Dear Kroger

To: Kroger Foods
From:  Mitch Berg, Hypothetical Gun Owner
Re:  Standing Up To Stupid

Dear Kroger Foods,

Please open some stores in the Twin Cities metro area, so I can shop at them. 

Because any chain that tells Michael Bloomberg and his pet group “Upper Middle-Class Moms Want Action” to go pound arugula is a store I wanna shop at.

That is all.

The Mystery Deepens

 As was noted last week, there’ve been two arrests in the first armed robbery in the 150-odd year history of the Minnesota State Fair. 

Two Saint Paul men were arrested in the August 29 robbery of the MN Craft Beer booth, which netted (at least briefly) over $100,000. 

St. Paul residents Antontio Washington, 20, and Jarret Maiden, 35, have been booked into jail in suspicion of being behind the $10,000-plus heist, which was the first armed robbery in the fair’s history.

But there’s a mystery!

As was noted on this blog during the fair, the Minnesota State Fairgrounds was posted, for the first time since “shall issue” carry reform passed in 2003, as a gun-free zone.

And yet…:

State Fair police spokesperson Brooke Blakey tells us the gun believed to have been used during the robbery has been recovered, but declined further comment, citing the active investigation.

So there’s a mystery worthy of Poireau or Holmes.  Two, really:

  • How did an illegal gun make it past the signs at the front gate?
  • How did a gun wind up getting used in a crime where guns had just been made illegal?

Someone explain this to me?

The Peasants $trike Back

In 2003, and again in 2005, when Minnesota passed its “shall issue” firearm permit law, a slew of businesses “posted” themselves; they put signs on their front doors indicating they didn’t want firearms on their premises.

Two things happened – or, rather, didn’t happen:

  1. There were no crimes in public related to legal post-2003-permitted firearm carriers.  None.  Zero. 
  2. While few anti-gun-rights people made a point of shopping posted stores, pro-Second-Amendment people made a very serious point of steering clear of posted establishments.  Many of us quietly and politely engaged with owners of posted stores, telling them that while we respected their decisions, our consciences would not allow us to shop at stores that disarmed the law-abiding and thus became victimization zones. 

Most “posted” stores quietly dispensed with their signs in the year or two after the Minnesota Personal Protection Act was re-enacted in 2005.  Things stayed pretty well put, Minnesota-wise – except, of course, the number of law-abiding citizens with carry permits, which was well over 160,000 177,000 the last I checked (far eclipsing pre-2003 legislative research estimates of 50,000-90,000 permittees). 

But the Obama Administration has been eagerly working to roll back gun rights, especially in the past two years.  And with Michael Bloomberg bankrolling his efforts, there is a concerted effort to turn law-abiding gun owners into the New Lepers – to try to re-stigmatize gun owners, the way the media were able to do in the 1960′s and 1970s. 

All are, of course, attacking the problem of violent crime by going after those who dont’, won’t, and never have committed any (and by their existence indeed deter it) – but no matter.  It’s not about crime – if it were, Washington DC and Chicago would be crime-free paradises. 

But if you read this blog, you’re probably smarter than that.

Unfortunately, a lot of uninformed and incurious people vote.  And Michael Bloomberg’s money is aimed largely at them.  And so the re-stigmatization effort is in full swing.  We’ve seen this with a small but vocal number of stores dusting off their posting signs – and, this summer, with the Minnesota State Fair posting its “no guns” signs, very possibly illegally.

It’s time for Real Americans – the ones that believe in all ten Amendments in the Bill of Rights – to come forward again and put their money where their mouths are.  Or perhaps to be more accurate, to not put their money where their mouths aren’t. 

It’s time to stop spending money at places that are posted. 

20140904-115701-43021574.jpg

So take note, local merchants; if you’re posted, I won’t spend a dime at your establishment.  If I see you or your ownership siding with the anti-gunners in the media, I’ll also cut you off, and do my best to keep you cut off until you recognize the civil rights of law-abiding Americans.   

That includes you, Minnesota State Fair.  While I broadcast from the Fair annually, and am happy to do it, I will no longer patronize any vendors at the Fair as long as the Fairgrounds are posted.

As much as it pains me to think of ten days of broadcasting at the Fair without Sausages by Cynthia’s Italian Dog, or a London Broil, or the Swiss Crepe from the Crepe stand, or a beer at O’Gara’s on a hot day, I’m not going to spend another dime at any Fair vendor, until the State Fair tears down the “Only Criminals May Be Armed!” signs. 

Be advised, Twin Cities merchants.  You have your rights to run your business any way you want.  But you’re not going far without customers. 

