Lie First, Lie Always: Delusions Of Adequacy

It’s been a frustrating week to be a Real American in Minnesota – an American who believes that law-abiding citizens should have more rights in the eyes of the law than criminals.

More on that tomorrow on the show.  Oh, yes – the show will fairly crackle with rage.

But there’s some comic relief.  Grim comic relief, under the circumstances, but relief nonetheless.

She Who Has Never Made  A Single Substantial, Original, True Statement About The Issue:  It’s been interesting seeing what the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence has rattling around her little ELCA-coiffed noggin.  This was in her email blast yesterday (emphasis added to highlight particularly comic passages by me):

I am pleased to announce that the House public safety committee omnibus bill introduced today in committee does NOT contain the Permitless Carry or Stand Your Ground bills! That was the goal of our Cure Gun Violence lobby day and rally on Tuesday—and we succeeded!

Make no mistake about it – the criminal-protection, black-victim-disarmament lobby, after spending ten times as much as the Real Americans in this past year for almost no results, obtained a victory of sorts, for now.  But they didn’t win it.   It happened due to nothing they did on their own.   Not one iota of it happened due to anything The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence’s fact-free rambling, the sanctimonious preening of the Dreamsicles, or the trunks full o Jacksons that the Bloomberg lobby spent.

No.  The GOP gave it to them.  They “won” a forfeited game.

Leadership in the Senate, apparently rendered pusillanimous via winning the majority, decided to play “protect the incumbents”, even though it’s three years ’til the election.

House leadership, hearing this, decided to play it “safe” – thus earning themselves a raft of well-deserved and impassioned primary challenges supported by a group of people…

…who, I can tell you right now, are pissed off at having their votes courted, but their policies ignored in the breach.

It was the kind of stupid error that makes being a Republican such a trying thing in this Godforsaken state.   How hard is it to dance with the ones that brung you?

But it wasn’t “Protect” MN’s f****ng win.  Those lumpen fossils and caterwauling shrews dominate their little echo chambers in Crocus Hill and Kenwood, and not a hell of a lot more.

The Lesson:  Even after years of winning, and of beating back serious challenges while in the minority, Real Americans not not relax.  We can not be complacent.  We can not trust the party for which most of us worked our asses off.

Lie First, Lie Always: The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence Can’t Seem To Tell The Truth. Ever.

My first carry permit instructor, the late great Joel Rosenberg, drilled into his students’ heads one key, overarching idea; that shooting in self-defense was, at best, the second-worst possible outcome to an incident.  “You’re setting off a nuclear bomb in your life”, he said.

Shooting in self-defense is fraught with peril, for even the most law-abiding citizen and the most legitimate shoot.

And the criteria for “legitimate shoot” – the use of lethal force in self-defense – are both oppressively vague (in Minnesota) and relatively iron-clad.  To you use lethal force legally in self-defense:

  1. You must not be a willing participant in the incident.   You can’t start a brawl, and then draw your gun when someone pulls a knife.
  2. You must reasonably, immediately fear death or great bodily harm.
  3. The force you use must be reasonable; you can only use it to end the immediate threat to your life.
  4.  You must make a reasonable effort to disengage.  One exception in Minnesota is when you’re in your home – which means “within the walls of your domicile”.

There was a shooting over the weekend in Madelia, Minnesota.  The Strib’s John Reinan was on the hagiography beat (a Strib specialty.  The Southern MN News stuck to the facts.

If I had to guess, bsed on the information we have in front of us right now (and Berg’s 18th Law would tell us that relying on the media for actual information is dodgy at best), I’d suggest that shooting at someone’s car to blow out a tire as they’re fleeing is legal in Texas, but probably a bad move under Minnesota law.   Again, just guessing, and the shooter, David Petterson, is innocent until proven guilty.

But I’m not here to talk about the case, or the media’s reporting of it – not this time.

I’m here to continue my mission of making sure every single sentient Minnesotan knows that “Protect” Minnesota, even more than most criminal-safety groups, are to fact what “Baghdad Bob” was to journalism.

The blood was barely dry before The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence – “P”M’s “executive director” and one of about half a dozen actual members – released her opinion.

“Opinion” is putting it as charitably as ethically possible:

Look!  Boogeymen!:  Nord Bence starts out shaky:

We are already hearing chatter from the gun lobby about how unfair it was for law enforcement to charge David A. Pettersen with second-degree manslaughter and intentional discharge of a firearm in connection with the shooting death of Nicholas T. Embertson in Fieldon Township on Saturday. They are saying that this case demonstrates why the Stand Your Ground bill (HR0238), introduced earlier this session by Rep. Jim Nash of Waconia, should be passed.

Not sure what “Gun Lobby” the Reverend Nord Bence is referring to – neither GOCRA nor MNGOC nor the NRA have publicly opined on the case.  Minnesota Gun Rights is a potemkin organization – a scam, if you will.   They are not “the gun lobby”.

They also don’t know the law much better than Nord Bence; “Stand Your Ground” is useless if you don’t reasonably, immediately fear death or great bodily harm.  Not to do the county attorney’s job, but under Minnesota law, shooting at a fleeing car might not fly in court.

Preacher, Heal Thyself:  The Reverend Nord Bence – like her predecessor, Heather Martens, has yet to make a single, original, substantial, true statement on the issue of guns. I’m not sure she’s “lying” – telling untruths when you don’t know any better is merely ignorance.

But while Nord Bence is a comically inept spokesperson, it’s a good thing she’s got preachin’ to fall back on.  Because she’d make a terrible lawyer:

The Nash Stand Your Ground bill is dangerous for many reasons – not the least being the serious risk it would pose to communities of color and immigrants in our state.

