint Anthony officer Geronimo Yanez is discovering to his chagrin in court, after allegedly panicking and shooting and killing Philando Castile, who was in fact a good guy with gun, and had a plastic card in his wallet  to prove it.

Yanez might be acquitted – he’s innocent until proven guilty – but it points the the fact that when the Reverend Nord Bence says:

If passed, this bill would force police officers to treat everyone they encounter as armed and dangerous.

…she is, as usual, talking through her ELCA hair.  Cops are always alert for danger, but behavior counts – and the consequences of misreading behavior are serious and irreversible for the shooter, whether it’s a cop or a civilian.  And even more so for the target.

Handicap:  I’ll spot Nord Bence a point here:  I’ll help her explain the point that she apparently can’t.

A carry permit can, in theory, help a cop figure out who is and is not a law-abiding citizen, assuming there isn’t a violent encounter underway – something Nord Bence apparently hasn’t figured out.

Of course, all the information a cop needs to know about a citizen’s legal status is available with a call to their precinct, or a few keystrokes on the computer in their squad car, just as fast as checking the validity of a carry permit.

The Reverend Nord Bence may not know that – which is ignorant – or may know it but be trying to fool the ignorant, which is merely repellent.

It gets worse.


  • Monday:  Game On!
  • Yesterday: Data, Data Everywhere!
  • Today:  That Golden Ticket
  • Thursday:  I Don’t Think That Word Means What The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence Thinks It Means
  • Friday:  Everyone With ELCA Hair Looks The Same

The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight, Part II: Data, Data Everywhere!

All week, we’re going over the “Protect” Minnesota press release from last Friday evening (aka “where politicians take out their trash”).   Because the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence’s work is just too awe-inspiringly bad to tackle in just one post.

Aside:  I can hear you asking already; worse than a Heather Martens piece?

It’s a good question.  The answer is this; point for point, nothing is as factually void as a Heather Martens statement.  And if you let her work in long form, she is capable of packing immense amounts of untruth into a small space.

But pound for pound, the Reverend Nord Bence may have put less fact, less logic and less truth into this press release than any single document in Minnesota history.  It makes Minnesota Progressive Project look like Brittanica.  It’s that bad.

First, Some Background:   Remember what a cesspool of violence Minnesota was in 1973?  When all those otherwise normal, workadaddy, hugamommy people got their hands on guns and, unimpinged by the law, ran out and started killing people?

No?

That’s right.  That’s because it didn’t happen.

And yet, one did not require a permit to carry a firearm, openly or concealed, in Minnesota.  Minnesota didn’t introduce carry permits – the loathsome “May Issue” system the good guys euthanized in 2003 – until 1974.

Which was not long before we started having crime problems in Minnesota.  But correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Next, The Cold Dry Facts:  House File 188, if passed, will allow any citizen who is legally entitled to own and carry firearms to carry them anywhere they’re legally allowed to.  They couldn’t carry them where they’re not legally allowed to – federal facilities, courthouses, schools and places where they’re asked by property owners not to carry.  People who are not legally entitled to carry firearms, due to criminal record or other disqualifying factors, would not.

In other words, law-abiding citizens could exercise their rights without asking government for permission.  Just like their rights to speak, publish, worship, assemble and all the rest.

Exactly as they could before 1974.

Like The Truth, Only The Complete Opposite:  The release starts off with a bang; as caustically cynical a lie as I’ve ever read in print, and I say that neither lightly nor hyperbolically:

The permitless carry bill (HF0188) would invalidate all state laws regarding carrying or possessing weapons in public and authorize anyone to carry a gun without a permit.

This is a lie.

The same people who can’t carry a gun today, can’t carry one under the Constitutional Carry bill. Full stop. Don’t be an idiot.

Anyone who is not entitled to own or carry firearms in Minnesota, will be forbidden to carry guns in Minnesota.

People with felony records?  No carrying for you!

People with many misdemeanor domestic assault violations?  Nope!  Don’t even ask, Chachi!  You’re out!

People who have been determined unable to own firearms, after actual due process?  Nope.  They won’t be able to carry firearms.  At all.  Period.  End of sentence.

And it won’t invalidate law about carrying or handling guns responsibly, in public or private.  The onus will be on the law-abiding gun owner to, well, be law-abiding.

Just as they are today.

Nord Bence actually flirts with fact for a moment:

If this bill were to pass, a permit would be “optional.”

Not if one wished to travel to a state that requires permits.  I’m fairly certain Nord Bence doesn’t know this, which I’ll speculate is why she used the scare quotes.

Unchecked!:  Nord Bence carries on:

Shotguns, rifles, even semi-automatic assault weapons could be carried openly by anyone, without so much as a background check.

Again, untrue

Let’s be honest; the only “background check” that matters is the one the police run when they pull you over.

The federal laws about getting background checks on handguns and “semiautomatic assault weapons” remain unchanged.

Current state laws about rifles and long-barreled shotguns remain unchanged – they need not be registered (and are used in crimes about as often as “Protect” Minnesota says something factual; being long arms, they tend to be a little conspicuous for street crime, and a little inconvenient for crimes of passion).

Which is not to say that people who commit mayhem don’t carry guns.  Clearly, they do.  They just never, ever pay the state $100 and take a background check to do it – because most of the ones who end up committing mayhem with guns couldn’t pass one anyway.

Reverend Non-Sequitur:  Up next, she descends into absurdity (with emphasis added by me):

This bill would prevent local law enforcement from fulfilling their sworn duty to protect the communities they serve. Currently those who want carry permits need to undergo a background check and be approved by law enforcement. According to BCA reports1, between 2005 and 2015, 3,800 Minnesotans were denied the right to carry through this process because of prior violent felony convictions, domestic violence, drug use, violence against police officers, repeated DUI’s, and previous suicidal threats. If the permitless carry bill were to pass today, those 3,800 dangerous individuals would be able to start carrying guns tomorrow.

Uh, no.

If you can’t carry a gun now, the bill won’t change anything. At all.

No, they can not.

People who have violent felony records, and some domestic convictions, can not own, or possess, or be in the same room as, firearms.  Forget about carrying them.    According to several levels of law, state and federal.

People with other behavior – alcohol abuse, drug abuse, violent mental illness – that would otherwise deprive them of the ability to pass a background check, can and do currently have their right to carry – or for that matter, own – guns abridged after due process.

I’ll take the Reverend Nord Bence and her ilk seriously – more seriously than they deserve – for a moment, here; they are of the opinion that making the law-abiding gun owner jump through procedural and financial hoops makes society safer.

It’s a common misconception.

We’ll come back to that tomorrow.