Can you afford to piss off 120,000 of us?   Especially since we’re the ones that tip, clean up after ourselves, and pass word of mouth along?

UPDATE:  I do need to credit the “No Guns = No Money” Facebook page for the image, and the whole “getting a movement rolling” thing.   Check out the page, and support them and, most importantly, the goal.

Coincidence?

This was the first year since the passage of shall issue firearm carry that the Minnesota State Fairgrounds loudly, visibly posted itself as a “gun free zone”.

The Fair’s spokesperson Brooke Blakey was even just a little bit obnoxious about it before the fair started. Near as I could tell, it was the first time anyone associated with the state fair has ever gotten really aggressive about alienating fairgoers with legal carry permits.

You hardly need me to tell you what happened next, do you?

According to State Fair Police Public Information Officer Brooke Blakey, at least two suspects took more than $10,000…The suspects struck when the building was closed to the public, restraining at least one person who had been working in the booth, and a beer supplier.

Police say this is the first robbery of its kind at the Minnesota State Fair.

The fair has it’s first armed robbery in 150-odd use the the month that a fair officer gets snotty about law-abiding gun owners?

Pure coincidence, I’m sure.

CORRECTION:  Flawed as her (and, mostly, the Fair Board’s) reasoning may be, I misread the piece in which Ms. Blakey was quoted.  The obnoxious bit (“She also had talks with gun-rights supporters who – contrary to fair policy – wanted to strap on their sidearms and walk down the middle of Dan Patch Avenue“) was written by Delma Francis, in the Minnesota Womens Press, reprinted in the Twin Cities Daily Planet – both of them shrill leftist outlets supported by liberals with deep pockets. 

I apologize for the error.

No Pep

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Stopped at Pep Boys on South Robert to buy epoxy for a cracked bumper. Pep Boys Bans Guns In This Store. I asked if that was a franchise decision but the counterman said no, all Pep Boys stores are corporate. So I went up the street to O’Reilly Auto Parts instead.

No, I wasn’t carrying. But if they don’t want my business on my terms, I’m happy to take it elsewhere.

Joe Doakes
Como Park

As everyone should.

I haven’t voluntarily patronized a posted business since 2003. I’ve specifically thanked businesses that took down their idiot signs.

Now is no time to let old habits die.

Deflation

Everytown USA – one of Michael Bloomberg’s astroturf gun-grabber groups – circulated a map claiming that there had been 74 school shootings substantially similar to Newtown since the Sandy Hook shooting.

But what have we told you about anti-gun groups?

Distrust but verify.  Then, almost inevitably, resume distrusting (emphasis added):

The news outlet circulated the graphical map, which came from the group Everytown for Gun Safety, after a shooting that occurred Tuesday at a high school in Oregon which left two dead, including the 15 year-old gunman.

Everytown for Gun Safety, which is backed by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, headlined their graphic “School Shootings in America Since Sandy Hook,” suggesting that the shootings it listed had a link of some kind to Sandy Hook — in which Adam Lanza killed 26 people at an elementary school.

CNN and various other media outlets used the graphic in news segments.

Of course they did.

But…

“So on Wednesday, CNN took a closer look at the list, delving into the circumstances of each incident Everytown included,” reads CNN’s report.

It acknowledged that many of the shootings listed by Everytown did not fit the profile of a Sandy Hook-type shooting, in which the attacks are seemingly random.

Instead, CNN said, “some of the other incidents on Everytown’s list included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals.” (RELATED: School Shooting Claims Debunked)

“CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Oregon – a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school,” said CNN.

The number and severity of school shootings has actually dropped, along with the overall murder rate, over the past 20 years.  And kids are vastly less likely to be shot in school than in, say, a Chicago neighborhood.

Open Letter To Target Corp

June 9, 2014

To: Target Corporation
From: Mitch Berg, Law-abiding Customer
Re:  Billionaire Trouble

Dear Target,

I’ve been a customer of yours for decades, like most Minnesotans.  I estimate I likely spend well north of $2,000 a year at your stores, counting groceries and clothing.

And like about 180,000 Minnesotans, I have a permit to carry a firearm.

Minnesotans with carry permits are nearly three orders of magnitude less likely to commit a firearm crime than the general public; we are literally better safety risks, per capita, than your employees are.

Now, a group called “Moms Demand Action”, which is an astroturf pressure group owned and operated by billionaire ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg, is putting a lot of media pressure on Target to bar all firearm carry at your stores, nationwide, after the intemperate actions of a few “open carry” activists in Texas.

While your stores are indeed your property, please be advised that if you bar all firearms – including tactfully-concealed weapons that many of us carry for our and our fellow citizens’ protection, I will…:

  • Take my money elsewhere, and keep it there
  • Do my best, via this blog and my talk show, to make sure everyone I can  possibly influence does the same.