Nord Bence keeps saying this.  I’m not sure she could even tell you why.   I’d guess it’s because one of her superiors in the Criminal Safety movement told her “FEELING THREATENED BY A HOODIE JUSTIFIES MURDER” or some such twaddle.

Which ties into this next bit:

 

But we should not forget that HR0238 would also tie the hands of local law enforcement and obstruct their ability to fulfill their sworn duty to protect the communities they serve.  If it were to pass, almost any shooting could be justified because the shooter “felt threatened,”

And again, as we noted a few weeks back, Nord Bence is either legally illiterate, or lying, or both.   While Minnesota’s self-defense laws are a marvel of unclarity, they are pretty clear on the point that you have to have an immediate fear of death or great bodily harm that you can convince a jury is “reasonable”.

Hoodies don’t count.

Will “teenagers speeding away in a car” pass muster?  I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Pettersen case demonstrates why it is so important that law enforcement personnel retain the right to do their job and determine when charges are warranted.

And Nancy Nord Bence demonstrates why “getting your information from “Protect” Minnesota is actually worse than getting no information at all.

The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight, Part V: Everyone With ELCA Hair Looks The Same

All this week we’ve been talking about “Protect” Minnesota’s press release, a week ago today.

And when I say “talking”, I mean “checking its many false assertions, and mocking it to a fine sheen”.

I – like the release itself – saved the worst for last.

Like Going To Courtney Love For Legal Advice:  We noted yesterday – the Reverend Nord Bence is utterly unclear on how self-defense law works.

In this next bit, she transposes that ignorance onto society at large.   I’m going to add emphasis:

Moreover, the Stand Your Ground bill represents a particular threat to people of color and immigrants, who are often met with suspicion by Minnesotans because they look and dress differently. If it were to pass, almost any shooting could be justified because the shooter “felt threatened,” even if the “threat” was a hoodie or a hijab.

This is a flaming lie.

You can not kill people because they make you nervous. Don’t be a moron.

Nord Bence isn’t the first to use it, of course; when self-defense reform was passed (with a bipartisan majority) in 2012, liberal commentators – from bloggers to Dakota County Prosecutor Jim Backstrom and Chaska police chief Scott Knight – made the same claim; that you could kill someone who “gave you stink-eye” or who “made you feel uncomfortable”.

It’s a lie, of course; “I felt uncomfortable” or “I’m scared of hijabs” is not “reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm.”

And if the legal system started letting people off the hook for shooting people for those reasons, then it really, really wouldn’t be the guns’ fault.

And I can’t prove it, but I suspect Nord Bence knows this; while she eschews discussion with people who actually know the issue, she’s certainly had people try to set her straight.    At any rate, it’s a cynical lie, made in a complete vacuum of truth.  She should be ashamed, and I am looking forward to the chance to tell her to her face.

Already minorities are purchasing more guns than ever before because they feel afraid2;

Well, to be fair, the media did spend an entire election cycle pumping up irrational fear.  And they do have the same legal right to arm themselves that everyone else does.  I encourage law-abiding minorities to avail themselves of their rights (not “privileges”) along with the rest of us.

And for all the media’s manufactured barbering over “Stand Your Ground”, there are two facts they somehow never get around to:

  • “Stand Your Ground” was not a factor in the Zimmerman/Martin case.  Not even a little:   Even the prosecutor admitted that Zimmerman never had a chance to retreat.  The defense never invoked Florida’s “duty to retreat” exemption in Zimmerman’s defense, because he never had to.  It was a non-factor.  It was the media, and liars like The Reverend Nord Bence, who made it an issue.
  • Minorities invoke “Stand Your Ground” laws more often than whites when claiming self-defense:  In the only stats we have on the subject, it turns out that black citizens are twice as likely to invoke Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law, per capita.

passage of this bill could lead to a wholesale arming of communities that feel threatened by it.

Which, I suspect, is the part that bothers Nord Bence and her followers the most.  There’s a reason why their events – every last one – take place in lilywhite places like Eagan, and Burnsville, and Kenwood, and at the south end of the Stone Arch Bridge, and not at Plymouth and Sheridan, after all.

We’re Almost Done!:  Finally:

 And more guns mean more gun violence.3

No, they don’t.

Finally:  We wrap up with the big finish:

Protect Minnesota calls upon all Minnesota citizens—84% of whom support comprehensive background checks to keep firearms out of dangerous hands–to voice their opposition to the passage of these radical bills. We call upon leaders from both parties in the legislature to keep these bills from moving forward.

Every anti-gun legislator outside the metro area has been defeated; ask them how many Minnesotans support background checks?  Support for both bills is bipartisan and spread throughout this state, just like in 2012.

So when The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence says:

Yep, Reverend. Game on indeed. See you at the Capitol. I’ll be the one that’s part of a big freaking crowd of friendly, courteous, hardworking Minnesotans. You’ll be the one mincing about at the head of your pack of shrill husks. Bring the pain, ma’am.

And we call on Gov. Dayton to promise to veto these bills if they pass, confident that he will recognize them as bad for Minnesota and dangerous for Minnesotans.

Yes.

Yes, Governor Dayton.  Please, please please please please please.  I beg of you.

Once again, answer to your party’s lunatic fringe, and veto two bills that will pass with unanimous GOP support, and that of every DFLer who’s more than half an hour from downtown Minneapolis.