  • Yesterday:  Game On!
  • Today: Data, Data Everywhere!
  • Wednesday:  That Golden Ticket
  • Thursday:  I Don’t Think That Word Means What The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence Thinks It Means
  • Friday:  Everyone With ELCA Hair Looks The Same

The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight: Game On!

In 1987, as a bill that would require the state to issue handgun carry permits to citizens who were not explicitly barred from having them passed a vote in the Florida state legislature, state senator Ron Silver predicted blood in the streets, and said the state would turn into Dodge City.

Silver, being a Democrat of some integrity, admitted several years later he was completely wrong, and that the law was an untrammeled success.

In 2003,  Senator Wes “Lying Sack of Garbage” Skoglund, during the debate on the Minnesota Personal Protection Act (which also instituted “Shall Issue”), said that the law would “allow gang members to get carry permits”.   Which would, I suppose, be true, if you found a gang-banger who was 21 years old and had a clean criminal record, in which case the term you’d be look for is “citizen”.  Anyway – it hasn’t happened.  In 14 years, carry permittees have killed perhaps a half dozen people; in every case but one, it’s been ruled justifiable (and the one exception was someone who shouldn’t have gotten a permit to begin with).

In sort, it wouldn’t be a gun control debate without someone claiming the sky would fall if the law-abiding citizen were able to exercise his or her rights – and a slow walk back five years later as the predictions turned out to be universally false. .

Speaking of universally false, The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence is in the news!  And it almost reads too pat to be good fiction that she does it with a press release that ends with:

We cannot allow the gun-rights fringe to divide our communities, put police at risk, and turn our friendly and forward-looking state into…

Wait for it…

One wonders if she even realizes that the “OK Corral” analogy undercuts her point?

Wait for it…

…the OK Corral.

It never, ever fails, does it?

The Game, It Is On:  Last week, two bills were introduced in the Minnesota state legislature:

  • HF 188, which if enacted would allow any Minnesotan who is not  prohibited from having firearms to carry a firearm without needing to pay for and carry a state permit.  It’s based on the idea that law-abiding citizens shouldn’t have to pay for a state permit to exercise that right.
  • HF 238, which would reform self-defense law by removing the arbitrary and subjective “duty to retreat” from the law on self-defense, as well as codifying the law-abiding citizen’s rights to defend their domicile and property.

In response, “Protect” Minnesota – a group that has for over a decade provided comic relief to Minnesota’s Second Amendment debate  – released a press release on the bills.

They released it at 7:30 PM.  On a Friday night.  The time when most politicians in the know release damaging information – because it’ll be forgotten about by Monday.

And they tried to make up for bad timing with pure volume; unlike most such political press releases, it’s as long as a a Madonna speech, and about as coherent.

The piece isn’t just groaningly, flatulently long; it’s so full of falsehoods – through malice or through incompetence, it matters not – that it really leaves only two possibilities; they really are that badly informed, or they assume that the public is and want to help keep them that way.

At any rate, it’s so bad, I am actually going to break it up into four parts over the rest of the week:

  • Tomorrow: Data, Data Everywhere!
  • Wednesday:  That Golden Ticket
  • Thursday:  I Don’t Think That Word Means What The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence Thinks It Means
  • Friday:  Everyone With ELCA Hair Looks The Same

So tune in every day over lunch for something that “Protect” Minnesota won’t give you; facts.  And the truth.

Lie First, Lie Always: Non-Sequitur Violence

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

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

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

And it starts off with a local example:

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

Let’s stop right there.

Who killed Chase Passauer?  Was Ryan Peterson:

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

We’ll come back to that.

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

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

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

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

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

So the alternative is…what?

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

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

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

…but also the perp:

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

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

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

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

Any guesses?

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

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

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

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

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

Ever.

Of course, that could happen.

But as to “universal background checks?”

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

Which takes us back to Chase Passauer.

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

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

Who would not have taken a background check.

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

Lie First, Lie Always: Ninnies Gonna Ninny

Guns are a public health crisis.

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

But there is a public health problem related to guns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that shoulda been it.  Right?

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

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

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

And he was displeased:

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

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

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

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

And that’s where things sat for a while.

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

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

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

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-11-08-36-am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So many questions, Ms. Frank.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned.

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

Continue reading

Lie First, Lie Always: Authoritarians For “Liberty”

One of the things that always annoyed me about the Libertarian Party was its’ members predilection for purity-testing each other to a fine sheen, to the point where nobody could ever really get supported for anything.

The good news?  Apparently they’re not doing that anymore.

The bad news?  We know this because they’ve apparently endorsed a non-Libertarian for office.

Democrat “Libertarian” Veep nominee Bill Weld is as clueless about firearms as any NPR reporter.

The “clueless” is so strong, I won’t bother fisking it.  I’ll just let the statement sit in its full glory, and wait ’til the footnotes:

“The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle; 1 the problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon, 2 and those are independent criminal offenses, 3” Weld said. “That is when they become, essentially a weapon of mass destruction. 4 The problem with handguns probably is even worse than the problem of the AR15.” 5

Weld also said he believed no one on a terrorist watch list should be allowed to purchase guns, even though, as the Huffington Post pointed out, it isn’t too hard for an innocent person to end up on the list.

Indeed, that’s the point – which Weld would know, if he were a Libertarian.

Footnotes:

1:  The “standard military rifle” hasn’t been “five shots” since about 1942.

2: If you “remove the pin”, it becomes a club.

3: No, it becomes zero offenses; adding a larger magazine isn’t a crime (except in places like DC, Chicago, California and Massachusetts (unless you’re Brian Gregory)), and “taking out the pin” is called “Field stripping and cleaning”.  Converting a gun to full automatic is a federal felony – but Weld is not curious enough to know that’s practically impossible with a garden-variety AR15.  Not that I’d know, because guns scare me.

4:  No, they do not become nuclear, biological, chemical or high-explosive weapons.  They become rifles that are easy to use, don’t jam, and don’t run out of bullets before the bad guy runs out of attack.

5:  Well, duh.  Handguns kill two orders of magnitude more people than “assault weapons”.  Or, put correctly, criminals use handguns to murder two orders of magnitude more people – disproportionally brown or black, most of them in Democrat cities.

Lie First, Lie Always: I’m Shocked. Shocked, I Tell You

“Why are you gun fondlers so paranoid”, the snarky but uninformed “gun safety” parrots chant in smug unison.  “Why do you oppose universal background checks?”

“It’s ‘Human Rights Activist’, you closet commie” I gently correct them.  “And it’s because while the same criminals who aren’t going through background checks now aren’t going to start when they become ‘universal’, it will be used to compile a list of gun owners”.

“Pshaw”, they say, which surprises me, since I haven’t heard the word “pshaw” since I watched a Ma and Pa Kettle short when I was a little kid.  “That’s just paranoid”.

