A bit of legal background first: A Minnesota carry permit isn’t a “Concealed Carry” permit. It allows a permittee to carry a firearm, either concealed or openly. Now, most permittees carry concealed; partly because there’s no sense in showing a criminal who it is that might oppose them, and partly because we live in a society where some people become fairly unhinged around guns.
And by “a society”, I mean “modern, NPR-listening, Volvo-driving, St. Olaf-attending, upper-middle-class white-as-the-driven-snow urban America”. People who’ve never had to learn to deal with cognitive dissonance, because they’ve experienced so little of it.
By the way – if I did have a carry permit (or a handgun, for that matter), I doubt I’d ever find an occasion to carry openly; in Saint Paul, there’d be too many people getting erroneously exercised over it. I like to pick my battles. In other parts of the state, it’d be less of a battle.
Pick Your Battles
That is, in fact, one of the most important lessons from carry permit training; the best way to use your permitted firearm is not at all. Never. Using a handgun is, at best, the second-worst possible outcome to an altercation.
And if you talk with most carry permittees, you find that that lesson has sunk in. When someone flips them off in traffic, they don’t flip back; they “wave with all five fingers”, as a carry permit instructor of mine advised. More so? If they see a dangerous situation brewing – a bar fight, a skeevy situation – they make themselves scarce.
Because nothing is harder to talk your way out of than a shooting.
A permitted firearm is there only for when the battle picks you, and there’s nothing – nothing! – you can do about it.
And Minnesota permittees are pretty good about picking their battles. In ten years, there has been precisely one unjustified homicide carried out by a permittee. That’s a murder rate a couple of orders of magnitude below the rate for the general population, and bordering on “infinitely”.
Earlier this week, a group called the Minnesotans for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms decided to try an awareness raising event; holding an “Open Streets – Open Carry” event at an “Open Streets” event in Southwest Minneapolis.
The “Open Streets” events are, of course, a metro-wide series of glorified block-club parties.
Twin Cities’ gun groups have, of course, done open carry events for years; most notable were the “Open Carry Picnics” at Lake Harriett. You may have heard about them – but not because anything untoward happened there.
The intention? Have a picnic. Pull up a grill and some lawn chairs and socialize.
Unfortunately, MNRKBA picked the one in Southwest Minneapolis – a neighborhood full of Saint Olaf/Carlton liberals who are not well disposed to cognitive dissonance. They called in their connections.
And Don’t You Dare Call The Media Biased!
The Strib and the City Pages covered the story…
…well, no. The two papers served as PR agents for the neighborhood’s indignant.
“Gun Rights Groups Plan To Pack Heat At Open Streets” read the City Pages headline.
“Pack Heat” is one of those things reporters write about carry (open or concealed) when they don’t really understand it, but know they feel contempt for it anyway.
As to the Strib? “Gun Owners Target Twin Cities Street Fairs For Coming Out Party“? If you think the title is loaded, go ahead and count the number of times writer Mary Lynn Smith uses the phrase “gun-totin'” in her article.
But it’s not just the articles that are the problem.
Catnip For Ninnies With Authoritarian Streaks
Check out the comments.
Especially the ones threatening violence. Anonymity and a public forum certainly brings out the online courage in a lot of people, doesn’t it?
Over on the MN-RKBA Facebook page, one woman stated she’d go out of her way to pick a fight with an open carrier, and then lie to the police to try to get the carrier arrested (the comments were deleted).
There were just too many people expressing an intent to cause some sort of mischief, legal or otherwise…
…over something that is every Minnesotan’s legal right, should they choose to exercise it.
With the threats, and remembering the basics – avoid dangerous situations – the MN-RKBA decided to call off the open carry events.
Not because they were asked to, nicely or not.
Not because they didn’t have every legal right to be there, just like any other community group.
Because a bunch of wannabe thugs threatened to create a thing all responsible carry permittees always avoid; a situation.
I Did Say Ninnies, Didn’t I?
Of course, Heather Martens and “Moms Demand Action” – who are as devoid of “victories” as they are of any history of factual statements on the issue – are trying to claim this as a victory for the gun-grabber movement. Both are apparently try to exploit this event as a “win” for their hapless groups.
And there’s one more ninny. Indeed, the big kahuna of Twin Cities lefty ninnies. More at noon.
Martens and Jane Kay are, as usual – as always – lying. Neither “Protect MN” nor “Moms Demand Action”, nor any “organized” anti group, had any role or say in this. Nor a case.
No, the entire decision was over the obvious potential for trouble.
And anyone who claims otherwise is lying, or trying to gin up drama for their personal, political or PR gain, or both. Most likely both.
But again, more at noon.