Give the GOP a club to use to smack up every DFL representative in the third tier of ‘burbs.  Give the GOP a statewide rallying point against the next DFL candidate for governor.  Turn the masses of shooters out; they tend to dial back the intensity of their activism unless they have something to rally around, more’s the pity, but this will serve nicely.

By all means, follow the advice of a woman who, to be charitable, has just expressed cataclysmic ignorance of every single fact she presented in this Doestoyevskian press release.  Of a woman who, as I’ve shown, is wrong on every single substantive claim she tried to make (and she knows it; it’s why she never, ever faces Human Rights advocates in open debate).

Follow the advice of a woman who might, on a big day, muster 100 middle aged white people with ELCA hair to phumpher and rut about, against the masses who turn out on sub-zero evenings in Saint Paul against her, and routinely melt down the Capitol switchboard, just in time for the gubernatorial campaign.

So yes, Governor Dayton.  Take the advice of the Right Reverend, and sow the wind.  The DFL will reap the whirlwind in 2018.

Sounds like a lovely plan to me!

Or, y’know, just sign the bills, follow the will of the people (who’ve been paying attention), and leave the state a slightly better place, at least in one area.

Your call.


The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight, Part IV: I Don’t Think That Word Means What The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence Thinks It Means

On Tuesday and yesterday, we discussed “Protect” Minnesota’s factually vacuous response to the House’s Constitutional Carry bill – which would allow people who are otherwise entitled to carry firearms to do so without having to jump through hoops.

Today, we’ll shift the focus to “Protect”‘s response to the self-defense reform bill – which The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence refers to as “stand your ground”, because the left and media paid a lot of good money to try to stigmatize that term after the Trayvon Martin episode, of which more later.

Field Marshal Of The Legion Of Invincible Ignorance:  I keep thinking I’ve found the Reverend Nord Bence’s dumbest lie of the lot.  I keep finding worse ones.  But this one may be the bottom of the barrel:

The Stand Your Ground bill (HF0238) would change Minnesota’s existing authorized use of force law by removing the obligation to retreat from danger before using deadly force. If passed, it would be admissible to use deadly force any place and anytime a person subjectively believed their life to be threatened, except against peace officers.

This part is actually true – not that it does Nord Bence’s larger point any good.

The presumption of innocence would be given to the shooter, while burden of proof for prosecution would be with the state. This is the law in Florida that enabled George Zimmerman to get away with the murder of Trayvon Martin.

It’s only two sentences – but they are steeped to saturation in ignorance and untruth.

Reverend: Please read the Fifth Amendment. Get back to us. Thanks.

Read the Fifth Amendment.  The accused always have a presumption of innocence!  The burden of proof is supposed to be with the state!

One wonders if the Reverend truly doesn’t know this – or if she is aiming on purpose for the dumb and illl-informed.

Minnesota currently allows individuals to use deadly force in self-defense, which is appropriate. But it’s an objective standard.

That is 180 degrees removed from correct.  It is subjective!

It’s called the “Reasonable Person” standard; would a “reasonable person” – or 12 of them on a jury, as Joel Rosenberg explained it – believe that you were in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm?   That was a start; those same reasonable people had to believe you also used lethal force appropriately, and weren’t taking part in a fight you were willingly part of.

It’s simple in concept, it’s intensely complicated in court, it’s generally logical, it makes lawyers rich…

…and it’s anything but objective.

You have to be able to show you actually were in danger and that you tried to retreat before resorting to deadly force. This bill removes the obligation to retreat and specifically gives the presumption of innocence to the shooter.

No.  The Constitution does.

The bill merely means that a prosecutor can’t try to hold an arbitrary, subjective definition of “retreating” against someone who is otherwise legitimately defending their life.

This is a major change in our understanding of what it means to defend yourself, a completely subjective standard.

Well, the Reverend Nord Bence is close to a point.  If she and her followers were to learn the current law and what the bill would actually do, it’d be a major change in their understanding, all right.

The Future:  The Reverend Nord Bence asks:

Is that what we want for Minnesota?

You’re a 120 pound woman who works at a shopping mall.  As you walk to your car, a man approaches you, draws a knife, and says “Bitch, get in the car”.  As he steps to grab you, you draw a handgun and shoot him.  He bleeds out as you wait for the police.

A decision you made in a fraction of a second ended one life – perhaps justly – and has just changed yours forever; as the late Joel Rosenberg said, you’ve just dropped a nuclear bomb into your life.

The county attorney will look at the evidence, and weigh it against the statute and, in Minnesota, a lot of case law.

  • Did you legitimately fear death or great bodily harm?  There was a knife, and his statements indicated he was bent on mayhem. Check.
  • Were you a willing participant?  Obviously not.  Surveillance camera footage showed you were clearly accosted.  Check.
  • Did you use appropriate force?   You shot him, he dropped, you ceased fire.  You ended the immediate threat.  Check.
  • Did you make a reasonable effort to retreat?   You were 120 pounds and in reasonable shape.  He was 250 and kind of a slob.  Could you have outrun him, thus avoiding the incident?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But here’s what will happen; a decision that you had to make in a second, in a dark parking lot, under the most stress you will ever feel, will be gone over by someone with a BA in Political Science and a JD, sitting in a warm, well-lit office, protected by deputies with badges and metal detectors and guns, to determine if you tried hard enough, in his utterly subjective opinion, to retreat.   If he decides you did not?  You will go to trial, and spend your life’s savings trying to stay out of jail – not over whether you were reasonably afraid, but over the prosecutor’s opinion of your reflexes.    In the hands of a zealous-enough prosecutor, “duty to retreat” becomes an utterly subjective way of punishing people for otherwise perfectly-legitimate shoots.Like the one we just demonstrated.