And I respond “As usual, at best, you’re uninformed, and at worst, you’re lying“.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the go-to federal oversight agency, conducted an audit of ATF and found it does not remove certain identifiable information, despite the law explicitly mandating it do so. GAO conducted reviews for four data systems, and concluded at least two of ATF’s systems violated official protocols.

One of the data-collecting systems called Multiple Sales (MS) requires that multiple firearms purchased at once must be reported to ATF by the federal firearms licensee (FFL). ATF policy requires that the bureau internally removes particular data from multiple gun sales reports after two years if the firearm has not been traced to criminal activity. GAO found that ATF does not adhere to its own policy. In fact, “until May 2016, MS contained over 10,000 names that were not consistently deleted within the required 2 years.”

Every bit of information you give government gives government an opportunity to use it against you.

Lie First, Lie Always: Our Loathsome Fellow Citizens

“The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.
— Often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, possibly apocryphally.

Deterrence:  America is the result of a revolution – not an ideological or market revolution, but a military revolt against what the colonists (or at least the ones who ended up winning) considered a hostile occupying power.

Whether or not the Second Amendment was specifically intended to allow Americans to rebel against a future tyranny is the subject of any number of debates by both the informed and the less-so; in the seminal Yale Law Review article “The Embarassing Second Amendment”, Sanford Levinson notes that in Professor T. Cooley’s ” T. Cooley, The General Principles of Constitutional Law in The United States of America 298 (3d ed. 1898), that the thinking among scholars in the nineteenth century was “Should the contingency ever arise when it would be necessary for the people to make use of the arms in their hands for the protection of constitutional liberty, the proceeding, so far from being revolutionary, would be in strict accord with popular right and duty.”

The notion that The People have a right to rebel against a government that becomes unjust and tyrannical is instituted in a number of state constitutions:  New Hampshire, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Carolina and most notably Texas all consider the right to rebel important enough to bake into the foundation of their state government.

Beyond that?  The constitutions of Germany, Greece, and the Czech and Slovak Republics – all of whom have experience with real live tyranny within living memory – all recognize a human right to fight against tyranny.

And if that’s not enough for you?  That noted favorite of conservatives, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares:

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by rule of law.

Which is an oblique way of recognizing the justice of armed uprising against tyrants.

So it’s not like the idea that free people have the right to remain free, even if they have to convince their idiot government to stay that way, is a product of the American lunatic fringe.

Of course, rebellion against a civil government is a daunting task, not for the faint of heart.  And it’s certainly not to be undertaken trivially.   To paraphrase the computer in War Games, the only way to “win” a rebellion is to never really have to fight it with force of arms.

Fortunately, our founding fathers were smart enough to enact a little poison pill to deter tyranny.

The Second Amendment.

The idea, and ideal, being that a government that knew a lapse into tyranny could be answered by an armed, motivated people, was built into the Constitution, not a battle plan for future citizens, but as a deterrent to anyone with bright ideas of squashing the rest of the freedoms granted us all by our creator.

And so far it – the deterrent – has worked.

Useless Idiots:  The National Rifle Association, since its rise as a political organization forty years ago, has embraced the idea that the Second Amendment deters tyranny.

And key to any deterrent is the certain knowledge among those to be deterred that the threat is not idle.   If you buy a pit bull to guard your house, but advertise that he’s always muzzled, meaning his bark will be all the dog has going for him?  His value as a deterrent is limited.

So the NRA – like most gun-owning, politically-active Americans – is not slavering away for an armed revolt.  War is, as Sherman said, hell.  It hurts people and breaks things.

Long story short:  deterrence.  Not war.

Someone needs to tell it to the precious snowflake who wrote this excrescent bit of bile for the HuffPo:

 The gun lobby has long preached armed insurrectionism as a panacea for those facing oppression.

The “writer” – one Ladd Everett, director of some fragrant non-profit -states this repeatedly as settled fact.   The conflates “deterrence” with “wishing for violence”.  It’s dishonest…

…but it’s the gun control movement we’re talking about here; “dishonesty” is “dog licks dog”.

When Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire on Dallas law enforcement officers during a Black Lives Matter protest on Thursday night, killing five and injuring seven others, he was fighting what he perceived as government oppression with a method that has long been advocated by the National Rifle Association and gun lobby: force of arms.

Let me see if I can get this straight:

  • When a “Black Lives Matter” protest chants “Pigs like bacon, fry ’em in a pan”, theatrically threatening death to cops,  it’s the organic rhetorical uprising of the black community.
  • But when one of them actually does it, it’s the NRA’s fault?

It doesn’t really add up.

The NRA has long disseminated propaganda telling African-Americans that gun control is “racist” and that they must prepare for war with their own government in order to truly be free. For example, current NRA board member (and past president) David Keene has claimed that “the initial wave of [gun control] was instituted after the Civil War to deny blacks the ability to defend themselves.”

Keene claimed it – because it’s true.  After the Civil War, Klan-dominated southern governments tried to bar black freedmen from having guns; they were shooting up too many Klan attacks.  It helped lead to the “Equal Protection” clause of the 14th Amendment.

In 2013, NRA favorite Glenn Beck was the featured speaker at their annual meeting, where he told those in attendance that “universal access to firearms is indistinguishable from Emancipation.”

And while I’m not a huge Beck fan, he was right.  The ability to protect one’s self, property, family, community and democracy is one of the things that distinguishes a citizen – one who actively participates in governing himself and his society – from a subject, a serf, a fyrd, a slave.

If one is not armed, one’s freedom exists only through the beneficence of those who are.

In Dallas, the NRA’s prescription for oppressed minorities was fully realized. According to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, at least 20 people showed up to the rally on July 7 openly carrying rifles and wearing “protective gear,” making a not so-subtle threat of violence against a government which they believe has overstepped its bounds in terms of policing.

So let’s get this straight; when a group of protesters chants “Pigs are like bacon; fry ’em in a pan!” to indicate to the police that they’re angry enough with police abuse to threaten death, it’s the apogee of free speech.  When one of those same (?) people shows up showing that he has the means, as a free citizen, to make it stick, suddenly it’s wrong?

So “freedom” only matters when it has no consequences?

Micah Xavier Johnson then made good on that threat, destroying at least six families in the process.

Well, no.  The open-carriers threatened nobody.  They exercised their constitutional and legal rights.  Micah Jackson violated the rights of others – of a whole city – in the most profound way possible, by doing something none of the other shooters did.

Of course, getting the distintion would imply that Ladd Everett “gets” civil rights.

He doesn’t.  He is a propaganda mouthpiece.

How do I know?  This next bit is the tell:

Let’s keep in mind that there is nothing principled about the NRA’s call for black Americans to arm themselves. For them, it is entirely about profit motive. They understand that fear sells guns, and they have intimate financial ties to the gun industry. Their priority is to push product.

