SCENE: Mitch BERG is waiting in line at Sorrento Cucina in the Minneapolis skyway. He sees Avery LIBRELLE coming around a corner. The thought of trying to slip away into the crowd visibly crosses his mind. But the lure of Sorrento’s delicious sausige conflicts him long enough that LIBRELLE notices him.
BERG: Hey, Avery. What’s up?
LIBRELLE: With the incoming Democrat House of Representatives in Saint Paul, we’re going to stick it to all you gun-lickers!
BERG: Huh. Yeah, I see that the incoming Speaker, Melissa Hortman, says that even though Minnesota has one of the lowest murder rates in the United States, and perhaps the lowest murder rate among states with a top-20 metro area, she’s going to make “gun violene” her #1 priority.
Not the educational achievement gap. Not economic development in the Iron Range. Not even anything that’ll have a meaningful impact on urban crime.
LIBRELLE: Merg! Don’t you read the papers? Mass shootings are going on all over the place! Our schools are charnel houses! Our malls and gay bars are abattoirs! Everywhere you go, you are in danger from mass shootings!
BERG: The rate of spree killings isn’t correlated with the presence of civilian firearms – although it is correlated with “gun free zones” – but schools are the safest they’ve been in decades as re overall gun crime…
LIBRELLE: I don’t care about overall crime! Mass shootings are a constant factor of life! They can hit you any time! They can’t be predicted…
BERG: …other than being in “gun free zones”…
LIBRELLE: …and any time you leave your house you’re in constant danger of being gunned down by a white guy with an AR47!
BERG: Huh. Now, it’s academic to me, since all my guns fell into Mille Lacs over the summer – but it things really are that dire and serious out there…
LIBRELLE: They are! They are!
BERG: …then it’d be prudent and common sense to decide to carry a firearm to defend myself and those around me from this apparently constant and imminent threat.
LIBRELLE: Good Lord, Merg – you’re so paranoid!