There are twenty times as many carry permittees in Minnesota alone as there are members of all “gun safety” groups.  And while we respect your property rights, given a choice, we will protect our rights first.

It is that important to us.

Yours,

Mitch Berg

———-

I urge you to send a polite email, or phone call, to Target.

In your own words, tell Target that

  • Michael Bloomberg’s money – not a bunch of plucky moms – is behind this astroturf effort.
  • The “Moms” group — actually Michael Bloomberg’s billions — is trying to rope Target into their extreme agenda
  • Permit holders are overwhelmingly more law abiding than the general population
  • I am a law-abiding gun owner/carry permit holder
  • I am a frequent Target shopper
  • I spend my money where my rights are respected

Contact Target as follows:

  • Email:  Guest.Relations@Target.com
  • Phone:  1-800-440-0680

Remember – calm and polite wins the day.  We win battles by being smarter than the Orcs.  This can be no exception.  We are held to a higher standard than they are – and we almost always hit that standard.

We can change Target’s mind, the same way we humiliated Michael Bloomberg in the past two legislatures; by being better, smarter, and much more dedicated than they are.

This post will remain stuck to the top of this blog until late Tuesday morning.

So Let Me Get This Straight…

A deeply mentally ill child of immense privilege

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

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

…in a gun-free zone…

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

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

On The One Hand…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 That’s the line, right there.

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

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

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

I’m not thrilled, but I get it.

A Vote Against “Transparency”

I get why people open-carry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP Otis McDonald

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

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

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

Otis McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Massood Ayoub:

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

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

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

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

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huh. 

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

How precisely did you manage to pull that off?

“This Is What Ensnarement Looks Like!”

When Minnesota’s carry law went into effect in 2003, people – some of them pro-Victim-Disarmament, some of them unaligned but curious – asked “why does the law force stores that don’t want people carrying to put up those stupid signs?”

To prevent situations like this; Dwayne Ferguson of Buffalo, NY, a “community organizer” with a carry permit, racked up a felony charge because he didn’t know that the building he was in was a no-gun-zone.

Granted, schools are generally no-go zones for carry permittees everywhere, and you’re supposed to know where to go and where not to.   But the organizer had himself campaigned for the law that gave him one of his felonies.

Which is why it’s droll hearing people who normally rail against the law-abiding gun owner defending this particular organizer:

Those who have worked with him also said they believe it was an honest mistake.

“I’m sure Dwayne went into the school not thinking he had the gun on him,” said Rev. James E. Giles, a friend of Ferguson and president of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries. “We know this for a fact, that he called out to a Buffalo police lieutenant asking why the school was in lockdown, and that they were looking for a man with a gun.

“Dwayne’s reaction was to get his kids – he had about 50 of them – and make sure they were safe,” Giles explained. “He led them into the cafeteria and closed the doors.”

But Mr. Ferguson is fairly likely screwed. Because the law is the law, even if you’re a on the left.

Unless you’re David Gregory.

The Administrators Who Say “Ni”

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking through a leafy, green park in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Turning a corner, he runs into three Chicago-area school administators:  Hanna PFLUG-NICHOLS, Nicole PRYMM, and Morghaine EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS.  They are standing astride the path

EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS:  Wait!  You are Mitch Berg.  You are one of those gun nuts. 

BERG: Er, I’m a Second Amendment activist.  I may or may not own or carry a firearm…

ALL THREE WOMEN:  Aaaaaaaagh!

PRYMM:  Don’t say it!

BERG:  Say what?

PFLUG-NICHOLS: That word!

PRYMM:  The “G” or “F” or “P” word.

BERG:  Er…”gun?”

ALL THREE WOMEN:  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!

EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS:  Why do you hate womynandchyldren?

BERG: Er, I’m sorry – but what brought this on?

PFLUG-NICHOLS: Um – because of the change in what we call “concealed killer” laws, we are being forced to put stickers on our schools. 

BERG:  You mean like this sticker here?:

ALL THREE WOMEN: Aaaaaaaaagh!

PRYMM:  That…shape!

EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS:  It looks like a Pop-tart!

BERG:  Those are stickers that your new concealed carry law requires buildings to have at their entrances if it’s illegal to carry inside. 

PFLUG-NICHOLS:  It’s disgusting.  To have theshapeof a…

PRYMM:  …a…

EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS: …er…

BERG:  Gun?

ALL THREE WOMEN:  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!

BERG:   Look – Illinois put so many places off-limits to gun owners that it’s only fair that you warn them before they unwittingly become a felon. 