The whole “NRA is about profit” line showcases the gun controllers’ logical vacuity.    Americans have been armed well enough to deter tyranny since our founding.  Americans have had a (legtimate) disdain for tyranny since before even that.    That is the status quo, among Americans who actually think about the nature of government and man (who are fairly common between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre, though vanishingly rare outside those borders).

The “fear” – that the status quo will be changed – which drives the current astronomical gun sales and three-shift gun production is entirely a product of the left’s eliminationist hysteria about guns.

So you will likely continue to see insurrectionist appeals and transparent efforts to market firearms to urban youth like the NRA’s “Noir” show.

Aaaaand the racism.

The NRA makes no more “insurrectionist appeal” than do six state and four national Constitutions, and the United Nations.

It’s the people for whom Ladd Everett is a useful idiot that are prone to the violence.

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.

Lie First, Lie Always: And Out Come The Ghouls

The last spent cartridge casing had barely pinged off the ground when the ghouls of Minnesota’s “Safe Criminals” movement came streaking out of the shadows to rip the bloody shirts off the (ahem) victims of an ISIS terror attack to try to jam their agenda down our throats.

Kim Norton – fresh from utter failure in the legislature, and apparently on her way to a fat, cushy job with a pro-murderer-safety non-profit:

Theatrical deep breath, here.

OK.  From the top:

  • Universal Background Checks:  For whatever reason, notwithstanding the fact that Omar Mateen had been under investigation for his terrorist sympathies and was famously unstable, Mateen didn’t come up on any background checks.  Why?  Bad reporting?  Official political correctness?  Let’s assume both.  Either way – while “universal background checks” would have made owning a gun harder for any of Mateen’s potential victims, it would have done nothing to stop him.
  • Rethink Carry Laws:  OK, let’s think.  Had one single gay man in that bar – a “gun free zone”, as usual – had a gun, it might have changed the course of events (as it does more often than our disinformed, and sometimes disinforming, media believes).  Of course, carrying a gun in a bar is a misdemeanor in Florida, which seems not to have been much of a deterrent to Mateen.  So yes, maybe it’s time to “rethink” the law to de-stigmatize the law-abiding citizen.
  • Not “normalizing carrying”:  Ever notice how places where law-abiding citizens normally carry are almost never the target of mass shootings or terror attacks?  And when they are, the attacks are more likely to end with dead shooters and terrorists?

So yes, Kim Norton – take a moment to stop gorging yourself on the blood of innocent victims and do some re-thinking.   Please.

Of course, Kim Norton is a gun-grabbing ninny because she gets paid for it (or will be, soon).    Rabbi Latz – apparently the brother of Senator Ron “I Went To Harvard, Don’t You Know” Latz – tweeted in response to a local human rights advocate who pointed out exactly what I pointed out to Rep. Norton, above:RabbiLatz

That Latz, rabbi at a “progressive” congregation in Saint Louis Park (who was in the process of dislocating his spine while bending over backwards to pin this atrocity on gun owners, rather than an ISIS terrorist) is in mid “smug response” with this tweet is the sort of inevitability that you learn to accept when dealing with orcs and the gun issue.

That a liberal rabbi, in the midst of a smug, know-nothing dismissal, tries to invoke the dissenter’s soul is purely loathsome.  The “Rabbi” is a blot on his calling.

Later, when I called him on his lack of command of the facts, he sniveled:

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 7.14.03 AM

“Rabbi” Latz is a thug and a wanna-be bully for abusing his ecclesiastical position to support a political agenda (an agenda I believe, and can prove, to be morally retarded, but that’s really irrelevant to the issue at hand – thuggish bulliness).   I may not “have all the answers” – but despite the fact that he has none, he not only trumpets his ignorance, but wraps it in unearned self-righteousness.

There may be few people in politics I respect less than “progressive” clergy.

200 Dreamsicles – And Not One Criminal

I attended not one, but two gun-grabber “rallies” yesterday – June 2, which the gun grabbers are trying to turn into a national event.  It’s the birthday of the girl who sang at Obama’s first inauguration – and then was killed weeks later.

Killed by whom?  How?

Well, that never popped up at any of the rallies.

More on that later.

The Mean, Leafy, Bucolic Streets Of Eagan:  I went to the first rally at Blackhawk park – in the midst of a particularly tony,well-to-to, violence-free  subdivision in Eagan,

30-odd very south-suburban looking people showed up – 8 or nine of them kids.

They did have a whole bunch of professionally-printed banners…

Although the person in charge of bringing the hot dog buns was half an hour late.

The speakers – a couple of younger, non-profit-y looking women, one of whom identified herself as the “south suburban director” for Moms Want Action, spoke.  Or at least recited some anti-gun chanting points (mostly “cities that enact gun control get results!”, and “background checks would prevent suicide” and the like).

Anna Olson – I think I got the name right – the South Metro Coordinator for Moms Want Action.

“We are definitely part of a huge movement”, one of the non-profit-y-looking dreamsicle girls said to the sparse crowd.

Miss Non-Profit pointed out what a number of shooters had suspected; the orange shirt theme – which served to make everyone present look like Dreamsicles – is intentionally a play on “Blaze orange”, the hunter’s color that says “don’t shoot me”.  She also noted that the Dreamsicle Festival had been endorsed by Governor Flint-Smith Dayton, Mayors Coleman and Hodges…and the mayor of Eagan.

Another man – he didn’t speak very loudly, and so I suspect his name is not “Bob Mucus”, although as God is my witness that’s what it sounded like – gave the keynote speech.

Bob…somebody or other.

Mr…er, Bob, introduced himself as a man who’d spent his life around guns; not only a hunter, but someone who was “qualified to carry a gun in the cockpit” for some reason.

He also introduced himself himself as someone who had someone in his life who had “died at the hands of a gun”.  His sister – a 46 year old divorced mother of four who worked as a nurse at an inner-city hospital, was apparently shot by a gun as she was getting out of a car.  He also noted two junior high classmates – one who’d been murdered, and one who’d commited suicide.  Apparently both by guns that had nobody controlling them.  (He also noted that “91% of people want background checks”).

I was, indeed, tempted – as, no doubt, many of you are now – to ask “so, did they ever find a perp?  Did he/she have a criminal record?  Did they ever ascertain a motive?” but it didn’t seem like the time of the place.

While no state legislators attended, Representative Masin’s campaign manager appeared; after introducing herself as Representative Masin’s campaign manager, in the segment of the presentation apparently reserved for legislators, she noted that she didn’t speak for Rep. Masin, whose campaign manger she was.  She recited the shopworn myth that “gun violence” rates are higher in rural western states due to more suicides.

About this time, I wanted to get up and ask “So why are you having this ‘rally’ here, rather than on the North Side, Dayton’s Bluff or along University Avenue?”

