With last week’s statement by Hennco Attorney Mike Freeman that the “good samaritan” who shot Darren Evanovich acted in justifiable self-defense, I have a question for the Twin Cities media.
I’ll direct it first and foremost at my, well, good acquaintance, Bob Collins at MPR, who wrote a piece on the NewsCut blog which asked the question “A concealed carry ‘success’ or ‘failure’?” and concluded - based on the sketchy facts and deeply incomplete and, I suggest, fatally slanted reporting the story got in the Twin Cities mainstream media – “it’s unclear whether [the Evanovich case] is a matter of the law gone right or gone wrong”.
Last week’s release from the Hennco attorney’s office answered that question.
Since 2005 – when the Minnesota Personal Protection Act was re-passed by an overwhelming bi-partisan vote – there have been exactly four shootings involving Minnesota carry permit holders (that I’m aware of – and someone will no doubt set me straight if I’m not):
- The Evanovich case – which I’ve been writing about this past few weeks pretty extensively. Details of the shoot are here and here. The denouement is here.
- The Grumpy’s case, in which a bouncer was attacked by drunken, tossed-out patron with a knife; the bouncer was also never arrested,
- The Treptow case – a deeply controversial case involving a citizen who shot (and very mildly wounded) a road-raging thug who was pointing a gun at his pregnant wife…who turned out to be an undercover cop affiliated with the disgraced Gang Strike Force. While Treptow was never arrested, the Anoka County Attorney basically buried him in charges (the Anoka County Attorney went to a grand jury and got a three-count indictment against Treptow and another against the cop, Robbinsdale Police officer Landon Beard. The Anoka County attorney’s office then pushed the case over to Washington County, where the county attorney dropped the indictment against Beard) forcing a plea bargain leaving Treptow with a felony rap and a 60 day sentence. The case is broadly regarded as a travesty and a miscarriage of and an example of government protecting its own. Treptow has, by the way, had his civil rights restored.
- The Nye’s case – which involved a drunken patron shooting a bouncer at Nye’s Polonaise in Northeast Minneapolis. The shooter wasn’t carrying his pistol – after being ejected, he went home and got it – and his permit was one of the pre-2005 variety issued largely to people with connections with the county sheriff, so it’s not really applicable to MPPA-era permit laws.
In addition to these, there have been many – according to some closely involved with the issue, “hundreds” – of “Defensive Gun Uses” (DGUs) that never made the news, because no shots were fired. From scaring off thugs in the skyway to warding off carjackers to holding a murder suspect for police, Minnesota carry permittees have racked up a solid record of…
…well, doing what they’re supposed to do and not doing what they’re not supposed to.
Which is not what Wes Skoglund warned us about.
Now, maybe it’s true that something that doesn’t happen isn’t really news.
Given the dire, almost paranoid warnings we got from the Twin Cities media, and the space outlets like the Strib have given the likes of Wes Skoglund and Heather Martens to spread them over the years, I’d beg to differ.