Joe Persell: Context Goes Both Ways

The big DFL strategy in this election, so far, seems to be to scare to death the voters who they haven’t bored to death.

There was a debate on Wednesday in Bemidji.  Since a couple of districts – 2A and 5A – are in play in the Bemidji area, candidate from both were apparently in the ring.

The topic turned to gun control:

In response to a question on gun control, [HD2A GOP challenger Dave] Hancock said shooting incidents usually occur in places where guns are banned.

“If we look we look at the areas where tragedy has occurred with guns, they are usually in gun-free zone(s),” he said. “Where you have people armed and carrying concealed weaponry, the criminal in use of a gun thinks twice.”

That’s pretty much the fact.  Hancock got it right.  No surprise there.

Here’s where it gets interesting – and when I say “interesting”, I mean “A DFLer starts saying things that misinform the uninformed”.  The DFL’s Joe Persell responded to the question; I’m going to add emphasis:

Persell disagreed, saying carrying weapons can exacerbate tense situations.

“Folks that are out there carrying, playing cop … I don’t think we want them to be doing that,” he said. “There’s more instances of people being killed because they are carrying, and they think somebody said something nasty, and they felt threatened, and so they shot them.”

Really, Rep. Persell?

I wanted to ask Rep. Persell to name one example of either of a Minnesotan…:

  • being killed because they were “playing cop”
  • killing someone who “said something nasty” to them.

Conversation:  I sent Rep. Persell an email asking for clarification.  He contacted me, saying he’d been taken out of context in the Bemidji Pioneer.  We wound up having a conversation last night.   I pointed out that there has never been such a case involving a legal post 2003 carry permit holder in the state of Minnesota (although there were a few incidents with pre-2003 permits – the ones issued by sheriffs).

Rep. Persell told me that the conversation referred to the Second Amendment as a general, nationwide issue, and that he was referring to cases like those of Michael Dunn, the Florida man who shot a teenager over, the court case said, “loud music”.

Those cases certainly grab the headlines – the media, being left-of-center and largely anti-gun, makes sure they do.

But even those lavishly-publicized incidents are exceedingly rare.  I ran the numbers, nationwide, a few years ago; in a typical year, a carry permittee is two orders of magnitude less likely to commit any kind of crime than the general public.

So while Persell wasn’t “lying”, per se, he was focusing attention on a type of incident that is exceedingly rare in real life.   While his original quote in the Bemidji Pioneer may have been out of context, the context of his remark is misleading and inflammatory.

The problem with guns, statistically, nationwide, isn’t a guy with a carry permit killing someone unjustifiably.  It’s the thousands of criminals without permits who kill people without regard to the law at all.

Hope that word gets out…

By the way, the regional leftymedia got the Victorian Vapours over this remark from Persell’s opponent, GOP challenger Phillip Nelson; again, I add emphasis:

When it came time for his turn to speak, Nelson pulled out a small knife and displayed it to the audience.

“This is my right to bear arms,” he said. “I’m really okay with anybody having any kind of weapon that they want on their person, at any time, for any reason, in any location.”

Kudos to Nelson for passion, zeal and use of props.  But when you’ve got liberal media in the audience, you’ve got a conundrum.  While they get very, very abstract about statements like “you can keep your doctor”, they become very pointillistic about statements like “anyone” can carry a weapon; they will assume you advocate handing guns out to felons on release from prison (along with ballots, apparently).

Care required.

But let’s not lose focus;  Persell is lying.

As we shall hopefully reinforce shortly.

18 thoughts on “Joe Persell: Context Goes Both Ways

  1. It’s still a bit too early to make the argument that you are more likely to become infected with Ebola than you are to get shot and killed by a carry permit holder. We’ve only had 1 Ebola death so far in this country.

    But I’d be willing to bet real live money that within 6 months (and probably sooner) that will no longer be the case.

  2. Don’t forget BSU is a typical academic hotbed of tolerance that is one of the prime economic drivers of the community, plus all those students, voting locally and absentee. Bemidji is a cesspool of progressives.