But I left.  I’m not going to say these people live in a world of their own – but I could have sworn I saw, sitting on a branch of a nearby tree, a grin, not attached to any sort of cat at all.

Down By The River, I…Well, You Know:  Next, I drove to the mean streets of North Minneapolis.

Not an orange shirt in sight.

So I checked my phone – and found that the Dreamsicle Rally was being held at the south end of the Stone Arch Bridge.  Alongside the Guthrie, the Mill City Museum, the Whitney Hotel, and blocks of upper-middle-class condos.

You count ’em. 150? 200? GOCRA turns out 2-3 times this many on a freezing January night for legislative hearings, without breaking a sweat.

I caught the end of what looked like Betsy Hodges’ speech – which was, point for point, the same speech that the non-profity-looking women in Eagan had given.

As in, they’d memorized the same chanting points from New York, down to the inflection.

Coverage. Probably the Uptake, or perhaps Moms Want Action’s own video stream. Not sure. All I know is, there’s a reason they were getting only close, tight shots.

If you follow this subject, you know that gun grabbers rarely know the subject all that well.  Councilman Frey shouted “we’re not talking about taking grandpa’s hunting rifle – we’re talking about background checks – because nobody needs to unload 30 rounds before they reload!”

But that had nothing on the schizophrenia of the City Council’s resolution – which, on the one hand, had plenty of moderate-ish sounding language about the Second Amendment being a right (which drew a few boos, including from the dreamsicles I was standing next to), but on the other hand “gun violence” being a “public health issue”.

Then there was a proclamation from Governor Flint Smith Dayton declaring June 2 something or another, and declaring that the 35W bridge would be Dreamsicle Orange:

13322115_10153700848860642_536307599283901547_n

“What can we do about violence in North Minneapolis?” “Change the light-bulb filters on the 35W bridge?” “Booyah! You’re a genius!”

No word on whether the Lowry Bridge would be lit up orange, I thought as I left.

Absent:  Two things the two rallies had in common?

Almost every single chanting point.  Seriously – it was like they were reading off the same teleprompter.

And in no rally, ever, not once, was a perpetrator mentioned.  All of the guns used in all of the violence were apparently self-animated!

You have never heard a single gun-grabber, not a single dreamsicle, refer to a murderer (with the occasional exception of Adam Lanza or Jared Loughner or the Boulder guy, who were motivated by insanity rather than being just the garden-variety criminals that commit 90% of this nation’s homicides.

One other thing you never heard?

“Hey – let’s take this to North Minneapolis!”.

I wonder why?

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.

 

Lie First, Lie Always: Ron Latz’s Made-Up “Crisis”

Tuesday, while participating in a dog and pony show for a Gabby Giffords visit to support gun grab legislation that was dead weeks ago in the legislature, Ron “I Went To Harvard.  You Do What Harvard Is”” Latz introduced things with eleven seconds of distilled fabulism.

Courtesy of MNGOC, here it is:

As befits a DFL / Minnesota Left statement about guns, the Second Amendment, gun control and gun owners, it’s a lie.

Because remember:  their motto is “Lie First, Lie Always” 1. 

Minnesota is in such a “gun crime crisis” that the gun murder rate has dropped to its lowest level in decades.  In fact, if you leave out DFL-strangled North Minneapolis, with its Baltimore-like murder rate, from the state figures (a third of the state’s murders happen in Near North), Minnesota has a murder rate half that of Norway.  Competitive with the rural west.

Low.

I could write “It’s low and dropping” 250 more times – or capture the whole thing in a 1000-word picture:

13122873_569624659873696_6992375359314521378_o

Courtesy MN Gun Owners Caucus

And except for the DFL-addled inner cities, it’s continuing its drop, as the number of carry permittees in Minnesota rockets toward and past a quarter million.

More such crises, please.

And stop lying, Senator Latz.


1 Well, no – it’s not literally their motto; they didn’t pick it.  I wrote it for them.  But they observe it in every particular.  Every time.  And it’s been keeping this blog in material for years.  

Lie First, Lie Always: A Tale Of Two Meetings

It was said about “Protect” MN’s former “executive director” (and pretty much sole member) Heather Martens [1] that “she never once made a single subsantial, original, true statement about the Second Amendment, gun facts or gun rights”.

When The Right Reverend Nancy Nord Bence took over at “Protect” MN a few weeks back, we had hope that things might change at Minnesota’s “leading” criminal-safety group [2].

In her press release related to this past Tuesday’s events at the SLOB, we see that hope was misplaced – with hilarious results.

Hi Reinhard,
Good news: The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was a great success!

And by the standards of”Protect” MN, it probably was.  Their all-out effort turned out about as many people as the Human Rights community’s casual call for supporters with spare time did.  None of their people were ejected from the building for trying to pick a fight with Human Rights supporters.  None of their paid lobbyists appeared in the place of an elected official, to immense ridicule.

By their standards, it was a red-letter day.

But now we get into the out-and-out lying.  Emphasis added:

On Tuesday, April 26, hundreds of Minnesotans who have had ENOUGH gathered at the Senate Office Building in St. Paul for an informational hearing on legislation that will go a long way towards protecting Minnesotans from gun violence: Senator Latz’ universal background check bill (S.F. 2493) and gun violence protective order bill (S.F. 2980).

Let’s go through the lies in order.

“Protect” MN is apparenetly taking counting lessons from the Strib:  there were not “Hundreds of supporters.   As people were let into the hearing, there were roughly 150 all together – about equally divided between criminal-safety advocates and Human Rights supporters.

Just to prove it?  Here are some photos.  Here’s the front half of the line gathered to get into the hearing – which, as you can see, is about 3/4 maroon-clad Human Rights supporters:

Here’s the back half of the line; probably 2/3 Criminal Safety advocates, with their ELCA hairdos and that air of unearned self-righteousness, unblemished by actual knowledge, roiling off them like Axe off of teenage boys:

A count as the doors opened showed roughly 70-80 on each side.  A few more streamed in on both sides – but the chamber, which held 250, was never close to full.

Fact:  “Protect” MN has never turned out “hundreds” of people in a given session, much less at a single event.

Second lie?  It wasn’t an “informational hearing”.  It was a sham; a Potemkin hearing, trying to create the illusion that these two bills aren’t utterly dead issues this session.  It was, in other words, a campaign event, held at taxpayer expense.

Third?   Neither bill will ever save a single life.  Ever!   Universal registration will only burden the law-abiding.  And the “Take Your Soon-To-Be-Estranged Sig-Other’s Guns Without Due Process!” bill is nothing but a make-work program for lawyers.

Scheduled to coincide with the Moms Demand Action lobby day, the room was packed with enthusiastic Moms as well as Protect Minnesota members. The gun lobby was also out in force.