PFLUG-NICHOLS:  But theyshouldbe felons!

PRYMM:  I think they should all be in jail 

BERG:  Be that as it may, they are two orders of magnitude more law-abiding than the general public, and they generally work pretty hard to stay that way.  So why entrap them into a cheap arrest based on a technicality?

EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS:  Because I hate them.

BERG:  It’s a warning sticker. 

PFLUG-NICHOLS:  But it may cause people to think that since there’s a sticker saying that they can’t bring one into the school now, maybe they could have in the past

BERG:  You honestly expect school children to think that? 

PRYMM:  We expect what to think that?

EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS:  Those little pseudo-people that are all over all our buildings. 

PRYMM:  Huh.  Are you sure? 

EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS:  I think so. 

BERG:  Look – you are less likely to be wrongfully shot by a carry permit holder than you are to be hit by lightning. 

PFLUG-NICHOLS:  By what? 

EFFENBERGER-BRONKOWSKI-GAIA-BEVINS:  Goddess-farts.

PFLUG-NICHOLS:  Ah. 

BERG:  As in, 5-6 times as likely to be hit by, er, “goddess farts” as by a law-abiding citizen with a legal firearm (flinches, realizing his mistake)

ALL THREE WOMEN: Aaaaaaaaaagh!

BERG:  Sorry….hey, I’m hungry…

(Pulls pop-tart from backpack.  Chews it into the shape of a volume of Shakespeare. 

PFLUG-NICHOLS:  Dead white European male!

PRYMM:  Fascist!

(And SCENE).

A Good Guy With A Gun

Last year in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting,  Wayne LaPierre of the NRA stated the best solution to school shooting sprees was armed staff – police on school service duty, security guards or teachers with carry permits – on school grounds.

The usual pants-wetting crowd on the left squealed like they’d gotten a knitting needle jammed in their eyes.

The takeaway from last week’s shooting at a school and “gun free zone” in Arapahoe County Colorado, where a committed leftist student critically injured a classmate before killing himself, was this; the incident lasted 80 seconds, because there was an immediate armed response by a school service officer.

The rampage might have resulted in many more casualties had it not been for the quick response of a deputy sheriff who was working as a school resource officer at the school, [Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson] said…He praised the deputy’s response as “a critical element to the shooter’s decision” to kill himself, and lauded his response to hearing gunshots. “He went to the thunder,” he said. “He heard the noise of gunshot and, when many would run away from it, he ran toward it to make other people safe.”

That is, of course, the big takeaway from Columbine, from Sandy Hook, and a slew of other episodes; the best cure for a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun.

Any other answer merely kills more innocent people.

And while I’m not sure that’s what the likes of Jane Kay, Representatives Heather Martens and Michael Paymar, and Michael Bloomberg want, it’s a simple fact that none of them have really thought about it in terms other than “stick it to the law-abiding schnook” before.

A Memorial To Remember

This coming Saturday, Minnesota’s self-appointed gun-grabber elite are going to try to squeedge some more juice out of waving the bloody shirt of Newtown:  

To Remember: A commemoration of the Sandy Hook school victims, and all victims of gun violence — 9:30 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis. To RSVP, click here. Space is limited. This event is co-sponsored by Moms Demand Action, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Organizing for Action.

They’ll then attempt to hold a meeting to promote more laws that would have had no effect on Newtown, or any other real-world gun violence. 

But there’s another anniversary this coming week; tomorrow, in fact.  And it deserves a memorial – because unlike every single thing proposed by “Protect” MN, Moms Want Action and the Felon Mayors, it actually saved lives. 

At around 3:25PM on December 11, 2012, Jacob Tyler Roberts walked into the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland Oregon.  He was wearing a ski mask, and carrying a stolen AR-15-pattern rifle with five magazines, a total of 150 rounds.  He donned the ski mask and carried the rifle openly; witnesses apparently thought it was a paintball outfit, and that the rifle was a toy.  One woman reportedly told Roberts to take off the mask – it looked “Creepy”.  Roberts didn’t respond. 

He walked to atrium in the middle of the mall, and started shooting.  He fired off his first magazine, killing two – Cindy Yuille, a 54 year old hospice nurse, and Steven Forsythe, a youth sports coach – and hitting15 year old Kristina Shevchenko in the chest (Shevchenko managed to walk out of the mall, and survived the incident). 

Then, as Roberts turned a corner and reloaded, he ran into Nick Meli, a citizen with a .40 caliber Glock 22 and an Oregon carry permit.  Meli drew - but didn’t shoot.  According to some stories, Meli froze; in others, he saw that there were civilians in the background that would be in danger if he missed.  Either is a fairly normal response under such conditions. 