That is why we need this law.

Oh, it gets worse still.  More tomorrow.


The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight, Part III: That Golden Ticket!

I’m continuing my five-part series going over “Protect” Minnesota’s press release on the Self-Defense Reform and Constitutional Carry bills, which were introduced last week in the House.

But first, a quick aside.

Records:  While the criminal-safety  movement would like you to think otherwise, gun violence is neither generally random nor unpredictable.  Our violent crime rate – which has been dropping for two decades – is not evenly distributed across the population.

I’m not referring to geography here – although the numbers also manifest geographically.

Ethnicity, either, for those of you who are inclined to see racial dog-whistles in all conservative writing.

But it’s a simple fact that if a person gets to age 21 without a violent felony record – whether they’re from rural Kentucky or downtown Baltimore – the odds are pretty good they will go through their entire life without one.

And the vast, vast majority of firearm crimes involve people with records of violent and serious property crime, either as perps, victims, or both.  It’s exceedingly rare that someone of any race with a  pristine record vis a vis violent and property crime shoots someone.  (Mass shootings are usually an exception – but they are also a different  phenomenon and, notwithstanding the coverage they receive, are vastly rarer.  Also, they are overwhelmingly associated with places where victims are disarmed – but that’s another discussion).

This isn’t a tangent; it’ll come back up.

Clairvoyance?:  Consider the following scenario:

A man walks out of a bank.  He’s carrying a sawed-off shotgun (a violation of federal law) and a bag of cash.

A policeman rolls up.  A policewoman jumps out and, taking cover behind her car, yells “Show me a your carry permit!”

That sounds absurd, doesn’t it?  It is, of course.  There’s a crime underway.  The subject’s paperwork is less relevant than the fact that they reasonably appear to be in the middle of committing a violent felony.

Here’s another scenario; a policeman sees a middle-aged black family man, with his wife and his kids, sitting outside a Dairy Queen across from Lake Josephine, drinking malts and talking about their day.   A passing police officer sees the imprint of the butt of a handgun under the man’s shirt.

It’s possible that the guy is carrying illegally – and the cop may well walk over to ask if the man has a permit (he does) and advise him to tuck in a little to avoid getting ninnies riled up.  But it’s pretty much a fact that middle aged family guys, Tony Soprano notwithstanding, generally aren’t gangsters on the warpath.

This discussion brings us to The Reverend Nord Bence’s next point (with emphasis added by me):

The permitless carry bill also represents a particular threat to law enforcement officers, who cannot possibly discern who is a “good guy with a gun” and who’s a “bad guy with a gun” during the few seconds they would have to respond to a lethal threat.

Um, what now?

Does The Reverend Bence think carry permits are externally visible?

If the officer is facing a lethal threat – an immediate threat to their existence on this planet in this lifetime – permit status is irrelevant.  If you present someone with a legitimate fear of death or great bodily harm, the paperwork is irrelevant.

And not just if you’re a cop.   One of the criteria one must face to justify lethal force in self-defense as a civilian is a reasonable, immediate fear of death or great bodily harm.  If someone is waving a gun, a knife, a machete or a chainsaw at you, and a reasonable person – 12 of them, really – would agree that your life is in danger right now, then the law doesnt’ require  you to be a mind-reader, whether you wear a badge or not.

And if your fear is not reasonable, you are going to be in trouble – as Saint Anthony officer Geronimo Yanez is discovering to his chagrin in court, after allegedly panicking and shooting and killing Philando Castile, who was in fact a good guy with gun, and had a plastic card in his wallet  to prove it.

Yanez might be acquitted – he’s innocent until proven guilty – but it points the the fact that when the Reverend Nord Bence says:

If passed, this bill would force police officers to treat everyone they encounter as armed and dangerous.

…she is, as usual, talking through her ELCA hair.  Cops are always alert for danger, but behavior counts – and the consequences of misreading behavior are serious and irreversible for the shooter, whether it’s a cop or a civilian.  And even more so for the target.

Handicap:  I’ll spot Nord Bence a point here:  I’ll help her explain the point that she apparently can’t.

A carry permit can, in theory, help a cop figure out who is and is not a law-abiding citizen, assuming there isn’t a violent encounter underway – something Nord Bence apparently hasn’t figured out.

Of course, all the information a cop needs to know about a citizen’s legal status is available with a call to their precinct, or a few keystrokes on the computer in their squad car, just as fast as checking the validity of a carry permit.

The Reverend Nord Bence may not know that – which is ignorant – or may know it but be trying to fool the ignorant, which is merely repellent.

It gets worse.


  • Monday:  Game On!
  • Yesterday: Data, Data Everywhere!
  • Today:  That Golden Ticket
  • Thursday:  I Don’t Think That Word Means What The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence Thinks It Means
  • Friday:  Everyone With ELCA Hair Looks The Same

The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight, Part II: Data, Data Everywhere!

All week, we’re going over the “Protect” Minnesota press release from last Friday evening (aka “where politicians take out their trash”).   Because the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence’s work is just too awe-inspiringly bad to tackle in just one post.

Aside:  I can hear you asking already; worse than a Heather Martens piece?

It’s a good question.  The answer is this; point for point, nothing is as factually void as a Heather Martens statement.  And if you let her work in long form, she is capable of packing immense amounts of untruth into a small space.

But pound for pound, the Reverend Nord Bence may have put less fact, less logic and less truth into this press release than any single document in Minnesota history.  It makes Minnesota Progressive Project look like Brittanica.  It’s that bad.