I’m just going to let the word “packed” lie there, like the magnificant rhetorical turd it is.

Although no action will be taken on these bills this session, this informational hearing was important and very successful. It captured the attention of the media, disputed the gun lobby’s false claims, “set the table” for the debate that will ensue in months to come, and fired up the masses of gun safety supporters in attendance.

Fourth lie:  The media coverage was sparse and perfunctory.

Fifth Lie:  “Disputing” doesn’t make anything “false”; you can “dispute” gravity, but if you don’t float away afterward, you’ve falsified nothing.

Sixth Lie:  Masses?  Masses?

We commend Senator Ron Latz for his bold leadership on this issue, and commit the whole resources of Protect Minnesota to assisting in the passage of these bills in 2017.

It may not be a “lie” to say Latz is a “leader” on the issue.  He’s doing what Michael Bloomberg told him to do.

Meet the new “Protect”MN.  Same as the old “Protect”MN.


[1]  Said by me, of course – but known by everyone who actually paid attention to the issue.  At all.  Ever.

[2] In the same sense that Timberwolves fans “hope” that this will be the big year they’ve been waiting for.

Lie First, Lie Always: The MinnPost Makes It Up As They Go Along

A couple of years ago, it almost appeared as if the MinnPost – a creation of Minnesota liberals with deep pockets intended to serve as a DFL PR outlet – might do the unthinkable; engage in some responsible journalism on the issue of the Second Amendment and gun rights.

Oh, make no mistake; they did plenty of dross – the normally excellent Erik Black underwhelmed with some of his work, and let’s not talk about their “public health” angle.  But they also engaged freelance journeyman journalist Mike Cronin, who did some excellent, inquisitive, even-handed work on the subject – so much so that the MinnPost apparently stopped publishing it.

They’re back to classic form, with this bit from Kristoffer Tigue, who apparently hasn’t gotten the memo – which someone needs to pass along to him.  To wit:

Heather Martens has never, not once, said a single, original, substantive, true thing about the Second Amendment or the Gun issue.  

Just to elaborate a little, and yet as much as any journalist should need? If you use Heather Martens as a source, your credibility is shot, as it were, right out of the gate.

Just try to count all the lies, non-sequiturs and piles of complete buncombe that this article slops in front of the public.

A Steaming Pile Of Premise:  It’s hard to know where to start with this bit:

Eighteen-year-old Dae’veon has seen everything from assault rifles to handguns, and it wasn’t hard for him to find them. In fact, he’s owned several handguns, shotguns and even a submachine gun, he said. And all of it he bought without a background check, no questions asked.

Last year, Dae’veon, who agreed to talk if his last name was kept anonymous, was caught with a gun and charged with aggravated robbery.

That’s when he decided he needed to keep his head down, focus on school and try to turn his life around. But he knows if he wanted to, all he’d have to do is make a quick phone call to get another gun, he said. “It’s like going to the store to buy a pop,” he said. “You just call whoever you know that has a gun and tell them what you want to spend.”

So let’s stop and take stock, here; we’re being asked not only to believe that seventeen-year-old Dae’veon owned pistols and “assault rifles” (already illegal for juveniles) and a “submachine gun” (illegal for most everyone for about 80 years, now), but that he bought all of them (illegal for minors)..

…from “dealers” who didn’t give him a background check while carrying out acts that, as we’ve seen above, are state and federal felonies?

Why, perhaps if we passed a background check law, those dealers would have been able to gently chide young Dae’veon to wait until he was older?

Do people actually think young Dae’veon bought his little arsenal from a law-abiding citizen, much less Gander Mountain?

Earlier this month, two DFL lawmakers, Sen. Ron Latz and Rep. Dan Schoen, introduced a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales in the state, a measure supported by a number of advocacy groups and law enforcement associations, who say it could help prevent firearms from reaching the wrong hands — like those with criminal backgrounds or minors like Dae’veon. It too has received pushback from gun-rights groups.

And for good reason.  The bill is complete baked wind.  It asks us to accept two complete balderdash premises:   that criminals will follow laws, and that government will follow the rules.

Our Diligently Law-Abiding Criminal Class:  I’m going to be charitable, and assume the reporter, Mr. Tigue, just doesn’t know the issue all that well, and is reciting what he’s been told by one Bloomberg operative or another.

There are some tells, of course (emphasis added):

And yet, for all the disagreements over whether increased background checks will work, one fact is beyond dispute when it comes to guns in Minnesota. Like it or not, they are remarkably easy to acquire.

Well, no.   They’re mildly annoying to acquire if you’re a law-abiding citizen.  They may or may not be easy if you’re a criminal buying from other criminals.

Which is a distinction the gun grabbers really, really want to keep obscured.

In Minnesota, to legally buy a gun from a store requires that the purchaser be at least 18 and have a permit issued by the applicant’s county sheriff’s office — a process that also subjects the applicant to both a state and federal background check.

But here’s the wrinkle: For those who already have a permit and simply want to sell a gun to someone else, there’s no law requiring a background check.

Therein lies the problem, said Heather Martens, the executive director of Protect Minnesota, a group advocating for tightening gun laws. The lack of regulation around private gun sales makes it too easy for those who shouldn’t own guns to be able to get them, a complication that goes beyond the oft-cited issue of gun show sales.

“If you want to fill the trunk of your car with guns and drive to any street, park there and start selling guns, you can,” Martens said. “There’s no law against that.”

Remember – it’s Heather Martens.  She has never said a single substantial, original, true thing about the gun issue.  And she’s not starting today.

So while there’s no law against loading up a trunk with guns and trying to sell them,  there are laws against selling them to criminals, and minors.   If they sell a gun to someone who goes on to use it in a crime, and it gets traced back them them, there are nasty legal consequences.

You can even do it on line, if you want:

Technology has made things even easier. Many individuals also sell their guns online on websites like Armslist.com, where all people need to do is create a free account to gain access to people selling firearms all around the state.

Right.

Now let’s say you’re one of the people who sold a “submachine gun” (banned by the feds since the thirties) to a young Dae’veon (also a crime); in other words, someone who routinely commits gun-trafficking felonies.   Ron Latz’s background check bill goes into effect.

Are you suddenly going to start running background checks from the back of your car?

If you’re the guy fencing stolen pistols in the men’s room of a bar in Farmington, are you going to step outside and run a NICS check?

If you said “why, sure”, then you might be a Ron Latz voter who thinks Heather Martens makes sense.

Lie First, Lie Always: The Strib Marinades In The Bloomberg Kool-Aid

The Star/Tribune’s editorial board is a group of people, apparently in their sixties and seventies, who seem to spend their days pining away for a time when the media could say anything they want without fear of being caught out in public by people who know better.