But Roberts ran away.  He ducked into a JC Penney and ran into a storage corridor, where he pointed his rifle at Penneys employee Rok Sang Kim – but turned, ran down a stairwell, and shot himself. 

Drawn by reports of a mass shooting, dozens of ambulances turned out – but only Shevchenko was treated for any injuries.

The Lesson:  After the Columbine shooting – where a SWAT team waited outside the school for four hours before moving to engage the shooters – law enforcement went on a crash course of learning how to deal with mass shooters.  The lesson learned?  Don’t wait.  Get in, get at the shooter. 

It wasn’t about testosterone; examination of mass shooters showed that most of them are deeply narcissistic and intensely delusional.  In almost every case, the shootings were planned to a fine sheen, like a military operation, if the military were run by delusional people.

And that while the plans were intricate, the shooters’ mental state meant that any serious hiccup to the plan would send them off the rails.  And by “serious hiccup”, they meant “someone putting up meaningful resistance”. 

And so cops changed their tactics; rather than wait for SWAT, cops are now trained to get in, find the shooter, and put some lead on the target.   Because nothing disrupts a lunatic’s plan like having lead sailing past your head (to say nothing of through one’s chest). 

But here’s the little secret; it doesn’t have to be a cop doing the resisting.  History is full of examples of individual citizens putting up armed resistance to mass shooters, and ending the shootings:

  • The Pearl, Mississippi school shooting, where a teacher grabbed a gun and stopped the two shooters.
  • The Appalachian Law School shooting, where a would-be mass-murderer was stopped by a couple of armed students.
  • A robbery that was devolving into a mass-shooting in Virginia was stopped by a CCW permittee.
  • This episode in Texas recently
  • An episode in Richmond, VA in the nineties where a shooter who intended to copycat the Luby’s Cafeteria massacre (in Killeen, TX) was stopped after killing one person, by another citizen with a legal handgun.
  • The New Life Church shooting spree in Colorado Springs in 2007, ended by Jeanne Assam.
  • This episode in Texas, where an armed man killed a mass shooter (and died, himself); it’s generally agreed he saved several lives in the process.
  • Columbine itself was part of the lesson; it’s generally agreed that an armed sheriff’s deputy derailed the greater part of Harris and Klebold’s plans, firing off a couple of shots and deflecting the two shooters back to the library, fouling up their plans to set off bombs throughout the building and perhaps kill many, many more people. 

And of course the the Clackamas Mall shooting. 

Second-Guesses: There are those in the gun-grab movement who try to minimize, discount and ridicule the effect that an armed citizen can have in a mass shooting.  Some scoff that Roberts, and the shooter in the Colorado Springs episode, had jammed guns – as if clearing a jam is anything unusual (especially in an AR15) much less time-consuming to fix. 

But in both shootings, the jam was accompanied by a citizen facing the shooter down (and in Colorado Springs, seriously wounding him). 

The underlying point – mass shooters tend to abandon their plans when they’re faced with active, armed, potentially lethal resistance – stands.  Passive resistance – “lockdowns”, kevlar whiteboards – are better than nothing, provided the mass shooter allows them to be better than nothing. 

Consequences, Intended And Otherwise:  The Gun Control “Gun Safety” movement yaps a lot about “preventing gun violence” – while pushing policies that have never prevented and shall never prevent a single crime. 

And yet a year ago tomorrow, Nick Meli likely saved more lived that all of Michael Bloomberg, the Joyce Foundation, and Rep. Heather Martens’ efforts likely ever will, ever, for all eternity. 

And so for that, we should pay homage at 3:25PM tomorrow.

The Authorities

Just remember:  when there’s a mass-shooting going on, and seconds count, you can depend on the authorities to respond in minutes:

D.C. police quickly deployed an “active shooter team” within seven minutes of reports of shots fired, Ms. Lanier said.

The Navy Yard – a “gun free zone” but for any security on the site – was as defenseless as Fort Hood. 

A carry permit holder would have reduced that time from “seven minutes” to “as long as it took to get his or her firearm out of its holster”.

The Betting Window Is Open

There’s been a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard – headquarters for the US Navy’s procurement bureaucracy.  Recent experience shows us that nearly every first report on these sorts of things is wrong – but current reports indicate 4-6 13 dead.

And nobody remotely close to being an “authority” has even begun to speculate on who the shooter/s were and why they did it; one dead shooter is apparently a former Navy employee (Nope, NBC retracted that

I urge everyone to direct your prayers, or whatever thoughts your worldview admits, toward the victims, their families, and everyone involved in this tragedy. 