First, Some Background:   Remember what a cesspool of violence Minnesota was in 1973?  When all those otherwise normal, workadaddy, hugamommy people got their hands on guns and, unimpinged by the law, ran out and started killing people?

No?

That’s right.  That’s because it didn’t happen.

And yet, one did not require a permit to carry a firearm, openly or concealed, in Minnesota.  Minnesota didn’t introduce carry permits – the loathsome “May Issue” system the good guys euthanized in 2003 – until 1974.

Which was not long before we started having crime problems in Minnesota.  But correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Next, The Cold Dry Facts:  House File 188, if passed, will allow any citizen who is legally entitled to own and carry firearms to carry them anywhere they’re legally allowed to.  They couldn’t carry them where they’re not legally allowed to – federal facilities, courthouses, schools and places where they’re asked by property owners not to carry.  People who are not legally entitled to carry firearms, due to criminal record or other disqualifying factors, would not.

In other words, law-abiding citizens could exercise their rights without asking government for permission.  Just like their rights to speak, publish, worship, assemble and all the rest.

Exactly as they could before 1974.

Like The Truth, Only The Complete Opposite:  The release starts off with a bang; as caustically cynical a lie as I’ve ever read in print, and I say that neither lightly nor hyperbolically:

The permitless carry bill (HF0188) would invalidate all state laws regarding carrying or possessing weapons in public and authorize anyone to carry a gun without a permit.

This is a lie.

The same people who can’t carry a gun today, can’t carry one under the Constitutional Carry bill. Full stop. Don’t be an idiot.

Anyone who is not entitled to own or carry firearms in Minnesota, will be forbidden to carry guns in Minnesota.

People with felony records?  No carrying for you!

People with many misdemeanor domestic assault violations?  Nope!  Don’t even ask, Chachi!  You’re out!

People who have been determined unable to own firearms, after actual due process?  Nope.  They won’t be able to carry firearms.  At all.  Period.  End of sentence.

And it won’t invalidate law about carrying or handling guns responsibly, in public or private.  The onus will be on the law-abiding gun owner to, well, be law-abiding.

Just as they are today.

Nord Bence actually flirts with fact for a moment:

If this bill were to pass, a permit would be “optional.”

Not if one wished to travel to a state that requires permits.  I’m fairly certain Nord Bence doesn’t know this, which I’ll speculate is why she used the scare quotes.

Unchecked!:  Nord Bence carries on:

Shotguns, rifles, even semi-automatic assault weapons could be carried openly by anyone, without so much as a background check.

Again, untrue

Let’s be honest; the only “background check” that matters is the one the police run when they pull you over.

The federal laws about getting background checks on handguns and “semiautomatic assault weapons” remain unchanged.

Current state laws about rifles and long-barreled shotguns remain unchanged – they need not be registered (and are used in crimes about as often as “Protect” Minnesota says something factual; being long arms, they tend to be a little conspicuous for street crime, and a little inconvenient for crimes of passion).

Which is not to say that people who commit mayhem don’t carry guns.  Clearly, they do.  They just never, ever pay the state $100 and take a background check to do it – because most of the ones who end up committing mayhem with guns couldn’t pass one anyway.

Reverend Non-Sequitur:  Up next, she descends into absurdity (with emphasis added by me):

This bill would prevent local law enforcement from fulfilling their sworn duty to protect the communities they serve. Currently those who want carry permits need to undergo a background check and be approved by law enforcement. According to BCA reports1, between 2005 and 2015, 3,800 Minnesotans were denied the right to carry through this process because of prior violent felony convictions, domestic violence, drug use, violence against police officers, repeated DUI’s, and previous suicidal threats. If the permitless carry bill were to pass today, those 3,800 dangerous individuals would be able to start carrying guns tomorrow.

Uh, no.

If you can’t carry a gun now, the bill won’t change anything. At all.

No, they can not.

People who have violent felony records, and some domestic convictions, can not own, or possess, or be in the same room as, firearms.  Forget about carrying them.    According to several levels of law, state and federal.

People with other behavior – alcohol abuse, drug abuse, violent mental illness – that would otherwise deprive them of the ability to pass a background check, can and do currently have their right to carry – or for that matter, own – guns abridged after due process.

I’ll take the Reverend Nord Bence and her ilk seriously – more seriously than they deserve – for a moment, here; they are of the opinion that making the law-abiding gun owner jump through procedural and financial hoops makes society safer.

It’s a common misconception.

We’ll come back to that tomorrow.


  • Yesterday:  Game On!
  • Today: Data, Data Everywhere!
  • Wednesday:  That Golden Ticket
  • Thursday:  I Don’t Think That Word Means What The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence Thinks It Means
  • Friday:  Everyone With ELCA Hair Looks The Same

The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight: Game On!

In 1987, as a bill that would require the state to issue handgun carry permits to citizens who were not explicitly barred from having them passed a vote in the Florida state legislature, state senator Ron Silver predicted blood in the streets, and said the state would turn into Dodge City.

Silver, being a Democrat of some integrity, admitted several years later he was completely wrong, and that the law was an untrammeled success.

In 2003,  Senator Wes “Lying Sack of Garbage” Skoglund, during the debate on the Minnesota Personal Protection Act (which also instituted “Shall Issue”), said that the law would “allow gang members to get carry permits”.   Which would, I suppose, be true, if you found a gang-banger who was 21 years old and had a clean criminal record, in which case the term you’d be look for is “citizen”.  Anyway – it hasn’t happened.  In 14 years, carry permittees have killed perhaps a half dozen people; in every case but one, it’s been ruled justifiable (and the one exception was someone who shouldn’t have gotten a permit to begin with).