DFLMinistryofTruthLARGE

Those days are long gone.  Only the editorial board doesn’t seem to know it, or recognize it, as shown in last week’s editorial calling for, at the least, hearings on a “universal background check” bill.

And like everyone on the institutional left, they participate – with all the grace of a German jazz band – in the left’s only real tactic on the issue of gun control; Lie First, Lie Always.

Why, it’s almost as if Heather Martens, in addition to being a State Representative, is a Strib editor…

Continue reading

Our Illogical Ninny Overlords

Told that the State Capitol Police wanted to hold “active shooter” training for the legislature and its staff, Rep. Kim Norton decided to introduce a bill repealing last year’s law allowing law-abiding carry permittees to have their legally-carried firearms in the Capitol complex.

And the logic was…

…entertaining:

screenshot-www.facebook.com 2015-12-31 15-34-52

 

If law-abiding citizens can’t bring guns to the capitol, criminals won’t shoot anyone.

Just like nobody sells crack, drives over the speed limit or after too much to drink, or robs liquor stores any more; because they are laws against each.

Norton is wrong, by the way; at least 18 states allow law-abiding citizens to carry their legal firearms in the state Capitols in one way or another.

That’s the reason so many Real Americans have such a hard time taking gun-grabbers seriously; they’re not serious.

 

Lie First, Lie Always: It’s Science!

Rep. Kim Norton – the Rochester legislator who will be serving as Michael Bloomberg’s bag-woman in the coming session – has decided to try to put some numbers behind her increasingly strident and faith-based posturing on guns.  She posted these “survey” “results” on her Facebook page.

How did it work?  I did say it was a liberal trying to do numbers, right?

The results, to date-12/22/15, of a survey sent out by my office to 3 precincts in my district:

Three precincts?  A whole three precincts?

Now, a legislative district has dozens of precincts.   I don’t know exactly how many precincts there are in Kim Norton’s HD25B, but there are a total of 56 in the city of Rochester, and Norton has roughly half the city.  Let’s be (what else?) conservative, and say she’s got 24 of ’em.

Her district also includes a grand total of 39,762 people, over 21 square miles.  It’s a cozy district.

So Norton sent out a “survey” to three precincts – maybe 1/8 of her district.  Which three precincts?  What are their demographics?  Do these three precincts represent her district?  More importantly – why does Rep. Norton think these three precincts represent her district?

Anyway.  So Rep. Norton mails out a survey to three selected precincts.  And here’s what she got back:

1. Are you in favor of background checks for gun show sales, private gun sales, and gifts?
Yes (73) 78%
No (21) 22%
Total 94

Forget the actual question for a moment.  There were 94 answers.

Out of nearly 40,000 people in her district, and out of maybe 3-4,000 (I’m estimating) in the three precincts she favored with her survey, she got less than 100 answers.

That’s one quarter of one percent of her district.

And do you suppose those people are a representative sample of the precincts, much less the district?  Or might they – just possibly! – have been an intensely self-selected sample of people who are motivated not only to pay attention to bulk mail from their DFL Representative, but also driven to fill out an utterly symbolic survey about an issue that Rep. Norton is wrapping herself around?

Remember – most people just don’t care that much.  And if most conservatives are at all like me, they don’t open junk mail from legislators, especially legislators they disagree with.

So I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that of the .25 of 1% of Norton’s district that opened the mail, read it, were motivated to complete it and send it back to the Representative’s office, a pretty disproportionate chunk were motivated by supporting Rep. Norton’s agenda.

But I’m no professional…

…well,  no.  Wait. I am.  I design samples for research as part of my job.  So I may be a little harder to BS than the average bear.

(Am I wrong?  Please, Rep. Norton; have your people call my people and set me straight.  You have my number.  Operators are standing by).

Sadly, Kim Norton’s typical supporter may not be so lucky.

2. Do you support requiring gun owners to register their guns with the local government?
Yes(66) 71%
No (27) 29%

Total 93

You know what’d be interesting?  If Rep. Norton had thrown in a question about whether the respondent was a gun owner.

I’m gonna take a flyer, here, and guess the answer would be about 30%.

3. With the goal of reducing suicides and impulse shootings, would you support extending the current seven day waiting period between a gun purchase and receipt of the gun?
Yes (64) 69%
No (29) 31%
Total 93

By law, of course, there is a seven day waiting period.

In practice?  Every store, federally licensed dealer and gun show in the state requires a “Permit to Purchase” issued by the police, or a Carry Permit issued by the state, to sell a handgun or “assault weapon”; they won’t sell without one, waiting period or no.   The very idea of waiting periods is statistically dubious, to the point where even the Ninth Circuit has asked what’s the purpose, especially with someone who already owns firearms.

And the idea that “waiting periods” affect suicides is just a wierd fantasy, of course.  Gun suicides – 2/3 of gun deaths – don’t occur at the end of the waiting period.  They are disproportionally older, usually white males, usually socially isolated, usually depressed – and they’ve owned their guns for decades.

3a. If yes, how many days should the waiting period be?

10 Days (8) 13%
14 Days (18) 28%
28 Days (38) 59%
Total 64

By this point in this exercise, I’m actually wondering why she didn’t put “eleventy-teen years” as an option.

5. Do you support a ban or restriction of sales on:
High Capacity Ammunition Clips of 10 or more bullets? (66) 69%
Exploding Bullets? (68) 72%
Assault rifles or Semi-Automatic guns? (59) 62%
Total 95

Exploding Bullets?

EXPLODING BULLETS?

Y’see, this is why so many Second Amendment activists have such contempt for their opponents’ arguments.

Imagine if you will someone arguing for regulation of healthcare, who proposes banning phrenology clinics, adding standards for blood leeches and healing crystals, and licensing  sexual healing practicioners.  Now, people who actually work in healthcare know that Phrenology was debunked 120 years ago, that leeches and crystals are irrelevant, and Sexual Healing was a Marvin Gaye song – and they get annoyed that someone is not only wasting their time arguing BS, but just a little disgusted that the legislator is finding people incurious enough to get on board to try to logroll the legislation.

10 rounds is not “high capacity”.  “Semi automatic” does not equal “assault” (you awake yet, hunters and skeet shooters?).  “Assault” does not mean “likely to be used in crimes”.

And…exploding bullets.

(Shaking my head, at a loss for civil words, awaiting a line about “guns that go pew pew pew”)

6. Do you believe gun safety and usage training should be required by all gun owners – even those who do not have a hunting license or permit to carry?
Yes (73) 81%
No (17) 19%
Total 90

And even a lot of shooters will aver that that sounds reasonable.

Of course, in Chicago and DC we see the whammy of this approach; in Chicago, you have to take a range test to get a permit – but there are no firing ranges in Chicago.