Now:  It’s time to place your bets.  We’re taking bets in several categories:

The Obama Pool:  How long until The One tries to link this shooting to the defeat of his gun-grab agenda? 

Bobblehead Roulette:  At what time will the first Twin Cities leftyblogger issue a post blaming the shootings on the NRA?

The Martens Parlay:  At what time will Representative Heather Martens (DFL-67A) release a statement blaming the shooting on the failure of the Paymar gun grab bills and/or the Colorado recall?  (UPDATE 6PM:  She did it!)

Black Gun Bingo:  At least one initial report says “assault weapons” were used in the shooting.  Who will be the first lefty pundit to claim that if only “assault weapons” were banned, this (apparently) multi-party, coordinated assault would not have taken place?

The Elephant In The Room Pool:  How many mainstream and left-leaning alt-media outlets will mention that a) the Navy Yard is in Washington DC, which retains among the most draconian anti-gun laws in the country, and that in addition b) the Navy Yard, like all military facilities, is a “gun free zone?”  (Note:  “Zero” is already taken.  Pick a different number).  Bonus question:  how many will blame the shooting on Virginia’s more liberal gun laws, without asking why the atrocity didn’t take place in Virginia? 

UPDATES:  Adding a few as I go here:

Tea For ThreeCurrent reporting says there may have been three gunmen  (Nope.  Just one gunman).  Which media outlet will be the first to blame the Tea Party?

Numb3rs:  How many reports will the major media have to retract about names of victims (1 so far), shooters (UPDATE 6PM:  At least once), number of shooters (UPDATE: Twice!) , motives, number of victims (UPDATE 6PM:  Many times)…

The “T” Word:  Some early reports claim this might be a workplace shooting – as in “disgruntled workers”.  But if there are indeed multiple shooters?  The idea of a “team of disgruntled workers” doesn’t pass the sniff test, does it

Place your bets!

Paymar: Bitchy

Michael Paymar is back.

 

His attempt to make the law-abiding gun owner pay for the Newtown Massacre squibbed in the last session; even his own party deserted his effort; even some sensible DFLers like Rep. Hilstrom threw Paymar and his metrocrat extremists under the bus.

But he and his buddies in the mainstream media are trying a different tack; around the time his bills bogged down amid party defections and an avalanche of public opposition, Paymar and the metrocrat extremists started a whispering campaign that the legislators were “intimidated” by the number of citizens who showed up at the hearings with firearms – legally, naturally (the law allows people to carry in the Capitol complex if they are legal carry permittees and they notify the head of Capitol security).

Of course, it is an objective fact that Paymar is vastly safer in a room full of carry permittees – who’ve passed background checks and completed training in the subject – than he’d be in a room full of, well, DFLers. Or any other private citizen. Because it’s an objective fact that carry permittees, nationwide and in Minnesota, are a couple of orders of magnitude less likely to commit any crime than the general public are.

But Paymar wants to continue the slander of his fellow citizen; he’s authoring a bill for the next session that’d clamp down on citizens carrying in the Capitol complex.

It’s not just a solution in search of a problem, of course; it’s a bitchy little slap at the law-abiding citizen.

I can’t wait until he’s in the minority again. 

 

 

Suck It, Fascist Pig

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (Orc) is trying his best to try to stymie the inevitable – also the will of the people of Illinois – by dawdling over his veto of Illinois’ bipartisan carry permit bill.

But the bill passed with greater than a 60% majority, and Quinn’s bitchy little veto is likely to get squashed like the legislative cockroach it is.

For days, Quinn has been pushing for alterations to a bill that would end Illinois’ status as the last state in the nation to ban the concealed carry of weapons in public, which the state must do by Tuesday to meet a federal appeals court’s deadline.

And here’s further proof – to paraphrase Fred Thompson in The Hunt For Red October – that Democrats don’t take a dump without trying to gull the low-information voter (with emphasis added):

Quinn recently has been highlighting Chicago’s violence, saying recent shootings show the need for tougher gun laws.

Chicago has the the “toughest” gun laws in the US today, if by “tough” you mean “against the law-abiding citizen”. 

This is so obvious, even Jane Kay and Doug Grow might understand it. 

“There will be a showdown in Springfield,” Quinn told the crowd gathered in Chicago for a bill signing on anti-gang legislation. Afterward he told reporters that lawmakers should examine his changes carefully.

“I don’t think they should override common sense. I don’t think they should compromise with public safety,” he said.

Because ten dead over one weekend “despite” a complete civilian gun ban isn’t “compromise” enough. 