In sort, it wouldn’t be a gun control debate without someone claiming the sky would fall if the law-abiding citizen were able to exercise his or her rights – and a slow walk back five years later as the predictions turned out to be universally false. .

Speaking of universally false, The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence is in the news!  And it almost reads too pat to be good fiction that she does it with a press release that ends with:

We cannot allow the gun-rights fringe to divide our communities, put police at risk, and turn our friendly and forward-looking state into…

Wait for it…

One wonders if she even realizes that the “OK Corral” analogy undercuts her point?

Wait for it…

…the OK Corral.

It never, ever fails, does it?

The Game, It Is On:  Last week, two bills were introduced in the Minnesota state legislature:

  • HF 188, which if enacted would allow any Minnesotan who is not  prohibited from having firearms to carry a firearm without needing to pay for and carry a state permit.  It’s based on the idea that law-abiding citizens shouldn’t have to pay for a state permit to exercise that right.
  • HF 238, which would reform self-defense law by removing the arbitrary and subjective “duty to retreat” from the law on self-defense, as well as codifying the law-abiding citizen’s rights to defend their domicile and property.

In response, “Protect” Minnesota – a group that has for over a decade provided comic relief to Minnesota’s Second Amendment debate  – released a press release on the bills.

They released it at 7:30 PM.  On a Friday night.  The time when most politicians in the know release damaging information – because it’ll be forgotten about by Monday.

And they tried to make up for bad timing with pure volume; unlike most such political press releases, it’s as long as a a Madonna speech, and about as coherent.

The piece isn’t just groaningly, flatulently long; it’s so full of falsehoods – through malice or through incompetence, it matters not – that it really leaves only two possibilities; they really are that badly informed, or they assume that the public is and want to help keep them that way.

At any rate, it’s so bad, I am actually going to break it up into four parts over the rest of the week:

  • Tomorrow: Data, Data Everywhere!
  • Wednesday:  That Golden Ticket
  • Thursday:  I Don’t Think That Word Means What The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence Thinks It Means
  • Friday:  Everyone With ELCA Hair Looks The Same

So tune in every day over lunch for something that “Protect” Minnesota won’t give you; facts.  And the truth.

My Challenge To The Reverend Bence

Lately, the left has been making the following fairly fantastic claim:

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I’ve heard this a few times – and it gave me one of my customarily-brilliant ideas.

I challenge the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence, Joan Peterson, and any other leaders of “Everytown”, “Moms Want Action” and “Protect” MN to meet me in North Minneapolis or Dayton’s Bluff…

(you may have to Google them, since you don’t seem to have any of your gun violence protests in either place)

…and play what I call “The Meme Scavenger Hunt”.

The goal is this:  They’ll drop us in the neighborhood.  My mission:  find a book.  Your mission:  find a gun.  First one to find the book or gun wins; loser buys dinner for the winner.

Any action on that challenge?

Lie First, Lie Always: Audio Carnage

Andrew Rothman of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance was apparently on WCCO yesterday.  “Protect” MN put out an email blast for its badly-informed chanting point bots to call in – which I doubt worked especially well.

StraightOuttaFacts

I was extraordinarily busy over the weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to listen.

But “Protect” MN’s email blasts are always low entertainment (emphasis added):

Dear Heinrich

Mr. Rothman is one of the most vorciferous

advocates for the gun lobby in our state.

And Nancy Nord Bence is one of the most vociferously bad spellers in Minnesota public life.

He makes his living teaching Permit to Carry classes and representing the most extreme views of the NRA at the Capital

No.  No, he does not.  He earns his living in a day job like the rest of us.

This is the level of accuracy one expects from “Protect” MN.

I may just listen to the podcast for the carnage.

A Rhetorical Question, Sort Of, For The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence

To:  The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence, “Protect” MN
From:  Mitch Berg, Peasant
Re:  Suggestion

Last night, you had your “Orange” events around selected parts of the Metro – or at least Eagan (a snug little suburban enclave) and the Stone Arch Bridge, the heart of the gentrified waterfront.

And yet in all your communications, you decry violence…where it’s happening, North Minneapolis.

So why didn’t you (plural) hold your march / event / vigil up there?

That is all.

The Dreamiscle Ghouls

Today’s the day all the gun-grabbers have planned for their big…day.  They’ll be having their little events, wearing their orange t-shirts, looking a little bit like human Dreamsicles.  And they’ll be marching their marches, doing their speeches, yadda yadda.   I wouldn’t be surprised if the huge papier-mache heads turned up.

To pimp the event, The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence sent this out yesterday:

Dear Heinrich,
According to the Star Tribune, “In the first five months of 2016, 123 people have been shot in Minneapolis–97 of them on the North Side–compared with 65 during the same period last year. At the current pace, north Minneapolis will eclipse last year’s total of gunshot victims by late September.”

Let’s let that sink in.

At a time when Minnesota’s murder rate outside North Minneapolis has sunk to levels half that of Norway, and competitive with the rural west, the North Side is turning into Beirut.

Could we perhaps have a crime problem?

Why, of course we do.  Seems like common sense, doesn’t it?

What’s to be done about escalating gun violence in the urban core? How are we to protect the families and children living in communities where flying bullets and wailing sirens are becoming ever more commonplace?
There has been a lot of finger pointing: at the gangs, at the police, at the legislature. As I stated in a letter published in the Star Tribune yesterday, the problem is multi-faceted and requires a multi-faceted response.

That sounds almost reasonable!   Of course the problem is “multi-faceted”.  Everyone knows this.