  3. Leave it to the woefully ignorant to cite the EXTREMELY rare, yet EXTREMELY sensationalized instances of a legal carrier misusing their tool and completely ignoring (as the woefully ignorant will do) the NUMEROUS times legal carriers successfully defend themselves, their family or complete strangers against threat.

  4. Two new very odd election commercials out by Nolan. He blames Stewart Mills for the Georgia Pacific plant closing in Duluth. Whats odd is that Nolan was in office during the closour, while MIlls was running his family retail business in Brenierd. Wouldn’t that make it Nolan’s fault?

    And bigger picture….I lived up there for a while. The wood and paper industry is having difficult times. I don’t think Nolan understands the issues, let alone have solutions. But hey, he is going after low info voters.

  5. I think that you are missing the point of the Dunn example, Mr. Berg.
    The Left does not want the gun control debate to be about 2nd amendment rights or self defense. What the Left wants is for voters to think that carry permits are a tool used by white male conservatives to kill innocent blacks and other minorities.
    The Left believes the Dunn incident is a typical result of carry laws, not an aberration. They will always try to turn the conversation to a discussion of the Dunn incident.

  6. The vast majority of criminals are not stopped by shooting them, certainly not by civilians shooting them. Criminals are stopped by catching them after they commit crimes and putting them in jail. Few shots are ever fired, even by the police. Little would change if civilians didn’t have guns. Yes, I know you can dream up a thousand scenarios where it would be useful to have a gun, and even find them in the news. But these instances are newsworthy because they are so rare.

  7. “Little would change if civilians didn’t have guns.” You can’t fix ……. that

  8. Emery, maybe you shoud ‘splain to the cops that they shouldn’t carry guns. You know, give ’em your whole ‘most of the time you can’t stop criminals by shooting them’ theory of crime prevention.

  9. The vast majority of criminals are not stopped by civilians shooting them because presently, it is illegal for civilians to shoot them. Life would change if it were legal for civilians to shoot criminals.

  10. How many times in my life has something bad not happened because I didn’t carry a gun? Let’s see, I’m 48 years old, times 365 days times 12 times a day…

  11. You belong on The View, you could sit alongside Rosie and explain to the world they should all be more like you. You have a soft, clean, well-paid indoor job and live in a neighborhood where you don’t fear for your physical safety, so you don’t have any need for a gun or even a policeman and nobody else should, either.

  12. It’s not surprising you would support Nate’s view where; “Life would change if it were legal for civilians to shoot criminals.”

    It appears Nate would be happy to cull the herd if allowed to do so.

  13. You are dumber than usual on this thread, Emery.
    No one is legally allowed to carry a gun for the purpose of shooting criminals. Not civilins, not cops, not soldiers.

  14. [knock knock]
    “Come in.”
    “Say, Sheriff Emery, I’m a law abiding citizen. I’d like a gun permit, so, you know, I can stop criminals.”
    “Okay, here ‘ya go.”
    Some time later . . .
    [knock knock]
    “What is it?”
    “Sheriff Emery, I’m a criminal. Can I get a gun permit? I need it for self-defense. Citizens keep shooting at me.”
    “Don’t see why not! Sign here. Damn, I can’t believe how easy this job is!”

  15. “…. dream up a thousand scenarios where it would be useful to have a gun ….” Emery – do you read this blog? Many of the stories Mitch reports regarding folks using their guns for self-defense or to stop a criminal before the crime starts are NOT dreams. I’m sure your dig at this “target rich environment” makes you feel better about your lack of logic on this issue. I’m 52 years X 365 days and have never owned or fired a weapon and yet I can see how valuable 2nd Amendment is for all of us – can’t you?

  16. I’m even older than Emery and in all my years, I’ve never needed to save my life with a fire extinguisher, a life jacket, an epipen or a seat belt. Therefore, I don’t need to own them and nobody else should, either.

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