It’s not a stretch to imagine Minnesota’s government requiring training – and forgetting to issue trainer’s licenses.

7. Given these two values, is it more important to:
control gun ownership?
(49) 56%
protect the right of the people to own guns? (39) 44%
Total 88

FYI – These survey results generally mirror those share by scientific polls done across the country.

I’d be interested in seeing the “scientific polls” Rep. Norton is referring to.  But I am under no illusion she knows anything beyond “tacking ‘scientific’ onto a dubious assertion will gull a few of the gullible”.

She’s wrong, of course.  Not that that matters to her, or to the audience she’s trying to reach.

Lie First, Lie Always: Take Off Your Shoes; You’ll Need ‘Em

I’m not sure why I bother with Heather Martens anymore.  I mean, she was never a worthy opponent – for lil’ ol’ me, much less the Human Rights activists that actually matter – and she has yet, in all her years of plumping for gun control, to utter a single, substantive, original true fact.

And she’s on her way out over at “Protect” Minnesota!

But Heather Martens is a little like Nick Coleman; beating up on her has become so ingrained, it’s hard to know when to stop.

Anyway – this is what’s currently on “Protect” MN’s homepage.  Good luck.

Dear Friend,

Protect Minnesota board president Joan Peterson testified against legalizing silencers in Minnesota in 2015. Men openly carrying guns heckled Protect Minnesota representatives during their testimony. Click here to donate

Lie #1.  No, they didn’t.  Ask the Capitol Police, who constantly commend the state’s Freedom activists’ impeccable behavior.

Fact:  Joan Peterson has a long, grotty history engaging in perfectly civil conversations with perfectly civil freedom advocates – and then turning around and telling people the freedom advocates were abusive or nasty.  There are witnesses.

Now, back to Heather:

The recent gun tragedies underscore how essential it is to work for a future where our kids won’t live in fear of gun violence. In 2015, we made progress toward that future, and with your support, we can build on our momentum in 2016.

Lie #2:  Well, sure – “we” did.  But not “Protect” MN or the “Gun safety movement.  Oh, crime dropped fast, as millions of new firearms entered circulation.  But the gun grabbers lost every legislative battle in Minnesota, even with Michael Bloomberg’s millions lavishly backing them.  And “Protect” Minnesota was so impotent, even the Bloombergs cut them loose, and whomever calls the shots is in the process of cutting Heather loose after years of ineptitude.

Please make a year-end donation today to help us continue our work.

In 2015, we held off efforts to allow people to carry loaded guns in public without first having to get a permit and background check.

Lie #3;  No, they didn’t.  While a “constitutional carry” bill was submitted, “Protect” MN had virtually nothing to do with its death in committee.   The push for it was largely symbolic, since with a DFL governor and Senate it was never going to pass anyway.

We successfully advocated for a state law prohibiting the “straw” purchase of guns, in which a person with a clean record buys a gun for a prohibited person.

Lie #4:  Right.  They did.  With the full cooperation of all the gun rights organizations that matter in this state.  The existing law was inadequate.  And it was the gun rights groups – not the hapless Martens and her impotent organization – that did the heavy lifting.

In 2016, a critical election year, we need your support to get the word out about the extremism of the gun lobby,

Lie #5:  The human rights movement, as shown in recent pollsis the mainstream.  The grabbers are the extreme, supported only by a thin residue of crazies and a bunch of money from “progressives” with deep pockets.

and about the effectiveness of gun safety policies — such as background checks before all gun sales. 

Lie #6:  While “gun safety” policies like putting criminals in jail work wonders, nothing “Protect” MN advocates, least of all “universal background checks”, will.

Next year, we can expect the gun lobby to propose:

1) A Minnesota constitutional amendment to nullify all gun laws by declaring guns, and carrying them everywhere, a “fundamental” right.

Lie #7;  While “Consitutional Carry” is a fine idea, and works wonders in most places it’s been tried (currently five states), not to mention in Minnesota before 1974, it’s not really on the agenda while we have a DFL Senator or Governor.

2) Repealing Minnesota’s background check law,

Lie #8:  Huh?

arming teachers,

Lie #9:  While there’s no rational reason that teachers who are legally entitled to carry firearms shouldn’t be able to in school, nobody can seem to find where “arming teachers” is on anyone’s agenda.

and allowing any permit holder from anywhere to carry a loaded gun in MInnesota.

Not So Much A “Lie” as Really Stupid:  If someone has a permit to carry in another state, why should they not be recognized here?

But with your support, we are here to raise our voices for common sense at the Capitol and beyond.

Lie #10:  Nothing about “Protect” MN is “common sense”.   They’re calling for a return to the policies in effect when crime was double what it is today.

We spread the word about what the gun industry is doing, and how we can stop them. We appear regularly in the Minnesota media to push back against extremists.

Lie #11:  Well, no – “Protect” MN doesn’t appear “regularly”.  They may come out of hiding when they can control the agenda, or when they know a reporter or interviewer is utterly uninformed or just doesn’t care that much.  If they don’t, they – meaning Heather and Joan Peterson, usually – invariably look like idiots.

They don’t appear with media figures who won’t promise to paint Heather’s toenails on the air.

 

Protect Minnesota is the only Minnesota-based non-profit organization dedicated to ending gun violence.

Mostly A Lie #12:  They are, by default – Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown”, after swallowing up the local chapter of “Moms Want Action”, closed up shop after the last session.  They’ll be back – and they’re the dangerous ones – but they’re saving money during the off-session.

We have been here since 1991 to advocate for better gun policy, organize our communities, and educate the public on gun issues.

Lie #13:  As Heather Martens, again, has never made a single original, substantial, true statement about the issue, it’d be more accurate to say they’ve been here to “miseducate” the public.

We envision a future in which our kids are safe to play and learn in every community.

Lie #14: No, they don’t.  Gun control kills – and is rooted in the sort of racism that the better elements in this country strives to cast off.

We reject the world view promoted by the gun industry that exploits fear to boost profits — no matter what the human cost.

Lie #15:  Heather is putting the cart before the horse.  But to be fair, it’s just a chanting point she’s been given by her superiors.

We don’t have the deep pockets of the gun industry, but we have you.Thank you for all you do,

Lie #16:  They have the deep pockets of some of the biggest “progressive” donors out there; the Joyce Foundation and other liberals with deep pockets.  They fund “Protect” MN to the tune of $300K.   GOCRA, which eats “P”Ms lunch every year, operates on a fraction of that budget, almost every penny of it in nickels and times from real people.

Lie #17:   When she says “We have you”, she may mean it in the singular sense of the term.  “Protect” MN’s membership would fit in a booth at Perkins, if they ever met.

Heather Martens

Executive Director

Not So Much A Lie As Pointless:  She’s kinda a lame duck.

17 lies, and that wasn’t even a very long press release.