And in fact, for a brief, shining moment, Rev. Nord Bence almost sounds like she’s aiming for “reasonable”.   She comes sooooo close…:

And everyone who understands that we can protect gun rights…

…before making the inevitable detour into loopdieland:

…without handing over our right to live in safe communities to the gun lobby, and that common sense gun regulation is absolutely necessary and long overdue, and that what is really lacking is not the knowledge of how to solve the problem of gun violence, but the courage to do so.

And right there, my bemusement and, let’s be honest, mild mockery turned into toxic disgust.  Behind that Dreamsicle Orange is a toxic hatred.

People are dying.   Children are afraid to play outside.  Near North is a shooting gallery.

And after disclaiming “finger pointing” at gangs, cops or politics,  The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence wants to blame it on “the gun lobby?”

What she’s saying is “people – mostly (but far from all) who live in places where the crime rates are plummeting as the number of legal gun owners soars – standing up for their Second Amendment rights is what is killing people in North Minneapolis”.  

The Rev. Nord Bence is using those bleeding, broken, largely black bodies to take a smug, dim whack at the “gun lobby” – which, in Minnesota, is “Minnesotans”.  

In her own way, The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence may be an even more toxic, irrational figure than Heather Martens; behind Heather Martens’ comical uninfored bumbling was a non-profiteer who really didn’t know what she was doing;  behind the Reverend Nord Bence’s ELCA hair and veneer of reason is toxic bigotry.

 

Open Letter To Sen. Latz, Rep. Schoen, Rep. Norton, Rev. Nord Bence, Jane Kaye, Heather Martens, and Joan Peterson

To:  The Abovementioned
From: Mitch Berg, Mere Peasant
Re:  Your signage where your mouths are

All,

You are the leaders of Minnesota’s gun-grabber movement.  You and your wan little pack of Volvo-driving, alpaca-wearing, NPR-listening, St. Olaf-graduating, ELCA-coiffed followers want to take away Minnesotans’ right and means to defend themselves.

Now, crime in Minnesota is very, very low – and a higher percentage of Minnesotans have carry permits than Texans.  Crime is lowest of all in places where the number of legally-carried guns is the highest.

And vice versa.

So you all live in your hideaways in Kenwood, Saint Anthony Park, Crocus Hill, Rochester and Saint Louis Park, in part made safer by the deterrent effect of all of us shooters.

So why not make an integrity move, and eschew that deterrence?

Put one of these babies in your yard:

Show America’s gun culture that you  patently reject the collateral benefit of their – our – prudence!

Tell Minnesota – all Minnesotans – that you trust all 5.5 million of your neighbors to stay honest.  Tell them that you implicitly trust that if something goes hinky, that you trust the police will be there fast enough to make a difference.

You do trust the police to protect you, just as you want us to trust them – don’t you?

Please see to this immediately.

What?  You’re not afraid, are you?

Because I’d hate to think you all were a bunch of hypocrites.

That is all.

Those Who Forget Stupid-People History Are Doomed To Repeat It

The Early ’70s – the National Coalition to Ban Handguns distributes signs indicating that the home is “proud to be gun-free”.

They made the usual, predictable media splash – the nation’s opinion-pushers were pretty roundly anti-gun in those days, and they’d done a pretty fair job of bandwagoning a good chunk of American opinion into line with them.

But then a funny thing happened.

The robbery rates in “gun-free homes” shot through the roof; owners of posted homes found that they were being robbed at a rate vastly, vastly, utterly, screamingly, almost satirically higher than their neighbors.

So the signs disappeared almost as fast as the “no guns allowed” signs vanished from Twin Cities bars after “gun-free” bars found themselves getting stuck up at an alarming rate.

We’re seeing a pattern here – right?

And by “we” I mean anyone whose EKG is ticking in the least bit.

Because not everybody does.

UPDATE:  Hah!  It look like the “red light” story is from a satire site!   The story is fake…

…but accurate.

In other words, I’ve fallen for a line that is devoid of fact.  Just like Senator Latz, Representatives Norton and Schoen, Heather Martens, the Right Reverend Nancy Nord Bence, Joan Peterson and Nick Coleman.  Only mine doesn’t trample the Constitution and get innocent people killed.

A Good Grandma With A Gun

An 80 year old woman in Sultan, Washington shot and killed a man who was trying to go all teppanyaki on her husband:

The woman called 911 at about 8:30 p.m. from the home in the 13700 block of Woods Lake Road and said “she had shot an intruder after he broke into her home and stabbed her husband,” Ireton said.

The suspect, a 25-year-old Gold Bar man, died at the scene.

“At this time, detectives do not believe the suspect was known to the residents of the home and that this was an attempted home burglary,” Ireton said.

Note to Kim Norton, Ron “I Went To Harvard” Latz and The Right Reverend Nancy Nord Bence; maybe if the woman took a background check, the guy wouldn’t have broken in?  Right?

Lie First, Lie Always: A Tale Of Two Meetings

It was said about “Protect” MN’s former “executive director” (and pretty much sole member) Heather Martens [1] that “she never once made a single subsantial, original, true statement about the Second Amendment, gun facts or gun rights”.

When The Right Reverend Nancy Nord Bence took over at “Protect” MN a few weeks back, we had hope that things might change at Minnesota’s “leading” criminal-safety group [2].

In her press release related to this past Tuesday’s events at the SLOB, we see that hope was misplaced – with hilarious results.

Hi Reinhard,
Good news: The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was a great success!