P.S.:  By the way, don’t you dare say there’s media bias.  From the original AP story, with emphasis added by me:

While Quinn’s changes which include a one-gun limit and a ban on guns in establishments that serve alcohol have been embraced by Chicago’s anti-violence advocates, they’ve received a cold reception from lawmakers.

Pejorative much?

As if gun owners are “pro-violence advocates”?

Quinn’s Priorities

While Illinois governor Pat Quinn vetoed a firearm carry bill passed by a veto-proof, bipartisan majority of the Illinois (!) Legislature – for no better reason than to paymar the law-abiding gun owner – he did find the time to sign a bill that went way past “useless” and into “ritualistic depravity”:

The governor’s comments came after he signed a bill into law that would require local school districts to conduct safety drills to prepare for a possible shooting. The measure, which took effect immediately, will require schools to partner with local law enforcement agencies to develop and conduct a shooting drill at least once a school year. It’s up to each school whether students must be present for the exercise, and parents can choose to have their children sit out.

Of course, schools’ only response to a mass shooting is to “lock down” – i.e., provide shooters nice long rows of rooms full of orderly victims – and hope the police arrive.

The drill is useless at preventing mass deaths in these incidents – but it does train people, especially children, that without government intervention there is no hope.  Which is a key part of our public schools’ mission.

But I digress. 

And when the police arrive, they’ll do exactly law-enforcement has been trained to do with active mass shooter situations since the disaster at Columbine; try to get a shot at the perp as soon as possible.  Which is the only way to interrupt a mass-shooting; killing the shooter, or breaking their fantasy so they give up or kill themselves.

Which is something any civilian, or teacher, with a gun can do, and have done repeatedly.

Less Useless

In the wake of the Newtown/Sandy Hook massacre, as America’s political class and educational-industrial complex spun themselves into paroxysms of anxiety working out non-solutions (ramping up regulations on the law-abiding) and anti-solutions (useless fripperies designed to increase the theatrical “sense” of security without actually making anyone safer from the kind of atrocities that happened in Newtown)…

…one Minneapolis teaching assistant, actually did something useful; she brought her legally-permitted gun to school. 

As cops are teaching themselves – and others who are at liberty to use the knowlege – the best way to respond to an active mass shooter is immediately, with lethal force.  It’s ended not a few potential mass shootings, notably the shooting in Portland three days before Newtown, where a citizen pointing a gun at a man who’d just murdered two and still had hundreds of rounds of ammunition was all it took to break the killer out of his fantasy - which is the key step.  Mass-murderers are delusional narcissists lost in a fantasy world; interrupting the carefully-planned fantasy is the key to ending the shooting (at least before the plan reaches its end). 

But that’s just too practical a solution for the Minneapolis school system, or any other, apparently:

A Minneapolis education assistant has been put on a year’s probation and remains on unpaid leave after bringing a loaded handgun to Seward Montessori School the week after school shootings grabbed national attention in December.

The district identified the aide who brought the .357 Magnum gun to the school as Kathleen E. Scozzari, in response to a Star Tribune data practices law request. She is a 21-year district employee.

The 59-year-old northeast Minneapolis resident has been on leave without pay from her $19.90 per hour job since the Dec. 19 incident, in which her gun was recovered from her locked locker in a staff room. The incident occurred a week after the mass school shootings in Newton, Conn.

“She was immediately cooperative. She explained her motives to the police right away,” said attorney Sarah MacGillis, who represented Scozzari. “Her principal concern was protecting the students.”

Kudos to Ms. Scozzari for her motives.

Of course, it’s against the law – and against policy, which is that your children must be compliant, orderly victims, the better to be used as a helpless dependent in life, and posthumous political cudgel.

Provided your children look like the children of NPR executives. 

The story doesn’t mentioned how the staff detected Scozzari’s pistol.  Scozzari has a carry permit.

And I suspect there are not a few other teachers out there, in the wake of Sandy Hook, doing the same thing, only more quietly.

Great Job, Bloomie

Cuomo ratchets up gun control.

Bloomberg leads a group of mayors in a battle against the Second Amendment (when they can spare time from their own criminal defenses).

New York, mostly placid since the Giuliani years, erupts in gun violence:

Violence surged like the mercury Sunday, with three more fatalities from gun violence — and eight others wounded in shootings — bringing the total number of bullet-riddled in the city to 25 in less than 48 hours.

Only Staten Island was safe from the wide-ranging spray of gunfire and sickening weekend bloodshed. At least 12 people were blasted in Brooklyn, eight in the Bronx and another four in Queens. The sole person shot in Manhattan took several slugs to the chest and perished in broad daylight.