And by the standards of”Protect” MN, it probably was.  Their all-out effort turned out about as many people as the Human Rights community’s casual call for supporters with spare time did.  None of their people were ejected from the building for trying to pick a fight with Human Rights supporters.  None of their paid lobbyists appeared in the place of an elected official, to immense ridicule.

By their standards, it was a red-letter day.

But now we get into the out-and-out lying.  Emphasis added:

On Tuesday, April 26, hundreds of Minnesotans who have had ENOUGH gathered at the Senate Office Building in St. Paul for an informational hearing on legislation that will go a long way towards protecting Minnesotans from gun violence: Senator Latz’ universal background check bill (S.F. 2493) and gun violence protective order bill (S.F. 2980).

Let’s go through the lies in order.

“Protect” MN is apparenetly taking counting lessons from the Strib:  there were not “Hundreds of supporters.   As people were let into the hearing, there were roughly 150 all together – about equally divided between criminal-safety advocates and Human Rights supporters.

Just to prove it?  Here are some photos.  Here’s the front half of the line gathered to get into the hearing – which, as you can see, is about 3/4 maroon-clad Human Rights supporters:

Here’s the back half of the line; probably 2/3 Criminal Safety advocates, with their ELCA hairdos and that air of unearned self-righteousness, unblemished by actual knowledge, roiling off them like Axe off of teenage boys:

A count as the doors opened showed roughly 70-80 on each side.  A few more streamed in on both sides – but the chamber, which held 250, was never close to full.

Fact:  “Protect” MN has never turned out “hundreds” of people in a given session, much less at a single event.

Second lie?  It wasn’t an “informational hearing”.  It was a sham; a Potemkin hearing, trying to create the illusion that these two bills aren’t utterly dead issues this session.  It was, in other words, a campaign event, held at taxpayer expense.

Third?   Neither bill will ever save a single life.  Ever!   Universal registration will only burden the law-abiding.  And the “Take Your Soon-To-Be-Estranged Sig-Other’s Guns Without Due Process!” bill is nothing but a make-work program for lawyers.

Scheduled to coincide with the Moms Demand Action lobby day, the room was packed with enthusiastic Moms as well as Protect Minnesota members. The gun lobby was also out in force.

I’m just going to let the word “packed” lie there, like the magnificant rhetorical turd it is.

Although no action will be taken on these bills this session, this informational hearing was important and very successful. It captured the attention of the media, disputed the gun lobby’s false claims, “set the table” for the debate that will ensue in months to come, and fired up the masses of gun safety supporters in attendance.

Fourth lie:  The media coverage was sparse and perfunctory.

Fifth Lie:  “Disputing” doesn’t make anything “false”; you can “dispute” gravity, but if you don’t float away afterward, you’ve falsified nothing.

Sixth Lie:  Masses?  Masses?

We commend Senator Ron Latz for his bold leadership on this issue, and commit the whole resources of Protect Minnesota to assisting in the passage of these bills in 2017.

It may not be a “lie” to say Latz is a “leader” on the issue.  He’s doing what Michael Bloomberg told him to do.

Meet the new “Protect”MN.  Same as the old “Protect”MN.


[1]  Said by me, of course – but known by everyone who actually paid attention to the issue.  At all.  Ever.

[2] In the same sense that Timberwolves fans “hope” that this will be the big year they’ve been waiting for.

Moral Authority

So the left “thinks” 1 that Wayne LaPierre is two steps down below Satan.   Indeed, as many on the left fancy themselves empiricists, spirituality gives them an unearned chuckle.

But they always make an exception for Buddhism.  Because Far East.

And on one issue, I’ll agree with ’em; I wish more Western religious leaders had the moral clarity to say this:

And no – it’s not apocryphal.   (Or especially well-informed; he urges one to shoot “at the leg”.  It’d take a lot of meditation to calm an adrenaline rush enough to make that feasible).

Your turn, Reverend Nancy Nord Bence.


1 Where “think” = “has been painstakingly been trained to regurgitate”

Pig, Meet New Lipstick

There’s a new sheriff in town at “ProtectMN”.

She’s got size two shoes to fill.

And they’ll be having a party to talk about it tonight:

Dear Heinrich,
Come meet the new Executive Director of Protect Minnesota and learn how YOU can help prevent gun violence in our state. The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence is excited to meet you, share important information prior to caucusing on March 1, and hear your ideas for the growth of our coalition. Wine and appetizers will be provided.

After “Protect” MN’s last decade in the legislature, one might think the appetizer would be “crow”.

But I imagine they’ll be knocking back the vino, all right.

DATE: Thursday, February 25, 2016
TIME: Open House from 6:30-8:30pm

I’m pretty sure you need to be on the guest list to show up.

It’s right in the middle of the AM1280 Debate Party, so I won’t be able to attend.

Coincidence?  I think not.

LOCATION: Protect Minnesota Offices, 2395 University Ave W, Suite 204, St. Paul MN 55114. (That’s in the Security Building on the corner of Raymond and University.) Street parking is free after 5pm. Come to the entrance on Raymond Avenue and our doorman will let you in.
Hope you’ll join us!
The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence

www.protectmn.org

Welcome to the battle, Reverend Nord Bence.  I’ll extend you the same invitation I’ve been extending to your predecessor, Heather Martens, for the past decade; you can come on my show any Saturday afternoon and talk “gun safety”.  Hopefully you’ll be less pusillanimous than your predecessor.

And just to show you I’m all about the same goals you are, I’ll do this for you:

Audience Participation:  What advice do you, the smartest comment section in town‡, want to give Rev. Nord Bence?

Go!

‡  Well, most of you, anyway.