Of course, Chicago has the “toughest” gun laws in the country, and is a cesspool of violence.  Washington DC is right up there on both counts.  Connecticut had “tough” gun laws before Sandy Hook, and has ratcheted them up since – but in what state did Sandy Hook happen, again (all notwithstanding the fact that guns are absolutely illegal in schools to begin with)?

I know – correlation doesn’t equal causation.

But there’s just so much correlation.

Question For Gun-Control Advocates

Background:  It is a fact that the two places in the United States with the worst rates of firearm crime are…:

  • The states of the deep, deep South, with their Scots-Irish tradition of casual, clannish violence, honor killings, and so on.
  • Cities with tight gun controls.  Like Chicago, which is more dangerous per capita than Afghanistan these days, at least in terms of gun violence.  And if Rahm Emanuel theatrically bans IEDs, five’ll get you ten you start seeing those, too.

Now, when you mention this to gun-control advocates – who are usually urbanites, frequently with much schooling (as distinct from education), and some of whom at least try to go through the motions of an informed and civil debate – many will furrow their brows and intone one or both of two things:

  1. “But wait!  There are cities with tight gun controls, like New York and San Francisco, with low gun crime rates!”
  2. “Yes, cities like Chicago and Washington DC have tight gun controls and high crime rates.  But the guns that are used to carry out the crime come from places with lax gun laws!”

Zip Guns, Zip Codes:  Of course, just as it’s misleading to splotch crime rates across entire states – or states with significant populations, shaddap about Wyoming and the Dakotas – as it is to draw the same conclusions about politics or the economy, it’s equally as misleading to do the same with metro areas.  Just as Illinois as a whole is relatively safe (with a murder rate of 5.5 per 100,000, just a little above the national rate of 4.7/100,000), the city of Chicago as whole is modestly less-than-catastrophic, with a 15.9 per 100,000 murder rate; that’s only triple the national rate, double that of Minneapolis, and five times Saint Paul’s murder rate.

Murder in Chicago is heavily concentrated in its most blighted neighborhoods, and among its most disadvantaged populations.  You can walk the streets of Norwood Park or Lincoln Square in relative safety; Washington Heights or New City, less so; Chicago Lawn, still less.  That’s true in most cities.

And especially true in cities like Chicago and Minneapolis and New Orleans and Baltimore and Atlanta, where you have wide swathes of disparity in income and society.  And less so in cities like San Francisco and Manhattan, which have largely become gentrified and too-expensive-for-the-poor, and have managed to export their criminal element to Oakland or Newark.

Balance: To the second point?  If Chicago is more dangerous because its criminals are able to get guns from suburban Illinois or and from surrounding states, why aren’t those surrounding counties and cities anywhere nearly as dangerous? A fifth of guns used in crime in Chicago come from Indiana, a state with a crime rate a point lower than Illinois and about a quarter that of Chicago.   About 4% come from Wisconsin, a state with a crime rate half that of Illinois (and much of even that concentrated in Milwaukee, whose crime rate is not much better overall than Chicago, and for most of the same reasons) and less than a fifth that of Chicago.

If the guns – and the access to the guns – were the problem, then Montana, North Dakota and Mississippi should have sky-high crime rates too…

…oh, wait: while Montana (2.6/100,000) and North Dakota (1.5/100,000 in 2010) have very low murder rates, Mississippi is at 7/100,000 (with no urban areas making the top list).  Not much different than Minneapolis; triple Saint Paul; half of Chicago’s murder rate, even with its Deep South pathologies fully and stereotypically undisturbed.   

So here’s the question:  if access to guns is the problem, why aren’t the places from which Chicago criminals get their guns as overrun with crime as Chicago itself is?

Letter To Nick Coleman, “Executive Editor” Of The Uptake

I sent the following to Nick Coleman – the “Executive Editor” of Twin Cities’ videoleftyblog The Uptake, which appears to have jettisoned all pretense of being anything but, well, a videoleftyblog – after reading his email to the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance last night:

Mr. Coleman,

I caught your note to Andrew Rothman on Facebook.

As a rigidly law-abiding gun owner, I have a special interest in policing my own.

So if you would please: from whom are you getting this “growing sense” at the Capitol?

Any actual legislators you could name? Did they have complaints about any specific behavior, from any particular attendees?

If they felt intimidated, was there a reason they didn’t notify Capitol Security – who said, Mr. Rothman noted, that the crowd was better-behaved than most?

Finally, Mr. Coleman – as you have publicly acknowledged being a carry permit holder, how do people “find it possible” do do anything around you, knowing that you may be armed? It’s a serious question.

Thanks in advance.

Mitch Berg

Uppity Peasant

I’m not exactly expecting an answer.  The one time Nick answered a question of mine, it was…

…well, memorable.